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Do Documentaries Really Matter?

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After the intense (and enjoyable) experience of sitting through at least 15 documentary feature films over 4 days at the just concluded AFI-Discovery Channel Documentary Festival, the question organically arose: do documentaries really matter? As someone who trained in documentary filmmaking techniques (and who made a few, best to be forgotten non-fiction nothings) and an admirer of the stamina, grit and determination of the documentary filmmaker, my answer appeared more hopeful than det...

Jonathan Demme to chair the Official Jury at San Sebastian

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Academy Award-winning director, Jonathan Demme will present his new feature film, Rachel Getting Married, and a “work in progress” version of his latest Neil Young concert film, Neil Young Trunk Show: Scenes from a Concert.Jonathan Demme, winner of an Oscar for best director for The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and director of films including Something Wild (1986), Philadelphia (1993), The Manchurian Candidate (2004) and Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006) will chair the Official Jury at the co...

Jonathan Demme to chair the jury at San Sebastian

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Jonathan Demme to chair the Official Jury at this year’s edition of the San Sebastian Film FestivalAcademy Award-winning director, Jonathan Demme will present his new feature film, Rachel Getting Married, and a “work in progress” version of his latest Neil Young concert film, Neil Young Trunk Show: Scenes from a Concert. Jonathan Demme, winner of an Oscar for best director for The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and director of films including Something Wild (1986), Philadelphia (1993), The M...

Spotlight On South Africa

Friday, June 16----In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Soweto Riots, a tipping point in the decades-long struggle of black South Africans to end the abusive system of apartheid, the SILVERDOCS festival is hosting a special program of films by South African documentarians, who have turned their probing camera eyes on their homeland. Seven films (five features and two shorts) are being presented, including the world premiere this evening of SOWETO BLUES, a musical documentary that re...

Faith And Film: SILVERDOCS Finds Religion

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Thursday, June 15----One of the tenets of the American system of governing is a strict separation of church and state. It is very clearly written into our Constitution, and was certainly the intention of our "founding fathers", who had experienced the persecutions of state religions in Europe. This seperation between church doctrine and the rule of law has been scrupulously followed but that wall is definitely crumbling. A number of documentaries premiering at the SILVERDOCS festival this week,...

International Documentary Conference Opens

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Wednesday, June 14---As the SILVERDOCS festival entered its first full day of programming, today was also the start of the very ambitious International Documentary Conference, which brings together an illustrious group of film and media professionals who will address topics of interest to the dozens of documentary filmmakers and distributors who are attending this year's event. With 30 sessions over 4 days, this is an unprecendented "intensive" for all those interested in where documentary film ...

Martin Scorcese to be honored at Silverdocs festival

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Veteran director Martin Scorsese will be honored at SILVERDOCS: The AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival, the most prestigious showcase for non-fiction films in the United States.Scorsese will receive the Festival’s highest honor at the Charles Guggenheim Symposium on June 15th, during the Festival’s six-day mix of screenings, seminars and tributes to be held at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Springs, Maryland, in the suburbs of Washington DC. The Festival, a collaboration between th...

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