Dallas VideoFest 31 presents DocuFest, featuring dozens of documentary features and also shorts, over five days, Oct. 10-14, 2018, with Opening Night at the Historic Texas Theatre followed by 4 days on one screen at Angelika Film Center – Dallas.
Documentaries explore nonfiction investigations of topics or events deemed worthy of further insight. Its specific storytelling techniques are flourishing like never before – encompassing reportage, memoir, history, and humor. Documentaries have always been an integral part of the Dallas VideoFest experience.
“Sophisticated technology that lives in the palm of our hand has made shooting high-quality documentaries easier so filmmakers can follow people, movements and injustices in a dynamic, powerful and poetic manner,” said Bart Weiss, founder and artistic director of Dallas VideoFest.
Tickets and Schedule:
Saturday, Oct 13 PANELS:
Dallas Bar Entertainment, Art & Sports Law “boot camp” legal panels
2-3 pm: Fair Use — what can you legally borrow and use in your documentary?
3-4 pm: Editing — how do you find the story in your footage and edit ethically?
4-5 pm: Distribution — how and where can you get your documentary distributed and what do the deals look like?
Opening Night – Oct 10 – Texas Theatre
THE GREAT BUSTER: A CELEBRATION
By Peter Bogdanovich
Peter Bogdanovich’s doc delves into the genius of one of Hollywood’s timeless comic greats.
THE GREAT BUSTER: A CELEBRATION, 2018 Venice Film Festival Award Winning Documentary!
Anytime is the right time to celebrate Buster Keaton, so hats off and three cheers to Peter Bogdanovich for perceptively bringing the brilliance of one of Hollywood’s comic greats to fresh attention in this lovely and sharp-minded new documentary. No matter that Keaton’s best work is nearly a century old; it always had and still has a more modern edge to it than that of any of his contemporaries, and this swift and knowledgeable appreciation will well serve its fundamental aim of increasing the size of the Keaton fan club. After debuting at the Venice Film Festival, Bogdanovich’s vastly entertaining portrait will presumably serve as an anchor for Keaton seasons on screens large and small in many parts of the world. -Hollywood Reporter
209 RUE SAINT-MAUR, PARIS 10ÈME – THE NEIGHBOURS
by Ruth Zylberman
In partnership with 3 Stars Jewish Cinema
After selecting a building at random in a Jewish neighborhood in Paris, French director Ruth Zylberman meticulously reconstructed its community of inhabitants during the German occupation. What results is the spellbinding 209 RUE SAINT-MAUR, an experimental historiography that tells the emotional story of lives uprooted and destroyed under the Nazis.
by Elan and Jonathan Bogarin
In partnership with 3 Stars Jewish Cinema
306 HOLLYWOOD is a magical realist documentary of two Jewish siblings who undertake an archaeological excavation of their late grandmother’s house. They embark on a journey from her home in New Jersey to ancient Rome, from fashion to physics, in search of what life remains in the objects we leave behind.
Preceded by the short teaser, MR. STANLEY: THE MERCHANT PRINCE.
THE ATOMIC CAFE
By Kevin Rafferty, Jayne Loader and Pierce Rafferty
Jayne Loader in attendance
Armageddon has never been so darkly funny as in THE ATOMIC CAFE. This 1982 cult classic juxtaposes Cold War history, propaganda, music and culture, seamlessly crafted from government-produced educational and training films, newsreels and advertisements. Taken together, these sources cheerily instruct the public on how to live in the Atomic Age, how to survive a nuclear attack (!)… and how to fight and win a nuclear war. As a U.S. Army training film advises, “Viewed from a safe distance, the atomic bomb is one of the most beautiful sights ever seen by man.” Returning to theaters in a sparkling 4K digital restoration created by Indie Collect, THE ATOMIC CAFE is an absurdist blast from the past that would be downright laughable if it weren’t so eerily relevant to our fake news present.
From the Guardian Video Series, this is a pre-release special screening of BLACK SHEEP. After the high-profile killing of Damilola Taylor, Cornelius Walker’s mother, scared for her son’s safety, moved their family out of London only to find themselves living on an estate rife with racism. But rather than fight back, Cornelius became more like the people who hated him.
BLUE NOTE RECORDS: BEYOND THE NOTES
By Sophie Huber
The film explores the vision behind the iconic American jazz record label. Since 1939, Blue Note artists have been encouraged to push creative boundaries in search of uncompromising expressions. Through current recording sessions, rare archive and conversations with iconic Blue Note artists, the film reveals an intimate perspective of a legacy that continues to be vital in today’s political climate.
Legendary artists Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter come together with today’s generation of groundbreaking Blue Note artists such as Robert Glasper and Ambrose Akinmusire to record an All-Stars album. These reflections lead us back to the highly influential figures of the past on which the legacy of Blue Note is built: Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Horace Silver and Miles Davis.
The Film strives to transmit the values that jazz embodies and that Blue Note has been promoting since its inception: freedom of expression, equality, dialogue – values we can learn from and that are as relevant today as they were when the label was founded.
