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Documentarians Dan Cogan and Liz Garbus Launch New Production Company — Exclusive

Documentarians Dan Cogan and Liz Garbus Launch New Production Company — Exclusive
With documentaries on the rise and multiple backers and outlets for non-fiction films, two veteran filmmakers — married producer-financier Dan Cogan and producer-director Liz Garbus — have decided to launch their own production company, Story Syndicate. Clearly, it’s a propitious time: The public’s appetite for non-fiction stories has never been greater, as movies ranging from last year’s “Rbg” and Oscar-winner “Free Solo” to 2019 hits “Apollo 11,” “Amazing Grace,” and “The Biggest Little Farm” hit big at the box office.

The move means that in the coming months, Cogan will transition from daily management of 12-year-old Impact Partners, which has financed over 100 films, including the Oscar-winning “Icarus” and “The Cove” and Oscar nominees “Fathers and Sons,” “How to Survive a Plague” and “Hell and Back Again.” He will join forces with Garbus, director of the Emmy-nominated “The Fourth Estate” and Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated “What Happened Miss Simone?,” by creating a
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Documentarians Dan Cogan and Liz Garbus Launch New Production Company — Exclusive

Documentarians Dan Cogan and Liz Garbus Launch New Production Company — Exclusive
With documentaries on the rise and multiple backers and outlets for non-fiction films, two veteran filmmakers — married producer-financier Dan Cogan and producer-director Liz Garbus — have decided to launch their own production company, Story Syndicate. Clearly, it’s a propitious time: The public’s appetite for non-fiction stories has never been greater, as movies ranging from last year’s “Rbg” and Oscar-winner “Free Solo” to 2019 hits “Apollo 11,” “Amazing Grace,” and “The Biggest Little Farm” hit big at the box office.

The move means that in the coming months, Cogan will transition from daily management of 12-year-old Impact Partners, which has financed over 100 films, including the Oscar-winning “Icarus” and “The Cove” and Oscar nominees “Fathers and Sons,” “How to Survive a Plague” and “Hell and Back Again.” He will join forces with Garbus, director of the Emmy-nominated “The Fourth Estate” and Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated “What Happened Miss Simone?,” by creating a
See full article at Indiewire »

Iff Panama: Panamanian Filmmakers Set Sights on International Market

  • Variety
Iff Panama: Panamanian Filmmakers Set Sights on International Market
Panama City — Prior to the launch of Iff Panama in 2012, Panama’s film production was virtually non-existent. With the aid of the festival, the national film fund, and impetus created by an influx of foreign shoots, local productions have secured an increasingly important role at the domestic box office.

Several projects now enjoy multi-territory releases – such as Abner Benaim’s “Ruben Blades Is Not My Name” and Arturo Montenegro’s “Frozen in Russia,” both released in 2018.

Iff Panama has increased visibility for local films and helped local helmers set their sights on the international market.

Seven Panamanian films are screening at the 8th Iff Panama; other promising projects are in production or pre-production.

All projects explore the complex, multi-faceted dimensions of Panamanian culture, ranging from tropical rainforests and indigenous tribes to the legacy of decades of U.S. presence.

Miguel González’s half-hour documentary, “The Fourth Estate,” turns on corruption
See full article at Variety »

There Are No More Masters: Bernardo Bertolucci’s "1900"

  • MUBI
There is something to be said for unbridled ambition. No matter its accepted outcome, no matter how it scores at the box office or what instantaneous praise it receives, a film can still be admired for its fearless commitment to scope and the best of its intentions. If it’s passionately executed with personal conviction, even a faulty feature can be respected for aspiration alone. And if said film happens to also be very good, so much the better. This, on more than one occasion, has defined the best of Bernardo Bertolucci, a filmmaker who thrived in the realization of such grand cinematic enterprise. From Before the Revolution (1964) to Last Tango in Paris (1972), from The Conformist (1970) to The Dreamers (2003), his films have been fortified by a visual potency and an overt thematic prominence—big ideas, brazenly presented. Even when they’re a tad self-important, the stirring spirit of his work is impressively demonstrable.
See full article at MUBI »

