September 29, 2017

Essential Doc Reads: Week of September 25

From Kevin Jerome Everson's 'Tonsler Park.'

Essential Doc Reads is a weekly feature in which the IDA staff recommends recent pieces about the documentary form and its processes. Here we feature think pieces and important news items from around the Internet, and articles from the Documentary magazine archive. We hope you enjoy!

At Sight & Sound, Helen de Witt writes in praise of Kevin Jerome Everson's new Election Day-set 16mm film Tonsler Park.

At the time of filming an election, the outcome is unknown, and on this occasion, the result was a great shock. This timeshift of awareness gives the film a palpable irony. Instead of being another film in Everson’s oeuvre that focuses on the processes and practices of everyday life for black Americans, Tonsler Park has acquired a level of monumentality. This most unpretentious of filmmakers, who is also a professor of art at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, may well be uncomfortable with that status.

European Documentary Network announces the results of a new "Cost of Docs" survey.

The Whicker's World Foundation has published a new report entitled "Cost of Docs 100 Survey: Trends and Challenges Facing Documentarians in Today's Market". The report is the result of an annual survey among documentary professionals and provides both figures and insights into the actual cost of producing a documentary film in today's audiovisual market. The survey, spearheaded by the Whicker's World Foundation, was conducted in partnership with EDN - European Documentary Network and Open City Docs London.

At The Globe and Mail, Daniel LeBlanc reports on a major overhaul of Canada's cultural funding regime.

Policy governing Canadian culture – the government considers everything from movies and television to virtual reality under this umbrella – is wide-ranging and the broadcasting, media and cultural industries are worth around $50-billion. Changes this broad haven't been seen in more than a quarter-century.

At Filmmaker, filmmaker Martin DiCicco finds communion at the Camden International Film Festival.

And then, the main event, the Points North Forum Pitch, which fills the Opera House and has the air of a wrestling match. The projects were all very impressive, but I will only highlight one moment, when Todd Chandler's pitch for Untitled was criticized for a perceived "lack of story," to which Tabitha Jackson, Director of Sundance's Documentary Film Program, rose to decry the "hegemony of story" in the documentary, and the crowd erupted in applause and hollers of supporters. There are many festivals whose programming can starve storyphiles, and I hope that CIFF not only continues to provide a home to these films, but also continues to support the conversation brought forth by Chandler's pitch.

From the archives, October 2015, "Camden Fest Draws Doc Lovers with a Zesty Down East Blend"

"I always go back to the idea that from day one our goal to become a gathering of filmmakers and film professionals here in Maine was the best thing we ever could have done," says Fowlie, in a phone conversation after the festival. "That's probably what has allowed us to continue to grow and stay relevant over the past 11 years. If we hadn't, then we might have been a small regional festival that screens films to audiences but has no direct connection to the greater filmmaking community, and that certainly wasn't something that interested me."


In the News:

EDN 'Media and Society' Meeting at IDFA 2017
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Sundance Announces Doc Fund Grantees
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Knight Foundation Tackles Media Trust Issue
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NBC Starts Documentary Unit 'Left Field' to Attract Younger Audience
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Denver Film Society, Cinema Detroit and More Sue Landmark Theatres
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