By Brian Brooks | Indiewire September 29, 2010 at 6:38AM
DOC NYC unveiled details of its upcoming inaugural festival spotlighting documentary in New York, with Werner Herzog's new 3-D film, "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" slated to open the seven day event November 3rd. IFC Films acquired the title at the recent Toronto International Film Festival.
Spearheaded by Toronto doc programmer, Thom Powers, IFC Center’s John Vanco and Raphaela Neihausen, the new event’s executive director, organizers unveiled NYC's latest film event last April. “DOC NYC will be a must-attend event for people with a passion for great storytelling,” commented Artistic Director Thom Powers in a statement. “Not only will audiences see great work, they can also engage with the documentary community in person.”
Errol Morris, another heavy-hitting non-fiction filmmaker hailing from this year's TIFF, will also be heading to New York with "Tabloid," which will screen as a Gala on November 7th. Morris will also be interviewed by the author Ron Rosenbaum for the wide-ranging “In Conversation” event on Nov 7. Filmmaker and historian Kevin Brownlow will receive a tribute showcasing a range of his films just a few days before he is to receive an honorary Oscar. In all, the festival announced 40 of its film and other events which will take place at downtown Manhattan's IFC Center and New York University venues on Nov 3rd - 9th.
Two competition sections are slated for the festival, including eight titles in the "Viewfinders" section, while the “Metropolis” section will concentrate on New York stories with six films, including works about musician David Byrne and theater director Richard Foreman. Both the "Viewfinders" and the "Metropolis" sections include awards for best film decided by juries comprised of critics and journalists.
Additionally, DOC NYC will host two all-day conferences. On November 5th, panels in “Doc Convergence” will spotlight how documentary film intersects with photography, writing, performance and radio, while “State of the Art” on Nov. 6th will gather documentary film directors, cinematographers, editors and others for dialogues on their crafts.
The “Kaleidoscope” section offers family matinees on the weekend of Nov. 6 - 7 featuring the 3-D nature film, “Turtle: An Incredible Journey” and “Make Believe” about teen magicians.
"One thing we’re excited about having is a festival that spotlights the wider nature of documentary storytelling,” Powers told indieWIRE after announcing the festival last Spring. “As a documentary programmer, it’s exciting when I get to reach outside the world of film and engage with different groups. The significant footprint for us is to cross different documentary fields.” He also noted at the time that after docs premiere at Toronto or Sundance, they sometimes have few options for screening in an event later in the year. He hopes DOC NYC will fill some of that gap.
Announced films in the inaugural DOC NYC lineup, with descriptions and information provided by the festival:
"Cave of Forgotten Dreams" (Werner Herzog) Opening Night – Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of southern France, capturing the oldest known pictorial creations of humankind in their astonishing natural setting. He puts 3-D technology to a profound use, taking us back in time over 30,000 years.
"Tabloid" (Errol Morris) - The director of The Thin Blue Line and the Academy Award®-winning The Fog of War tells the story of a former Miss Wyoming whose quest for one true love led her across the globe and onto the pages of tabloid newspapers.
"Armadillo" (Janus Metz) U.S. Premiere - Winner of Cannes Critics Week, Armadillo is a harrowing portrayal of the current conflict in Afghanistan. The film follows a contingent of Danish troops into the chaos of combat in a way that stirs debate over the rules of engagement.
"The Disappearance of McKinley Nolan" (Henry Corra) - During the Vietnam war, McKinley Nolan mysteriously disappeared – rumored to be either a traitor, captive or American operative. Now his family goes searching for answers.
"Discoveries of a Marionette" (Bjarte Mørner Tveit) U.S. Premiere - Norwegian director Bjarte Mørner Tveit draws upon a rich personal archive of 8 mm film left by his grandfather Alf, who was secretive about his experiences as a globe-trotting sailor.
"Five Weddings and a Felony" (Josh Freed) World Premiere - Director Josh Freed turns a Flip camera on his own relationships as a twentysomething. Peeling away neurosis and narcissism, the film is a compelling portrait of modern love.
"Kati with an I" (Robert Greene) World Premiere - Over the course of three tumultuous days, Kati - a teenage girl in Alabama - has to confront big life choices over love, family and her future. As Kati’s half-brother, director Robert Greene gains an intimacy that makes viewers feel part of the family.
"Pink Saris" (Kim Longinotto) – In northern India’s state of Uddar Pradesh, the crusading Sampat Pal Devi dispenses street justice like a self-appointed Judge Judy, leading the “Pink Gang” of female enforcers.
"The Sound of Mumbai: A Musical" (Sarah McCarthy) U.S. Premiere - For one emotional night, a group of children living in a slum in Mumbai, India, get a chance to experience a different world as they perform The Sound of Music with a classical orchestra.
"Windfall" (Laura Israel) - After wind turbines are proposed for installation in upstate New York, the community’s excitement turns to suspicion over what the project entails. This eye-opening story exposes the dark side of wind energy development and the potential for financial scams.
"Lost Bohemia" (Josef Birdman Astor) World Premiere - Director Josef Birdman Astor, a resident of the artists’ studios above Carnegie Hall, gives an insider’s account of the protracted battle to save the apartments and pays homage to their rich heritage.
"mindFLUX" (Ryan Kerrison) World Premiere - This profile of visionary theater director Richard Foreman draws upon interviews with F. Murray Abraham, Willem Dafoe, Yoko Ono, Lou Reed, Suzan-Lori Parks and others to pay tribute to his career.
"Mother of Rock: Lilian Roxon" (Paul Clarke) U.S. Premiere - Witness to New York's music scene of the 1960s and 70s, Lillian Roxon was a trail blazer of rock criticism while mingling with the likes of John and Yoko, the Velvet Underground and Janis Joplin.
"Puppet" (David Soll) World Premiere – Taking us behind the scenes as theater director Dan Hurlin collaborates with master puppeteers for his play “Disfarmer,” Puppet explores why the this art form has been misunderstood in America.
"Ride, Rise, Roar" (David Hillman Curtis) - A David Byrne concert film that blends riveting onstage performances with intimate details of the creative collaborations that make the music and performance happen.
"To Be Heard" (Roland Legiardi-Laura, Edwin Martinez, Deborah Shaffer, Amy Sultan) World Premiere – Three teenagers Karina, Pearl and Anthony cope with challenges of life in the inner city and find transformation from the radical poetry workshop Power Writing that gives them tools for expression.
Kaleidoscope Family Matinees:
"Make Believe" (J. Clay Tweel) - A group of dedicated teen magicians amaze audiences by performing seemingly impossible feats while pursuing the title of Teen World Champion Magician.
"Turtle: An Incredible Journey" (Nick Stringer) U.S. Premiere - Presented in 3-D, a loggerhead turtle born on a beach in Florida, rides the Gulf Stream to the frozen north, swims around the entire North Atlantic to Africa and returns to the beach where she was born.