Showtime’s Gary Levine & Jana Winograde Named Co-Presidents Of Entertainment; Amy Israel & Vinnie Malhotra Also Upped

  • Deadline
Gary Levine and Jana Winograde have been upped to Co-Presidents of Entertainment at Showtime Networks. The promotion stems from the recent elevation of Showtime CEO David Nevins to Showtime Chairman and CEO and Chief Creative Officer for CBS Corporation. With him taking on a larger role at CBS Corp., he was expected to hand more responsibilities to his top lieutenants at Showtime.

In turn, with Levine, along with Winograde, taking on additional duties, he will delegate some of his existing ones to the two top programming executives under him, Amy Israel and Vinnie Malhotra, who have been promoted to Evp, Scripted Programming, and Evp, Nonfiction Programming, respectively.

Levine, a 18-year Showtime veteran and a top programming/development executive, and Winograde, a respected business executive who joined the network in 2017, will continue to report to Nevins. Israel and Malhotra, who previously reported to Levine, will report to him and Winograde.

This
See full article at Deadline »

Gary Levine, Jana Winograde Named Showtime Co-Presidents of Entertainment

  • Variety
Gary Levine and Jana Winograde have been named co-presidents of entertainment at Showtime Networks, the company announced Thursday.

The pair will develop and supervise all Showtime programming, including comedy, drama, unscripted, documentaries and film, overseeing production, program operations, business affairs, casting, scheduling, research and home entertainment. They will also be liaisons to CBS’ international and domestic distribution groups. Additionally, Winograde will become a board member of Smithsonian Networks, also a division of CBS Corp.

The move comes shortly after David Nevins’ elevation in October to chief creative officer of CBS Corporation and chairman of Showtime, adding to his existing position as CEO of the premiere cable network.

“Gary and Jana are peerless in their roles. Both command great respect from their colleagues inside and outside the company, and they have been key in driving our growth,” said Nevins in a statement. “As we invest more deeply in creating world class content for our audiences,
See full article at Variety »

Hulu’s ‘Minding the Gap’ Ties Cinema Eye Honors All-Time Nominations Record

  • Variety
Hulu’s ‘Minding the Gap’ Ties Cinema Eye Honors All-Time Nominations Record
Bing Liu’s “Minding the Gap,” an look at small-town American life through the lens of a group of skateboarder friends, led the 2018 Cinema Eye Honors nominations for nonfiction filmmaking Thursday.

The film, a Hulu original documentary, landed seven bids, for direction, editing, cinematography, original score, debut feature and the audience award, in addition to outstanding achievement in nonfiction feature filmmaking, the organization’s top prize. It was also mentioned in the “Unforgettables” sidebar honoring the subjects of many of this year’s documentaries.

The seven-nomination haul was enough to match Cinema Eye’s record, held by Louie Psihoyos’ “The Cove,” Lixin Fan’s “Last Train Home” and Ari Folman’s “Waltz With Bashir.”

The other nominees for outstanding achievement in nonfiction feature filmmaking were “Bisbee ’17” (five nominations), “Hale County This Morning, This Evening” (five nominations), “Of Fathers and Sons” (three nominations), “Three Identical Strangers” (three nominations) and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
See full article at Variety »

Showtime Documentary Short ‘The Family Business: Trump And Taxes’ Available For Free Online

  • Deadline
Showtime has made available the documentary short film The Family Business: Trump and Taxes for free online and across multiple platforms.

The film follows a team of New York Times investigative reporters through their diligent and intense efforts in uncovering the information that led to their exclusive report on Trump family finances. The film is now available for online sampling on YouTube, Facebook and Sho.com. It also is rolling out across multiple television and streaming providers’ devices, websites, applications and authenticated online services and their free On Demand channels.

