Sea of Shadows (2019) - News Poster

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The Film Academy Is Flush With Documentaries, But Where Are The Hits?

  • Deadline
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences certainly isn’t short on documentarians. Atop its existing 400 or so documentary branch members, the Academy in July invited almost 100 additional doc-makers to join. Despite some internal concern that a few invitees might need help with the dues, now $450 a year, it seems safe to assume that branch membership is up about 20 percent from 2018.

And there are plenty of documentary features in the current Oscar mix. As of September, the Academy had posted 92 of them to its members-only streaming site, with the promise of another batch soon.

But missing, so far, are the sort of highly visible, popular documentaries that had made a considerable splash in theaters by this time last year.

By mid-October of 2018, theater-goers had already conferred hit status—as documentaries go—on Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Rbg, Three Identical Strangers, and Free Solo (the eventual Oscar winner).

This year,
See full article at Deadline »

Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards nominations: ‘The Biggest Little Farm’ leads with 7, ‘Apollo 11’ and ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ nab 6

Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards nominations: ‘The Biggest Little Farm’ leads with 7, ‘Apollo 11’ and ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ nab 6
John Chester‘s “The Biggest Little Farm” leads the fourth annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards with seven nominations, including Best Documentary Feature and Best Director. Right behind it with six bids apiece are Todd Douglas Miller‘s “Apollo 11” and Peter Jackson‘s “They Shall Not Grow Old.” The other eight films nominated for the top prize are “American Factory,” “The Cave,” “Honeyland,” “The Kingmaker,” “Knock Down the House,” “Leaving Neverland,” “Maiden,” and “One Child Nation.”

Chester’s newest documentary follows his family’s journey as they develop a sustainable farm outside of Los Angeles. As the Ccda nomination leader it follows in the footsteps of last year’s eventual Academy Awards winner “Free Solo” who led this group’s field with six nominations. “Free Solo” may have won at the Oscars and three Ccda awards, but it lost the main prize here to “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
See full article at Gold Derby »

San Diego Film Festival Adds Environmental Focus

  • Variety
San Diego Film Festival Adds Environmental Focus
Now in its 18th year, the San Diego Intl. Film Festival, produced by the nonprofit San Diego Film Foundation, once again steals the movie glamour spotlight from its neighbor to the north, combining major regional premieres with a focus on social and environmental issues.

Running Oct. 15-20, the festival received more than 3,000 submissions from 68 countries, including feature films, shorts and documentaries. The result is a lineup that includes 107 films, with five in the narrative spotlight competition, 20 in the narrative contest, nine in the doc competition and 66 short films, says Tonya Mantooth, CEO and artistic director.

Opening night at the historic Balboa Theatre will see the premiere of “Jojo Rabbit,” a World War II black comedy written and directed by Taika Waititi. Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” starring Robert De Niro, opens the screenings at the ArcLight Cinema La Jolla on Oct. 17. “A Hidden Life,” a drama set during WWII, written and directed by Terrence Malick,
See full article at Variety »

‘Biggest Little Farm’ Nabs Seven Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations

  • Variety
‘Biggest Little Farm’ Nabs Seven Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations
The Biggest Little Farm” leads nominees for the fourth annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, with seven bids, followed by “Apollo 11” and “They Shall Not Grow Old.” “One Child Nation” received five nominations.

The winners will be presented their awards at a gala, hosted by Property Brothers’ Jonathan Scott, on Nov. 10 at Bric in Brooklyn.

The awards honor documentaries released in theaters, on TV and on major digital platforms, as determined by the voting of qualified Cca members.

A new honor, the D.A. Pennebaker Award, will be presented to Frederick Wiseman. Michael Apted will receive the landmark award for his work on the “Up” series of films, with “63 Up” opening this year.

