The ITVS Indie Roundup

A curated list of indie news and recommendations from ITVS’s Rebecca Huval.

The real reason we watch the Oscars: the surprising gaffes. Here are the best and worst moments of the Academy Awards ceremonies since 2008.

First-time documentary filmmakers, apply by March 8! You can get mentorship when you sorely need it through IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs, which guide low-budget films (less than $1 million) through completion, marketing, and distribution.

New York doc lovers should check out the Documentary Fortnight 2013 showcase at MoMA, Feb. 15 to March 4, and enter at POV to win free tickets to MoMA Selects: POV screenings.

Now in its third year, the upstart Open City Doc Fest in London rages on June 20 to 23. Late deadline for submissions is March 4!

If you haven’t seen it already, watch a snippet of the Oscar-nominated documentary How to Survive a Plague and learn about the filmmaker’s original inspiration. (via @TheBayCitizen)

Recovered Super 8 footage of President Nixon in the documentary Our Nixon will cap the New Films/New Directors festival on March 31.

Oscar Nominees for Best Doc Include: The Invisible War & 5 Broken Cameras

Early Thursday morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this year’s Oscar nominees. Among the films selected for best documentary were two ITVS programs: The Invisible War by Kirby Dick (coming to Independent Lens on May 27) and 5 Broken Cameras by filmmakers Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi. Please join us in congratulating the filmmakers and watch the trailers below:

The winners will be named at the 85th Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood on February 24, 2013. To see a complete list of nominated films, please click here. 

The ITVS Indie Roundup

A curated list of indie news and recommendations from ITVS’s Rebecca Huval.

Explore the possibilities of transmedia docs with Filmmaker Magazine’s reflections on the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. At the festival, Doc Lab showcased choose-your-own-adventure documentaries that don’t sacrifice the main storyline.

Oscar excitement is through the roof! The shortlist for best documentary includes 15 picks, and Realscreen has interviews with seven of the directors.

Zooming out even further from the Oscar choices of 2012, here are the top 10 Sundance documentaries of the decade.

If you’ve never seen Paul Madonna’s illustrations, now is the time to start. Here is his adorable and insightful comic about the difficulties of living a creative life. Continue reading

Guess the Oscars with ITVS

It’s Academy Awards time again and this year ITVS has not one, but two horses in the Oscar race! Among the films selected for best documentary were two ITVS programs: Hell and Back Again by Danfung Dennis and If a Tree Falls by filmmakers Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman (broadcast last September on POV). Hell and Back Again airs on May 24, 2012 at 10 PM and on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012, both nights at 10 PM on Independent Lens.

We wanted to do something fun in anticipation of Sunday’s festivities, so we whipped up a quick little ballot for you to fill out and submit, to see how many of you can guess the outcome in several major categories. We’ll accept ballot entries (one per user, please!) up until 5 PM PST on Sunday, February 26, 2012. We’ll randomly select five entries from among the highest scores for personal glory and some special surprises.

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Oscar-Nominated Waltz With Bashir Airs Wednesday on Sundance Channel

The acclaimed ITVS International documentary, written and directed by Ari Folman, delves into the horrors of the 1982 Lebanon War.

Filmmaker Ari Folman’s audacious and devastating documentary employs the freedom offered by animation to explore the untrustworthiness of memory, as he reconstructs his experience as an Israeli soldier during the 1982 Lebanon War. Troubled by an inability to vividly recall some of his experience, Folman confers with other veterans to piece together a narrative that is part memory collage, part nightmare, and part history lesson.

Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner for Best Foreign Language Film, Waltz with Bashir has its U.S. broadcast premiere on the Sundance Channel this Wednesday, June 29 at 8 PM.  Watch the trailer after the jump >>
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San Francisco Gets a Peek at Academy Award-Nominated Waste Land

Filmmaker Lucy Walker attended a screening in SF on Wednesday

Lucy Walker’s Oscar-nominated doc Waste Land will have its broadcast premiere April 19 on Independent Lens on PBS, but San Francisco got a sneak peak this week in an exclusive screening and reception.

