Extra: Otto Bell upped to CCO of CNN’s Courageous ; Hot Docs invites audiences to Pitch In

Otto Bell elevated to CCO of CNN’s Courageous studio Otto Bell has been promoted to chief creative officer of CNN’s Courageous — Turner’s first-ever branded studio. In this new role, he will continue to shepherd ...
September 20, 2017

Otto Bell elevated to CCO of CNN’s Courageous studio

Otto Bell has been promoted to chief creative officer of CNN’s Courageous — Turner’s first-ever branded studio.

In this new role, he will continue to shepherd the creation of brand storytelling across CNN, HLN and Great Big Story.

Based in New York, Bell reports to Michal Shapira, SVP of news content partnerships, Turner Ignite.

Before joining Turner, the exec was the creative director and a founding member of Ogilvy Entertainment. During his eight-year stint at Ogilvy, he developed, produced and directed television and digital campaigns across five continents for a variety of brands.

Bell also debuted his first feature documentary, The Eagle Huntress, at Sundance in 2016, and was named one of Variety’s “Top 10 Directors to Watch.”

SFFilm unveils winners of 2017 Documentary Film Fund

The San Francisco International Film Festival has unveiled the winners of its 2017 Documentary Film Fund.

The fund, totaling US$125,000, supports feature-length documentaries in postproduction. Since its launch in 2011, the fund has distributed nearly half a million dollars to advance new work by filmmakers. It expanded this year, doubling the number of supported projects to six.

Winners include Assia Boundaoui’s The Feeling of Being Watched; RaMell Ross’ Hale County, This Morning, This Evening; Leslie Tai’s How to Have an American Baby; Luke Lorentzen’s Midnight FamilyHeaven Through the Back Door by Anna Fitch and Banker White; and A Machine to Live In by Yoni Goldstein and Meredith Zielke.

Hot Docs invites public to Pitch In

Toronto-based Hot Docs has a new initiative aimed at helping filmmakers finance their projects.

Modelled after the Hot Docs Forum, the co-financing pitch event at the annual Hot Docs Festival, Pitch In will see three filmmaking teams present a 10-minute pitch of their current project to the audience.

The three projects are Blue Box by director Michal Weits; The Hottest August from Brett Story; and P J Raval’s Untitled Jennifer Laude Documentary.

The event will also highlight two short introductory pitches from emerging directors Zaynê Akyol and Aisha Jama.

Following a moderated discussion on the films’ subjects by Hot Docs Forum producer Dorota Lech, invited audience members will have the chance to financially contribute at the event to support each production.

Pitch In will take place at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, on Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. ET/PT and is open to Hot Docs Members and other invited guests.

Cinema Eye announces 2018 Short List

The annual Cinema Eye Honors has named ten short documentaries as semi-finalists for the Nonfiction Short Filmmaking Award.

From this list, five or more films will be named as nominees for the Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking Honor. Nominees will be announced in San Francisco during SFFILM Doc Stories.

The winner will be announced at the 11th Annual Cinema Eye Honors Ceremony at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens on Jan. 11, 2018.

The announcement of the annual Cinema Eye Shorts List was made this weekend at the 2017 Camden International Film Festival (CIFF), a partner and sponsor of the Cinema Eye Honors.

The ten Shorts List semi-finalists for Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking are:

10 Meter Tower (Sweden)
Directed by Maximilian Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson

Commodity City (USA/China)
Directed by Jessica Kingdon

Directed by Laura Checkoway

Fish Story (UK)
Directed by Charlie Lyne

Heroin(e) (USA)
Directed by Elaine McMillion

Sheldon Little Potato (USA)
Directed by Wes Hurley and Nathan Miller

La Pesca (Columbia/Canada)
Directed by Pablo Alvarez Mesa and Fernando Lopez Escriva

Polonaise (Poland)
Directed by Agnieszka Elbanowska

Project X (USA)
Directed by Laura Poitras and Henrik Moltke

The Rabbit Hunt (USA)
Directed by Patrick Bresnan

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is a staff writer at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.