August 8, 2009

DocuWeeks 2009 Week 1 Wrap-Up

The first week of the IDA's 13th Annual DocuWeeks showcase drew doc-lovers, filmmakers and more to the ArcLight in Los Angeles and IFC Center in New York. Here are some great pics and moments from Week 1. Check out all of the Week 1 news, Q&As, reviews and more right here. (Then get Week 2 info right here.)

Sheila Nevins, HBO, Nancy Abraham, HBO, and Eddie Schmidt, IDA Board of Directors, at the Opening Night Reception for IDA's 13th Annual DocuWeeks. Photo by Meg Madison (

Following a Saturday afternoon screening of Smile ‘Til It Hurts: The Up With People Story, a group of us engaged in a passionate discussion about the 1960s, cults, certain scenes in the film that moved us, and the Up With People story itself. And across the room was another cluster of people engaged in animated conversation. And at one point, both conversations stopped, the clusters eyed one another warily, and we asked, “Are you IDA members?” and they replied, “No, we’re Uppies!” And we united as if we were long lost friends. This was the Southern California chapter of the Up With People alumni association in the house, which included two Vietnam War veterans. They recounted stories of touring the Deep South during the civil rights era; pled ignorance to what was happening in the upper echelons of the Uppies, as depicted in the film; talked about the cult aspect of the group; recounted how their 40th reunion included some degree of vetting about feelings of manipulation and exploitation…and genuinely felt that their time with Up With People was the best time of their lives, during which they made friends that have lasted to this day.

Lee Storey, director, Smile 'Til It Hurts: The Up With People Story at Q&A following screening at 2009 IDA DocuWeeks. Photo by Meg Madison (

The Shorts 2 program drew an impressive Sunday afternoon crowd, including Ingelore Herz Honigstein, the irrepressible protagonist of Frank Stiefel’s Ingelore. The audience joined Stiefel—who happens to be Inglelore’s son—and point of entry director Zeus Quijano Jr. for drinks and sandwiches at the ArcLight bar, where Ingelore held court.

 Ingelore Herz Honigstein and Frank Stiefel, director, at Ingelore screening at 2009 IDA DocuWeeks. Photo by Meg Madison (

Andy Lipkis, Tree People, Gene Rosow and Bill Benenson Directors of DIRT!: The Movie at 2009 IDA DocuWeeks Q&A. Photo by Meg Madison (

 Haskell Wexler, Joan Churchill, with Barney Broomfield, director, of Far From Gone at 2009 IDA DocuWeeks Far From Gone screening. Photo by Meg Madison (

See many more pictures from DocuWeeks 2009 at the IDA's Flickr Photostream.