DOC NYC announces line-up

Documentary showcase to feature 18 world premieres

by Amber Wilkinson

Citizen Jane: Battle For The City will open the festival's seventh edition
Citizen Jane: Battle For The City will open the festival's seventh edition
The line-up for the seventh edition of DOC NYC has been announced. The festival, which runs from November 10 to 17 in Manhattan, will feature 18 world premieres in a programme that includes 110 feature-length films and more than 250 films and events overall.

The festival will open with Citizen Jane: Battle For The City, about journalist and urban spaces activist Jane Jacobs, and close with Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary, charting the life of the jazz saxophonist.

World premieres include Eve Ensler’s City of Joy, about a women’s leadership community in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo; Netflix series Captive, about stories of hostage-taking; HBO’s Every Brilliant Thing, capturing a one-man show by Jonny Donahoe; and prison documentary Rikers.

The festival features two competition sections - Viewpoints, dedicated to "distinct directorial visions" and Metropolis, which features New York-centric films.

Director of programming Basil Tsiokis said: "Everyone loves a good story, and this year's lineup puts some fantastic true-life storytelling on display, drawing from the worlds of music, sports, art, crime, activism, and more.

“DOC NYC's filmmakers get to share these stories with New York City's diverse and influential audience – one that's incomparable to any other festival.”

Notable documentarians will also be honoured at a Visionaries Tribute Awards event on November 10: Jonathan Demme and Stanley Nelson will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards while Dawn Porter will receive the Robert and Anne Drew Award for observational filmmaking. A&E IndieFilms executive Molly Thompson will receive the Leading Light Award for distinguished service to documentary in a role outside filmmaking.

The competition line-up is below (synopsis provided by the festival):

Viewfinders Competition

The Age Of Consequences, Dir: Jared P Scott,(NYC Premiere): Taking an eye-opening approach to climate change, it reframes concern for the environment into a question of international security.

The Beekeeper And His Son, Dir: Diedie Weng (North American Premiere): In a rural village in northern China, a father/son clash echoes the pull of tradition and modernisation.

Death By A Thousand Cuts, Dir: Jake Kheel/Juan Mejia Botero (NYC Premiere): When the body of a Dominican park ranger is found on the border with Haiti, his brutal murder exposes long-simmering tensions that boil over into xenophobia and racism.

Forever Pure, Dir: Maya Zinshtein (NYC Premiere): Fans turn against an Israeli soccer team when the owner signs two Chechen Muslim players.

Girl Unbound: The War to Be Her, Dir: Erin Heidenreich (US Premiere): A young woman represents Pakistan on the national squash team, despite the Taliban’s threats.

The Island And The Whales, Dir: Mike Day (NYC Premiere): Faced with health concerns, as well as the clamour of international animal rights activists, inhabitants of a remote archipelago may be forced to abandon their ancient ways.

The Lure, Dir: Tomas Leach (World Premiere): The story of an eccentric millionaire’s buried treasure and those who are searching for it.

The Nine, Dir: Katy Grannan (NYC Premiere): Celebrated photographer Katy Grannan reveals a stigmatised world of drifters and hustlers in this portrait of a ravaged community.

The Road, Dir: Zanbo Zhang (NYC Premiere): An in-depth look at the corruption-plagued construction of a massive highway through a rural Chinese village.

Metropolis Competition

All The Rage (Saved by Sarno), Dir: Michael Galinsky/Suki Hawley/David Beilinson (World Premiere): A controversial approach to treating back pain prompts a radical rethink of how we approach health care.

Borderline, Dir: Rebbie Ratner (NYC Premiere): A portrait of a New Yorker living with Borderline Personality Disorder as she seeks self acceptance and recovery.

The Incomparable Rose Hartman, Dir: Otis Mass (NYC Premiere): A fixture of the NYC nightlife and fashion scenes, photographer Rose Hartman has shot some of the most indelible images of pop culture of the past 40 years.

Off The Rails, Dir: Adam Irving (NYC Premiere): The stranger-than-fiction story of serial MTA imposter Darius McCollum, who has been jailed more than 30 times for illegally driving buses and conducting subway trains.

Rikers, Prod: Marc Levin/Mark Benjamin/Rolake Bamgbose (World Premiere): Former detainees of Rikers Island offer searing testimonials about violence and corruption that has plagued the notorious NYC jail for decades.

Scott’s Pizza Tours, Dir: Shawn Willis/Ryan Jones (World Premiere): Scott Wiener channels his infectious enthusiasm into a successful pizza-tasting tour business, finding unlikely fame.

Thy Father’s Chair, Dir: Antonio Tibaldi/Alex Lora (NYC Premiere): Orthodox Jewish identical twin hoarders finally allow a cleaning crew to save their Brooklyn home.

Winter At Westbeth, Dir: Rohan Spong (North American Premiere): A spotlight on three long-time residents of the West Village’s Westbeth Artists Housing.

Woman On Fire, Dir: Julie Sokolow (World Premiere): This profile of courage under fire celebrates NYC’s first openly transgender firefighter.

For the full programme and tickets, visit the official site.

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