Docs

SXSW unveils docs lineup; “Garry Winogrand,” “Gospel of Eureka” among premieres

Sasha Waters’ Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable, Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri’s The Gospel of Eureka and Abby Epstein’s Weed The People are among the documentaries selected to screen at ...
February 1, 2018

Sasha Waters’ Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable, Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri’s The Gospel of Eureka and Abby Epstein’s Weed The People are among the documentaries selected to screen at the 25th edition of the SXSW Film Festival.

During the nine-day event, which runs from March 9 to 18 in Austin, Texas, 132 features will be shown, with additional titles yet to be announced.

The full lineup will include 44 films from first-time directors and 86 world premieres.

“2018 marks the 25th edition of the SXSW Film Festival and my 10th year at the helm,” said Janet Pierson, director of film with SXSW, in a statement. “As we look back on the body of work of talent discovered, careers launched and wonderful films we’ve enjoyed, we couldn’t be more excited about the future.

“This year’s slate, while peppered with works from many of our alumni, remains focused on new voices, new directors and a range of films that entertain and enlighten.”

Director Sasha Waters will be premiering Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable at the festival. The doc aims to provide insight into the life of acclaimed photographer Garry Winogrand.

Elsewhere, Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher’s The Gospel of Eureka is about a small Southern town that hosts a production of the last days of Christ in a gospel drag show.

Netflix will be presenting two doc projects at the festival: the feature doc Take Your Pills and doc series Rapture. Take Your Pills, which launches on March 16, examines how prescription stimulants are the defining drugs of this generation. The previously announced Rapture is an eight-episode series that takes a deep dive into the lives of iconic hip-hop artists. It launches on Netflix on March 30.

 

Below is a listing of the films screening as part of this year’s Documentary Feature Competition, as well as the Documentary Spotlight, 24 Beats Per Second, and Global sections, with descriptions provided by SXSW:

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

Chi-Town
Director: Nick Budabin
An underdog basketball player from Chicago goes on a meteoric rise to become one of the best college point guards in the nation. But while he pursues dreams of the NBA, his success contrasts with the effects of gun violence on his friends back home. (World Premiere)

Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable
Director: Sasha Waters
Freyer Artist. Iconoclast. Man of his time. All Things are Photographable is a revealing documentary portrait of the life and work of acclaimed photographer Garry Winogrand – the epic storyteller in pictures of America across three turbulent decades. (World Premiere)

The Gospel of Eureka
Directors: Michael Palmieri, Donal Mosher, Screenwriter: Donal Mosher
Faith, love and civil rights collide on voting day in a small Southern town that hosts a famous performance of the last days of Christ and an infamous gospel drag show. The new documentary by the award winning directors of October Country. (World Premiere)

¡Las Sandinistas! (Nicaragua, United States)
Director: Jenny Murray
¡Las Sandinistas! uncovers the disappearing stories of women who shattered barriers to lead combat and social reform during Nicaragua’s 1979 Sandinista Revolution, and who continue to lead Nicaragua’s current struggle for democracy and equality. (World Premiere)

People’s Republic of Desire (China)
Director: Hao Wu
In China’s popular live-streaming showrooms, three millennials – a karaoke singer, a migrant worker and a rags-to-riches comedian – seek fame, fortune and human connection, ultimately finding the same promises and perils online as in their real lives. (World Premiere)

Social Animals
Director: Jonathan Green, Screenwriters: Carol Martori, Jonathan Green, Peter Garriott
A daredevil photographer, an aspiring swimsuit model, and a midwest girl next door are all looking for the same things from their Instagram accounts––a little love, acceptance and, of course, fame––and they’ll do just about anything to get it. (World Premiere)

This One’s For The Ladies
Director: Gene Graham
This One’s For The Ladies explores the sexual and social identity of contemporary black America through intimate, eye opening and often hilarious accounts from women and men who find love and community in the underground world of exotic dancing. (World Premiere)

TransMilitary
Directors: Gabriel Silverman, Fiona Dawson, Screenwriters: Jamie Coughlin, Gabriel Silverman
At a time when transgender people are banned from serving in the U.S. military, four of the thousands of transgender troops risking discharge fight to attain the freedom they so fiercely protect. (World Premiere)