The film was directed by Jenny Carchman and produced by Oscar nominees Liz Garbus and Justin Wilkes (The Fourth Estate) who were embedded for more than a year inside The New York Times. It follows Times investigative reporters David Barstow, Russell Buettner and Susanne Craig as they expose the untold story of how Donald Trump became rich. Mr. Trump has
See full article at Deadline »

Steve James on ’America to Me’ and the Fight to Get Documentaries Seen in an Era of Too Much TV

Steve James on ’America to Me’ and the Fight to Get Documentaries Seen in an Era of Too Much TV
In 2003, Steve James’ first docuseries debuted on PBS. “The New Americans” was a seven-hour “verité style” film following a diverse group of immigrants and refugees who left their homes to move to America. The expansive, six-and-a-half-year project covered the subjects in their native countries as well as in the states, and all 411 minutes aired over three nights as one big event.

“It didn’t play theatrically because it was seven hours long,” James said. “It played at Idfa, SXSW, and one other film festival, and then it was on public television, and then it was gone.”

As James distinctly remembers, this was a time before streaming and DVRs, before Netflix and HBO sparked national news with buzzy docuseries, and before an era of peak TV led to massive libraries of endlessly accessible content.

“I remember thinking, ‘Jeez. All that work, it’s on television, and then it’s done,'” James said.
See full article at Indiewire »

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Mr. Rogers Will Be Competing at the Cinema Eye Honors

  • The Wrap
“Free Solo,” “Quincy,” “Minding the Gap,” “Rbg,” “Three identical Strangers” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” are among the films nominated for the Audience Choice Prize at the 2018 Cinema Eye Honors, an awards show devoted to all facts of nonfiction filmmaking.

“Bathtubs Over Broadway,” “Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.,” “On Her Shoulders” and “Shirkers” were also nominated in the Audience Choice category, which can be voted on by members of the public at the Cinema Eye website.

The bulk of the Cinema Eye Honors nominees will be announced on Thursday, Nov. 8, and the winners will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 10 at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City.

Also Read: 'Free Solo,' 'Minding the Gap,' 'Won't You Be My Neighbor?' Land Ida Documentary Nominations

In the Broadcast Film category, the nominees were four docs from HBO – “Baltimore Rising,” “Believer,” “The Final Year” and
See full article at The Wrap »

Cinema Eye Honors 2018 Unveils Non-Fiction Unforgettables and Shorts List, Including ‘Free Solo’ and ‘Rbg’

  • Indiewire
At their inaugural Fall Lunch in held in Los Angeles on Thursday, Cinema Eye Honors unveiled their first round of awards, including their annual list of significant nonfiction film subjects and a list of the year’s ten top Nonfiction Short Films. They also released nominees in four categories: Broadcast Film; a new award for Broadcast Series; the Heterodox Award, which recognizes fiction films that blur the line between fiction and documentary; and the annual Audience Choice Prize, voted on by documentary lovers around the world.

Netflix, Focus Features, and Hulu hosted the event at Casita Hollywood with many of the year’s top filmmakers on hand, including Kirby Dick, Morgan Neville, Matt Tyrnauer, Jimmy Chin, Rj Cutler, Lauren Greenfield, Alan Hicks, Laura Nix, and Brett Morgen. The full list of nonfiction film and craft nominees, including the five nominees for Outstanding Nonfiction Short Film, will be revealed on Thursday,
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor,’ ‘Rbg’ Among Cinema Eye Honors Early Documentary Awards Nominees

  • Variety
Cinema Eye Honors revealed the first awards announcements for the organization’s 12th annual awards on Thursday.

Audience choice nominees include recent documentary awards-circuit players such as “Free Solo,” “Minding the Gap,” “Quincy,” “Rbg,” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

The group also unveiled its list of “The Unforgettables,” honoring notable and significant nonfiction film subjects, such as rock climber Alex Honnold (“Free Solo”), recording artist M.I.A. (“Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.”), Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (“Rbg”), and television legend Fred Rogers (“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”).

Joining the broadcast film category is a new field this year, broadcast series, which features contenders such as Netflix’s “Evil Genius” and “Wild Wild Country,” and Showtime’s “The Fourth Estate.”

