This year’s series of dispatches from the front lines of nonfiction cinema features incisive portraits of iconic figures, intimate reports from inside the American prison system, New York stories both personal and political, and much more.
North American PremiereIn his contemplative, pared down, and wildly engaging documentary, Tim Robbins captures a series of extraordinary sessions in which a group of inmates at the Calipatria State maximum-security facility take part in acting exercises that enhance bonding and emotional connection.
New York Premiere · Q&As with Michael Apted on Oct. 5 & 7Michael Apted’s one-of-a-kind British film series returns once again to the lives of Tony; Nicholas; Suzy; Symon and Paul; Jackie, Sue, and Lynn; Andrew and John; Neil and Peter; and Bruce, more introspective than ever at age 63.
World Premiere · Q&As with Abbas Fahdel on Oct. 1 & Oct. 3In this patient, heart-rending portrait of Syrian citizens who have fled their country, Iraqi-born filmmaker Abbas Fahdel, director of the epic Homeland (Iraq Year Zero), settles in with a community of refugees living in a tent camp in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley.
World Premiere · Q&A with D.W. Young and producers Judith Mizrachy and Dan Wechsler on Oct. 13D.W. Young’s elegant and entertaining documentary is a lively tour of New York’s book world, past and present, from the Park Avenue Armory’s annual Antiquarian Book Fair; to the Strand and Argosy book stores, still standing against all odds; to the beautifully crammed apartments of collectors and buyers.
World Premiere · Q&A with Tania Cypriano, Michelle Hayashi, Dr. Ting, Mahogany & Garnet on Oct. 1This remarkable documentary captures the emotional and physical journey of surgical transitioning, as experienced by patients at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital under the guidance of groundbreaking surgeon Dr. Jess Ting.
World Premiere · Q&A with Ivy Meeropol, Julie Goldman, and Chris Clements on Oct. 13This thorough and mesmerizing documentary takes an appropriately unflinching look at the life and death of Roy Cohn, the closeted, conservative American lawyer whose first job out of law school was prosecuting filmmaker Ivy Meeropol’s grandparents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
World Premiere · Q&A with Lynn Novick, Sarah Botstein, and subjects on October 12Veteran filmmaker Lynn Novick’s intimate documentary event is a four-part chronicle of a handful of ambitious and inspiring incarcerated students as they work towards their college diplomas in the Bard Prison Initiative.
Q&As with Alla Kovgan on January 25This painstakingly constructed new documentary charts the artistic evolution of choreographer Merce Cunningham and immerses the viewer in the precise rhythms and dynamic movements of his work through a 3D process that allows us to step inside the dance.
World Premiere · Q&As with Manny Kirchheimer on Sept. 28 & 29Manny Kirchheimer has meticulously restored and constructed 16mm black-and-white footage that he and Walter Hess shot in New York between 1958 and 1960, creating a lustrous evocation of a different rhythm of life. Preceded by Suite No. 1, Prelude, Nicholas Ma’s short, loving portrait of his legendary father, Yo-Yo Ma, recording Bach’s Cello Suites.
North American Premiere · Q&A with Nick Broomfield on Oct. 5Documentarian Nick Broomfield has never made a movie more distinctly personal than this complex and moving film about his relationship with his humanist-pacifist father, Maurice Broomfield, a factory worker turned photographer.
U.S. Premiere · Q&As with Ric Burns on Sept. 30 (joined by Kate Edgar and Bill Hayes) & Oct. 3 (joined by Robert Krulwich and Ren Weschler)In Ric Burns’s invigorating documentary, we get to know Oliver Sacks, from his childhood with a schizophrenic older brother, to his years as a champion bodybuilder and motorcycle aficionado, to his remarkable accomplishments as one of our foremost neurologists.
North American PremiereNanni Moretti (Caro Diario, Ecce Bombo) tells a story many viewers may not know about: the efforts of the Italian Embassy to save and relocate citizens targeted by the fascist Pinochet regime in Chile.
U.S. Premiere · Q&As with Sergei Loznitsa on Sept. 28 & 29Sergei Loznitsa has uncovered a wealth of astonishing, mostly unseen archival footage of the “Great Farewell” in the days following the death of Joseph Stalin in March 1953 to create an ever-relevant meditation on horrors and absurdity of totalitarianism.