CALL HER GANDA
By PJ Raval
Director in Attendance
When Jennifer Laude, a Filipina transwoman, is brutally murdered by a U.S. Marine, three women intimately invested in the case — an activist attorney (Virgie Suarez), a transgender journalist (Meredith Talusan) and Jennifer’s mother (Julita “Nanay” Laude) — galvanize a political uprising, pursuing justice and taking on hardened histories of U.S. imperialism.
COME & TAKE IT
by Ellen Spiro & PJ Raval
PJ Raval in Attendance
This short documentary film captures the transformation of a young woman to leadership of America’s most inspired anti-gun violence movement called #CocksNotGlocks. After concealed carry of handguns is legalized on the University of Texas campus, Jessica Jin posts clever humor on social media, and with the help of a tight-knit group of young female students, a movement is born: The Great Texas Dildo Revolt.
FILMMAKERS UNITE (FU): A Collective Response to the State of Our Union
Filmmakers Jay Rosenblatt (The Smell of Burning Ants; Human Remains; Phantom Limb; The Darkness of Day) and Ellen Bruno (Samsara; Satya; Sacrifice; Split) have curated a collaborative film project that documents diverse thoughts and feelings about the current political situation in the United States. FILMMAKERS UNITE (FU) is a compilation of one-to-nine minute personal shorts by various documentary, narrative and experimental filmmakers intended to give voice to diverse responses within the independent film community – cutting across race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and religion – to present a collective response more powerful and effective than isolated individual responses. To this end, a call was put out to over 200 filmmakers asking for submissions. Over 50 filmmakers agreed to contribute work. From those submitted a provocative program of 13 shorts were selected.
by Julia Dyer
Filmmaker in attendance
An intimate conversation with a suburban mom about her hopes and fears for our country heading into these midterms — an emotional appeal to embrace and defend the fundamental values we all share.
by Bill Morrison
Sourcing the discarded, deteriorating remnants from seven silent film titles dating from 1912-1928, filmmaker Bill Morrison braids a story of intertwining love triangles that pivots between the memories of two women.
LOTTE THAT SILHOUETTE GIRL
by Carla Patullo, Elizabeth Beecherl
Directors in Attendance
With music, magic and a stirring narration by Lotte herself, LOTTE THAT SILHOUETTE GIRL tells the tale of one of animations’ biggest influencers, Lotte Reiniger. Yet despite her monumental innovations of creating the first feature length animation and inventing the multi-plane camera, she remains a footnote in the history of film. This short documentary seeks to change that.
MIAMI BEACH ELEGY
by Chip Lord
MIAMI BEACH ELEGY is a visual poem remembering Miami Beach as it was in the early 21st century – a colorful canary in the mine shaft that is climate change.
Shot in an observational style and using haunting music by composer Hayden Pedigo, Lord has fashioned a beautiful and dark landscape portrait of place. Like biologists who are studying the Rabbs Fringe limbed tree frog in central Panama as it goes extinct, Lord is “trying to catalog what was out there before it was lost.”
MOMENTS OF TRUTH
by Chuck Workman
We start DocuFest with an inspirational film that evocatively explores the history of the documentary
MOMENTS OF TRUTH shows moments from over 100 classic documentaries in nine and a half minutes using brief revealing clips. The documentary clips are accompanied by short interviews with significant filmmakers like Ken Burns, Barbara Kopple, Werner Herzog, John Grierson, Michael Moore and others, edited with music from documentaries and quotations. Many of the films may not be instantly recognized or even well known, but the overall intent is to show the impact of this increasingly significant cinematic genre from decades ago to the present.
by Sam Pollard and Melissa Haizlip
Melissa Haizlip in attendance
Premiering in 1968, SOUL! was the first nationally broadcast all-Black variety show on public television, merging artists from the margins with post–civil rights Black radical thought. Visionary producer-turned-host Ellis Haizlip—openly gay and committed to charting new aesthetic territory—brought the avant-garde into the mainstream by foregrounding poetry and politics. Debuting icons like Patti Labelle, Ashford & Simpson and Arsenio Hall alongside early legends such as Toni Morrison, James Baldwin and the Last Poets, Haizlip’s keen ear for talent propelled a cultural shift so powerful it pushed Nixon into action. Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Kathleen Cleaver and more reflect on this lost chapter of pop culture history and revisit their time on SOUL! With original music by Robert Glasper, take a deep dive into these unseen yet urgent archives and learn about the complex man who was the SOUL! of it all.
STANLEY: THE MERCHANT PRINCE
Short Teaser of Feature Film
By Mike Mullins and Miles Hargrove
Directors in Attendance
The short teaser, MR. STANLEY: THE MERCHANT PRINCE, Dallas-based producer/director Mike Mullins and director Miles Hargrove, along with producers Melina McKinnon Cain and Jason Cirone, chronicle the story of the man who not only changed the face of luxury retailing with Neiman Marcus but also transformed Dallas from a rough-and-tumble cotton market town into a mecca of high fashion.