In the Heterodox category, recognizing fiction films that actively blur the line between fiction and documentary, The Orchard and MoviePass’ “American Animals,” Magnolia’s “Skate Kitchen,” and
See full article at Variety »

Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards nominations: ‘Free Solo’ leads with 6, ‘Minding the Gap’ picks up 5

Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards nominations: ‘Free Solo’ leads with 6, ‘Minding the Gap’ picks up 5
Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi‘s “Free Solo” leads the third annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards with six bids, including Best Documentary and Best Director. Also nabbing nominations in those two top categories is Bing Liu‘s “Minding the Gap,” which is also in the running for Best First Time Director, as well as “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” “Dark Money,” “Hitler’s Hollywood,” and “Three Identical Strangers.” In all 10 films were nominated for the top prize at these awards bestowed by the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. (Bfca). The other four are “Crime + Punishment,” “Hal,” “Rbg,” and “Wild Wild Country.”

Last year the Bfca nominated 16 films for this award, three of which –“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” “Faces Places,” and “Strong Island” — went on to contend at the Oscars. And in 2016 the Bfca shared its Best Documentary winner (“O.J.: Made in America”) with the Academy
See full article at Gold Derby »

‘Free Solo’ Leads Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations

  • The Wrap
‘Free Solo’ Leads Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s “Free Solo,” a National Geographic documentary about Alex Honnold’s attempt to climb Yosemite’s El Capitan rock formation without any ropes or protective equipment, leads all films in nominations for the third annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, the Broadcast Film Critics Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Associations announced on Monday.

Free Solo” received five nominations, including Best Documentary and Best Director, and an additional honor for subject Honnold, who was one of eight subjects singled out in the Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary category.

Bing Liu’s “Minding the Gap” and Chapman Way and Maclain Way’s “Wild Wild Country” each received five nominations, while Kimberly Reed’s “Dark Money,” Rüdiger Suchsland’s “Hitler’s Hollywood” and Morgan Neville’s “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” received four each.

Also Read: 'Fahrenheit 11/9' Director Michael Moore to Receive Critics' Choice
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Free Solo’ Leads 2018 Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations

  • Variety
‘Free Solo’ Leads 2018 Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations
Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s “Free Solo,” which captured rock climber Alex Honnold’s hair-raising ascent of Yosemite National Park’s 3,000-foot El Capitan rock formation, led the nominations for the third annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, it was revealed Monday. The film netted six nominations including best documentary and best director.

Close behind with five mentions each were “Minding the Gap” and “Wild Wild Country,” from Hulu and Netflix respectively.

Voted on by the Broadcast Film Critics and Television Journalists Assns., the awards will be presented at a gala event hosted by science educator and television personality Bill Nye on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Bric in Brooklyn, New York.

The nominees are:

Best Documentary

“Crime + Punishment” – Director: Stephen Maing (Hulu)

Dark Money” – Director: Kimberly Reed (PBS)

“Free Solo” – Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (National Geographic Documentary Films)

“Hal” – Director: Amy Scott (Oscilloscope)

“Hitler’s Hollywood” – Director: Rüdiger Suchsland
See full article at Variety »

Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominees Announced: ‘Free Solo,’ ‘Minding the Gap,’ and ‘Wild Wild Country’ Lead Nods

The Broadcast Film Critics Association (Bfca) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (Btja) have announced the nominees for the third annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards. The winners will be presented their awards at a gala event, hosted by science educator and television personality Bill Nye, on Saturday, November 10 at Bric in Brooklyn, New York.

Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s “Free Solo” leads this year with six nominations and one honor, including Best Documentary, Best Directors, Best Sports Documentary, Most Innovative Documentary, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and a Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary honor for Alex Honnold. “Minding the Gap” and “Wild Wild Country” follow with five nominations each, with “Dark Money,” “Hitler’s Hollywood,” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” each earning four nods.

