Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s On the Record, Hao Wu’s 76 Days and Nathan Grossman’s I Am Greta are a few of the films selected for DOC NYC’s features short list.
The festival also added two films to its previously announced Winner’s Circle lineup: The Mole Agent, directed by Maite Alberdi and produced by Marcela Santibáñez, and The Painter and The Thief, directed by Benjamin Ree and produced by Ingvil Giske.
Winner’s Circle was inaugurated last year to highlight films that have won major festival awards but might fly below the radar of American audiences. This year’s showcase includes 10 films.
With these announcements, DOC NYC will present 119 features and 100 short films as part of its 11th edition, taking place online Nov. 11 to 19.
DOC NYC’s features short list is a curation of non-fiction films that the festival’s programming team considers to be among the year’s strongest contenders for Oscars and other awards.
For the second year, the Short List: Features will vie for juried awards in four categories: directing, producing, cinematography and editing.
Last year’s winners in these categories were The Edge of Democracy (directing), American Factory (producing), Apollo 11 (editing), The Elephant Queen (cinematography) and For Sama (Special Recognition for Courage in Filmmaking).
“Our Short Lists and Winner’s Circle offer a guide to some of the most exciting non-fiction filmmaking of the year,” said DOC NYC artistic director Thom Powers in a statement. “In this disruptive year, many of these films lost festival opportunities, so taking the time to honor their achievements feels extra meaningful.”
The festival is also rolling out DOC NYC Live, a program of live daily conversations with filmmakers, as part of this year’s event.
Hosted on Facebook Live, guests expected to participate include Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer, along with festival filmmakers and subjects, including philosopher and activist Angela Davis (Since I Been Down), celebrity restaurateurs Guy Fieri, Marcus Samuelsson, Antonia Lofaso, Maneet Chauhan, and Christian Petroni (Restaurant Hustle 2020: All on the Line) and Alex Winter (Zappa), among others.
DOC NYC Live is co-presented by XTR on Nov. 11 and 12, and Hulu on Nov. 13.
The features short list, with synopses provided by DOC NYC, follow below:
76 DAYS (pictured)
Dir: Hao Wu, Weixi Chen, Anonymous
Prod: Hao Wu, Jean Tsien
A suspenseful, immersive look at life under COVID-19 lockdown in Wuhan, China, focused on front-line hospital workers and their patients. (Courtesy of MTV Documentary Films)
Dir/Prod: Jesse Moss, Amanda McBaine
An annual civics program reveals modern-day democracy in a microcosm as high school boys create a mock government in Austin, Texas. (Courtesy of Apple Original Films/A24)
Dir/Prod: Alexander Nanau
Prod: Bianca Oana, Bernard Michaux, Hanka Kastelicová
This riveting investigative film follows a team of Romanian reporters as they doggedly uncover a deadly scandal that reaches the highest levels of government. (Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures/Participant)
Dir/Prod: Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht
Prod: Sara Bolder
A chronicle of America’s disability rights movement and its origins in a liberating summer camp for disabled teens. (Courtesy of Netflix)
DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD
Dir/Prod: Kirsten Johnson
Prod: Katy Chevigny, Marilyn Ness
When the filmmaker’s 86-year-old father begins to lose his memory, she enlists him in a playful project to confront his mortality with a sense of humor. (Courtesy of Netflix)
Dir/Prod: Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, Eli Despres
Prod: Maya Seidler, Peggy Drexler, Kerry Washington
This inspiring and vital film follows lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union as they battle the Trump administration over cases of immigration, abortion, LGBTQ+ equality, and voting rights. (Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures/Topic)
Dir: Victor Kossakovsky
Prod: Anita Rehoff Larsen
A cinema vérité immersion into the experiences of several animals on a farm, focused on a sow and her new litter of piglets. (Courtesy of NEON)
I AM GRETA
Dir: Nathan Grossman
Prod: Cecilia Nessen, Fredrik Heinig
A portrait of Greta Thunberg’s meteoric one-year rise from high-school climate strike organizer to inspiration for a global movement. (Courtesy of Hulu)
Dir: Sam Pollard
Prod: Benjamin Hedin
Using recently declassified files, MLK/FBI examines J. Edgar Hoover’s relentless campaign of surveillance and harassment against Martin Luther King, Jr. (Courtesy of IFC Films)
ON THE RECORD
Dir/Prod: Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering
Prod: Jamie Rogers, Amy Herdy
This groundbreaking investigation of sexual assault in the music industry explores the complex factors that make it difficult for Black women to speak out and be heard. (Courtesy of HBO Max)
THE SOCIAL DILEMMA
Dir: Jeff Orlowski
Prod: Larissa Rhodes
An exposé of the insidious hidden systems of control behind our increasingly networked world, as revealed by former tech world insiders. (Courtesy of Netflix)
A THOUSAND CUTS
Dir/Prod: Ramona S. Diaz
Prod: Leah Marino, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn
A chilling look at the assault on fundamental democratic freedoms in the Philippines through the persecution of courageous journalist Maria Ressa. (Courtesy of PBS Distribution/FRONTLINE)
Dir/Prod: Garrett Bradley
Prod: Lauren Domino, Kellen Quinn
A moving chronicle of a marriage and a family separated by incarceration, focused on Fox Rich, who has spent 21 years fighting for the release of her husband from a 60-year prison sentence. (Courtesy of Amazon Studios)
THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS
Dir/Prod: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw
Enter the secretive world of the only people–and dogs–who are able to find the elusive white Alba truffle, the most expensive ingredient in the world. (Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics)
WELCOME TO CHECHNYA
Dir/Prod: David France
Prod: Alice Henty, Joy A. Tomchin, Askold Kurov
A courageous team of Russian activists operate an underground railroad to help LGBTQ+ Chechens escape state-sanctioned persecution (Courtesy of HBO Documentary Films/Music Box Films)