Movies and food in 2007…

We made it through another holiday season full of top 10 lists. Here are a few that caught my eye. I didn’t do one this year. Either I didn’t see as many films as I normally do or I just didn’t like that much stuff. I’m hoping 2007 really grabs me. I hope Sundance floors me. I hope independent films actually are independent. The possibilities are endless. People keep asking me if I have any New Year’s resolutions. I don’t really. I just want to see good movies and eat good food. Ahhh…one can dream.

There are lots of chances for these lofty dreams of mine to come true over the next few months. SXSW announced the first little bit of their program. I could potentially see good films there AND eat BBQ and tacos (2 of my favorite things to eat!). The festival will announce its full selection of feature films on February 6, 2007 and the full selection of short films on February 13, 2007. Here are the docs we know about so far.

    Directed by Dollan Cannell
    This documentary examines the incredible and controversial story of 638 alleged plots to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro. From CIA agents to Cuban exiles, exploding cigars to femme fatales, the film also provides a startling glimpse into the evolution of Cuban politics. (North American Premiere)

    Directed by Lauren Lazin
    Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lazin delivers her latest documentary story with the sad tale of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, from platinum-selling pop act TLC. Weaving video-diary footage of Lopes’ last days before dying in an automobile accident, with the story of her personal and professional roller-coaster ride, this new film is both a memorable music doc and a personal account of the fragilities in fame. (North American Premiere)

    Directed by Debbie Melnyk & Rick Caine
    Featuring: Noam Chomsky, Janeane Garofalo, Ben Hamper, Christopher Hitchens, Harlan Jacobson, Dave Marsh, Albert Maysles, Michael Moore, Errol Morris, Ralph Nader, John Pierson, Roger Smith.
    A documentary that seeks to separate fact, fiction and legend tracks Michael Moore on tour during the release of the explosive Fahrenheit 9/11, all the while chronicling the politically supercharged climate in America that has fueled Moore’s transition from mere filmmaker to icon of the political left. (World Premiere)

    Directed by Rob Vanalkemade
    From producer Morgan Spurlock comes this entertaining and enlightening documentary look at the commercialization of the Christmas season. The famous Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping serve as the anchor for a disturbing and humorous portrayal of the way Christmas has evolved over centuries in America. (World Premiere)

In February there’s the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. I’ve been invited to be on the jury there. I’ve never been to Montana. The festival just announced the program and it’s here. They’re showing Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?, but don’t worry, I don’t think I’m judging features. (What kind of food is special to Montana?)

Oh, sorry…did I forget something? Duh…the 2007 Sundance Film Festival kicks off January 18 with Brett Morgen’s new doc Chicago 10. I’ve started pouring over the catalog deciding what to see and do. There are many good-looking panels this year including one featuring This American Life (if you’ve never listened it’s now free on iTunes). I probably shouldn’t put that in my blog since I don’t have a ticket yet. But…I’m pretty excited about it. Also At Risk Films is repping a doc short playing in front of Miss Navajo. The Fighting Cholitas is 20 minutes and it’s ready to knock your socks off!

TheFightingCholitas FilmStill 1
You should come and see some of this.

    THE FIGHTING CHOLITAS (Playing in front of Miss Navajo)
    U.S.A., 2006, 20 Minutes, color

    Mariam Jobrani

    A group of bold, female, Bolivian wrestlers push the limits of their culture by performing the acrobatic maneuvers of lucha libre every Sunday in El Alto, a low-income extension of La Paz.

    Saturday, Jan 20 9:15 PM Holiday Village Cinema III
    Sunday, Jan 21 4:30 PM Broadway Centre Cinemas VI, SLC
    Sunday, Jan 21 8:30 AM Prospector Square Theatre
    Friday, Jan 26 5:30 PM Prospector Square Theatre
    Saturday, Jan 27 3:00 PM Screening Room, Sundance Village

    The Fighting Cholitas premiered at NYC Shorts Fest and won the prize for Best Documentary and has just been selected to screen at Cinequest and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

I’ll be blogging a lot during the festival. And I really want to take more pictures this year. I always talk about indieWIRE’s great coverage of Sundance (and they’re already up and running), but I came across a new source of info, Docs That Inspire. It’s a great blog and an excellent resource to the documentary community.

Now here are some belated photos from the IDA Awards ( a place where I got nothing to eat). I was pretty slammed with Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? duties so I handed my camera off to fellow blogger and doc maker AJ Schnack. He snapped most of these. Thanks AJ! He’s got his doc honor roll going. Check it out.

Not really that close to Al Gore
I’m pretty sure that’s Al Gore.

All Stars
Zach Niles & Banker White nominated for best doc for Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars.

Christopher   Jared
Winner of the Jacqueline Donnet Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award Christopher Quinn with Sidetrack Films Jared Moshe.

James   Nancy
James Longley, winner of the IDA Award for best feature for Iraq in Fragments with publicist Nancy Willen.

Lucy   Danielle
Blindsight‘s Lucy Walker and friend Danielle Parsons.

That’s me and AJ Schnack!

Trials of Darryl Hunt filmmakers Ricki Stern & Annie Sundberg.

SJ  Heather  Janice   Helen
Yours truly with filmmaker Heather Ross, Janice Van Wagner and filmmaker Helen Hood Scheer.

3 Responses to “Movies and food in 2007…”

  1. Chuck Says:

    I was ambivalent about doing a top ten this year, too, in part because I know I didn’t see enough films to make a fair evaluation. With this great preview of some of 2007’s docs, I’m now eagerly looking forward to both Full Frame and (hopefully) Silverdocs.

  2. Agnes Varnum Says:

    Oooo, Sarah Jo, what a great post! So much wonderful stuff going on! You could have buffalo in Montana, and they have a lot of great microbrewed beers. In fact, the last time I was in Bozeman, there was nary a Bud or Heiniken to be had.

    Love the IDA pics too! I’ll see you at SXSW…BBQ here we come.

  3. admin Says:

    OOoh buffalo! It’s a lean meat I think. Looking forward to it!