The Cove (2009) - News Poster

(2009)

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In Oscar Documentary Race, First Time Can Be the Charm

In Oscar Documentary Race, First Time Can Be the Charm
It’s never easy being green, but if you’re a documentary filmmaker it can have its advantages. Especially come Oscar season.

In the past two decades, 12 directors have taken home the Academy Award for their very first documentary theatrical feature. They include Ezra Edelman (“O.J.: Made in America”), Louie Psihoyos (“The Cove”) and Malik Bendjelloul (“Searching for Sugarman”). Those films beat out docus made by veteran nonfiction helmers like Kirby Dick (“The Invisible War”), Wim Wenders (“Pina”) and Oscar winner Roger Ross Williams (“Life Animated”).

When it comes to receiving a nomination in the documentary feature category, the odds are even better. In the last decade more than 20 first time feature docu helmers have nabbed an Oscar nod. They include Ellen Kuras (“The Betrayal — Nerakhoon”), Sebastian Junger and the late Tim Hetherington (“Restrepo”), Charles Ferguson (“No End in Sight”) and John Maloof and Charlie Siskel (“Finding Vivian Maier”).

Comparatively, in the last 10 years,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The 20 Best Movie Endings of the 21st Century

  • Indiewire
A movie is only as good as its ending. At the very least, that’s certainly how it can feel right after you finish watching one. Of course, each film demands a different kind of finale, and it would be futile to try and generically describe what makes for a “good” one — you know one when you see it. Some stories are best served by ending with a jarring twist that makes you reconsider everything you’ve seen before it. Others require the perfect note of ambiguity, or that immortal line of dialogue to help seal the deal. Every great film ends on its own terms, but all of them do so in a way that ultimately makes the whole experience impossible to forget. Here are the 20 best movie endings of the 21st Century.

Note: Needless to say, there’s a five-alarm spoiler alert in effect for the rest of this article.
See full article at Indiewire »

Emmy in Reach for Docs That Ran in the Oscar Race

Emmy in Reach for Docs That Ran in the Oscar Race
Thanks to such deep-pocketed streamers as Netflix, Amazon and now Hulu, the campaign to win an Oscar for documentary has evolved into a pricey, cutthroat endeavor. But the fight for a little gold man doesn’t end after the Academy Awards — it starts right back up again for the Primetime Emmy race.

While an Oscar and Emmy recognize excellence in film and television, respectively, docs are in a unique position. They can be eligible for both awards because without funding from small-screen distributors such as HBO, Netflix and PBS, the majority of docs in the Oscar race would never exist.

Mounting an Emmy campaign after an Oscar nomination or even win hasn’t always been the standard. Oscar winners including “Born Into Brothels” (2005) and “Taxi to the Dark Side” (2008) were submitted for and won the lower-profile, non-televised News & Documentary Emmy award. But in recent years, Academy Award-winning films including “Citizenfour
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Emmy in Reach for Docs That Ran in the Oscar Race

Emmy in Reach for Docs That Ran in the Oscar Race
Thanks to such deep-pocketed streamers as Netflix, Amazon and now Hulu, the campaign to win an Oscar for documentary has evolved into a pricey, cutthroat endeavor. But the fight for a little gold man doesn’t end after the Academy Awards — it starts right back up again for the Primetime Emmy race.

While an Oscar and Emmy recognize excellence in film and television, respectively, docs are in a unique position. They can be eligible for both awards because without funding from small-screen distributors such as HBO, Netflix and PBS, the majority of docs in the Oscar race would never exist.

Mounting an Emmy campaign after an Oscar nomination or even win hasn’t always been the standard. Oscar winners including “Born Into Brothels” (2005) and “Taxi to the Dark Side” (2008) were submitted for and won the lower-profile, non-televised News & Documentary Emmy award. But in recent years, Academy Award-winning films including “Citizenfour” and this year’s Oscar winner, “O.J.: Made in America
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Fisher Stevens to direct 'Palmer' for Route One

  • ScreenDaily
Fisher Stevens to direct 'Palmer' for Route One
Producers eye second quarter start date.

Fisher Stevens has signed on to direct the drama Palmer for Route One Entertainment.

Cheryl Guerriero wrote Palmer, about an ex-con who returns to his hometown and bonds with a young boy abandoned by his drug addict mother.

Route One optioned the Blacklist screenplay last autumn. Company CEO and Palmer producer Russell Levine announced Stevens on Thursday.

Stevens won the best documentary Oscar in 2010 as a producer on The Cove, and his directing credits include National Geographic’s 2016 documentary Before The Flood.