“We are thrilled to celebrate this year’s outstanding documentary work at the upcoming event,” said Broadcast Film Critics Association President
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Free Solo’ Leads Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations With Six; Michael Moore Set For Career Honor

  • Deadline
‘Free Solo’ Leads Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations With Six; Michael Moore Set For Career Honor
The perilous attempt by climber Alex Honnold to become the first person ever to scale and solo climb Yosemite’s 3000 foot high El Capitan Mountain with no ropes or safety gear is chronicled in the documentary Free Solo, a film that has climbed the list of nominees with six nods (and one honor) for the 2018 Critics Choice Documentary Awards. The awards take place on Saturday November 10 in Brooklyn.

Bing Liu’s skateboarding docu, Minding The Gap, and the Emmy winning Netflix limited docu series Wild Wild Country follow with five nominations each. All three films are nominated in the Best Documentary category which includes theatrical features and streaming/television entries.

In what has been an outstanding year for docus, both critically and at the box office, three films that have earned big dollars in theaters are also well represented on the list – Morgan Neville’s poignant Mr. Rogers docu, Won
See full article at Deadline »

‘Family Business: Trump and Taxes’ Exposes Relentless Pace of News

  • Variety
‘Family Business: Trump and Taxes’ Exposes Relentless Pace of News
How long are our attention spans? It’s a question worth asking as the manifold dramas and traumas of the Trump presidency tend to overshadow one another.

The Family Business,” a Showtime documentary short broadcast Sunday night, prompts this question more than perhaps any other. It focuses on the New York Times report, published on Oct. 2, into Donald Trump’s family finances and the degree of fraudulence that padded both his claims that his father had given him a fairly small loan, paid back with interest, and his dealings with the Internal Revenue Service. Cameras recorded the moving and strangely mundane scene before it went live, with reporters stuck in a midtown Manhattan conference room, as tense as actors waiting for opening night of a play.

According to “The Family Business,” the investigation was prompted by reporters’ curiosity after the provocative and incomplete Rachel Maddow segment that aired last March
See full article at Variety »

How Showtime Made a Secret Documentary About the New York Times’ Big Story on Trump’s Tax Evasion

When the New York Times editors hit publish on yesterday’s exhaustive report detailing how Fred Trump fraudulently funneled millions to his son — President Donald J. Trump — Showtime’s cameras were rolling. A holdover from Liz Garbus’ “The Fourth Estate” — a four part series documenting the New York Times covering President Trump’s first year in office that aired this spring — director Jenny Carchman helmed a crew that continued to follow the reporters working on this particular story about Trump’s tax avoidance, which took nearly two years to report.

The Times story by Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig and David Barstow calls into question President Trump’s image as a self-made billionaire, revealing that he received the equivalent today of $413 million from his father. Worse yet for the President, the Times reported that the money transfers were “dubious tax schemes” that sometimes involved “outright fraud.”

The film about the process,
See full article at Indiewire »

Film News Roundup: Immigration Drama ‘The Infiltrators’ Backed by Chicago Media Project

  • Variety
Film News Roundup: Immigration Drama ‘The Infiltrators’ Backed by Chicago Media Project
In today’s film news roundup, immigration drama “The Infiltrators” gets financing, Jake Busey is starring in a high-school comedy, and Stuart Ford’s Agc Studios hires two former Im Global executives.

Project Financing

Chicago Media Project Invest/Impact’s Paula Froehle and Steve Cohen have joined the immigration drama “The Infiltrators” as executive producers and financiers, Variety has learned exclusively.

Cmp I/I has invested previously in the Academy Award-winning documentary “Icarus,” “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” and Showtime’s series “The Fourth Estate.”

Directed and produced by Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra, “The Infiltrators” centers on a small group of young undocumented immigrants who embark on a high-risk mission inside America’s for-profit detention system in order to set people free. The film, which mixes documentary with narrative dramatization, stars Chelsea Rendon, Vik Sahay, Maynor Alvarado, and Manuel Uriza.

Production is currently underway in Southern California. The
See full article at Variety »
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