Silverdocs slates “Plague,” “Versailles,” “Imposter”

The AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival has now unveiled the remainder of its full schedule, which includes How to Survive a Plague (pictured), The Queen of Versailles, Brooklyn Castle, The Imposter and The House I Live In.
May 29, 2012

Having previously named its opening and closing night docs, the AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival has now unveiled the remainder of its schedule, which includes How to Survive a Plague (pictured), The Imposter, The Queen of Versailles and The House I Live In.

The 1oth edition of the festival will present 114 films, selected from 2,018 submissions, and includes the centerpiece screening of David France’s How to Survive a Plague, which looks at the earliest days of AIDS activis,; Benjamen Logan and Mandy Stein’s music doc Bad Brains: A Band in DC; an outdoor screening of the Paul Simon-focused, Joe Berlinger-helmed doc Under African Skies; and closing night film Big Easy Express.

Taking place in Silver Spring, Maryland from June 18-24, the fest opens with Ramona Diaz’s Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey and the following day sees Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky honored at the festival’s Charles Guggenheim Symposium for their collective and individual contributions to the documentary genre.

Their credits include Brother’s Keeper, Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, Paradise Lost 2: Revelations, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster and the Academy Award-nominated Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory.The filmmaking duo will be joined by recently freed “West Memphis 3″ member Jason Baldwin, the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s director of digital strategy Eugene Hernandez, and others to discuss Berlinger and Sinofsky’s career.

Films in the U.S. feature competition include Jason Mann and Cecily Pingree’s Betting the Farm, following a band of farmers that created their own organic milk company; Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall’s Call Me Kuchu, which explores the struggles of the LGBT community in Uganda; David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s Downeast, on a town of unemployed sardine factory workers betting on a new lobster processing facility; and Eugene Jarecki’s The House I Live In, which looks at America’s long-running war on drugs.

Other docs in the competition include Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims’ Only the Young; Ross McElwee’s Photographic Memory; Tom Bean and Luke Poling’s Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself; Paul Lovelace and Jessica Wolfson’s Radio Unnameable; Scott Thurman’s The Revisionaries; Maya Stark and Adi Lavy’s Sun Kissed; Rob and Lisa Fruchtman’s Sweet Dreams; and Peter Nicks’ The Waiting Room.

The judges for the category are Heather Courtney (Where Soldiers Come From); Marshall Curry (If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front); and Adella Ladjevardi, Cinereach’s grants manager.

The Sterling world feature competition includes Wojciech Staron’s Argentinian Lesson, Jonah Bekhor and Zach Math’s The Final Member, Alexa Karolinski’s Oma & Bella, Seung-Jun Yi’s Planet of Snail, Helena Trestikova’s Private Universe, Jukka Kärkkäinen and J-P Passi’s The Punk Syndrome, and Fernand Melgar’s Special Fight (Vol Special).

Jeröme le Maire’s Tea or Electricity, Mirjam Von Arx’s Virgin Tales, Victor Kossakovsky’s ¡Vivan Las Antipodas! and Nisha Pahuja’s Tribeca Film Festival winner The World Before Her are also included in the competition.

The world feature jury is made up of Charlotte Cook, Hot Docs director of programming; Jigar Mehta, co-founder of the Collaborative Documentary Project; and filmmaker Stephanie Wang-Breal (Wo Ai Ni Mommy [I Love You Mommy]).

In the Silver Spectrum selection of films, documentaries include festival favorites Alison Klayman’s Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Katie Dellamaggiore’s Brooklyn Castle, Jeff Orlowski’s Chasing Ice, Yung Chang’s China Heavyweight, Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing’s Detropia, Lauren Greenfield’s The Queen of Versailles and Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugar Man.

Other Silver Spectrum docs include Mads Brügger’s The Ambassador, Neil Berkeley’s Beauty is Embarrassing, Katja Gauriloff’s Canned Dreams, Jeffrey Kimball’s The Central Park Effect, Bart Layton’s The Imposter, Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, Matthew Akers’ Marina Abramovic The Artist is Present, Julie Wyman’s Strong!,  Brian Knappenberger’s We Are Legion: The Story of Hacktivists, and Bill and Turner Ross’ Tchoupitoulas, among others.

Among the titles screening during the Sterling Short Film Competition are Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman’s A Brief History of John Baldessari, Sean Dunne’s American Juggalo, Georgia Gruzen’s Fanuzzi’s Gold, Andy Taylor Smith’s If Himmler Played Guitar, Caleb Slain’s It Ain’t Over, Sari Gilman’s Kings Point, Kevin Gordon’s Manufactured Fortunes, Cynthia Wade’s Mondays at Racine, and Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s Sparkle.

The short film jury is made up of Lisa Collins (Oscar’s Comeback), Tribeca Film Festival programmer Cara Cusumano, and Basil Tsiokos, programming associate at the Sundance Film Festival. The festival also includes a five-day Documentary Conference.

“This year, fittingly for a festival that has united art and insight for a decade, there are a substantial number of films focusing on the creative process,” said Sky Sitney, Silverdocs festival director. “We are particularly proud to showcase the latest work by documentary luminaries, while introducing new filmmakers to our highly engaged audiences and guests from around the globe.”

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.