“Digital Dharma,” “Love Free or Die” among DocuWeeks picks

The International Documentary Association's DocuWeeks program to help filmmakers without distribution qualify for Oscar consideration is continuing despite changes to the Academy's rules. (Pictured: Digital Dharma: One Man's Mission to Save a Culture)
June 28, 2012

DocuWeeks, the International Documentary Association’s program to help filmmakers without distribution set up a theatrical run in New York or Los Angeles to qualify for Oscar consideration, is continuing this year despite changes to qualification rules.

Running from August 3-23 at New York’s IFC Center and August 10-30 at Los Angeles’ Laemmle NoHo 7, the 16th edition of the screening series includes 17 feature docs and 11 shorts from 19 countries.

The feature films include The Anderson Monarchs, Defiant Requiem, Digital Dharma: One Man’s Mission to Save a Culture (pitched at last year’s Realscreen Summit’s pitch competition and pictured above), Drought, Garden in the Sea (Jardín en el Mar), La Source, Love Free or Die, The Magic Life, Of Two Minds, Once In a Lullaby: The PS 22 Chorus Documentary, Out of the Clear Blue Sky, Ricky on Leacock, Trial By Fire: Lives Re-Forged, We Women Warriors (Tejiendo Sabiduría), Without A Net and Words of Witness.

The short films due to screen are The A-Word, Beauty CULTure, Cutting Loose, Jimmy, Kings Point, Open Heart, The Perfect Fit, The Record Breaker, as well as the PBS doc strand ‘POV”s StoryCorps Shorts Facundo the Great, Eyes on the Stars and Sundays at Rocco’s.

Under the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s new rules, documentaries must now be reviewed by either the Los Angeles Times or The New York Times to qualify for a nomination for the 2013 ceremony. The change could significantly reduce the number of docs submitted for Oscar consideration.

Last year, the Academy’s documentaries branch considered 124 films, a 23% increase from 101 films the prior year.

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