At 38-years-old, aspiring artist Billy Pappas is the ultimate dreamer. Checkoway chronicles the 10 years Pappas spent meticulously drawing his masterpiece in his parents' attic-and the success or failure he believes hinges on his ability to show his work to his idol, artist David Hockney. Co-hosted with Independent Feature Project (IFP) . | Read MoreFemale Director(s) and Documentary
Emmanuel Jal spent his childhood as a soldier in the Sudanese People's Liberation Army. Now this rising hip-hop star is using his music to raise awareness about his homeland's ongoing humanitarian crisis. | Read MoreDocumentary and Music
Since Homer's time, artists have struggled with the challenge of how to describe the experience of war. Called up for service in Iraq, several members of the National Guard were given digital video cameras. This astonishing film, edited from their footage, provides an unimaginably vivid perspective on an extremely complex and troubled conflict. | Read MoreDocumentary
It's no surprise that making a feature film in Iraq in 2003 wasn't a picnic. But this extraordinary account of the peril-filled ordeal that the director and crew of Ahlaam went through must be seen to be believed. | Read MoreDocumentary
Old wounds are reopened when Peinado revisits the upper Missouri River basin in North Dakota, where his ancestors once lived. There he investigates how the massive post-war Garrison Dam project laid waste to an idyllic, self-sufficient Native American community, submerging 156,000 acres of the most fertile land in the country. | Read MoreDocumentary
Mysticism and color reign in this stunning documentary steeped in the fishermen lore of Kenya. Revisiting a childhood fairy tale of a spirit-filled island with the magic to either bless or curse a fisherman's journey, Dutch filmmaker Jeroen van Velzen explores his memories via Masoud, a real-life legend of shark fishing. His glory days long gone, Masoud relives his youth through grandiose stories told with swaggering pride and heartbreaking nostalgia. | Read MoreDocumentary
Though they've endured painful setbacks, including the loss of loved ones to AIDS, nothing can quell the angelic singing voices of the children in South Africa's Agape Orphanage. Told with compassion and grace, this uplifting documentary celebrates the children's indomitable spirits and musical aspirations. Includes a special appearance by Alicia Keys and Paul Simon. In Zulu and English.
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The Rossi family owned and operated up to seven movie theaters throughout the Upstate New York region that began with their first two: the Strand and the Paramount. This documentary is the culmination of one family's 85-year love affair with the movies and highlights the operation of a family-run business in the throes of social changes that morph an Americana summer resort into a working class town. | Read More
In 2004, writer/director Zachary Iscol fought as a US Marine in Al Anbar, Iraq's most violent province. Five years later, Anbar has been transformed into one of the safest, but not because the insurgency was defeated. When Zach returns, he begins to confront the awful dilemmas he faced fighting an enemy that hid among civilians. Profoundly honest, this documentary explores these dilemmas from all sides to reveal a simple but surprising truth about the nature of war and peace.
Please note: 'The Western Front' will screen as a work in progress. | Read MoreDocumentary
A Greenwich Village public-school music teacher finds that he may be in over his head when he brings together more than 150 video-generation kids, their parents, and their teachers to compose, perform, and record an original piece of music about the environment. A great first documentary for precocious kids! Preceded by Sirah (18 min.). (Ages 8+) | Read MoreDocumentary and Music
The 20-member band Septentrional has been making music for 62 years as Haiti's most celebrated big band. This inspirational documentary charts the history of Haiti from its triumphant independence from French colonialism to 2010's devastating earthquake—all set to the vibrant music of Haitian-Caribbean jazz fusion band Septentrional and punctuated with its members' personal memories. Featuring a wealth of live rehearsal and performance footage, When the Drum Is Beating is a poignant and high-energy story of resilience. | Read MoreDocumentary and Music
Part concert film and part sociological study, this doc (shot by Albert Maysles) travels between concert venues and cultures to give us an inside look at Romani (Gypsy) music. Dellal follows five top Romani bands during their tour of the U.S. before accompanying the musicians to their home countries, where she captures the joys and struggles of their domestic lives. In English, Spanish, Romani, and Hindi. | Read MoreDocumentary and Music
In this unprecedented, revelatory doc, director Rebecca Cammisa (Sister Helen) follows three unaccompanied children on a harrowing odyssey away from their homes in Latin America and through Mexico with one mighty shepherding hope: to reach the United States, where they can either reunite with their own families who made the journey before them, or create new lives for themselves. | Read MoreDocumentary