Here at Home is an ambitious new webdoc from the Canadian National Film Board. Piggy-backing on a major Canadian research project on homelessness, it shows what the future of socially engaged webdocs might look like. It also showcases some of the unique features of a webdoc: ability to add more content over time as the project itself does, and ability to represent and navigate the content spatially.
At the Provincetown International Film Festival, Oscar and Emmy nominated documentary director Kirby Dick (This Film is Not Yet Rated and Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan) discussed his latest film, The Invisible War. The documentary later won the festival’s HBO Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature. Previously the film won awards at Sundance, the 2012 Human Rights Watch Film Festival and the Dallas International Film Festival.
I know I’m not alone in being totally in awe of the Vivid lights recently in Sydney. It seemed to me that the crush around Circular Quay was even bigger than in past years, as every Sydneysider and their family was out in force, even in the rain. The Customs House projections by the Electric Canvas particularly grabbed my attention, with the incredible detail and precision involved as well as the elements of story.
The sleepy town of Dungog in NSW’s Hunter Valley seems an unlikely location for the ‘World’s Biggest Festival of Australian Films.’ For the sixth time, the town of just over 2000 will play host to dozens of feature films, documentaries, shorts and industry panels from June 29 to July 1, 2012. Housed in The James Theatre, Australia’s oldest cinema, Dungog Film Festival showcases Australian-only content in a non-competitive environment.
The opening night of Silverdocs 2012 kicked off with a cinematic bang as Ramona S. Diaz’s Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey played to a packed, enthusiastic house. The film tells the story of Arnel Pineda, an unknown singer from the Philippines who, as the result of a You Tube search, went on to became the new face (and old voice) of 80s rockers Journey.
As has been mentioned in these posts previously, filmmaker Paul Gallasch (pictured above) actively frets over audiences “getting” the dark, therapeutic humour of his 29-minute documentary Killing Anna and its story of his wake for the very much undead girlfriend who abruptly dumped him.
Sydney Film Festival has wrapped once again. There was more festival buzz about the city than ever before this year with free exhibitions, talks, live music, performances and screenings at the Festival Hub, just a short stroll from Vivid’s interactive light show at Circular Quay. For all those who missed out, the students of AFTRS (Australian Film & Television School) have put together a short documentary capturing all the festival action in its various locations. As a true test of their talents, KALEIDOSCOPE: One Audience, Infinite Stories had to be completed within 48 hours.
Are you a connector? Chances are high if you’re reading this blog. A connector is someone who actively consumes screen stories across cinema, television and online. They’re generally younger, affluent people living in the city, and they stay constantly in touch with updates in technology and social media. Connectors are one of four categories identified in Screen Australia’s report launched last week: What to Watch? Audience motivation in a multi-screen world.
Direct Cinema visionary Albert Maysles said it best when he advised young filmmakers to “get close to what’s going on.” Subject, access and presentation are what good documentaries are all about, and the ones that change the course of the form are the films that find an important subject, get close to that subject, capture that reality on film and effect positive change. What follows are ten films that do just that, movies made over the last 117 years and presented chronologically by necessity that have observed what’s happening around them, influenced audiences and filmmakers alike, and changed the game forever.
Last chance to get your film in for the Antenna International Documentary Film Festival - submissions for the Australian feature and shorts competitions close next Friday. After a successful first run last year, Antenna is back this year from October 10-14 in Sydney, this time to be hosted at Dendy Cinemas. Over 30 feature docs will be on offer from around the world, as well as shorts, special events and international guests.
2012 marks the tenth year of AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs, the week long festival that descends upon downtown Silver Spring Maryland, a spaciously developed enclave located just outside of Washington DC. The past ten years has been a period of remarkable growth for the festival and, more broadly, American documentary film. Like any newly established entity, a decade’s worth of experience has shown that there’s wisdom in stability; this year’s slate continues a shift towards more catholic, musically inclined programming that bares little resemblance to the more politically inclined fare of the mid-to-late 2000s.
Patrick Lindsay's book shows that to understand the Anzac spirit we must first understand the spirit of Gallipoli.
The untold story of Australian soldiers caught up in war and revolution during the invasion of Russia in 1918-1919.
For more fascinating books and DVDs relating to modern war, go to the SBS Shop.