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DOC NYC in full gear with 23 World Premieres, 23 world premieres and 23 U.S. premieres, with more than 350 doc makers

21731791_1619598414727249_7259709886852562438_o.jpg?oh=0ba4f56a4e3f578a72b8f532c7135f2b&oe=5AA14D64LINEUP FOR EIGHTH EDITION NOVEMBER 9-16, 2017

Program Includes 23 World Premieres, 23 U.S. Premieres Among Over 250 Films and Events

America’s largest documentary festival, is rolling the full lineup for its eighth edition, running November 9-16 at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village and Chelsea’s SVA Theatre and Cinepolis Chelsea. The 2017 festival includes 111 feature-length documentaries among over 250 films and events overall. Included are 23 world premieres and 23 U.S. premieres, with more than 350 doc makers and special guests expected in person to present their films or participate on panels. Special

Closing Night Film will be the NYC premiere of Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars, directed by Lili Fini Zanuck, with the acclaimed musician in attendance; Centerpiece Film, the world premiere of Far From the Tree, director Rachel Dretzin’s adaptation of Andrew Solomon’s bestselling book; and the NYC premiere of Wormwood, an ambitious new project from Errol Morris exploring the 1953 death of a CIA agent.

Previously announced, the NYC premiere Greg Barker’s The Final Year, accompanied by members of the Obama administration, will open the festival. World premieres at the festival include A Murder in Mansfield, by Barbara Kopple (Miss Sharon Jones!), which explores the impact of a 1989 murder on a family; Maynard, by Sam Pollard (Two Trains Runnin’), about Atlanta’s first black mayor, Maynard Jackson; Naila and the Uprising, by Julia Bacha (Budrus), about the hidden role women played in the First Intifada, a project that won last year’s DOC NYC Pitch Perfect competition; Father’s Kingdom, by Lenny Feinberg, exploring the legacy of Father Divine, who attracted over a million followers and claimed to be God; The Iconoclast, by King Adz, about notorious art forger Michel van 2 Rijn; and The Godfathers of Hardcore, by Ian McFarland, on the long-lived NYC hardcore punk band Agnostic Front.

Among this year’s U.S. premieres are David Bowie: The Last Five Years, by Francis Whately, an intimate look at the creative final years of the music icon; Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco, by James Crump, a portrait of the most influential fashion illustrator of 1970s New York and Paris; Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, by Matt Tyrnauer, about the man who was the secret sexual procurer to the stars; The Stranger, by past DOC NYC award winner Nicole N. Horanyi, about a woman who discovers the man of her dreams has secrets; Armed with Faith, by Geeta Gandbhir and Asad Faruqi, which follows the heroic Pakistani Bomb Disposal Unit; Soufra, by Thomas Morgan, and executive produced by Susan Sarandon, about a woman who starts her own successful catering company in a Lebanese refugee camp; EuroTrump, by Stephen Robert Morse and Nicholas Hampson, on the Dutch Donald Trump, Geert Wilders; and The Beatles, Hippies and Hells Angels: Inside the Crazy World of Apple, by Ben Lewis, a look back at the wild early days of Apple Corps. “Documentary storytellers help us make sense of the tumultuous times we’re living in with artistry, humor and inspiring characters,” said Director of Programming Basil Tsiokos. “

This year’s DOC NYC line-up gives audiences fresh insight into high profile figures and shines a light on lesser-known individuals who leave a big impression."

Tsiokos led the program selection in collaboration with Artistic Director Thom Powers and Executive Director Raphaela Neihausen.

The festival is curated in 18 sections that include two new strands: New World Order, with 6 films about global issues in the news, including Sky & Ground, which follows an extended family of refugees as they escape Syria; and Spiral, about the alarming rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. Centerstage, an 8-title section focused on performing and performers, presents the world premieres of The Problem with Apu, in which a South Asian-American comedian explores the impact of the character from The Simpsons; and Repeat Attenders, about musical theater superfans. In the festival’s two feature competition sections, 8 films appear under the Viewfinders section for distinct directorial visions.

They include the world premiere of Mole Man, about an autistic man who has built a 50-room structure in his backyard; and the U.S. premieres of The Judge, about the first female Shari’a judge in the Middle East, and Silas, about a Liberian environmental activist. In the Metropolis competition section, 7 films are dedicated to stories set in New York City.

 They include the world premieres of The Iron Triangle, about the resistance to the urban renewal of Queens’ Willets Point; Vigilante: The Incredible True Story of Curtis Sliwa and the 3 Guardian Angels, an unfiltered look at the founder of the controversial group; and Miracle on 42nd Street, about an apartment complex providing housing to performing artists, including past residents Alicia Keys, Terrence Howard and Angela Lansbury. Other returning sections include high-profile Special Events; national and global takes in American Perspectives and International Perspectives; and thematic sections Fight the Power (on activism), Sonic Cinema (on music), True Crime (on crime), Science Nonfiction (on science and technology), Modern Family (on unconventional families), Wild Life (on animals), Art & Design (on artists), and Behind the Scenes (on filmmaking). Short-form content (85 films in total) is represented by the festival’s Shorts Competition and DOC NYC U (showcasing student work). These sections join the previously announced slate of Short List titles, highlighting 15 of the year’s award contenders, and the eight-day DOC NYC PRO conference, focusing on panels and masterclasses.

DOC NYC will welcome over 350 filmmakers and special guests in attendance for Q&As after most screenings and for DOC NYC PRO panels. Among the notable visitors expected to appear in person are Steve Madden for Maddman, Fern Mallis for Larger Than Life: The Kevyn Aucoin Story, Dan Rather for Fail State, Susan Sarandon for Soufra, Sonja Sohn for Baltimore Rising, and more to be announced in the coming weeks.

For this year’s Short List section of awards season frontrunners, guests include Greg Barker (The Final Year), Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (One of Us), Bryan Fogel (Icarus), Yance Ford (Strong Island), Amanda Lipitz (Step), Brett Morgen (Jane), Errol Morris (The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography), Peter Nicks (The Force), Jeff Orlowski (Chasing Coral), Laura Poitras (Risk), Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles (Dina), Ceyda Torun (Kedi), and Agnès Varda and JR (Faces Places). (Other titles are Steve James’ Abacus: Too Small to Jail and Matthew Heineman’s City of Ghosts, which will be represented at DOC NYC by producers or other special guests.)

 Filmmakers will also take place in the Short List Day of panel conversations on Nov. 10 at DOC NYC PRO. Notable documentarians will also be honored at the previously announced Visionaries Tribute Awards event on Nov. 9: Sheila Nevins and Errol Morris will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards while Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady will receive the Robert and Anne Drew Award for observational filmmaking. Cara Mertes, director of the JustFilms initiative at the Ford Foundation, will receive the Leading Light Award for distinguished service to documentary in a role outside filmmaking.  

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About Editor

Chatelin Bruno
(M21 Entertainment - filmfestivals.com)

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