DOC NYC announces Main Slate

13th edition returns to cinemas and includes 29 world premieres

by Amber Wilkinson

Ellis is among the world premieres
Ellis is among the world premieres Photo: Courtesy of DOC NYC
The Main Slate for the 13th editon of DOC NYC has been announced. After disruption due to Covid the festival, which is America's largest dedicated to documentary film, will return to an in-person event at IFC Center, SVA Theatre and Cinépolis Chelsea in New York from November 9 to 17, with a nationwide online edition continuing until November 27.

The festival has previously announced it will open with Maya And The Wave) and close with The Conspiracy, with a Centerpiece gala of Cirque du Soleil: Without A Net And Gumbo Coalition.

The festival will feature more than 110 feature-length documentaries, including 29 world premieres and 27 US premieres.

There are 23 films in the US Competition, for new American-produced nonfiction films, and the International Competition, for work from around the globe, make their US or greater premieres. The Kaleidoscope Competition for new essayistic and formally adventurous documentaries, continues into its second year, while the festival’s long-standing Metropolis Competition, showcasing New York stories and personalities, also returns. The festival also includes thematically organized sections that spotlight new films on music, sports, activism, the arts and more.

New this year is the Odyssey Impact® award that, with the support of Paramount and its initiative Content for Change Academy, will present a $10,000 cash prize and an Odyssey Impact® led six-month National Impact Campaign to one eligible short film that has a social justice theme and a strong call to action.

“We are proud to be presenting such an incredible array of outstanding work in this year’s Main Slate,” said the festival’s new artistic director Jaie Laplante. “These films, representing the diverse perspectives of our programming team, showcase significant premieres from major veterans alongside discoveries of emerging voices.”

Among films making their world premieres, several are complex profiles of notable figures, including Ellis, on the patriarch of the famed “First Family of Jazz,” Ellis Marsalis; Roberta, a biography of singer Roberta Flack; and Who is Stan Smith?, the story of the tennis champion and footwear fashion icon.

Among the North American premieres are Julian Assange doc Ithaka and trans identity and Casa Susanna, a look at an early chapter of trans identity in the 1950s Catskills.

We'll be bringing you listings of the full programme in due course and you can read more on the official site.

The US and International Competition titles are below:

US Competition

  • 26.2 To Life (world premiere), Director: Christine Yoo
  • The 50 (world premiere), Director: Brenton Gieser
  • 1946: The Mistranslation That Shifted A Culture (world premiere), Director: Sharon “Rocky” Roggio
  • Cabin Music (world premiere), Director: James Carson
  • Casa Susanna (US premiere), Director: Sébastien Lifshitz
  • Coldwater Kitchen (world premiere), Directors: Brian Kaufman, Mark Kurlyandchik
  • Dear Thirteen (world premiere), Director: Alexis Neophytides
  • Dusty & Stones (world premiere), Director: Jesse Rudoy
  • Loan Wolves (world premiere), Director: Blake Zeff
  • Love In The Time Of Fentanyl (US premiere), Director: Colin Askey
  • Who Is Stan Smith? (world premiere), Director: Danny Lee
  • International Competition

  • African Moot (US premiere), Director: Shameela Seedat
  • Big Fight In Little Chinatown (world premiere), Director: Karen Cho
  • Children Of Las Brisas (North American premiere), Director: Marianela Maldonado
  • Closed Circuit (international premiere), Director: Tal Inbar
  • Destiny (world premiere), Director: Yaser Talebi
  • Fati’s Choice (North American premiere), Director: Fatimah Dadzie
  • Girl Gang (US premiere), Director: Susanne Regina Meures
  • The Hamlet Syndrome (North American premiere), Directors: Elwira Niewiera, Piotr Rosolowski
  • The Hermit Of Treig (US premiere), Director: Lizzie Mackenzie
  • How To Save A Dead Friend (US premiere), Director: Marusya Syroechkovskaya
  • Ithaka (North American Premiere), Director: Ben Lawrence
  • Lázaro And The Shark: Cuba Under The Surface (World Premiere), Director: William Sobourin O’Reilly
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