August 18, 2016 | POV’s daily list of essential reading for the documentary and independent filmmaking community.

Requiem for an Old-School Arcade
When it shut down in 2011, Chinatown Fair was said to be the last of its kind in Manhattan. The Lost Arcade, a documentary by first-time director Kurt Vincent, offers a valentine to the gritty Lower East Side storefront that served as a spiritual home for competitive gamer and arcade enthusiasts.
Read more | The Wall Street Journal »

7 Documentaries That Lead to Real Life Change
News recently broke that Brendan Dassey’s conviction was overturned. This comes after Netflix’s Making a Murderer documentary series took a long look at the murder case involving Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery and brought many of the questions back to the surface. Here are some other times films and series helped lead to change.
Read more | Variety »

Are Shorts the Future of Commercials?
Today, extensions like Adblock Plus can effectively remove commercials from a user’s internet experience. So, what’s a company to do in order to get its message across in this hostile climate? In May, the tech company Qualcomm released Lifeline, a 30-minute short film conceived, written, and directed by Oscar-winning Birdman screenwriter Armando Bo. The film was made to entertain— as well as, according to The New York Times, “promote the company’s new Snapdragon 820 chip set, a smartphone processor.”
Read more | No Film School »

NYFF54 Projections Lineup of Avant-Garde Films Announced
The lineup has been announced for the Projections section of the 54th New York Film Festival, to take place October 7-9. The slate is comprised of 11 programs presenting an international selection of film and video work that expands upon notions of what the moving image can do and be. Drawing on a broad range of innovative modes and techniques, including experimental narratives, avant-garde poetics, crossovers into documentary and ethnographic realms, and contemporary art practices, Projections brings together a diverse offering of short, medium, and feature-length work by some of today’s most vital and groundbreaking visual artists.
Read more | Film Society Lincoln Center »

The Strange Filmmaking Career Of Trump’s New Campaign CEO
Stephen K. Bannon, who was named the CEO of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign on Wednesday, isn’t just a former investment banker turned executive chairman of Breitbart News. He’s also a filmmaker. Bannon first dipped a toe into the movie biz in the ’90s, as an executive producer on Julie Taymor’s Shakespeare adaptation Titus and on The Indian Runner.
Read more | Buzzfeed »

Highlights from our Documenting Impact discussion on The Look of Silence
Last month, Media Impact Funders had the opportunity to sit down with filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer and Rebecca Lichtenfeld, director for social impact at the Bertha Foundation, to discuss The Look of Silence, an incredible documentary by Oppenheimer that focuses on Indonesia more than 50 years after its 1965 genocide. The discussion was the latest in their Documenting Impact series, which features in-depth conversations with filmmakers, funders and impact producers about the most pressing social issues of our time.
Read more | Media Impact Funders »

United Nations to feature FRONTLINE’s Children of Syria on Aug. 19
This week, the United Nations (U.N.) will hold a special event commemorating World Humanitarian Day – and the refugee family at the heart of FRONTLINE’s 2016 documentary Children of Syria will be featured guests. Held in the U.N.’s General Assembly Hall on Friday, August 19, from 7-9 p.m. (and streaming live online).
Read more | PBS »

NPR Website To Get Rid Of Comments
NPR is making an announcement today that is sure to upset a loyal core of its audience, those who comment online at (including those who comment on this blog). As of Aug. 23, online comments, a feature of the site since 2008, will be disabled.
Read more | NPR »

Upcoming festivals and deadlines

  • Deadline: Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund 8/19
  • Deadline: DOK Hackathon & Prototype Jam 8/28
  • 73rd Venice International Film Festival 8/31 – 9/10

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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.