Doc Digest: February 23, 2015

Welcome back to the Doc Digest, Point of View’s biweekly round-up of documentary news and views. It was Family Day last Monday in our native Canada, hence the delay. Not that we don’t love you, our Internet family!

To start off, we’d like to congratulate Laura Poitras and the team behind CITIZENFOUR for their Best Documentary Feature win at the 2015 Academy Awards. If you haven’t already seen this chilling, vital film, HBO subscribers can see it tonight at 9pm, and it premieres on Channel 4 in the UK this Wednesday. Tom Roston surveyed the documentary portion of the Oscars at the PBS Doc Soup Blog.

Documentary editor Thomas White wrote about Poitras and her frequent detainment while travelling as a filmmaker in his 2013 POV feature State of Docs in the United States.

While we unfortunately don’t have an interview with Poitras or Snowden at the moment, we did have the opportunity to interview two other Oscar-nominated directors: Charlie Siskel and John Maloof. Learn about the genesis of their film Finding Vivian Maier here.

Our Spring 2015 issue contains several articles on web and interactive documentaries, including a follow-up to Robinder Uppal and Marc Serpa Francoeur’s popular 4 Tools for Creating Interactive Docs. We were thrilled to speak to one of trailblazers of this rapidly-changing genre, Katerina Cizek, about the upcoming final chapter of the award-winning HIGHRISE. This online exclusive can be read here.

Cizek talks about the recent development of virtual reality filmmaking, and time will tell if the novelty will wear off. For now, the technology has many people excited about its possibilities. Indiewire reviewed some of the offerings at Sundance 2015.

“In an industry dominated by men and one that guzzles from the fountain of youth, women not only have a hard time rising to positions of power, but also are cast aside as they face the inevitability of aging. … Amending this was part of the impulse behind Barry Avrich’s project with filmmaker Patricia Rozema.” POV contributor and founding editor of cléo journal Kiva Reardon wrote about the new documentary Women Who Act for The Globe and Mail. For more of Reardon’s writing about diverse women in film, read this feature from the 2014 Hot Docs Festival.

In follow-up news to a story we’ve covered here previously, the Center for Media & Social Impact has released their report “Dangerous Documentaries: Reducing Risk when Telling Truth to Power” and it’s well worth your time.

We’re saddened by the loss of filmmaker Bruce Sinofsky, best known for the Paradise Lost trilogy, a series of films he made with Joe Berlinger about the West Memphis Three.

The Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival continues its Calgary roadshow this week, with screenings of three great Canadian documentaries: The Price We Pay, Monsoon, and Sol, winner of the prestigious Grand Prix for Best Canadian Film at the 2014 RIDM. The new issue of POV has an interview with The Price We Pay director Harold Crooks – order a copy to read it!

Speaking of Monsoon, it was recently announced as the winner of the Polly Krakora Award For Artistry in Film at the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. The award will be given out March 27 in Washington, D.C.

Finally, this coming weekend has two great reasons to head east from Toronto on Highway 401: The Kingston Canadian Film Festival and the Belleville Downtown Doc Fest. You’ll be able to find copies of POV at both!

More to Digest:
February 2, 2015
January 16, 2015