New York's documentary film festival
Now in its fourth year, DOC NYC has cemented itself as one of our favorite festivals of the cultural calendar. Serving up over 130 documentary-tinged happenings over the course of its all-too-short week run, the competitive festival stirs conversation with panels and a mix of short and feature-length works followed by Q&As. Kicking things off this year is the New York premiere of Errol Morris’ portrait of Donald Rumsfeld, THE UNKNOWN KNOWN. Among the festival's other offerings you'll find the Sonic Cinema section which includes documentaries on Le Tigre’s Kathleen Hanna (THE PUNK SINGER), punk band The Mekons (REVENGE OF THE MEKONS), and blind guitar player Reverend Gary Davis (HARLEM STREET SINGER); and the Midnight doc section that spotlights films exploring an Icelandic Phallological Museum (THE FINAL MEMBER), the search for Bigfoot (SHOOTING BIGFOOT), and the sport of competitive eating (HUNGER). Other items on our radar are CITIZEN KOCH, which looks at the standoff between state employees and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker; MISSION CONGO, an investigative report into how Pat Robertson diverted resources for a refugee crisis into diamond mining; and AMERICAN COMMUNE, a film about a would-be utopian community in Tennessee in the 1970s. Also, the festival gives you the opportunity to catch up on 10 films the programmers believe are Oscar contenders, which this year include BLACKFISH, THE ACT OF KILLING and Sarah Polley's STORIES WE TELL. And, if you're more about getting into the mechanics of filmmaking, we suggest checking in on the DOC-A-THON Panels (11/18-11/21) that cover the shooting, funding and marketing of film. This massive non-fiction shindig comes to a close on the 21st with the world premiere of Michel Gondry's IS THE MAN WHO IS TALL HAPPY? AN ANIMATED CONVERSATION WITH NOAM CHOMSKY.