August 24, 2016 | POV’s daily list of essential reading for the documentary and independent filmmaking community.

A Film Portrait of James Foley: ‘Jim Was a Kid Who Loved Adventure’
On 19 August 2014, the world found out where and how James Foley’s life ended via a video posted on YouTube entitled “A Message to America”. Jim: The James Foley Story is a new documentary about the life and last days of James Foley. It’s an intimate, moving portrait – nominated this month for an Emmy – made through interviews with his family, friends and fellow hostages, though it’s not until the very end of the film, when his brother, Michael, addresses the nameless person behind the camera, that you realize just how intimate it is.
Read more | The Guardian »

Life Is Beautiful In The ‘Cameraperson’ Trailer, Which Introduces A Filmmaker’s Globe-Trotting Diary
Kristen Johnson has spent more than two decades behind cameras. As a documentary cinematographer, she has traveled to Darfur, Brooklyn, Afghanistan, Missouri, Texas, Nigeria and Bosnia, capturing life in its varied forms. Over the years, Johnson collected a number of intimate outtakes that now comprise Cameraperson, a new documentary that doubles as her life’s memoir.
Read more | The Huffington Post »

What Was The Best Film Of Summer 2016? — IndieWire Critics Survey
Film critics pick the best movies of a long season at the multiplexes. What was the best film of summer 2016? Mandy documentaries are on the list, including Penny Lane’s Nuts!, James Solomon’s The Witness, Robert Greene’s Kate Plays Christine, Josh Kriegman’s Weiner, etc.
Read more | IndieWire »

5 Questions About Frederick Wiseman With KJ Relth, Director of Programming, The Cinefamily
Frederick Wiseman’s documentaries follow a subtly recognizable house style. They are immersive and famously unobtrusive studies of mostly American institutions, capturing the interplay between people and structures while avoiding on-camera interviews and voiceover editorializing. However understated, his work reflects an empathic, intelligent point of view through careful editing.
Read more | IDA »

“Shorter is Better”: Sundance Programmer Mike Plante Offers Advice on Short Film Strategy at the Sundance NEXT Festival
A calling card to showcase proficiency and ambition, a vehicle to find resources for a larger project, or simply the most appropriate, or simply cost effective, way to tell a story, short films continue to be crucial for the development and discovery of emerging storytellers. Today, festivals are receiving more and more short film submissions, making standing out from the pack increasingly important and difficult. During the Sundance NEXT Fest, Senior Short Film Programmer for the Sundance Film Festival, Mike Plante, offered advice on how filmmakers can use festivals as a tool for their success.
Read more | Filmmaker Magazine »

“Rats,” “Life, Animated” set for Camden Int’l Film Fest
Roger Ross Williams’ Life, Animated (pictured), Alex Gibney’s Zero Days and Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson are among the more than 70 films that will be screened at the 12th annual Camden International Film Festival (CIFF). Scheduled to run September 15 to 18 in Camden, Rockport and Rockland, Maine, CIFF is also home to the Points North Documentary Forum, which hosts a lineup of master classes, roundtables, and panels, and will announce its fellows on Thursday (August 25).
Read more | Realscreen »

Upcoming festivals and deadlines

  • Deadline: DOK Hackathon & Prototype Jam 8/28
  • 73rd Venice International Film Festival 8/31 – 9/10
  • Deadline: IDFA Crossmedia Forum 9/1
  • Deadline: Fusion Project Earth Documentary Challenge 9/1

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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.