The State of Cinema

A message from Curator of Film Dean Otto: 

Missing the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

This morning I woke up to find a calendar reminder for a flight that had been canceled earlier.  I was to have flown out to Durham, NC today for the opening of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and was to be joined by members of the Speed Cinephiles—our first trip together. On the day before the festival lineup was to be announced, the decision to suspend the festival was made.

They have just released the listing of the selections that would have included so many amazing films including Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar’s 9to5: The Story of a Movement that was screened as a work-in-progress at the Speed Cinema back in February.  I had been looking forward to seeing Christine Turner’s Betye Saar: Taking Care of Business, Shalini Kantayya’s Coded Bias, and Matt Wolf’s Spaceship Earth.

I was also excited to introduce the Cinephiles to some of the documentaries that I had seen at other film festivals recently like Maite Alberdi’s The Mole Agent, Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine’s Boys State, Susanne Regina Meures’ Saudi Runaway, and Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich’s Spit on the Broom.

Full Frame would have given our Cinephiles advance screenings of films upcoming at the Speed including Alexander Nanau’s gripping tale of a team of investigative journalists exposing governmental corruption in Collective, Ric Burns’ exploration of the fascinating life of a famed neurologist in Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, and the timely film following several ACLU civil rights attorney’s taking on tough cases addressing issues like access to reproduction health, transphobia, the census, and the Muslim travel ban in The Fight by Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, and Eli Despres.

Two years ago I served on a jury for the festival’s Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award and the prize was given to Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside’s documentary América about three brothers who agree to taken on the responsibility of caring for their beloved 93-year-old grandmother who is afflicted with dementia. You can view the film here.


National Theatre Live

Each week London’s National Theatre is offering a free program each week on Thursdays with Richard Bean’s One Man, Two Guvnors starring James Corden today.  The farce is based on Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters.


Sundance Co//ab Master Classes

Sundance is making a series of online master class presentations free for during a brief time and this includes presentations by documentary directors Roger Ross Williams (The Apollo) and Jennifer Fox (The Tale), writers Colleen Werthmann (The Daily Show with Trevor Noah) and Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead) and producer Jason Berman (Little Accidents).

Access to the sessions requires a membership (free) through the Sundance Co//ab