The best of DOC NYC 2014

We look ahead at The Last Impresario, The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness, Citizenfour and An Open Secret.

by Anne-Katrin Titze

The fifth annual DOC NYC, running from November 13-20, will showcase 153 films and events, including screenings of 91 feature-length films, 37 shorts, and 24 doc-related panel discussions and master classes. Chris Hegedus (Kings Of Pastry), D.A. Pennebaker (David) and Albert Maysles (Salesman) will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Mami Sunada's The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness on Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki (The Wind Rises - Kaze Tachinu) and Isao Takahata (Grave Of The Fireflies - Hotaru No Haka) - An Open Secret by Amy Berg (Every Secret Thing) - Gracie Otto's portrait of Michael White The Last Impresario - Citizenfour directed by Laura Poitras (The Oath) are four highlights of DOC NYC 2014.

The Last Impresario - Michael White with Kate Moss
The Last Impresario - Michael White with Kate Moss

The Last Impresario

Gracie Otto's captivatingly energetic The Last Impresario bursts at the seams with interviews from prominent friends and collaborators of one-of-a-kind London artistic power player Michael White, who sing his praises with warmth and heart. As a producer in theatre and subsequently film, he took great risks and his influence on Great Britain discovering foreign theatre and dance is undeniable. Otto's sensitively structured portrait of an engaging Peter Pan draws us irresistibly into his world as she serves up visual celebrity candy out of baskets full of treasure, with White's private photo albums and letters to accompany the impressive array of keenly focused interviews and archival clips. Kate Moss calls him "the only one who could keep up with me," in regards to partying, that is.

Centerstage - 7:00 PM, Thu. Nov. 20, 2014 - SVA Theatre; Scheduled to appear: Director Gracie Otto, producer Nicole O'Donohue, with special guests expected.

The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness
The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness

The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness

Mami Sunada's The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness sheds light on the two major pillars of Japanese Studio Ghibli. Hayao Miyazaki, who brought the world the most spirited little girl heroines with often even littler and extraordinary animal sidekicks in movies such as My Neighbour Totoro (Tonari No Totoro), Spirited Away (Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi), or Howl's Moving Castle (Hauru No Ugoku Shiro) and Isao Takahata, who didn't shy away from war as subject of animation in Grave Of The Fireflies and whose ecological thriller Pom Poko (Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko) changes your image of raccoons forever. This documentary shows the two masters at work on their most recent films, The Wind Rises and The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya (Kaguyahime No Monogatari) respectively.

International Perspectives - 11:45 AM, Sun. Nov. 16, 2014 - SVA Theatre



Following the world premiere last month at the New York Film Festival, Laura Poitras' explosive Citizenfour will be screened with 14 other films hoping to be chosen for the Oscar Best Documentary shortlist. Poitras was contacted by Edward Snowden in 2013 and asked to meet him secretly in a Hong Kong hotel room together with reporter Glenn Greenwald to film history in the making. The result is the portrait of a man who might not resemble the idea of the whistle blower presented to the public when the story first broke. Truth mirrors the structure of fiction as the thriller unfolds in front of our eyes.

DOC NYC will admit Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members and a guest to any film screening in the festival’s “Short List” section, space permitting. AMPAS members will need to present their membership card at the box office to claim a ticket.

Short List - 7:00 PM, Tue. Nov 18, 2014 - Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas - 4:00 PM, Thu. Nov. 20, 2014 - Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas

An Open Secret press screening cancellation
An Open Secret press screening cancellation

An Open Secret

Amy Berg's An Open Secret may or may not have its world premiere at DOC NYC and remains an unopened secret due to the fact that the scheduled press screening was cancelled today. The filmmaker known for West Of Memphis and Deliver Us From Evil, is also the director of Every Secret Thing, her fiction feature debut which was screened at this year's Tribeca Film Festival. What makes Every Secret Thing (still without theatrical release) so much more than a thriller is the very terrible human emotional territory it dares to venture in. Everyday cruelties are destroying the characters, the big crime is only the interval between casual detestations. Berg in the past has taken on injustice and innocence which makes An Open Secret one of the most anticipated documentaries of the year.

Special Event - 9:15 PM, Fri. Nov. 14, 2014 - SVA Theatre; Scheduled to appear: Director Amy Berg

For full details of the schedule and to book tickets, visit the official DOC NYC site.

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