“As the film and television industry constantly evolves, documentaries remain a vibrant creative art form that entertains as well as informs,” said Cca CEO Joey Berlin. “We are proud that our awards event has become a
See full article at Variety »

Box-Office Hits ‘Biggest Little Farm’ and ‘Apollo 11′ Top Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations

Box-Office Hits ‘Biggest Little Farm’ and ‘Apollo 11′ Top Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations
Leading this year’s batch of Critics Choice Association nominees for the fourth annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards are two Neon box-office hits, “The Biggest Little Farm” with seven nominations and “Apollo 11” with six, as well as Warner Bros.’ smash “They Shall Not Grow Old” with six.

The winners will accept their awards honoring achievement in documentaries on Sunday, November 10, at Bric in Brooklyn, New York. Qualified Critics Choice Association members across the country voted for these nominees (including this writer).

With the most nominations in the field, John Chester’s “The Biggest Little Farm” was nominated for Best Documentary Feature, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Narration, and Best Science/Nature Documentary.

Todd Douglas Miller’s “Apollo 11” was nominated for Best Documentary Feature, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Archival Documentary, and Best Science/Nature Documentary. Peter Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Box-Office Hits ‘Biggest Little Farm’ and ‘Apollo 11′ Top Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations

Box-Office Hits ‘Biggest Little Farm’ and ‘Apollo 11′ Top Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations
Leading this year’s batch of Critics Choice Association nominees for the fourth annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards are two Neon box-office hits, “The Biggest Little Farm” with seven nominations and “Apollo 11” with six, as well as Warner Bros.’ smash “They Shall Not Grow Old” with six.

The winners will accept their awards honoring achievement in documentaries on Sunday, November 10, at Bric in Brooklyn, New York. Qualified Critics Choice Association members across the country voted for these nominees (including this writer).

With the most nominations in the field, John Chester’s “The Biggest Little Farm” was nominated for Best Documentary Feature, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Narration, and Best Science/Nature Documentary.

Todd Douglas Miller’s “Apollo 11” was nominated for Best Documentary Feature, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Archival Documentary, and Best Science/Nature Documentary. Peter Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Biggest Little Farm’, Peter Jackson, ‘Apollo 11′ Top Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations

  • Deadline
‘Biggest Little Farm’, Peter Jackson, ‘Apollo 11′ Top Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations
Farm animals, the historic moon landing and World War I veterans back to vivid life top the nominations for the fourth annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards.

The Biggest Little Farm leads this year with seven nominations, including Best Documentary Feature, John Chester for Best Director and noms for Best Cinematography, Editing, Score, Narration and Science/Nature Documentary.

Recognized with six nominations each are Apollo 11 and They Shall Not Grow Old. The nominations for Apollo 11 are Best Documentary Feature, Todd Douglas Miller for Best Director, plus Editing, Score, Archival Documentary and Science/Nature Documentary, The nominations for They Shall Not Grow Old are Best Documentary Feature, Peter Jackson for Best Director, Editing, Score, Archival Documentary and Most Innovative Documentary.

One Child Nation received five nominations: Best Documentary Feature, Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang for Best Director, along with Editing, Narration, and Political Documentary.

The Cave, Honeyland, American Factor, Aquarela
See full article at Deadline »

Critics' Choice Doc Awards: 'Biggest Little Farm,' Aoc Film 'Knock Down the House,' Obama-Backed 'American Factory' Among Nominees

Critics' Choice Doc Awards: 'Biggest Little Farm,' Aoc Film 'Knock Down the House,' Obama-Backed 'American Factory' Among Nominees
The nominees for the fourth annual Critics' Choice Documentary Awards were announced Monday.

The Biggest Little Farm leads this year's nominations with seven, including for documentary feature, director, cinematography, editing, score, narration and science/nature documentary.

Apollo 11 and They Shall Not Grow Old follow closely behind with six noms each, with both being featured in the documentary feature and director categories.

One Child Nation received five mentions, including for documentary feature, director, editing, narration and political documentary.

Meanwhile, The Cave, Honeyland, American Factory, Aquarela and Sea of Shadows all received four noms each.

