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NYC's Stranger Than Fiction Doc Series Announces Official Winter Lineup

Photo of Steve Greene By Steve Greene | Indiewire December 13, 2011 at 3:54PM

Stranger Than Fiction has released their official winter schedule for the new year, beginning on January 31st with “Girl with Black Balloons,” the full-length documentary debut from director Corinne van der Borch about a legendarily beautiful artist living in her secluded studio. In STF fashion, screenings in the series will take place every Tuesday night at New York’s IFC Center. Highlights of the rest of the slate includes Woody Allen’s pseudo-doc “Zelig” on Valentine’s Day and a treat for Bruce Springsteen fans, “The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town.”
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Still from the documentary "Girl with Black Balloons"
Stranger Than Fiction has released their official winter schedule for the new year, beginning on January 31st with “Girl with Black Balloons,” the full-length documentary debut from director Corinne van der Borch about a legendarily beautiful artist living in her secluded studio.

In STF fashion, screenings in the series will take place every Tuesday night at New York’s IFC Center. Highlights of the rest of the slate includes Woody Allen’s pseudo-doc “Zelig” on Valentine’s Day and a treat for Bruce Springsteen fans, “The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town.”

David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s “Girl Model” will round out the season on March 20th.

 
Highlights from the Stranger than Fiction Winter Season with descriptions and information provided by STF DOC:
[For a full lineup and more information, visit the STF Doc website.]
 

"The Girl with the Black Balloons" (Opening Night), Tues. Jan. 31
Q&A with director Corinne van der Borch & film subject Bettina  
Winner of DOC NYC 2012 Metropolis Jury Prize
Bettina is said to be the most beautiful woman to have ever lived in the legendary Chelsea Hotel in New York City, according to residents, yet has hidden herself away in her studio for over 40 years.  She sleeps on a lawn-chair and surrounds herself with boxes stacked from floor to ceiling, filled with works of her art that have never seen the light of day. These boxes hide a stunning body of work - but it's come at a huge cost.  Her life as a reclusive guardian over her creativity and artwork inspires us to think about the world that we have each chosen for ourselves, how we are captive of it or freed by it.

"Unfinished Spaces," Tues. Feb. 7
Q&A with directors Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray     
Cuba's ambitious National Art Schools project, designed by three young artists in the wake of Castro's Revolution, is neglected, nearly forgotten, then ultimately rediscovered as a visionary architectural masterpiece.

"Zelig," Tues. Feb. 14
Woody Allen's acclaimed faux documentary conjures an enchanting romance with Mia Farrow.

"Tootie's Last Suit," Tues. Feb. 21
Q&A with director Lisa Katzman
"Tootie's Last Suit" explores the complex relationships, rituals, history, and music of New Orleans' vibrant Mardi Gras Indian culture while telling the story of Allison "Tootie" Montana, former Chief of Yellow Pocahontas Hunters. Celebrated throughout the New Orleans as "the prettiest," for the beauty and inventiveness of his elaborately beaded Mardi Gras costumes, Tootie Montana masked for 52 years, longer than any other Mardi Gras Indian.
Yet Tootie Montana's contributions to Mardi Gras Indian culture far exceed his artistic innovations and dedication. Through the example of his own achievement, he came to be revered for turning Mardi Gras Indians away from gang-style violence toward artistic accomplishment and competition.

"The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town," Tues. Feb. 28
Q&A with director Thom Zimny
THE PROMISE takes us into the studio with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band for the recording of their pivotal album. Grammy Award® and Emmy Award®-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny has gained access to extensive, never-before-seen footage shot between 1976 and 1978, capturing home rehearsals and recording sessions that allow us to hear songs in their earliest stages. For those uninitiated to Springsteen, the film unlocks the door to a rich musical world. For fans, it's a trip to paradise.

"The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby," Tues. March 13
Q&A with director Carl Colby
A son's riveting look at a father whose life seemed straight out of a spy thriller, "The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby" uncovers the secret world of a legendary CIA spymaster. Told by William Colby's son Carl, the story is at once a probing history of the CIA, a personal memoir of a family living in clandestine shadows, and an inquiry into the hard costs of a nation's most cloaked actions.

"Girl Model" (Closing Night), Tues. March 20
Q&A with directors Ashley Sabin & David Redmon
"Girl Model" shows a rarely seen side of the fashion industry. The film brings a novelist's eye for emotional and psychological complexity to its portrait of two women. Ashley, an American former model, travels to remote Siberian villages to scout young teenaged girls for fashion shoots in Japan. We see her discover Nadya, a thirteen-yearold blonde, who radiates the innocence coveted by Ashley's clients. Like thousands of other Russian girls, Nadya sees modelling as the best chance to support her family. She feels lucky when Ashley's agency offers a contract with guarantees. But as the film follows Nadya to Japan and Ashley on her further scouting trips, we see each one grapple with the kind of harsh realities that fashion magazines tend to ignore.