Friday, November 11, 2016

Finding Some Post-Election Perspective at the 59th DOK Leipzig

Following the election returns via airplane TV (and hitting turbulence over the battleground states, no joke) on the second leg of my journey back from DOK Leipzig was surreal, to say the least. I’d just wrapped five whirlwind days at the oldest documentary film festival in the world (founded in 1955, also making DOK Leipzig the first independent film festival in East Germany) in a country heavy with a historical weight few Americans raised in the US could ever comprehend. Traveling outside my birth country – including through the terrific array of international films DOK Leipzig has a reputation for showing – truly put some perspective on the political tragedy unfolding stateside. As unimaginably horrific as the reality of a Trump presidency is, we should never forget that Trump is still very much a First World, democratic problem.

To read the rest visit Filmmaker magazine.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hello, Oscar!: The Savannah Film Festival’s Docs to Watch Roundtable

Though the 19th edition of the Savannah Film Festival took place just a couple weeks after Hurricane Matthew forced festival staff to evacuate their offices, this year’s event ended up running every bit as smoothly as the effortlessly gracious, charming city itself. Hosted (and founded) by the Savannah College of Art and Design – SCAD seems to be the South’s answer to Parson’s or RISD – the festival is jam-packed with A-list flicks screened at gorgeous venues, attended by an eclectic mix of topnotch guests. For example, I caught sight of the adorably grateful Molly Shannon at the daily breakfast buffet (“Oh, this is so nice!” she was gushing to a young volunteer), then again later on at the (70-year-old, 1100-seat, completely restored) Trustees Theatre showing of Other People – which lived up to its Sundance raves and then some.

But for a nonfiction geek like myself, the most impressive star-studded event occurred at the equally grand (90-year-old, nearly 1200-seat, also completely restored) Lucas Theatre for the Arts right around the corner. Now in its third year, the Docs to Watch Roundtable, moderated by Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter (the event’s presenter), featured a panel that was almost too much of a good thing.

To read the rest visit Filmmaker magazine.

Spotlight on VR at the 19th Savannah Film Festival

One of the highlights of this year’s Savannah Film Festival – an event founded and hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), that takes place in one of the most historic and charming parts of the Deep South – was also the most unexpected. The eclectically curated VR Showcase (SCAD has a relationship with Oculus Rift) featured six projects – including Ollie Chen and Lubo Kocka’s Say It With Music, a VR musical developed by SCAD students and alumni from 14 departments – that had overflow crowds eagerly signed up for the waiting list every day. (Which made me think that something like an eight-hour, open door, daily “arcade” staffed with volunteers might have worked a bit better than the time-slot setup.)

To read the rest visit Hammer to Nail.