DocuWeek is NOT a festival…

IDA’s 9th Annual DocuWeek, formerly InFACT, formerly DOCtober kicked off on Thursday night with a simple gathering at the Arclight Café. It was good to see people I hadn’t seen in a while and a great excuse to eat too many chicken pineapple skewers (they were surprisingly good!).

Here’s a pic of doc filmmaker Josh Tickell getting down.

The slate of films is not considered a festival, but a showcase, a showcase that helps to qualify documentaries for potential Oscar nomination. In this case all the films are projected in 35mm. There are two alternatives to qualifying in a showcase, 1) you can 4-wall (you pay the theater to play it and you get the box office) your film to play once a day for 7 days in a movie theater in LA County or the Borough of Manhattan or 2) you can get a bona fide theatrical release before the Academy’s deadline. In some cases films playing in DocuWeek will receive a theatrical release anyway. They use the IDA as a launching pad for their film. What’s interesting about some of the films is that this may be really one of the few times that it will show in a theatrical setting. So it is a terrific opportunity to see a film projected that would otherwise only be on TV. Click here for Oscar Rules.

As of today I have seen 8 of the 15 offerings. Friday night I saw the short program including Family Portrait, God Sleeps in Rwanda and Positively Naked. All three films were well done. It was a nice selection as oftentimes short programs can be put together haphazardly based on what’s available. But, these three really complimented one another in both subject and style.

Yesterday I managed to cram in 3 films as well. Only this time they were features. Occupation: Dreamland is a very raw portrait about the US Army’s 82nd Airborne living and working in the Iraqi city of Falluja during the winter of 2004. The filmmakers Garrett Scott and Ian Olds managed to remain unbiased presenting a very true life feel. Rumur Releasing will release the film theatrically.

Next on the slate was 39 Pounds of Love. The theater was sold out and the audience was electric with excitement to see the film. It was great to see that kind of support at a Saturday afternoon screening. Then I stayed put for Protocols of Zion.

Tonight I’m off to see Darwin’s Nightmare. I’ve heard exceptional buzz on this film. And I missed it at Silverdocs. It will mostly likely be my last film for the showcase. Leaving a few of the films to my imagination and a little more time to cram in some more AFI Fest screening.

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