June 16, 2016 | POV’s daily list of essential reading for the documentary and independent filmmaking community.

Award Winners of Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016 Revealed
One of the many highlights of this year’s edition of Sheffield Doc/Fest was the first ever to be presented Whicker’s World Funding Award. The winning projects were Burma’s Lost Royals by Alex Bescoby (£80,000) and, as a runner-up, Americaville by Adam James Smith (£10,000). Both projects are in development and previously participated in the Whicker’s world pitching workshop, which had been presented by EDN Director Paul Pauwels, who also moderated the final pitch.
Read more | European Documentary Network »

American Black Film Festival celebrates 20 years
Years ago Jeff Friday attended the Sundance Film Festival, looked around and did not see black people represented. So he decided to do something about it. On Wednesday the annual American Black Film Festival begins in Miami. Now Hollywood looks very different, but it still grapples with some of the same issues of diversity as it did when the festival launched 20 years ago.
Read more | CNN »

Video of Orlando shooter emerges in footage for BP oil spill documentary
Omar Mateen, the gunman who killed 49 people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, appeared in the 2012 BP oil spill documentary The Big Fix. It shows him working as a security guard at a cleanup site in Florida and telling a woman who pulls up to his guard booth that everyone is ‘hoping for more oil to come out and more people to complain so they’ll have the jobs.’
Read more | The Guardian »

New Documentary Reveals Another Side Of The Subway Showtime Dancers
We Live This is a short film that focuses on four young, Brooklyn based performers who gained fame for dancing on subway trains. The film has won a number of awards on the festival circuit, and lets them tell their own stories regarding why they are underground. One, who explains he is homeless, says: “As I dance on the train, I think about where I’m sleeping that night. Who should I call? Who’s going to pick up? People have their own problems… their own lives.” Another describes what they are doing as “panhandling,” noting, “I’m begging without words… I’m begging with a smile, not begging with a frown.”
Read more | Gothamist »

‘Documentary Now!’ Stands Out in the Emmys’ Variety Sketch Race
Inspired by “The Thin Blue Line,” the fourth episode of IFC’s inventive, erudite “Documentary Now!” — from the frenzied imaginations of director Rhys Thomas and “Saturday Night Live” alumni Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and Seth Meyers — mimics the filmmaker’s work so precisely that it comes to resemble an X-ray, showing the bone structure of his distinctive style while (gently) poking fun at it. In this sense, to describe “Documentary Now!” as a parody is to undersell: It’s a wildly funny act of criticism, deconstructing the mechanics of nonfiction in an age defined by the slippage between “reality” and the real.
Read more | IndieWire »

Upcoming festivals and deadlines
This Week

  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival, New York 6/10-6/19
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival 6/15-6/26
  • Sheffield Doc/Fest: Sheffield International Documentary Festival 6/10-6/15
  • POV’s Call for Entries Closes 6/15

Next Week

  • Edinburgh International Film Festival 6/15-6/26

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POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 400 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.