New York FF: Spotlight on Documentary

More news from NY, where the 53rd edition of New York Film Festival takes place September 25 to October 11. I have written about the world premiere of Laura Israel’s film on Robert Frank, that is placed in the Main Slate competition of the festival – but there is also a ”Spotlight on Documentary” that is very attractive. It has the following introduction on the site of the festival:

Documentaries come in all shapes, sizes, and tones: compressed and expansive, eclectic portraits and vérité canvases, objective examinations and works of passionate advocacy… This year’s Spotlight on Documentary represents the entire spectrum of nonfiction cinema… and (my comment) is this not a fine description of the reason for the popularity of the genre in these years?

11 films are there, to mention some: Wiseman with ”In Jackson Heights” (said to be ”one of New York City’s liveliest and most culturally diverse neighborhoods”), Stig Björkman’s ”Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words” (for the Danes: premieres in Copenhagen this coming thursday), the recently DocAlliance awarded ”Homeland” by Abbas Fahdel is listed, Pamela Yates portrays legendary Haskell Wexler in ”Rebel Citizen”… but maybe the title that raises most curiosity is ”Field of Vision” by Laura Poitras, description like this: A selection of short-form episodic works, including installments of Asylum, in which Laura Poitras (whose CITIZENFOUR had its world premiere at last year’s NYFF) shadows WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as he publishes classified diplomatic cables and seeks asylum in London’s Ecuadorian embassy.

Photo taken at the Amdoc Festival in Palm Springs in March this year, Wexler (left) with colleague Frederic Goodrich.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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