Festivals, Events and Awards

Sundance unveils its doc line-up; winners at IDFA; Etre et Avoir is recognized
December 5, 2002

The Sundance Film Festival has announced its lineup for 2003. Like last year, 16 films are being screened in the documentary competition: Capturing the Friedmans, directed by Andrew Jarecki; My Flesh and Blood, by Jonathan Karsh; The Weather Underground, by Sam Green and BillSiegel; What I Want My Words to Do to You, by Judith Katz, Madeleine Gavin, and Gary Sunshine; The Same River Twice, by Robb Moss; Bukowski: Born Into This, by John Dullaghan; Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, by Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer; The Murder of Emmett Till, by Stanley Nelson; Stevie, by Steve James; The Education of Gore Vidal, by Deborah Dickson; A Certain Kind of Death, by Blue Hadaegh and Grover Babcock; State of Denial, by Elaine Epstein; The Pill, by Chana Gazit and David Steward; Robert Capa: In Love and War, by Anne Makepeace; A Decade Under the Influence, by Richard LaGravenese and Ted Demme; and Tom Dowd and The Language of Music, by Mark Moormann.

The World Documentary films are Balseros, by Carlos Bosch and Josep Maria Domenec; The Day I Will Never Forget, by Kim Longinotto; Iran: Veiled Appearances, by Thierry Michel; The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams’ Applachia, by Jennifer Baichwal; Bus 174, by José Padilha; The Passion of María Elena, by Mercedes Moncada Rodríguez; Frescos, by Alexandr Gutman; To Live is Better Than to Die, by Weijun Chen; The Purified, by Jesper Jargil; and New Scenes From America, by Jorgen Leth.

Documentaries that will screen in the remaining programs are Born Rich, by Jamie Johnson; The Boys of 2nd Street Park, by Dan Klores and Ron Berger; DysFunKtional Family, by George Gallo; Stoked: the Rise and Fall of Gator, by Helen Stickler; An Injury to One, by Travis Wilkerson; Is the Crown at War With Us? by Alanis Obomsawin, and Pikutiskaau, by Shirley Cheechoo. Additionally, The Blues, by Martin Scorsese, Charles Burnett, Clint Eastwood, Mike Figgis, Marc Levin, Richard Pearce and Wim Wenders, featuring highlights from a seven-part documentary series, will be in the lineup of Special Screenings.

Sundance organizers showcased the higher-profile films that will be featured in the Premiere program, including Comandante, Oliver Stone‘s documentary on Fidel Castro.

The International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam wrapped on December 1, but not before a few awards were handed out. Among the winners were: Steve James’s Stevie (the VPRO Joris Ivens Award for best long documentary); Lech Kowalski’s On Hitler’s Highway (special jury award); and Interesting Times – the Secret of my Success, by Jichuan Duan (the Silver Wolf for best short documentary). The Amnesty International- DOEN award, awarded for the first time, was split between two films: The Day I Will Never Forget, by Kim Longinotto; and The Trials of Henry Kissinger, by Eugene Jarecki. Last but not least, Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine collected yet another audience award.

The European Film Academy and ARTE announced the winner of the Prix ARTE 2002 European Documentary Award: Etre et Avoir (To Be and To Have), by Nicolas Philibert. The award will be presented at the European Film Awards ceremony in Rome on December 7.

The first-ever Discop market held in China (November 27 to 29) had an impressive turnout, with 244 participants in the two-day event. Executives from China’s major regional Chinese broadcasters such as Beijing TV, Sichuan TV, and Shanghai TV were in attendance, meeting with international distributors and TV format creators. Planning for next year’s market is already under way.

Now till December 17, the Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and UCLA Film and Television Archive are presenting the 21st annual Contemporary Documentary series in Los Angeles, U.S. The program features the screening of Academy Award-nominated feature-length and short documentaries from the 2001 Oscars. For more information, visit

On December 5, the third edition of the Taiwan International Documentary Festival got under way. The biennial event showcases the work of Taiwanese doc-makers and include a program of Korean and Japanese docs, and an international doc competition. Among the films vying for the big prize are Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Mysterious Object at Noon and Israeli director David Fisher’s Love Inventory. A conference on documentary esthetics will be held at the tail end of the fest on December 14 and 15.

The second edition of the SCI-FI-London Science Fiction and Fantasty Film Festival will take place January 30 to February 2, 2003 in London, U.K. New this year is the Stranger Than Fiction documentary program, in which docs on ‘leading lights of the SF genre’ will be screened, including The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick and Life, the Universe and Douglas Adams. For more information, visit

The deadline for the South by Southwest Film Festival is December 9. The festival will be held March 7 to 15, 2003, in Austin, Texas, U.S. For more information, visit

The 2003 Banff Rockie Awards program competition is accepting submissions. The deadline for the Banff 2003 international program competition is February 21. There are 14 entry categories. For details, visit the website at

The Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival is under way in Nepal. The festival of mountain films, mountain people and mountain sports goes till December 8. Visit their site at

The Anchorage Film Festival takes place December 13 to 22 in Alaska, U.S. A list of the festival lineup, which includes 13 docs, can be found at

The door is open now for entries to the It’s All True International Documentary Festival, which will be held in Saõ Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from April 3 to 13. The deadline for submissions is January 10. For more info, go to

DocsBarcelona ended on November 9, having attracted 229 industry players from 18 different countries. Producers and directors from indie prodcos comprised the largest group of participants. The three panel discussions (mentioned in RealScreen Plus on October 31) saw some lively discussion, with Jesper Jargil’s doc The Purified, which looks at the success of the Dogme 95 manifesto, opening the session entitled ‘Documentary and Fiction’. The ‘Final Cut: They’ve Changed My Documentary’ session attracted the most interest with its debate on how great a role TV commissioners have in the final editing process of a film. For the full report, visit

About The Author
Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.