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2010–2011 Contemporary Documentaries-Part 1


2010–2011 Contemporary Documentaries

A Survey of Outstanding Recent Work in the Documentary Field

Part One: September 22nd to November 17th

The 29th annual Contemporary Documentaries series is a showcase for feature-length and short documentaries drawn from the 2009 Academy Award nominations, including the winners, as well as other important and innovative films considered by the Academy that year. Part One is presented between September 22 and November 17th, 2010. The schedule and specific screening dates for Part Two, which runs from late March through early June 2011, will be announced in February 2011.

All films in the series screen at the Linwood Dunn Theater at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. The filmmakers will be present at screenings whenever possible. Admission for all screenings is free.

Wednesday, September 22nd at 7 p.m.

China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province
Directed by Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill
A look at the devastating aftermath of the 2008 earthquake that killed nearly 70,000 people, including many children crushed by school buildings. The film follows parents coming to terms with their loss and challenging government officials to explain the inadequate construction. Digital. 39 mins. Academy Award nominee: Documentary Short Subject

The Cove
Directed by Louie Psihoyos
In a sleepy lagoon off the coast of Japan, one of the most secretive and horrific crimes against nature occurs. A team of divers, activists, filmmakers and special effects experts stop at nothing to tell the world what is happening to the dolphins in “The Cove.” 35mm. 94 mins. Academy Award winner: Documentary Feature

Wednesday, October 6th at 7 p.m.

Valentino The Last Emperor
Directed by Matt Tyrnauer
At the heart of this documentary, covering the final two years of designer Valentino Garavani’s career, is the enduring 50-year partnership of Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti. 35mm. 97 mins.

The September Issue
Directed by R.J. Cutler
Anna Wintour, the legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine for over 20 years, is the most powerful and polarizing figure in fashion. Hidden behind her trademark bob and sunglasses, she has never allowed anyone to scrutinize the inner workings of her magazine…until now. Digital. 90 mins.

Wednesday, October 13th at 7 p.m.

Garbage Dreams
Directed and produced by Mai Iskander
“Garbage Dreams” follows three teenage boys born into the trash trade in one of the world’s largest garbage villages, located in Cairo. When they are suddenly faced with the globalization of their trade, each boy is forced to make choices that will impact his future and their community’s survival. 35mm. 79 mins.

Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders
Directed by Mark N. Hopkins
Filmed in war-torn Liberia and Congo, the film follows four volunteer doctors as they confront the limits of humanitarian idealism in extreme conditions. Digital. 93 mins.

Monday, October 20th at 7 p.m.

The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner
Directed by Daniel Junge
Former Washington Governor Booth Gardner’s last campaign is the most difficult of his career – convincing the voters of his state to legalize assisted suicide while fighting a personal battle against Parkinson’s disease. Digital. 38 mins. Academy Award nominee: Documentary Short Subject

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
Directed and produced by Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith
In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a leading Vietnam War strategist, leaks 7,000 pages of top-secret documents to The New York Times, a daring act of conscience that leads directly to Watergate, President Nixon’s resignation and the end of the Vietnam War. 35mm. 94 mins. Academy Award nominee: Documentary Feature

Q&A with directors and producers Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith.

Wednesday, November 3rd at 7 p.m.

Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak
Directed by Lance Bangs, Spike Jonze
Directors Spike Jonze and Lance Bangs capture a playful, intimate and poignant portrait of children’s writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak. From early sketches to his most celebrated book, Where the Wild Things Are, the film reveals the provocative imagination that has spawned over 50 years of work. Digital. 39 mins.

The Beaches of Agnès
Directed and produced by Agnès Varda
A reflection on art, life and the movies, this documentary is a richly cinematic self-portrait that touches on everything from the feminist movement and the Black Panthers to the films of Varda’s husband Jacques Demy and the birth of the French New Wave. 35mm. 110 mins.

Wednesday, November 17th at 7 p.m.
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant
Capitalism: A Love Story