In addition to handing out awards including ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

‘Apollo 11,’ ‘Amazing Grace’ Selected for International Documentary Association Shortlist

  • Variety
The International Documentary Association has announced its shortlist for best feature, a category that includes “Apollo 11,” “American Factory,” “Diego Maradona,” “The Biggest Little Farm,” and the Aretha Franklin concert film “Amazing Grace.”

The 2019 awards will be presented during a ceremony at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles on Dec. 7. Up to 10 nominees in each of the categories will be selected from the shortlist and announced on Oct. 23, when nominees in all categories are announced. Ida members will have access to nominated films to vote for Best Feature and Best Short starting Nov. 4.

For the first time, the Ida will present an award for best director. Awards will be presented in the following categories: best feature, best short, best curated series, best episodic series, best multi-part documentary, best short form series, best audio documentary, David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award, best music documentary, best director, best cinematography, best editing, best writing,
See full article at Variety »

International Documentary Association Awards Shortlist Includes ‘Apollo 11,’ ‘The Cave,’ and ‘Honeyland’

The International Documentary Association (Ida) has revealed the 35th Annual Ida Documentary Awards shortlists for the Best Feature and Best Short categories, culled from 785 submissions: 375 documentary features, 153 documentary shorts, 124 documentary series, 89 student films, 44 podcasts, and 48 music documentaries. After winnowing down each list to up to ten nominees to be announced on Wednesday, October 23, online screeners will be accessible for viewing as of November 4, followed by the Ida membership voting.

The 2019 Awards will be presented at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles on Saturday, December 7. The Ida will bestow awards in 16 categories. This year, the Ida has changed how craft awards are selected: cinematographers, editors, writers and composers will do the honors. And for the first time, the Ida will present an award for Best Director.

The awards categories include Best Feature, Best Short, Best Curated Series, Best Episodic Series, Best Multi-Part Documentary, Best Short Form Series, Best Audio Documentary, David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award,
See full article at Indiewire »

International Documentary Association Awards Shortlist Includes ‘Apollo 11,’ ‘The Cave,’ and ‘Honeyland’

The International Documentary Association (Ida) has revealed the 35th Annual Ida Documentary Awards shortlists for the Best Feature and Best Short categories, culled from 785 submissions: 375 documentary features, 153 documentary shorts, 124 documentary series, 89 student films, 44 podcasts, and 48 music documentaries. After winnowing down each list to up to ten nominees to be announced on Wednesday, October 23, online screeners will be accessible for viewing as of November 4, followed by the Ida membership voting.

The 2019 Awards will be presented at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles on Saturday, December 7. The Ida will bestow awards in 16 categories. This year, the Ida has changed how craft awards are selected: cinematographers, editors, writers and composers will do the honors. And for the first time, the Ida will present an award for Best Director.

The awards categories include Best Feature, Best Short, Best Curated Series, Best Episodic Series, Best Multi-Part Documentary, Best Short Form Series, Best Audio Documentary, David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award,
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

‘Apollo 11,’ ‘Amazing Grace’ Make International Documentary Association Awards Short List

  • The Wrap
‘Apollo 11,’ ‘Amazing Grace’ Make International Documentary Association Awards Short List
The Aretha Franklin documentary “Amazing Grace,” the moon-mission chronicle “Apollo 11” and the first film from Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, “American Factory,” have made the short list for the International Documentary Association’s 2019 Ida Documentary Awards, the Ida announced on Thursday.

The announcement narrows the field to 30 feature films and 21 shorts that will move on to a second round of voting.

The IDA’s short list of 30 feature films contains 10 films that were on Doc NYC’s recent 15-film list of the year’s likeliest nonfiction awards contenders: “American Factory,” “The Apollo,” “Apollo 11,” “The Biggest Little Farm,” “The Cave,” “Diego Maradona,” “The Edge of Democracy,” “For Sama,” “Honeyland” and “One Child Nation.”

