Of the four titles already announced in advance of next week’s Cockatoo Island Film Festival program launch, of particular interest is the Australian premiere of director Stevan Riley’s Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007.
Ten feature-length non-fiction works have been selected for the Documentary Feature Competition, a section of the sixth edition of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, set to unspool October 11-20 in the second largest city, and capital, of the United Arab Emirates.
The next crowd-sourced documentary is upon us, with the Australian-grown 11Eleven Project hosting a free preview screening this Friday eve in Sydney. Continuing in the vein of projects such as Life in a Day and One Day on Earth, 11Eleven called for participants around the world to pick up a camera on 11/11/11 and film something.
It’s that time of the year again when college starts in North America and welcome addresses are delivered to inspire new students. Ricki Stern, whose new feature Knuckleball opens in US theatres today, used her speech to talk about stories, characters and the “risk and failure” in documentary filmmaking.
The Ambassador, Dane provocateur Mads Brügger’s expose of corruption in Liberia that finds him buying a consular posting to the Central African Republic, has enjoyed a brisk run on the festival circuit and a commercial release in New York City. Now, just as the film is poised to open the second Antenna Documentary Festival in Sydney, word is coming from African media that Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is calling for Brügger’s extradition.
The sales numbers are still ticker-taping in, but as TIFF 2012 closes it already looks to be a solid year for those filmmakers who came to the festival looking for some sweet distribution action. Though it showed first in Venice and Telluride, for instance, Toronto is where Sarah Polley sold her first highly acclaimed documentary, Stories We Tell.
The public screening of Love Marilyn, the latest ritual exhumation of Marilyn Monroe, was packed at noon on a Thursday. I can only assume that most of the audience shared my same, simple expectation: an excuse to gaze at the twentieth century’s most perfect movie star for a little longer, and entertain the hope that this time through her story might somehow turn out differently.
Ranu Ghosh is a filmmaker to watch. Ethical and determined, she filmed Kolkata factory worker, Shambhu Prasad Singh for four years as he single-handedly resisted eviction at the hands of powerful corporate interests. Now, facing the Indian censorship board, Ghosh talks about the status of her film in India.
Life Itself, the memoir of iconic US film critic Roger Ebert, has been optioned by Martin Scorsese and his Gangs of New York collaborator Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List, Moneyball, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Zaillian is set to executive produce and acclaimed documentarian Steve James of Kartemquin Films to direct. Ebert broke the news on twitter.
If nothing else, the first afternoon of the TIFF Docs conference gave off a heavenly smell. At the end of Up the Yangtze director Yung Chang’s sneak preview of his forthcoming documentary, The Fruit Hunters, a table spilling over with exotic fruit was presented to the audience, who fell on it with glad cries. The table included a few miracle fruit berries, which alter the taste buds to somewhat psychedelic effect, and a few pieces of durian, the Asian delicacy likened in The Fruit Hunters to eating vanilla ice cream…in a toilet.
Physicist and author Brian Greene, brings us a mind-blowing new exploration of space, time, and the very nature of reality.
Acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history.
A fresh perspective on the birth of civilisation in the Near and Middle East and its dynamic influence on the West.