The first all-virtual edition of the DOC NYC festival of nonfiction films announced its 2020 lineup on Thursday, with 107 feature documentaries about everyone from John Belushi to Jamal Khashoggi and Pope Francis to Frank Zappa,
The lineup for the festival, which runs from Nov. 11 through Nov. 19 and will take place completely online, includes 23 world premieres, among them Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker’s “The Meaning of Hitler,” Nancy Burski’s “A Crime on the Bayou,” Gong Cheng and Yung Chang’s “Wuhan Wuhan” and Jeff Daniels’ “Television Event.”
DOC NYC, which launched in 2010, is the largest festival of nonfiction films in the United States. This year the festival transitioned to a completely online event separated into 14 themed sections, two of which are competitive sections that will award prizes.
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The competitive Viewfinders section consists of 11 films, including films set in Venezuela (“A La Calle”), Puerto Rico (“Landfall”), the Dominican Republic (“Stateless”) and the West Bank (“The Viewing Booth”).
The Metropolis competition is made up entirely of films set in New York, among them films about NYPD detective-turned-informant Bob Leuci (“Blue Code of Silence”), fashion queen Ruth Finley (“Calendar Girl”), dancer Bill T. Jones (“Can You Bring It”) and artist Dash Snow (“Moments Like This Never Last”).
The Winner’s Circle section showcases eight films that have won awards at prominent international festivals, including Katrine Philp’s “Beautiful Something Left Behind,” David Osit’s “Mayor,” Jerry Rothwell’s “The Reason I Jump” and Estephan Wagner and Marianne Hougen-Moraga’s “Songs of Repression.”
The Masters section includes new work from such acclaimed filmmakers as Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar (“9to5: The Story of a Movement”), Alex Gibney (“Crazy, Not Insane”), Sam Pollard (“MLK/FBI”) and Errol Morris (“My Psychedelic Love Story”).
In the American Perspectives section, films deal with the United States Postal Service in “Dear Santa,” opioid addiction in “For the Love of Rutland,” ethnic tensions in “Hamtramck, USA,” celebrity restaurants in “Restaurant Hustle” and female police officers in “Women in Blue.”
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International Perspectives includes “76 Days” and “Wuhan Wuhan,” both shot in the city at the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic; “Once Upon a Time in Venezuela,” set in a floating village ravaged by pollution; and “Summerwar,” which follows two young men in a Ukrainian paramilitary camp.
The Investigations section includes films on the killing of Kim Jong-un’s half brother (“Assassins”), the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi (“The Dissident”), a pro-Israel lobby in Washington, DC (“Kings of Capitol Hill”) and U.S.-Soviet tensions during the Cold War (“The Jump” and “Neither Confirm Nor Deny”).
Fight the Power is a section devoted to movies about activism, with entries that include “The Big Scary ‘S’ Word,” about socialism; “Nasrin,” about an attorney who is imprisoned for protesting Iran’s law mandating that women wear hijabs; and “Youth V Gov,” about activists who sue the U.S. government for creating the climate crisis.
The Portraits section profiles individuals including Pope Francis (Evgeny Afineevsky’s “Francesco”), jazz musician Billy Tipton (Aisling Chin-Yee and Chase Joynt’s “No Ordinary Man”) and congresswoman Barbara Lee (Abby Ginzberg’s “Truth to Power: Barbara Lee Speaks for Me”), while the Jock Docs section examines sports figures from surfer Joana Andrade (“Big Vs Small”) to three Cuban baseball players trying to break into Major League Baseball (“The Last Out”).
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Films about entertainment, the arts and music make up three sections of DOC NYC, and include R.J. Cutler’s “Belushi”; Frank Oz’s “In & Of Itself,” about Derek DelGaudio; Barry Avrich’s “Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art,” about the largest art fraud in U.S. history; Julien Temple’s “Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan,” about the troubled frontman of the Pogues; and Alex Winter’s “Zappa,” about the iconoclastic musician Frank Zappa.
Here is the DOC NYC the feature-film lineup. Short films and additional programs can be found at docnyc.net.
