Back to IndieWire

2015 DOC NYC Lineup is 38% Female-Helmed; Hillary Rodham Clinton to Appear at Fest

2015 DOC NYC Lineup is 38% Female-Helmed; Hillary Rodham Clinton to Appear at Fest

DOC NYC’s 2015 lineup has been announced, and of 104 features screening, 39 are directed or co-directed by women — a figure that amounts to 38% of the programming. Last year, women helmed 43 percent of the features, so unfortunately, this marks a minor step back, statistically speaking. That being said, last year we bristled at the lack of docs centered on female subjects at the fest, and this time around, a number of the docs focus on high-profile celebrities as well as leading ladies who aren’t household names but who should most definitely be on your radar. The sixth edition of the festival will also feature a very special guest — someone who definitely hasn’t slipped under your radar — in presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

HRC will appear for the closing-night feature presented by MAKERS, “Once and For All,” a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the largest gathering of women ever assembled: the UN’s 1995 World Conference on Women in Beijing. “Once and For All” follows the events leading up to the conference, in which 189 countries participated, and considers the legacy of the event, as well as the work that remains to be done on the path toward gender equality. The film, co-directed by Dyllan McGee, will screen November 19 at the S.V.A. Theater. 

The two other women-directed docs with the most prestigious spots at the fest are also both female-centric: Barbara Kopple’s “Miss Sharon Jones!” and Amy Berg’s “Janis: Little Girl Blue.” The former will screen opening night and the latter as a centerpiece feature. Kopple and Berg will appear in person to discuss their docs and the music legends they center on.

The diverse fare on offer also includes Laurie Kahn’s “Love Between the Covers,” an exploration of romance fiction and its fandom, and Holly Morris and Anne Bogart’s “The Babushkas of Chernobyl,” which takes place in the “dead zone” around Chernobyl’s Reactor No. 4 and is shockingly enough the home of a community of elderly women.

DOC NYC will take place November 12-19. Passes are on sale now. 

Check out all of the women-directed documentaries below, courtesy of DOC NYC:

Opening Night  MISS SHARON JONES!
Dir: Barbara Kopple, US Premiere
Two-time Oscar winner Barbara Kopple follows soul queen Sharon Jones in a year of adversity. In person: Barbara Kopple, subjects Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings
 
Centerpiece  JANIS: LITTLE GIRL BLUE
Dir: Amy Berg, NYC Premiere
Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Amy Berg (Deliver Us from Evil) profiles the rock legend Janis Joplin. FilmRise. In person: Amy Berg

Closing Night  ONCE AND FOR ALL
Dirs: Michael Epstein, Dyllan McGee, World Premiere
The story of the 1995 Beijing Women’s Conference, a watershed event in the global struggle for women’s rights. AOL’s MAKERS. In person: Michael Epstein, Dyllan McGee, subject Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton
 
SPECIAL EVENTS
 
AN ART THAT NATURE MAKES: THE WORK OF ROSAMOND PURCELL
Dir: Molly Bernstein, World Premiere
Photographer Rosamond Purcell finds unexpected beauty in the overlooked, discarded and decayed. In person: Molly Bernstein, subject Rosamond Purcell. (Preceded by the short film A PASSION OF GOLD AND FIRE, dir: Sebastien Pins, on the retiring head of an apiary school.)
 
MAKING A MURDERER
Dirs: Laura Ricciardi, Moira Demos, World Premiere
A sneak peek at the first two episodes of a riveting ten-part true crime docu-series. Netflix. In person: Laura Ricciardi, Moira Demos
  
VIEWFINDERS COMPETITION (distinct directorial visions)
 
A JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES: PEACEKEEPERS
Dirs: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Geeta Gandbhir, US Premiere
Three Bangladeshi policewomen serve with the UN peacekeeping mission in post-earthquake Haiti. In person: Geeta Gandbhir
 