NELLIE BLY MAKES THE NEWS
by Penny Lane
The story of Nellie Bly, a muck-racking investigative journalist who changed the game for women in reporting before women even had the right to vote. Drawing from extensive primary sources including Bly’s own writing, and presenting both real-world interviewees and reenactments in several styles of animation and illustration, this short film investigates the porous line between reporting facts and telling stories, while creating a dynamic portrait of a woman who refused to accept the status quo.
OUR NEW PRESIDENT
By Maxim Pozdorovkin
The story of Donald Trump’s election told entirely through Russian propaganda, from either Facebook posts or the official RT television. By turns horrifying and hilarious, the film is a satirical portrait of Russian meddling in the 2016 election that reveals an empire of fake news and the tactics of modern day information warfare.
ROLL RED ROLL
by Nancy Schwartzman
Community Partner Women In Film Dallas and Flicks by Chicks
Go behind the headlines of notorious high school sexual assault to witness the social media-fueled “boys will be boys” culture that let it happen. In small-town Steubenville, Ohio, at a preseason football party, a horrible incident took place that would garner national attention and result in the sentencing of two key offenders. As amateur crime blogger Alex Goddard uncovers disturbing evidence on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter documenting the assault of a teenage girl by members of the beloved high school football team, questions linger around the collusion of teen and adult bystanders. ROLL RED ROLL explores the complex motivations of both perpetrators and bystanders in this story, to unearth the attitudes at the core of their behavior. The Steubenville story acts as a cautionary tale of what can happen when adults look the other way and deny that rape culture exists. With unprecedented access to police documents, exhibits and evidence, this documentary feature unflinchingly asks: “Why didn’t anyone stop it?”
RUN LIKE THE DEVIL
By Steve Mims
Director in Attendance
RUN LIKE THE DEVIL documents the 2018 senate race between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke. A non-partisan deep dive that goes beyond the political campaign, the film threads the stories of the candidates with those of their respective political parties during a historic period of national political tumult. Participants include O’Rourke, Cruz, Evan Smith (Editor, Texas Tribune) Mark McKinnon (political consultant), David Richards (Ann Richard’s ex-husband and redistricting litigator) Bob Moore (former editor, El Paso Times) and others. The film premieres in Austin on Thursday, September 6, 2018 and will tour cities across Texas.
SCANDAL: THE TRIAL OF MARY ASTOR
by Alexa Foreman
Filmmaker in Attendance
SCANDAL: THE TRIAL OF MARY ASTOR is a documentary about a woman who had to make a choice after learning her personal—and very intimate—diaries had been stolen. As an actress, an employee of the Hollywood studios, it meant risking everything. Using interviews with Astor’s daughter Marylyn, along with film historians Molly Haskell and Leonard Maltin, this film tells the story of Astor’s 1936 child custody case. Coincidentally, at the same time the trial was taking place, the actress was filming the movie DODSWORTH (1936), directed by William Wyler. David Wyler, the director’s son, and L.A. Times critic Kevin Thomas are also interviewed and give their perspectives on this amazing—and very timely—struggle. Produced, written and directed by Alexa Foreman and narrated by director and Academy Award-winning actress Lee Grant
TIA CHUCK: A PORTRAIT OF CHUCK RAMIREZ
by Angela and Mark Walley
TIA CHUCK: A PORTRAIT OF CHUCK RAMIREZ is the captivating feature length directorial debut by VideoFest alum filmmakers Angela and Mark Walley chronicling the life and work of the late artist Chuck Ramirez (1962-2010). A native San Antonian, Ramirez had a successful career in graphic design and advertising before he came unto his own as a conceptual artist in his early thirties. Ramirez was a charismatic and integral part of a flourishing contemporary art scene in San Antonio and saw his HIV+ diagnosis in the early 1990s as motivation to pursue his dream of becoming a successful working artist. Primarily employing large-scale photography, Ramirez’s artworks investigate everyday life and are charged with metaphors of cultural identity, sexuality, and mortality.
VALLEY OF THE SUN
By Chip Lord
“…our Hollywood imagination of disaster is dominated by the blockbuster spectacle of some future, definitive event that triggers a system of collapse. In reality, the apocalypse has already begun.” – Andrew Ross, BIRD ON FIRE, 2011.
VALLEY OF THE SUN is a poetic look at the “future in the present”, a video album of songs about Phoenix in the Anthropocene. Original music composed and performed by Hayden Pedigo and stunning cinematography by Christopher Beaver propel Chip Lord’s film.
YOURS IN SISTERHOOD
By Irene Lusztig
Community Partner Women In Film Dallas and Flicks by Chicks
More than four decades after the birth of Ms. Magazine, director Irene Lusztig combs the magazine’s archives and pairs some of the most memorable letters, many never published, with contemporary readers to comment on just how far we’ve come — and what we still have to accomplish.