DOC NYC to honor Demme, Nelson, Thompson

The seventh annual edition will open with Citizen Jane: Battle for the City and award Stanley Nelson (left), Molly Thompson (center) and Jonathan Demme (right).
August 25, 2016

DOC NYC will open this year with Citizen Jane: Battle for the City and honor Jonathan Demme (pictured, right), Stanley Nelson (left) and A&E IndieFilms’ Molly Thompson (center) with awards.

The seventh annual documentary festival will kick off with Matt Tyrnauer‘s film about late urban activist Jane Jacobs’ battle to save New York’s Greenwich Village, Soho and Little Italy neighborhoods from being torn down and replaced with expressways and housing projects.

“We couldn’t pick a more fitting film for New York City,” said DOC NYC artistic director Thom Powers in a statement. “We take inspiration from Jane Jacobs’ belief in the power of culture to enrich a community.”

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City will make its U.S. debut at DOC NYC following its world premiere screening at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.

The festival will also present directors Jonathan Demme and Stanley Nelson with Lifetime Achievement Awards as part of the annual Visionaries Tribute lunch, which takes place on November 10.

Demme, whose Justin Timberlake concert doc JT + The Tennessee Kids is bowing at TIFF, has helmed several non-fiction films over the years, including Stop Making Sense, Swimming to Cambodia and Neil Young: Heart of Gold.

Meanwhile, Nelson founded the New York-based organization Firelight Media and has directed docs such as The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Freedom Riders, Wounded Knee, and Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple.

Past DOC NYC Lifetime Achievement recipients include Jon Alpert, Chris Hegedus, Barbara Kopple, Albert Maysles, D.A. Pennebaker and Frederick Wiseman.

Also, the festival will present its Leading Light award to A&E IndieFilms founder Molly Thompson. The honor goes to a mid-career professional who has served documentary in a role other than filmmaking. As the head of A+E Studios’ feature doc division she has produced films such as Cartel Land, The Imposter, Life, Animated, The September Issue and Murderball, among many others.

The Visionary Tribute honorees are selected by the festival programming team based on recommendations from members of the Visionaries Host Committee.

This year’s DOC NYC runs from November 10 to 17. Festival screenings and events will take place at IFC Center, Cinepolis Chelsea and the SVA Theatre.

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