MOTLEY’S LAW
Dir: Nicole Horanyi, NYC Premiere
The only Western lawyer licensed to work in Afghanistan’s courts, Kimberley Motley finds herself at a crossroads. In person: Nicole Horanyi, subject Kimberley Motley
 
P.S. JERUSALEM
Dir: Danae Elon, US Premiere
Chronicling three years in Jerusalem with her family, Danae Elon uncovers the city’s tensions. In person: Danae Elon
 
METROPOLIS COMPETITION (NYC stories)
 
DADDY DON’T GO
Dir: Emily Abt, World Premiere
Four diverse, disadvantaged NYC fathers struggle to beat the odds and defy the deadbeat dad stereotype. In person: Emily Abt, all subjects
 
THE JAZZ LOFT ACCORDING TO W. EUGENE SMITH
Dir: Sara Fishko, NYC Premiere
In 1957-65, a former LIFE Magazine photojournalist captured legendary jazz musicians in a Sixth Avenue loft. In person: Sara Fishko
 
MIRIAM: HOME DELIVERY
Dir: Juliet Jordan, World Premiere
A profile of a NYC homebirth midwife and her diverse clientele. In person: Juliet Jordan, subject Miriam Schwarzschild
 
AMERICAN PERSPECTIVES (a spectrum of domestic topics)
 
AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MICHELLE MAREN
Dirs: Michel Negroponte, Michelle Maren, US Premiere
An acclaimed filmmaker and his troubled subject craft a captivating portrait of a woman enslaved by past traumas. In person: Michel Negroponte, Michelle Maren
 
DEEP RUN
Dir: Hillevi Loven, NYC Premiere
Can an affable young transgender man live openly with his true love in the Bible Belt?
In person: Hillevi Loven, subject Cole Ray Davis
 
LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
Dir: Laurie Kahn, NYC Premiere
A look at the vast community around romance fiction, demonstrating why love stories are no trivial matter. In person: Laurie Kahn
 
WILHEMINA’S WAR
Dir: June Cross, World Premiere
An African-American grandmother in the deep South cares for her HIV+ family members. In person: June Cross. (Preceded by the short film OPEN YOUR EYES, dir: Irene Taylor Brodsky, on a blind elderly couple in Nepal.)
 
INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES (a spectrum of global topics)
 
THE BABUSHKAS OF CHERNOBYL
Dirs: Holly Morris, Anne Bogart, NYC Premiere
A profile of elderly women who subsist on their beloved but toxic land in Chernobyl’s radioactive exclusion zone. In person: Holly Morris
 
TOCANDO LA LUZ
Dir: Jennifer Redfearn, NYC Premiere
Three women, united by blindness and a desire for independence, pursue their dreams in modern Cuba. In person: Jennifer Redfearn. (Preceded by the short film THE 100 YEARS SHOW, dir: Alison Klayman, on Cuban-born NYC artist Carmen Herrera.)
ON THE RIM OF THE SKY
Dir: Xu Hongjie, US Premiere
An isolated Chinese village school becomes a battleground between generations, ideologies and egos.
 
BEHIND THE SCENES (on films and filmmaking)
 
WOMEN HE’S UNDRESSED
Dir: Gillian Armstrong, NYC Premiere
In Hollywood’s golden age, costume designer Orry-Kelly thrived, but also kept secrets as a gay man. In person: subject Ann Roth
 
DOC EAT DOC (on food)
 
CITY OF GOLD
Dir: Laura Gabbert, NYC Premiere
This portrait of Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold reveals hidden culinary gems of Los Angeles. Sundance Selects. In person: Laura Gabbert, subject Jonathan Gold
 
KING GEORGES
Dir: Erika Frankel
At Philadelphia’s famed French restaurant Le Bec Fin, chef Georges Perrier struggles to stay in business. In person: Erika Frankel, subjects Georges Perrier, Nicholas Elmi
 
DOCS REDUX (a showcase of classic revivals)

GIMME SHELTER (1970)
Dirs: Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin
45th anniversary screening, in memory of Al Maysles. A portrait of the Rolling Stones becomes a disturbing record of a notorious concert.
 