Director of development and production Sophia Dilley brought Palmer to Route One and will co-produce.

Chris Lytton and Guerriero serve as executive producers along with Guerriero.
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Fisher Stevens to Direct Ex-Con Drama ‘Palmer’

Fisher Stevens to Direct Ex-Con Drama ‘Palmer’
Fisher Stevens, who directed “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds,” has signed on to direct the independent drama “Palmer” for Route One Entertainment. Shooting will start by the end of June.

Stevens recently co-directed the HBO documentary “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds” and National Geographic’s “Before the Flood,” featuring Leonardo DiCaprio. He won the Independent Spirit Award for co-directing and producing the documentary “Crazy Love” and won the Academy Award for producing the documentary “The Cove” in 2010.

Written by Cheryl Guerriero (“Hunting Season”), “Palmer” centers on an ex-con who returns to his hometown and forms an unexpected bond with a young boy abandoned by his junkie mother. The script was optioned by Route One last year and subsequently named to the 2016 Blacklist.

“Fisher’s success as an actor, film and theater director and documentary producer/director is truly unique in the business,” said Route One CEO Russell Levine.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Tribeca Film Review: ‘A River Below’

Tribeca Film Review: ‘A River Below’
When it comes to activism, there’s almost nothing more powerful than an unforgettable image, which has the capacity to inspire, to destroy and to transform. “A River Below” focuses on two conservationists in the Amazon who aim to bring about change by using the national media, only to discover the consequences of their actions are unexpectedly messy. Functioning as a spiritual companion piece to Louie Psihoyos’ 2009 “The Cove,” director Mark Grieco’s documentary incisively examines the complications of engaging in a crusade via public TV — here, primarily on behalf of the endangered pink river dolphin. Boosted by its refusal to proffer easy solutions to knotty situations, the doc should net serious interest following its Tribeca Film Festival debut.

In both Brazil and Colombia, the dolphin (“boto”) is under siege by local fisherman scattered along the Amazon River who illegally kill it in order to use its carcass as bait
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — J. Ralph (‘Jim: The James Foley Story’)

  • Scott Feinberg
J. Ralph (Courtesy: Mark Abrahams)

By: Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

“They’re all about these giant concepts — climate change, the war, autism, species extinction, globalization, one after the next,” says songwriter/composer J. Ralph of the documentaries to which he has contributed music over the years, as we sit down at his Malibu home to record an episode of THR‘s ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast. They have included several films that won the best documentary feature Oscar (2008’s Man on Wireand 2009’s The Cove) or were nominated for it (2012’s Hell and Back Again and 2014’s Virunga). However, 2016’s Jim: The James Foley Story, the most recent doc to which he lent his talents, is different. “This one was about one person,” he notes, namely the eponymous freelance American war correspondent who, in 2014, was killed in Syria while trying to bring attention to the humanitarian crisis occurring there. “I wanted
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

'Awards Chatter' Podcast — J. Ralph ('Jim: The James Foley Story')

'Awards Chatter' Podcast — J. Ralph ('Jim: The James Foley Story')
"They're all about these giant concepts — climate change, the war, autism, species extinction, globalization, one after the next," says songwriter/composer J. Ralph of the documentaries to which he has contributed music through the years, as we sit down at his Malibu home to record an episode of The Hollywood Reporter's 'Awards Chatter' podcast. They have included several films that won the best documentary feature Oscar (2008's Man on Wire and 2009's The Cove) or were nominated for it (2012's Hell and Back Again and 2014's Virunga). However, 2016's Jim: The James Foley Story, the most recent doc to which...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Consider This: How Fisher Stevens Rebooted His Career and Joined Forces With Leonardo DiCaprio to Save the World

  • Indiewire
Consider This: How Fisher Stevens Rebooted His Career and Joined Forces With Leonardo DiCaprio to Save the World
In 2004, Fisher Stevens went to Ohio with a coalition of artists to help John Kerry get elected president. It didn’t work, but Stevens — an actor-turned-director best known for campy roles in a string of ’80s and ’90s films such as “Short Circuit” and “Hackers” — emerged a changed man. “It was a fucked-up time,” Stevens recalled over lunch near his offices in downtown Manhattan, “but this a whole other fucked-up time.”