Weed The People
Director: Abby Epstein
Weed The People captures the uplifting and heart-wrenching struggles of families who treat their cancer-stricken children with marijuana, some with astonishing results. (World Premiere)

The World Before Your Feet
Director: Jeremy Workman
For over six years, Matt Green, 37, has been walking every street in New York City – a total of more than 8000 miles. The World Before Your Feet tells the story of one man’s unusual quest and the journey of discovery, humanity, and wonder that ensues. (World Premiere)

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT

Agave: The Spirit of a Nation (Mexico, United States)
Directors: Nicholas Kovacic, Matthew Riggieri, Screenwriter: Chantal Martineau
In Mexico, families have passed down the tradition of distilling agave for generations and now, this once obscure Mexican drink is everywhere. Discover, how one delicate plant has carried the weight of a nation and the people trying to protect it. (World Premiere)

Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes
Director: Robert Bader, Screenwriters: Robert S. Bader, Dick Cavett
The life and times of Muhammed Ali shown through the lens of his numerous appearances on The Dick Cavett Show. The film features new interviews with Dick Cavett, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Larry Merchant, as well as archival material from the Cavett Show. (World Premiere)

Alt-Right: Age of Rage
Director/Screenwriter: Adam Bhala Lough
In the first year of Trump’s Presidency, Daryle Lamont Jenkins, an Antifa activist, combats the rise of the Alt-Right movement, while Richard Spencer, an Alt-Right leader, fights to gain ground, culminating in a tragic showdown in Charlottesville. (World Premiere)

The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From A Mythical Man
Director: Tommy Avallone, Screenwriters: Tommy Avallone, Max Paolucci
One man’s journey to find meaning in Bill Murray’s many unexpected adventures with everyday people, rare and never-before seen footage of the comedic icon participating in stories previously presumed to be urban legend. (World Premiere)

Brewmaster
Director/Screenwriter: Douglas Tirola
Brewmaster follows a young ambitious New York lawyer who struggles to chase his American dream of becoming a brewmaster and a Milwaukee-based professional beer educator, as he attempts to become a Master Cicerone. (World Premiere)

Daughters of the Sexual Revolution: The Untold Story of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
Director: Dana Adam Shapiro
Daughters of the Sexual Revolution is the never-before-told story of Suzanne Mitchell, the fiercely-loyal den mother of the original Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. (World Premiere)

The Dawn Wall (Austria, United States)
Directors: Josh Lowell, Peter Mortimer
Legendary free climber Tommy Caldwell tries to get over heartbreak by scaling 3000ft of an impossible rock face: The Dawn Wall of El Capitan. (North American Premiere)

From All Corners (Japan)
Director: Ryusuke Okajima
Fuyuki Shimazu, the cardboard picker and artist, creates wallets made from used cardboard which he picks up from 25 countries. His wallets travel around the world to advocate the concept of “upcycling” which is the mind beyond recycling or re-use. (World Premiere)

Getting Over
Director/Screenwriter: Jason Charnick
A man discovers a box of interviews with his father, a lifelong heroin addict who died of AIDS in 1997. What he finds will uncover generations of family secrets, forcing him to redefine his own past, doubt his present, and question his future. (World Premiere)

Nossa Chape (Brazil, Colombia, United States)
Directors/Screenwriters: Jeff Zimbalist, Michael Zimbalist
Nossa Chape tracks the rebuilding of the Chapecoense football club in Brazil after an airplane carrying the team crashed on November 28th, 2016, and left all but three of the players dead. (World Premiere)

Operation Odessa
Director: Tiller Russell
The stranger-than-fiction true story of a Russian mobster, a Miami playboy, and a Cuban spy who teamed up in the early 90′s to sell a Soviet submarine to the Cali Carte. (World Premiere)

Take Your Pills
Director: Alison Klayman
Every era gets the drug it deserves. In America today, where competition is ceaseless from school to the workforce and everyone wants a performance edge, Adderall and other prescription stimulants are the defining drugs of this generation. (World Premiere)

Time Trial (United Kingdom)
Director: Finlay Pretsell
Time Trial takes us into the final races of cyclist David Millar’s career, leading to his last encounter with the Tour de France. The film reveals how the human spirit is driven by forces deeper than success and glory. (North American Premiere)

VISIONS
Visions filmmakers are audacious, risk-taking artists in the new cinema landscape who demonstrate raw innovation and creativity in documentary and narrative filmmaking.

