IndieWire is partnering with the International Documentary Association for its annual screenings series in Los Angeles. Now in its seventh year, the awards-season series expands to New York City with titles including “For Sama,” the Cannes favorite that chronicles a woman’s experience in war-torn Syria.
The series kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Century City 15 IMAX theater with a screening of “Apollo 11,” Todd Douglas Miller’s film that uses archival footage to offer a fresh perspective of the suspense and excitement of the first spaceflight that landed humans on the Moon. It was released earlier this year by Neon.
The series, most of which will be shown at the Landmark in West LA. through November, allows both members of the public and voting members of industry guilds and organizations a chance to see more than 20 of the 2019’s most acclaimed documentaries. Each screening is free, with priority seating offered to IDA and guild members.
“IndieWire is proud to be the editorial partner for the IDA screening series, for our seventh year,” said IndieWire editor in chief Dana Harris. “Documentaries have always been essential to our editorial coverage, and it’s exciting to see the growing influence and excitement around this form of storytelling.”
Selections include “17 Blocks,” the Telluride and Tribeca award-winner which uses two decades of one Washington, D.C. family’s home video to tell their story of struggles with addiction, gun violence, loss, love, and acceptance. The film is one of the first from the Sheila Nevins-led MTV Documentary Films.
Also showing are “Echo in the Canyon,” Andrew Slater’s look at L.A.’s mid-’60s Laurel Canyon music scene that was released by Greenwich Entertainment earlier this year; and “American Factory,” the Netflix film that follows the lives surrounding a shuttered General Motors plant in Ohio that gets a second life thanks to a Chinese billionaire.
In addition to PBS’ “For Sama,” the Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee “Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements,” will also be shown in New York. The film follows a deaf boy growing up, his deaf grandfather growing old, and Beethoven the year he lost his hearing and composed his sonata. It’s set for Sept. 13 limited release by Abramorama and in December on HBO. Both will be shown at Manhattan’s Village East Cinema.
Each film will be followed by discussions with the filmmakers moderated by the likes of IndieWire’s Anne Thompson and Steve Greene, the New York Times’ Nicole Sperling, and KCRW staff.
“The films featured in the IDA screening series represent the broad range of vital work being made by documentary filmmakers,” IDA Executive Director Simon Kilmurry said. “These stories span the globe with artful and intimate stories of struggle and resilience of creativity and incredible human achievement.”
IndieWire will post written and video coverage of the screenings alongside KCRW’s community support.
As the lineup for the series continues to evolve, the updated schedule will be available on IDA’s website.
(Editor’s Note: IndieWire’s coverage of the 2019 IDA Documentary Screening Series is presented by the Amazon Original, “One Child Nation.”)