August 15, 2016 | POV’s daily list of essential reading for the documentary and independent filmmaking community.

Love and squalor: How Grey Gardens Changed the Documentary Genre
A 40th anniversary celebration of the documentary Grey Gardens in the Hamptons seems an appropriate moment to look at it again, not least because its protagonists, “Big Edie” and “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale, themselves seem to live approximately 40 years in the past. Grey Gardens made quite a splash on its initial release, and not always in a good way. The Maysles brothers were accused of exploiting their subjects and betraying the tenets of the “direct-cinema” movement to which they were deemed to belong.
Read more | The Guardian »

NEXT Fest 2016 Filmmakers on Accepting Financial Limitations in Exchange for Freedom to Make Uncompromising Cinema
To fuel their tentpole machines, studios have gotten into the habit of poaching successful independent filmmakers to direct (or at least assume the role of the director in a ceremonial way on) their most valuable franchises. Some would argue that the practice exists to cut down on costs and allow executives to easily manipulate a filmmaker with less leverage or experience. Indeed, when this happens, the result is often disastrous. Nevertheless, young storytellers continue to be tempted by studio-based jobs-for-hire that wind up costing them their creative freedom.
Read more | Filmmaker Magazine »

‘Miss Sharon Jones!’ and 15 Must-See Music Docs
After premiering at TIFF 2015, Miss Sharon Jones! documents a year in the life of the Brooklyn-based artist and lead singer of The Dap Kings, Sharon Jones, as she grapples with a cancer diagnosis. This new doc brings Barbara Kopple back to the world of music docs after her fiery Dixie Chicks flick Shut Up and Sing!, so, in honour of the director’s new ditty, let’s look at 15 music docs worth checking out on home video.
Read more | POV Magazine »

20 Films that Revolutionized Cinematography
“Hi Baptiste, I truly enjoyed your Newsletter Article: 10 Films That Re-Wrote The Rules Of Cinematography. However, since I have been a Cinematographer for many decades, as well as an Author and Film Professor regarding this subject, I felt that I needed to expand on your original selection.”
Read more | Raindance »

‘Making a Murderer’: Brendan Dassey May Be Set Free After Conviction is Overturned
Brendan Dassey, one of Making a Murderer‘s subjects, just received some major news today. Currently incarcerated at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin, the nephew of Steven Avery may be leaving prison after his conviction was overturned by a federal judge in the Teresa Halbach murder case.
Read more | IndieWire »

Meet 12 Essential Female Cinematographers
Have you ever heard of a woman who was nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography? Nah? That’s because, in the entire history of the Academy Awards, not a single female cinematographer has been on the list. It’s the only category for which that statement holds true—and it’s not for want of eligible women producing awards-worthy work. This stunning montage will make you wonder why female DPs don’t get more work.
Read more | No Film School »

The head of Google’s Brain team is more worried about the lack of diversity in artificial intelligence than an AI apocalypse
As some would have it, robots are poised to take over the world in about 3 … 2 … 1 … But one machine-learning expert — who is, after all, in a position to know — thinks that’s not the biggest issue facing artificial intelligence. In fact, it’s not an issue at all.
Read more | Recode »

Viewpoint: Life rights – it’s complicated
When and why is it necessary to obtain someone’s “life rights” when embarking on a non-fiction project? Here, Reavis Parent Lehrer’s Nicole Page shines some light on the subject.
Read more | Real Screen »

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.