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ITVS Film Vies for 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary

The Oscar buzz is in the air! This Sunday, March 7, Hollywood takes center stage for one of its biggest nights of the year with the 2010 Academy Awards.

Competing for Best Documentary Feature is the ITVS film The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. Also, Independent Lens host Maggie Gyllenhaal received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the feature film Crazy Heart.

In addition, several previously funded ITVS filmmakers received nominations for their work in the category of short documentary.

  • China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province (Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill)
  • The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner (Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher)
  • The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant (Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert)

Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar produced A Lion in the House; Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher made Iron Ladies of Liberia; and Jon Alpert made The Last Cowboy. All three films aired on Independent Lens on PBS.

Congratulations and good luck to all the filmmakers!

Check out this the video preview of The Most Dangerous Man in America:

Who do you think will win? Share your thoughts in our comment section.

Check out the entire list of this year’s nominees >>

ITVS Funded Filmmakers Oscar Nominations for Short Documentary

The Oscar buzz is in the air! Yesterday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their 2010 nominees, which included the ITVS film The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers for Best Documentary Feature. Also, Independent Lens host Maggie Gyllenhaal received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the feature film Crazy Heart.

Several previously funded ITVS filmmakers received nominations for their work in the category of short documentary.

  • China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province (Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill)
  • The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner (Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher)
  • The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant (Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert)

Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar produced A Lion In The House; Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher made Iron Ladies of Liberia; and Jon Alpert made The Last Cowboy. All three films aired on Independent Lens on PBS.

The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7. Stay tuned to Beyond the Box for further coverage. Congratulations and good luck to all the filmmakers!

Check out the entire list of this year’s nominees >>

Oscar Noms for The Most Dangerous Man in America; Indie Lens Host Maggie Gyllenhaal

This morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences officially announced that The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. This marks the 11th Academy Award nomination for ITVS.

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a leading Vietnam War strategist, concludes that America’s role in the war is based on decades of lies. He leaks 7,000 pages of top-secret documents to The New York Times, a daring act of conscience that leads directly to Watergate, President Nixon’s resignation, and the end of the Vietnam War. Ellsberg and a who’s-who of Vietnam-era movers and shakers give a riveting account of those world-changing events. The film is by award-winning filmmakers Judith Ehrlich (The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It) and Rick Goldsmith (Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press). The film will air later this year on P.O.V. on PBS.

Nominees for Best Documentary Feature of the year include:

  • Burma VJ
  • The Cove
  • Food, Inc.
  • The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
  • Which Way Home

Also, Independent Lens series host Maggie Gyllenhaal received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her compelling role as a journalist and single mom in the film Crazy Heart. When shooting the Independent Lens host introductions in New York City last August, Maggie talked about this flim and how proud she was of the work. She praised her co-star Jeff Bridges and predicted that his performance would receive wide acclaim. We want to congratulate Maggie on her Academy Award nomination and are honored to be working with her on Independent Lens.

Nominees for Best Actress in a Supporting Role include:

  • Penélope Cruz in Nine
  • Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy Heart
  • Anna Kendrick in Up in the Air
  • Mo’Nique in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

Check out the entire list of this year’s nominees >>

The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7. Stay tuned to Beyond the Box for further coverage.Congratulations and good luck to all the filmmakers!

Watch a clip of The Most Dangerous Man in America:

GARBAGE DREAMS, Ellsberg Doc Make Oscar Short List

The Oscar buzz is in the air! The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced 15 films in the Documentary Feature category that will advance in the voting process for the 82nd Academy Awards. Eighty-nine pictures had originally qualified in the category.

Among those on the short list include GARBAGE DREAMS, airing on this season of Independent Lens and the ITVS-funded film THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.

The official nominations will be announced on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, at 5:30 AM PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2009 will be presented on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center.

Congratulations to all the filmmakers!

See all 15 vying titles >>