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Documentary Filmmaking: The 2019 Thread

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I've been toying with the idea of making a Documentary-centric thread, inspired by @Krissykins's year-encapsulating horror thread from last year, and I'm just now getting around to making the thread.


I want this thread to keep an eye on the documentaries that come out this year. I want that to happen because I think it'd be cool if we could watch the film form's growth play out over time. They'res a lot of buzzworthy titles coming out this year that have box office potential, but I doubt that the majority of them would end up with threads of their own.


This thread can also be used to gauge interest in the medium, and people can also share opinions and details on forthcoming films.


I plan on being a box office commentator in this thread, for docs both big and small.

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So I think discussion should definitely start with the Sundance Film Festival. Documentaries are widely expected to be hot ticket items throughout the festival, and there are many different docs that look extremely interesting, to say the least, such as "Leaving Neverland", which is said to reveal ugly truths about Michael Jackson's history of child abuse, and "Untouchable", which spills the beans on Harvey Weinstein.


If you have any opinions and views on the Sundance documentaries this far, don't be afraid to share!

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4 hours ago, TMP said:

Which Fyre Fest doc is gonna get the Oscar nom


59 minutes ago, Avatree said:

probably neither.


Yeah, if stuff like Weiner (about Anthony Weiner), the 2017 doc about Jane Goodall, and Won't You Be My Neighbor? all managed to get snubbed, then I think the Fyre Fest docs will have a tough time getting the nomination as well. The Academy has definitely skewed more artful and less populist for the majority of their nominees--this meaning that 3 out of 5 seem more artful, and the rest seem populist. But of course, then line between artful and populist, when it comes to documentaries, is usually very thin. I dunno.

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Well, I'll start talking about the Documentaries of Sundance, now that it's over;


"One Child Nation", a film about China's one child policy, ended up winning the Grand Prize in the U.S. documentary competition, while "Knock Down The House", about women running for congress (last year's congressional election, to be exact), won the U.S. audience award for documentaries. This makes a lot of sense to me, I think.


Other feature film documentaries that I think appeal to me, personally, are listed below:


  • Always in Season - A filmmaker (from my own hometown!!) investigates the hanging of an African American teenager, and the mother who believes her child was lynched.
  • Apollo 11 - A showcase of never-before seen restored footage of the 1969 Moon Landing.
  • David Crosby: Remember My Name - A film acquired by Sony Pictures Classics that discusses the life of music legend David Crosby.
  • Jawline - A film of present-day relevance that follows a small-town 16-year-old with millions of fans in the online streaming world.
  • Love, Antosha - A film about the life of actor Anton Yelchin.
  • The Magic Life of V - A Finnish-language film about Live Action Role Players.
  • Midnight Family - A film about Mexico City's late-night emergency response scene, in which the city only has about 40 official response vehicles, and members of the public cash in by offering unofficial emergency services.
  • Sea of Shadows - An Austrian thriller documenting the battle for the Sea of Cortez' ecosystem against the Chinese Mafia.
  • Tigerland - A nature documentary that discusses the dwindling population of Bengal Tigers.
  • Untouchable - A film about Harvey Weinstein's rise and fall, told from the perspective of the accusers.
  • Where's My Roy Cohn? - A film acquired by Sony Pictures Classics that discusses infamous 20th century politician Roy Cohn.


I'd probably be lucky to see even one of these, really. But I'm sure there's a few diamonds in the rough, here. There's bound to be some documentaries that become hits. I'm sure of it.

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Neon is releasing the space race documentary Apollo 11 very soon, much sooner than I expected. The film is likely to have its opening platform release on March 1st, and, knowing how successful Three Identical Strangers was for Neon, I'm sure they'll be releasing it into more and more theaters after that. I think this has solid potential to be a hit.

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8 minutes ago, Rorschach said:

That Leaving Neverland documentary sounds devastating as fuck. I don't think I'd be able to sit through the whole four hours of that. 


Me neither. It's on HBO soon, but I'm gonna skip it. I can take a two hour misery porn film, but not a four hour one.

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