VIEWFINDERS COMPETITION
DISTINCT DIRECTORIAL VISIONS
“40 Years a Prisoner,” Tommy Oliver
“A La Calle,” Nelson G. Navarrete, Maxx Caicedo
“Enemies of the State,” Sonia Kennebeck
“JACINTA,” Jessica Earnshaw
“Landfall,” Cecilia Aldarondo
“The Meaning of Hitler,” Petra Epperlein, Michael Tucker
“So Late So Soon,” Daniel Hymanson
“Stateless,” Michèle Stephenson
“Things We Dare Not Do,” Bruno Santamaría
“Through the Night,” Loira Limbal
“The Viewing Booth,” Ra’anan Alexandrowicz
METROPOLIS COMPETITION
NEW YORK STORIES
“Blue Code of Silence,” Magnus Skatvold, Greg Mallozzi
“Calendar Girl,” Christian D. Bruun
“Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters,” Rosalynde LeBlanc, Tom Hurwitz
“A Cops and Robbers Story,” Ilinca Calugareanu
“Dope Is Death,” Mia Donovan
“Five Years North,” Zach Ingrasci, Chris Temple
“Harlem Rising: A Community Changing the Odds,” Rayner Ramirez
“La Madrina: The Savage Life of Lorine Padilla,” Raquel Cepeda
“Moments Like This Never Last,” Cheryl Dunn
“Wojnarowicz,” Chris McKim
WINNER’S CIRCLE
INTERNATIONAL AWARD WINNERS
“Acasa, My Home,” Radu Ciorniciuc
“Beautiful Something Left Behind,” Katrine Philp
“Influence,” Richard Poplak, Diana Neille
“Mayor,” David Osit
“The Reason I Jump,” Jerry Rothwell
“Songs of Repression,” Estephan Wagner, Marianne Hougen-Moraga
“Stray,” Elizabeth Lo
“The Walrus and the Whistleblower,” Nathalie Bibeau
MASTERS
FILMS BY NONFICTION AUTEURS
“9to5: The Story of a Movement,” Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar
“Crazy, Not Insane,” Alex Gibney
“Love & Stuff,” Judith Helfand
“MLK/FBI,” Sam Pollard
“My Psychedelic Love Story,” Errol Morris
“Origin of the Species,” Abigail Child
“Paris Calligrammes,” Ulrike Ottinger
AMERICAN PERSPECTIVES
EXPLORE THE USA
“Chasing Childhood,” Eden Wurmfeld, Margaret Munzer Loeb
“Dear Santa,” Dana Nachman
“The Dilemma of Desire,” Maria Finitzo
“For the Love of Rutland,” Jennifer Maytorena Taylor
“Hamtramck, USA,” Justin Feltman, Razi Jafri
“The Oil War,” David Schisgall
“The Place That Makes Us,” Karla Murthy
“Restaurant Hustle,” Frank Matson
“Women in Blue,” Deirdre Fishel
INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES
TRAVEL THE WORLD
“76 Days,” Hao Wu, Weixi Chen, Anonymous
“The Letter,” Maia Lekow, Christopher King
“Once Upon a Time in Venezuela,” Anabel Rodríguez Ríos
“Smog Town,” Meng Han
“Summerwar,” Moritz Schulz
“Wuhan Wuhan,” Gong Cheng, Yung Chang
INVESTIGATIONS
REVEALING REAL-LIFE TALES
“Assassins,” Ryan White
“Baby God,” Hannah Olson
“A Crime on the Bayou,” Nancy Buirski
“The Dissident,” Bryan Fogel
“Finding Yingying,” Jiayan “Jenny” Shi
“The Jump,” Giedre Zickyte
“Kiongs of Capitol Hill,” Mor Loushy
“Miracle Fishing,” Miles Hargrove
“Missing in Brooks County,” Lisa Molomot, Jeff Bemiss
“The Mystery of D.B. Cooper,” John Dower
“Neither Confirm Nor Deny,” Philip Carter
“‘Til Kingdom Come,” Maya Zinshtein
FIGHT THE POWER
STORIES OF ACTIVISM
“The Big Scary ‘S’ Word,” Yael Bridge
“Down a Dark Stairwell,” Ursula Liang
“Nasrin,” Jeff Kaufman
“Shut Up Sonia,” Deepti Gupta
“Since I Been Down,” Gilda Sheppard
“Unapologetic,” Ashley O’Shay
“Youth v Gov,” Christi Cooper
PORTRAITS
PROFILES OF SINGULAR INDIVIDUALS
“9/11 Kids,” Elizabeth St. Philip
“Duty Free,” Sian-Pierre Regis
“Francesco,” Evgeny Afineevsky
“In Silico,” Noah Hutton
“Lessons of Love,” Malgorzata Goliszewska, Kasia Mateja
“Medicine Man: The Stan Brock Story,” Paul Michael Angell
“No Ordinary Man,” Aisling Chin-Yee, Chase Joynt
“Red Heaven,” Lauren DeFilippo, Katherine Gorringe
“Truth to Power: Barbara Lee Speaks for Me,” Abby Ginzberg
“Two Gods,” Zeshawn Ali
“Weed & Wine,” Rebecca Richman Cohen
JOCK DOCS
FILMS ABOUT SPORTS
“Big Vs Small,” Minna Dufton
“The Last Out,” Sami Khan, Michael Gassert
“Life Like a Girl,” Mayye Zayed
“Off the Road,” Jose Permar
BEHIND THE SCENES
FILMS ABOUT FILM AND TELEVISION
“Belushi,” R.J. Cutler
“El Father Plays Himself,” Mo Scarpelli
“Television Event,” Jeff Daniels
ARTS & CULTURE
FILMS ABOUT THE ARTS
“Bare,” Aleksandr M. Vinogradov
“Crutch,” Sachi Cunningham, Vayabobo
“An Impossible Project,” Jens Meurer
“In & of Itself,” Frank Oz
“Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide,” Malia Scharf, Max Basch
“Lost in Face,” Valentin Riedl
“Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art,” Barry Avrich
“On Pointe,” Larissa Bills
“Self Portrait,” Katja Hogset, Margreth Olin, Espen Wallin
“The Vasulka Effect,” Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdottir
SONIC CINEMA
MOVIES ABOUT MUSIC
“American Rapstar,” Justin Staple
“Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan,” Julien Temple
“Elder’s Corner,” Siji Awoyinka
“In My Own Time: A Portrait of Karen Dalton,” Robert Yapkowitz, Richard Peete
“Los Hermanos/The Brothers,” Marcia Jarmel, Ken Schneider
“Ronnie’s,” Oliver Murray
“Tiny Tim: King for a Day,” Johan von Sydow
“Universe,” Sam Osborn, Nick Capezzera
“Zappa,” Alex Winter
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