Flash forward a dozen years and Stevens is enmeshed in a new stage of his career, as a prolific documentarian who moonlights as an actor. Six years ago, he won an Oscar as a co-producer of “The Cove,” photographer-turned-filmmaker Louie Psihoyos’ thrilling exposé of the Japanese fishing industry. By then, he had stepped away from GreeneStreet Films, the independent production company he started in 1996 with John Penotti. That same year, Stevens launched Insurgent Media with Andrew Kirsch and Erik Gordon
See full article at Indiewire »

Before the Flood documentary review: DiCaprio takes celebrity climate-change advocacy to a new level (#LFF2016)

MaryAnn’s quick take…

Leonardo DiCaprio’s abashed personal journey to learn about global warming, overcome his pessimism, and find hope that there’s still time to make a difference. I’m “biast” (pro): we need to take serious action on global warming now…

I’m “biast” (con): …but making more documentaries about the subject is not enough

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Are you tired of celebrities getting involved in politics and acting like experts in fields they know nothing about? Leonardo DiCaprio agrees with you! At the beginning of Before the Flood which documents the first two years of his ongoing stint as the Un Messenger of Peace on Climate Change, the actor admits that, despite his longtime philanthropic efforts on environmentalism, he doesn’t know much about climate science and wonders whether the Un made the right choice. And then, after
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

‘Before the Flood’ Score: Listen to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ Documentary Music

  • Indiewire
‘Before the Flood’ Score: Listen to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ Documentary Music
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are becoming more and more prolific in the film world. Once known primarily as collaborators of David Fincher’s — the duo won an Oscar for scoring “The Social Network” in 2010 — they’ve recently added projects like Peter Berg’s “Patriots Day” and the climate-change documentary “Before the Flood” to their expanding slate. Courtesy of Spotify, you can now listen to the latter score in its entirety below.

Read More: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Record ‘A Minute to Breathe’ for Climate-Change Documentary ‘Before the Flood

The film, which was directed by Fisher Stevens (“The Cove”) and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, opened in limited release last month. “Climate change is the most critical and urgent problem facing our world today, and it must be a top issue for voters this election day,” DiCaprio told The Hollywood Reporter last month. “Fisher and I set out to make
See full article at Indiewire »

Before The Flood Review

With his string of celebrated performances over the past decade-plus, it’s safe to say that Leonardo DiCaprio is part of an elite group of Hollywood actors, balancing respect and influence within the industry with widespread popularity among moviegoers. Take, for instance, the rapturous response online from the actor’s long-awaited Oscar victory earlier this year for his fiercely committed performance inAlejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant. That film’s period setting took a stark look at mankind’s relationship with nature, an appropriate subtext given DiCaprio’s devotion to the environment. The now-Oscar-winning actor takes a far more direct approach to his passion for Earth’s future with Before the Flood, a brand-new documentary that fervently tackles the battle against climate change.

The film follows DiCaprio’s two-year journey of discovery as he travels the world as a United Nations Messenger of Peace to examine the far-reaching effects that
See full article at We Got This Covered »

Newswire: Hear Trent Reznor’s soundtrack to Leonardo DiCaprio’s climate change doc

  • The AV Club
Nine Inch NailsTrent Reznor has made his soundtrack for Leonardo DiCaprio’s climate change documentary Before The Flood publicly available. The quiet, electronic score—produced with Atticus Ross, Academy Award winner Gustavo Santaolalla, and Scottish post-rockers Mogwai—is Reznor’s fourth film soundtrack, and his first for a director other than David Fincher.

Given that this is a) new Trent Reznor music, and b) for a movie about the possible total environmental collapse of the world, the music on Before The Flood is remarkably upbeat. Not chipper, exactly, but more cheerful than “Stranded polar bears on a melting ice floe.” You can listen to samples below, or stream the whole thing on Apple Music.

Before The Flood was directed by actor-director Fisher Stevens, who also produced the 2009 Oscar-winning enviro-doc The Cove. The film tracks DiCaprio—who recently faced criticism for his alleged links to a corruption scandal in ...
See full article at The AV Club »

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Record ‘A Minute to Breathe’ for Climate-Change Documentary ‘Before the Flood’

  • Indiewire
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Record ‘A Minute to Breathe’ for Climate-Change Documentary ‘Before the Flood’
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have had a busy week. After being announced as the composers for “Patriots Day,” Peter Berg’s upcoming dramatization of the Boston Marathon bombings, the Nine Inch Nails bandmates/film-score composers have released “A Minute to Breathe,” a new song from the climate-change documentary “Before the Flood.” Listen below.