Additional films on the Ida’s list include “Amazing Grace,
See full article at The Wrap »

Turks & Caicos Fest To Open With Sundance Winner; British Production Guild Appoints Chair; Academy Museum Partners With Istituto Luce–Cinecittà – Global Briefs

  • Deadline
Turks & Caicos Fest To Open With Sundance Winner; British Production Guild Appoints Chair; Academy Museum Partners With Istituto Luce–Cinecittà – Global Briefs
Exclusive: The inaugural Turks and Caicos International Film Festival (Tciff) will open with Sundance Audience Award-winning documentary Sea of Shadows, executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. Pic follows a group of dedicated scientists, conservationists, investigative journalists, undercover agents and members of the Mexican navy who try to protect endangered sea species from Mexican drug cartels and Chinese traffickers. The Caribbean festival, which will have an environmental focus, runs 15 – 17 November 2019. Jonny Keeling, the executive producer of the BBC Natural History unit which produced hit series Planet Earth, Richard Curtis, and Emma Freud, will be among those taking part in panels. Rob Stewart’s film Sharkwater Extinction will screen at the Festival. There will also be an underwater filmmaking session with cameraman Duncan Brake.

The Production Guild of Great Britain has appointed producer Alex Boden (Cloud Atlas) as its newly appointed chair, as Production Controller Guy Barker steps down after four years in the role.
See full article at Deadline »

‘Apollo 11,’ ‘Diego Maradona,’ ‘Knock Down the House’ Are on the Awards Track, Says Doc NYC Short List

  • The Wrap
‘Apollo 11,’ ‘Diego Maradona,’ ‘Knock Down the House’ Are on the Awards Track, Says Doc NYC Short List
Next year’s Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature will go to “Apollo 11,” “The Cave,” “Diego Maradona,” “For Sama,” “Knock Down the House” or one of 10 other nonfiction films, if the track record for Doc NYC’s annual Short List proves to be as accurate as it has been in past years.

Those five films were included on the documentary festival’s 2019 list, along with “American Factory,” “The Apollo,” “Ask Dr. Ruth,” “The Biggest Little Farm,” “The Edge of Democracy,” “The Elephant Queen,” “The Great Hack,” “Honeyland,” “The Kingmaker” and “One Child Nation.”

All of the films will screen at this year’s festival, which runs in New York City from Nov. 6 through Nov. 15, and will be eligible for juried awards in four categories for the first time.

Doc NYC has been compiling its Short List, which identifies the documentaries that its programming team considers to be the year’s strongest awards contenders,
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Sea of Shadows’ Documentary Rides The Wave Of A Cinematic Aesthetic

Directed and shot by Richard Ladkani, Sea of Shadows centers on the multi-pronged attempts to save the vaquita porpoise, an endangered species that lives in the Sea of Cortez. Illegal nets are cast in the ocean to catch totoaba, a fish whose swim bladders are sold on the black market. With the Sinaloa drug cartel [...]

The post ‘Sea of Shadows’ Documentary Rides The Wave Of A Cinematic Aesthetic appeared first on Hollywood Outbreak.
See full article at Hollywood Outbreak »

Stunning ‘The Farewell’ Delivers the Top Specialized Opener of 2019

Stunning ‘The Farewell’ Delivers the Top Specialized Opener of 2019
In mid-summer, 2019 finally delivered a breakout specialized hit. Lulu Wang’s Sundance breakout “The Farewell” (A24), which is neither a documentary nor a wide release, drew a stellar response from arthouse moviegoers. Produced in America and set in China, this family dramedy marks one of the best platform openings ever for a film outside the year-end awards season. That the movie comes from a little-known director makes its initial response all the more gratifying. The standard arthouse release formula can still work.

Bleecker Street also scored better than average initial results for “The Art of Self Defense” with an eclectic set of initial theaters. A24 is on a roll, as “The Farewell” joins the still-limited “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” (A24) in fighting to keep the specialized narrative brand alive.