HIGH ON CRACK STREET: LOST LIVES IN LOWELL (1995)
Dirs: Jon Alpert, Maryann DeLeo, Richard Farrell
20th anniversary screening. The documentary that inspired The Fighter focuses on three addicts. In person: Jon Alpert
 
SISTERS IN LAW (2005)
Dir: Kim Longinotto
10th anniversary screening. Two fierce and feisty women challenge tradition in Cameroon through their legal work. In person: Kim Longinotto

FIGHT THE POWER (on activists)
 
BADDDDD SONIA SANCHEZ
Dirs: Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater, Sabrina Schmidt Gordon, NYC Premiere
A crucial figure in the Black Arts Movement harnesses her gift for words to fuse art and activism over six decades. California Newsreel. In person: Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater, Sabrina Schmidt Gordon, subject Sonia Sanchez
 
THE C WORD
Dir: Meghan O’Hara, NYC Premiere
Oscar-nominated producer Megan O’Hara (Sicko) questions the establishment wisdom around cancer. In person: Meghan O’Hara
 
CIRCLE OF POISON
Dirs: Evan Mascagni, Shannon Post, World Premiere
A pointed exposé on the global trade in banned pesticides and their impact on health. In person: Evan Mascagni, Shannon Post
 
NO MÁS BÉBES
Dir: Renee Tajima-Peña, NYC Premiere
A young lawyer fights the medical establishment on behalf of Latina immigrants sterilized without their consent. In person: Renee Tajima-Peña

JOCK DOCS (on sports)
 
LUCHA MEXICO
Dirs: Alex Hammond, Ian Markiewicz, US Premiere
An entertaining look at Mexico’s Lucha Libre, where masked wrestlers wage a battle between good and evil. In person: Alex Hammond, Ian Markiewicz, subjects Shocker, Jon Strongman

SPEED SISTERS
Dir: Amber Fares, US Premiere
The Middle East’s first all-female Arab race car team overcomes checkpoints and expectations to become role models. In person: Amber Fares, subject Noor Daoud
MODERN FAMILY (on diverse relations)
 
ALWAYS TOGETHER
Dir: Eva Tomanová, US Premiere
A former computer scientist raises his family in the Czech countryside with no modern conveniences or schooling.
 
FROM THIS DAY FORWARD
Dir: Sharon Shattuck, NYC Premiere
The filmmaker seeks to understand how her parents remained together after her father transitioned to a woman. In person: Sharon Shattuck
 
GAYBY BABY
Dir: Maya Newell, NYC Premiere
This touching film reveals both the challenges of same-sex parenting and its commonalities with every family. In person: producer Charlotte Mars
 
THE MELTING FAMILY
Dir: Nicole Groton, World Premiere
This candidly personal film chronicles how one nuclear family grew through seven divorces and remarriages. In person: Nicole Groton

SONIC CINEMA (on music)
 
13 MILLION VOICES
Dir: Janelle Gueits, NYC Premiere
Young Cubans and Cuban Americans forge ties against backdrop of Havana’s Peace Without Borders concert. In person: Janelle Gueits

THE WILD LIFE (on animals)
 
THE CHAMPIONS
Dir: Darcy Dennett, NYC Premiere
An inspiring chronicle of the efforts to rescue and rehabilitate Michael Vick’s pit bulls. In person: Darcy Dennett

SHORT LIST (awards season frontrunners)

DREAMCATCHER

Dir: Kim Longinotto
In person: Kim Longinotto
WHAT HAPPENED MISS SIMONE
Dir: Liz Garbus
In person: Liz Garbus
THE WOLFPACK
Dir: Crystal Moselle
In person: Crystal Moselle, subjects the Angulo brothers

[via The New York Times

This Article is related to: Festivals and tagged , , , , , , ,