DocuDay LA takes place annually in celebration of the feature and short documentaries nominated for an Oscar®, with back to back screenings all day. Filmmaker Q&As follow each screening, filmmaker schedule permitting. Watch the most recognized documentaries of the year and meet the nominees!

DocuDay LA

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Writers Guild Theater
135 S. Doheny Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90211




Doors Open/Check-In


Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail tells the incredible saga of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York. Accused of mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., Abacus becomes the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The indictment and subsequent trial forces the Sung family to defend themselves – and their bank’s legacy in the Chinatown community – over the course of a five-year legal battle. (88 minutes)


Q&A with: Director Steve James, Producers Mark Mitten and Julie Goldman, and the Sung Family - Mr. Sung (Thomas Sung), Mrs. Sung (Hwei Lin Sung), Vera Sung, Jill Sung, Heather Sung, Chanterelle Sung


Strong Island

In April 1992, on Long Island NY, William Ford Jr., a black 24 year-old teacher, was killed by Mark Reilly, a white 19 year-old mechanic. Although Ford was unarmed, he became the prime suspect in his own murder. Strong Island chronicles the arc of the Ford family; Barbara Dunmore, William Ford and their three children, and how their lives have been shaped by the enduring shadow of race in America. (107 minutes)


Q&A with: Director Yance Ford and Producer Joslyn Barnes



ICARUS reveals the story of the biggest international sports scandal in history. During Fogel’s investigation into doping in professional sports, he becomes connected to Russian scientist Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov. Fogel and Rodchenkov grow closer despite allegations that place Rodchenkov at the center of Russia's state-sponsored Olympic doping program. When accusations of illegalities run to Russia's highest chains of command, the team realizes they hold the power to expose the story worldwide. Rodchenkov’s revelations in the film have since been corroborated by multiple forensic and journalistic investigations. His on-camera testimony and the film itself has been cited as critical evidence in the reports referenced in the International Olympic Committee's decision to ban Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics. ICARUS is a portrait of the sacrifice one whistleblower made to stand up for truth. (121 minutes)


Q&A with: Director Bryan Fogel and Producer Dan Cogan


Shorts Program 1: Edith+Eddie, Heroin(e), Traffic Stop

Edith+Eddie: Edith and Eddie, ages 96 and 95, are America's oldest interracial newlyweds. Their love story is disrupted by a family feud that threatens to tear the couple apart. (29 minutes)

Heroin(e): Director Elaine McMillion Sheldon highlights three women working to change the town’s narrative and break the cycle of drug abuse: Fire Chief Jan Rader, Judge Patricia Keller and Necia Freeman of Brown Bag Ministry. As America’s opioid crisis threatens to tear communities apart, Heroin(e) shows how a chain of compassion holds one town together. (39 minutes)

Traffic Stop: Directed by Kate Davis, Traffic Stop tells the story of Breaion King, a 26 year-old African-American school teacher from Austin, Texas who is stopped for a routine traffic violation that escalates into a dramatic arrest.(30 minutes)


Q&A with: Director Laura Checkoway, Producer Thomas Lee Wright, and Cinematographer Neil Barret of Edith+Eddie; Director Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Producer Kerrin Sheldon, and subjects Fire Chief Jan Rader, Judge Patricia Keller, Necia Freeman of Heroin(e); Director Kate Davis, Producer David Heilbroner, and subject Breaion King of Traffic Stop.


Last Men in Aleppo

Through the eyes of volunteer rescue workers called the White Helmets, Last Men in Aleppo allows viewers to experience the daily life, death, and struggle in the streets, where they are fighting for sanity in a city where war has become the norm. (104 minutes)


Q&A with: Director Feras Fayyad and Producer Søren Steen Jespersen


Shorts Program 2: Knife Skills, Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405

Knife Skills follows the launch of an haute cuisine restaurant in Cleveland, staffed by men and women recently released from prison. It is a film about reentry, second chances, and the healing power of fine food. Over 650,000 people are released from prison every year. (40 minutes)

Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405is a portrait of a brilliant 56 year old artist who is represented by one of Los Angeles’ top galleries. Her body of raw, emotional work reveals a lifetime of extreme depression and anxiety. (40 minutes)


Q&A with: Director Thomas Lennon, Editor/Co-Producer Nick August-Perna, and Restaurant founder Brandon Chrostowski of Knife Skills; Director Frank Stiefel and subject Mindy Alper of Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405


Faces Places

89-year old Agnes Varda, one of the leading figures of the French New Wave, and acclaimed 33 year-old French photographer and muralist JR teamed up to co-direct this enchanting documentary/road movie. Kindred spirits, Varda and JR share a lifelong passion for images and how they are created, displayed and shared. (89 minutes)