Doc Digest: February 2, 2015

The Wolfpack (dir. Crystal Moselle, 2015) / courtesy of the Sundance Institute


Welcome back to the Doc Digest, Point of View’s biweekly round-up of documentary news and views. As you’ve probably noticed, we’ve moved from Fridays to Mondays. Now heat up those leftover wings and nachos from last night’s Super Bowl party and get clicking!

The Sundance Film Festival wrapped up this weekend, and we’ve been jealously reading the reports coming out of Park City, Utah. Audiences were able to see the highly-anticipated premieres of Alex Gibney’s Scientology exposé, Going Clear and the Kurt Cobain doc Montage of Heck, both of which will hit HBO later this year.

We’ve also heard a lot about The Wolfpack, the debut documentary from Crystal Moselle. The film profiles a family of seven boys (pictured above in what looks like an Aphex Twin album cover) rarely allowed outside of their apartment, processing the world through their father’s 5,000-strong film collection.

We’re also intrigued about The Amina Profile, “a documentary about a huge fiction.” Filmmaker Magazine has more about this doc from Sophie Deraspe.

If Sundance is any indication, audiences are very excited for virtual reality filmmaking. As in, line-up-for-two-hours-for-a-two-minute-demo excited.

Another terrific film festival for documentary, True/False, has released an evocative trailer. Watch it below.

Last Wednesday, January 28 saw a record number of tweets and texts supporting Bell Canada’s annual Let’s Talk initiative, a program aimed at destigmatizing mental illness through open dialogue. The two recent films by documentary filmmaker John Kastner have also been effecting change about public perception of mental illness.

White Pine Pictures are working on a documentary about the first female premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne. The premier doc premieres on TVO later this year.

White Pine are also accepting nominations for the 2015 Lindalee Tracey Award, created “for Emerging Canadian Filmmakers working in the spirit of Lindalee Tracey, whose films reflected a passionate point of view, a strong sense of social justice, and a joie de vivre.” Marc Glassman interviewed Lindalee for POV in the Fall 2006 issue – her candid, gracious interview can be read here.

“Just make sure you dive to the level of the pool.” The International Documentary Association has shared notes from its latest professional development series, “Getting Real About the Doc Career.”

“How does language impact identity? What else is lost when one’s ancestral language is taken away? What is gained when a group of people decides to bring their language back?” These are the questions explored in an upcoming short documentary about “personal experiences with Mohawk language revitalization in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory” by filmmaker and photographer Chloë Ellingson.

Speaking of short docs, Google has shared its 24-minute, cumbersomely-named space documentary Back To The Moon for Good — The New Space Race. One can only assume that Elon Musk makes an appearance.

Upcoming events and workshops:
On February 2 (tonight!) Tightrope Books is launching the 2014 edition of the Best Canadian Essays anthology. We’re proud to say that two POV essays have been included. Contributor Ann Shin will be in attendance reading from her article about North Korea defectors.

Don’t miss the first Cinema Politica at the Bloor screening of 2015, the powerful Out in the Night. February 3, PWYC.

This February, the DOC Institute is giving you two opportunities to learn from one of the leading filmmakers of the web-documentary movement. Katerina Cizek will bring insights from her experience making Highrise with the NFB in a Masters Class and more in-depth Masters Lab.

Finally, do check out our four-part series “Diary of a Guerilla Filmmaker,” which chronicles Jason O’Hara’s difficult journey to Rio de Janeiro to film the effects of the 2014 World Cup on Brazilian citizens. Start with Part One here.