I need a blogging assistant…

Oooh…it’s been busy around here! I haven’t had time to report on all the doc doings. IDFA blew past, I couldn’t make it this year, but there’s excellent coverage at indieWIRE and some cool stuff here and here.

Sundance announced their short films today. Short docs are really one my favorite things. I’m excited to see the selection that Sundance has put together. And At Risk Films couldn’t be happier to represent its’ newest acquisition, The Fighting Cholitas!

From the Sundance Film Festival press release:

    Documentary Shorts

    FREEHELD (Director: Cynthia Wade)–In the last weeks of her life, Lieutenant Laurel Hester has one goal – to leave her hard–earned pension to her life partner Stacie.

    GOD PROVIDES (Directors: Brian Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky)–A look at the varied and unexpected responses to natural disaster.

    I JUST WANTED TO BE SOMEBODY (Director: Jay Rosenblatt)–Part document and part poem, this film brings us back to the late 1970s and reflects on Anita Bryant’s life and the impact she had.

    MOTHER SUPERIOR (Directors: Alex Mack & Diana Montero)–A mom is supposed to be perfect, but that is often far from the truth in this examination of mothers who are addicted to methamphetamines.

    SCAREDYCAT (Director: Andy Blubaugh)–This film examines the inevitable and justifiable fear the filmmaker experiences following a physical assault at the hands of five young men.

    SPITFIRE 944 (Director: William Lorton)–An 83-year-old World War II pilot views 16mm footage of his 1944 Spitfire crash for the first time.

    THE FIGHTING CHOLITAS (Directors: Mariam Jobrani, Kenny Krauss, Teresa Deskins)–A group of bold, female, Bolivian wrestlers push the limits of their culture by performing the acrobatic maneuvers of Lucha Libre every Sunday.

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN (Director: Mitch McCabe)–A photographer chronicles her life over five years of political events, comically interweaving protest footage with her photographic diary of self-portraits to tell a modern tale about art, change, hope, and futility.

    International Documentary Shorts

    THE FENCE / Spain (Directors: Ricardo Iscar & Nacho Martin)–Every year, thousands of tuna fish migrate to the Mediterranean Sea where men chase them in a ritual of blood and death.

    MASTER OF REALITY / UK (Director: Matthew Killip)–Now 19, Ronny reflects on the phantasmagoric childhood he obsessively documented.

    MOTODROM / Germany (Director: Joerg Wagner)–The world of the hellriders in their wooden barrel: men and motorbikes, speed and stunts, gasoline and adrenaline.

    TANJU MIAH (Director: Sadik Ahmed)–A young Bengali boy, forced to grow up in a world where he must fend for himself, awaits the return of his mother.

I attended the Academy’s 2nd annual “let’s talk about how much the rules are going to change this year” event last night. It felt like a town hall meeting…really Michael Apted should have had a gavel. The short of it, and these rules are not 100% set in stone, is that documentaries vying for the 80th Academy Awards will have to play in 14 cities, 3 day engagements and screen twice a day in at least 10 states. The other major change is that the 14 cities can be projected in ANY format, including DVD. But those of you heaving a sigh of relief that you won’t have to make a film print, save your breath, the Academy will still require a 7 day engagement in Los Angeles or Manhattan that screens on one of their approved formats and if the film makes the short list the Academy requires two prints. Oh…and according to the panel last night, less than 50% of the films that went through the eligibility process this year failed to book any theatrical before the short list came out. So, 2007 Oscar hopefuls will have to complete their 14-city requirement BEFORE the shortlist is published in November. There’s more analysis at FilmStew.

If you’re in NY, try out DocuClub presents Greetings from Asbury Park for their next In-the-Works With special Guest Moderator Doug Block!

Monday, December 11, 2006, 7:00 p.m. (Reception to follow)
@ The IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue @ W. 3rd St.
DocuClub Members FREE / Non-members $10.75

Looking for Mr. Smith? Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? opens in Chicago at FACETS Cinematheque December 22. More dates soon! You can also attend the IDA Awards this Friday in Los Angeles. Filmmakers Frank Popper, Matt Coen and Mike Kime will be there with the film’s subject Jeff Smith. Tickets are still available here.

One Response to “I need a blogging assistant…”

  1. Agnes Varnum Says:

    Whew! That is a whirlwind report SJ, but good information. I can’t keep up with the rules and don’t really need to, but gosh, I’m feeling the doc filmmakers pain. Congrats on The Fighting Cholitas! I’ll be looking forward to a post or 2 from Sundance.