“Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band” to open DOC NYC ’19

Director Daniel Roher’s Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band will open DOC NYC this fall following the film’s world premiere at the 44th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in ...
October 10, 2019

Director Daniel Roher’s Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band will open DOC NYC this fall following the film’s world premiere at the 44th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September.

The film (pictured) follows Robertson from his early life in Toronto and on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve in Southern Ontario to the creation of legendary Canadian roots-rock group The Band.

Martin Scorsese, who will be awarded for his lifetime achievement at DOC NYC, served as executive producer with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard.

The documentary was also selected to open TIFF, where it was picked up by distributor Magnolia Pictures.

DOC NYC’s expanded 10th edition, dedicated to the memory of the late acclaimed filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, comprises 136 feature-length documentaries.

The Capote Tapes from director Ebs Burnough, which chronicles the life of American writer Truman Capote, will close the festival. Eva Orner’s Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Pedator, about the disgraced yoga teaching pioneer, has been selected as the festival’s Centerpiece presentation. Both films premiered worldwide at TIFF ’19.

DOC NYC’s slate includes 28 world premieres and 27 U.S. or North American premieres. The festival, which is curated in 21 sections, released its Short List Features and Winner’s Circle selections in September.

World premieres include: Joe Berlinger‘s The Longest Wave; Ngawang Choephel’s Ganden: A Joyful Land; Geeta Gandbhir’s Hungry to Learn; Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe’s He Dreams of Giants; Reiner Holzemer’s Martin Margiela: In His Own Words; Viva Van Loock’s Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope; Joe Piscatella’s Mai Khoi & the Dissidents; David Michaels’s Tyson; and Ira Deutchman’s Searching for Mr. Rugoff.

New strands introduced are: Masters, which features Barbara Kopple‘s latest film Desert One and Alan Berliner’s Letter to the Editor; Investigations, which spotlights investigative non-fiction; Green Screens, a spotlight on environmentally-focused films; and Food for Thought, which features culinary stories.

Returning sections include: Special Events, American Perspectives, International Perspectives, Portraits, Modern Family, New World Order, In the System, Fight the Power, Art and Design, Behind the Scenes and Sonic Cinema. Visit DOC NYC’s website to see the full lineup.

The selected films for the feature competition sections, Viewfinders and Metropolis, are listed below.

DOC NYC will run Nov. 6 to 15 at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village and Chelsea’s SVA Theatre and Cinépolis Chelsea in New York City.


Chèche Lavi (Looking for Life)
Dir: Sam Ellison

City Dream
Dir: Weijun Chen

The Human Factor
Dir: Dror Moreh

Love Child
Dir: Eva Mulvad

Sing Me A Song
Dir: Thomas Balmès

Symphony of the Ursus Factory
Dir: Jaśmina Wójcik
Screening with: Broken Orchestra, Dir: Charlie Tyrell

The Wind: A Documentary Thriller
Dir: Michal Bielawski


Brooklyn Inshallah
Dir: Ahmed Mansour

The Grand Unified Theory of Howard Bloom
Dir: Charlie Hoxie
Screening with: The Last Conversation, Dir: Sara Joe Wolansky

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me
Dir: Karen Bernstein

Lydia Lunch: The War is Never Over
Dir: Beth B

Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back
Dir: John Carluccio

On Broadway
Dir: Oren Jacoby

Pier Kids
Dir: Elegance Bratton

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is a special reports editor 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.