Opening

The Farewell (A24) – Metacritic: 89; Festivals include: Sundance, San Francisco 2019

$351,330 in 4 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $87,833

Lulu
See full article at Indiewire »

Mexican Journalist Carlos Loret de Mola Threatened by Narcos Over 'Sea of Shadows' Documentary

  • CineMovie
The new National Geographic documentary Sea Of Shadows brings to light the crisis at the border in Baja California as the native porpoise, the vaquitas are facing extinction because of the poaching of a rare fish by the Mexican drug cartel and the Chinese mafia. The netting is killing both the fish and the vaquitas, and only 15 of the dolphin-like creatures remain. One of the subjects of the documentary by director Richard Ladkani (The Ivory Game) is Mexican investigative journalist Carlos Loret de Mola who has been investigating the cartel behind it but he, along with the filmmakers and subjects of the documentary, have faced death threats from the narcos. We caught up with Carlos to talk about his role in Sea Of Shadows, and why it's important to act now.
See full article at CineMovie »

Awkwafina Leads ‘The Farewell’; Marc Maron Brandishes ‘Sword of Trust’: Specialty Box Office Preview

Awkwafina Leads ‘The Farewell’; Marc Maron Brandishes ‘Sword of Trust’: Specialty Box Office Preview
Awkwafina traverses two cultures in Lulu Wang’s Sundance ’19 hit The Farewell, which A24 opens in New York and Los Angeles this weekend. While the Specialty circuit was mostly on pause over the holiday weekend last week, the second weekend of July is seeing a notable group of indie/limited releases making its way to theaters. Filmmaker Lynn Shelton went straight comedy with Sword Of Trust starring Marc Maron, opening in New York ahead of other cities along with VOD the following week. Jesse Eisenberg, meanwhile, stars in The Art of Self-Defense by Riley Stearns. The Bleecker Street release will target audiences that skew younger than the company’s usual fare. National Geographic is launching doc Sea Of Shadows, also a Sundance premiere, in select locations, while Uncork’d Entertainment is opening writer-director Frederick Cipoletti’s Desolate with Will Brittain, Callan Mulvey and Tyson Ritter day and date with a multi-city theatrical bow.
See full article at Deadline »

Leonardo DiCaprio-Produced Doc ‘Sea of Shadows’ Takes on Mexican Cartels

  • Variety
Leonardo DiCaprio-Produced Doc ‘Sea of Shadows’ Takes on Mexican Cartels
Leonardo DiCaprio‘s latest eco-documentary “Sea of Shadows” doesn’t shy away from taking on Mexican cartels.

“For some of the guys there, he is state enemy number one at the moment,” said producer Wolfgang Knöpfler at the documentary’s premiere on Wednesday night at Neuehouse in Los Angeles. “The cartels don’t like him.”

Appian Way and DiCaprio executive produced the National Geographic documentary, which casts a spotlight on the little-known plight of the endangered vaquita, a species of porpoise that has become collateral damage in a poaching crisis raging in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. Mexican crime syndicates have partnered with the Chinese mafia in the illegal fishing of the native totoaba, whose bladders are believed to have miraculous healing powers and fetch prices upwards of $100,000 on the Chinese black market.

Ensnared in nets meant for the totoaba, with their natural habitat decimated, the vaquita numbers have dwindled to less than fifteen.
See full article at Variety »

‘Sea of Shadows’ Review: Riveting Documentary Spotlights Endangered Vaquita Porpoise

Directed by Richard Ladkani (The Ivory Game), Sea of Shadows is a riveting documentary that, while providing much needed information about an endangered species, is also an immersive storytelling experience.

There are only 15 vaquita porpoises that survive on this world, and they reside near the Sea of Cortez. Fisherman have cast their nets into the [...]

The post ‘Sea of Shadows’ Review: Riveting Documentary Spotlights Endangered Vaquita Porpoise appeared first on Hollywood Outbreak.
See full article at Hollywood Outbreak »
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