Rukus
Director: Brett Hanover, Screenwriters: Brett Hanover, Alanna Stewart, Rukus
A hybrid of documentary and fiction, Rukus is a queer coming-of-age story set in the liminal spaces of furry conventions, southern punk houses, and virtual worlds.

 

24 BEATS PER SECOND
Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music & musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.

Elvis Presley The Searcher (Film 1 and 2)
Director: Thom Zimny
The documentary focuses on Elvis Presley as a musical artist. It explores how he accumulated his influences, deconstructs why his sound and his style were so revolutionary and examines the creative and personal struggles that preceded his death. (World Premiere)

If I Leave Here Tomorrow: A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd
Director: Stephen Kijak
The story of Lynyrd Skynyrd; The Greatest American Rock Band Ever. We fly beyond Free Bird to celebrate the life & times of leader Ronnie Van Zant, from boogie-woogie beginnings in Jacksonville’s Shantytown to a tragic end in a Mississippi swamp. (World Premiere)

Making the Grade (Ireland)
Director: Ken Wardrop
A feel-good musical journey of piano playing from absolute beginner through to accomplished pianist. (North American Premiere)

Milford Graves Full Mantis
Directors: Jake Meginsky, Neil Young (Co-Director)
Milford Graves Full Mantis weaves blistering performance footage from Europe, Japan, and the U.S. with a sublimely restrained, intimate glimpse into a world-renowned jazz percussionist’s singular voice and complex cosmology. (World Premiere)

The Potential of Noise – Conny Plank (Germany)
Directors: Stephan Plank, Reto Caduff, Screenwriters: Stephan Plank, Reto Caduff, Zisak Riemann
Movie about Conny Plank, the famous German music producer. (North American Premiere)

Rapture
Directors: Sacha Jenkins, Ben Selkow, Geeta Gandbhir, Steven Caple Jr., Marcus A. Clarke, Gabriel Noble
Rapture showcases the definitive impact of hip hop on global culture. Over 8 episodes featuring Nas, Dave East, T.I., Rapsody, Logic, G-Eazy, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, 2 Chainz and Just Blaze. (World Premiere)

Ruben Blades Is Not My Name (Panama)
Director/Screenwriter: Abner Benaim
Ruben Blades Is Not My Name portrays one of Latin America´s most beloved singer-songwriters in a journey across his 50-year career. In an intimate way, the film gives us a chance to get to know the artist, his music, and the stories behind them. (World Premiere)

A Tuba To Cuba
Directors: T.G Herrington, Danny Clinch, Screenwriter: T.G Herrington
A son seeking to fulfill his late father’s dream takes his band from the storied city of New Orleans to the shores of Cuba, where — through the universal language of music — dark and ancient connections between their peoples reveal the roots of jazz. (World Premiere)

GLOBAL
A diverse selection of international filmmaking talent, featuring innovative narratives, artful documentaries, premieres, festival favorites and more.

A Little Wisdom (Nepal)
Director: Yuqi Kang
See the world through the eyes of five-year-old Tibetan novice monk Hopakuli and share in his joys and sorrows as he endures the rigors of monastic life. A Little Wisdom endeavors to tell a story of children who find happiness through religious life. (North American Premiere)

Martyr (Lebanon)
Director/Screenwriter: Mazen Khaled
A young man’s tragic death at Beirut’s seaside causes his friends to grapple with loss and to partake in his community’s rites and ceremonies, exposing the city’s schisms and its society’s fault lines. Cast: Carol Abboud, Hamza Mekdad, Mostafa Fahs, Hady Bou Ayash, Rachad Nassereddine, Rabih el Zaher, Raneem Mourad (North American Premiere)

Rush Hour (Mexico, Turkey, United States)
Director: Luciana Kaplan
Rush Hour is an intimate approach to personal stories of three commuters who spend hours of their lives going from home to work and back, reflection a common reality shared by billions of people. (U.S. Premiere)

Theatre of War (Argentina)
Director/Screenwriter: Lola Arias
Theatre of War is an essay on how to represent war, performed by former enemies. British and Argentinian veterans of the Falklands war come together to discuss, rehearse and re-enact their memories 35 years after the conflict. (U.S. Premiere)

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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