Read More: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross to Compose Score for ‘Patriots Day

Directed by Fisher Stevens (“The Cove”) and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, the film explores our planet’s current ecological state of affairs with an eye toward a potentially bleak future. “Climate change is the most critical and urgent problem facing our world today, and it must be a top issue for voters this election day,” DiCaprio told The Hollywood Reporter last month. “Fisher and I set out to make a film that not only educates people about the challenges we face if we fail to act,
See full article at Indiewire »

Busan: A Critic Analyzes the Festival Lineup

Busan: A Critic Analyzes the Festival Lineup
It is not just size but the element of surprise that makes the Busan Intl. Film Festival (Biff) a Mecca for film buffs. A festival whose reputation is founded on discovering and nurturing new talents, picking which films to watch here is like blind-tasting. This is especially true for New Currents, the festival’s main competition showcasing debut or sophomore Asian directors. Like trying out a new grape variety or wine from lesser known regions, the best thing to do is to trust your instincts and take many sips.

Since most overseas film professionals come to Busan to scout Asian films, the World Cinema and Flash Forward sections sometimes fall under their radar. Nevertheless, the programmers of Flash Forward fish for non-Asian indie films that may have slipped through the net in major festivals.

“Bonfire,” a debut by Dmitry Davydov, is set in Sakhia Republic, the little-known federal subject of Russia,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Busan: Mecca for Film Buffs Opens With Strong Slate of New Talents

Busan: Mecca for Film Buffs Opens With Strong Slate of New Talents
It is not just size, but the element of surprise that makes the Busan Intl. Film Festival, which runs Oct. 6-15, a mecca for film buffs. A festival whose reputation is founded on discovering and nurturing new talents, picking which films to watch here is akin to blind-tasting. This is especially true for New Currents, the festival’s main competition showcasing debut or sophomore Asian directors. Like trying out a new grape variety or wine from lesser-known regions, the best thing to do is to trust your instincts and take many sips.

Since most overseas film pros come to Busan to scout Asian films, the World Cinema and Flash Forward sections sometimes fall under their radar. Nevertheless, the programmers of Flash Forward fish for non-Asian indie films that may have slipped through the net in major festivals.

“Bonfire,” a debut by Dmitry Davydov, is set in Sakhia Republic, the little-known federal subject of Russia,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Trailer for Netflix’s ‘Sky Ladder’ Reaches Colorful New Heights

While Netflix produces and distributes a slew of indie dramas and comedies, it’s nice to see them make selections from the realm of reality. So comes the first trailer for Sky Ladder, a documentary focusing on Cai Guo-Qiang‘s explosive art installations that have rocked the world. Directed by Oscar-winner Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), Sky Ladder charts Guo-Qiang’s rise to art world fame, and his attempts at crafting his biggest work yet: the titular art piece that is un unforgettable sight.

The trailer is an emotional, rousing look into Guo-Qiang’s process, family, and ideologies as he “explores a connection to an unseen place” through his pieces. We said in our review, “Using gunpowder and sky as his canvas, Chinese-born artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s extraordinary statements on environmentalism, capitalism and humanity do require a large screen to absorb. An intimate yet occasionally grand biography of Cai,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Tiff 2016: 13 Movies We Can’t Wait To See At The Festival

  • Indiewire
Tiff 2016: 13 Movies We Can’t Wait To See At The Festival
The Toronto International Film Festival kicks off this week, and with it, the rest of a very busy fall festival season. In preparation for the Canadian festival, we’ll be rolling out a series of previews to point you in the direction of all the movies you have to see (or at least, all the movies you have to start anticipating right now). Next up, a batch of new features we’ve yet to see…and can’t wait to check out in the coming days.

The Promise

Oscar-winning director Terry George has been Mia from the big screen since 2011’s “Stand Off” (a little-seen Brendan Fraser vehicle that’s hardly worth mentioning) and the awards conversation since 2004’s “Hotel Rwanda” (though his subsequent film, the 2007 Mark Ruffalo-starring “Reservation Road” got a little love), but he seems poised to be back in a big way, thanks to a sweeping
See full article at Indiewire »

‘The Rising’ Charts the Health and Environmental Dangers of the Bp Oil Spill

  • Indiewire
Here’s your daily dose of an indie film, web series, TV pilot, what-have-you in progress — at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a project you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

The Rising

Logline: Hundreds of thousands of people were exposed to the risk of chemical illness when the U.S. government and Bp sprayed millions of gallons of toxic dispersants in the Bp Horizon Disaster ‘clean-up’ operations.

Elevator Pitch:

An acclaimed filmmaker turns his lens to the frontlines of the Bp Horizon disaster and the large scale cover-up of the tragic health effects following the infamous spill in 2010, in an upcoming documentary called “The Rising.” The film exposes the true health effects for tens of thousands of people and the ramifications of unregulated corporate power and government collusion to our nation.
See full article at Indiewire »
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