August 11, 2016 | POV’s daily list of essential reading for the documentary and independent filmmaking community.

Statement in Support of #RightToRecord
In response to an open letter by filmmaker David Felix Sutcliffe calling on the the documentary community to support targeted citizen journalists, the International Documentary Association published a statement calling on the Department of Justice to “investigate a troubling pattern of abuse of power: the pervasive harassment of citizens who use cameras and social media to document and distribute footage of law enforcement.” Over 40 filmmakers have signed the statement.
Read more | International Documentary Association

Why Film Is the Ideal Medium For Exploring Social Problems
While Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake was surprisingly awarded the Palme d’Or this May, many critics slammed the film (and Cannes judges) for its blunt portrayal of the disenfranchised worker. Few audiences dig being preached at, and Loach’s politics were seen to trump its storytelling. It should be no surprise then that the jobless were frequent fixtures at the 2016 Locarno Film Festival, portrayed by filmmakers from far-flung locations. Because cinema is an empathy machine, it’s the medium of choice to impart social messages.
Read more | IndieWire

The 20 Highest Grossing Indies of 2016 (A Running List)
The list only includes domestic (U.S. and Canada only, unless otherwise indicated) grosses for specialty films — indie, foreign and/or documentary — that opened in limited release (599 screens and under) in 2016 and/or were acquired for 2016 distribution at a film festival by an independent distributor or a studio. It also includes films that screened only as an Academy-qualifier in 2015. Grosses include all reported grosses up to August 9, 2016.
Read more | IndieWire

13 Things New Filmmakers Should Consider But Rarely Do
New and emerging filmmakers’ first thoughts—understandably—tend to center around technical stuff, like which camera to shoot with or editing software to use, or the end-game, like what are the coolest festivals to apply to. These are important, but there’s so much more that has to happen before you shoot a single frame. Here’s a shortlist of considerations that will help take you from novice to seasoned filmmaker.
Read more | No Film School

“Pioneers of African-American Cinema”: Black Filmmaking Aborning
From the perspective of cinema history — and American history, for that matter — there has never been a more significant video release than “Pioneers of African-American Cinema,” a five-disc collection funded with a Kickstarter campaign and released by Kino Lorber on Blu-ray and DVD. The set is devoted to the so-called race movies that featured all-black casts and were largely made by black filmmakers for black audiences beginning around World War I and continuing through the mid-20th century. This was the first alternative American cinema, the precursor to today’s independent films.
Read more | The New York Times

Go Behind the Scenes of the 4K Restoration of Edward Yang’s “A Brighter Summer Day”
Yi Yi, the first of Edward Yang’s films to receive distribution in the United States (in 2000), was also his last before the revered Taiwanese filmmaker died in 2007. Still, Yang’s 1991 epic A Brighter Summer Day, managed to find a fan base in the U.S. though it was available for decades only in abridged form on low-quality home video. In March, after an arduous restoration effort that spanned years, The Criterion Collection released A Brighter Summer Day on Blu-ray and DVD.
Read more | Nieman Lab

Upcoming festivals and deadlines
This Week

  • Open Call: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund 8/11

Next Week

  • Deadline: Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund 8/19

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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.