August 1, 2016 | POV’s daily list of essential reading for the documentary and independent filmmaking community.

This 1960 Jazz Film Shaped Concert Documentaries As We Know Them
You won’t find it on best-musical-documentary lists by Vulture, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, the Telegraph, or The Village Voice. TIME once called it an “overlooked” summer movie. For whatever reason, Jazz on a Summer’s Day feels left out of a canon that includes Woodstock, Monterey Pop, Gimme Shelter, The Last Waltz, Wattstax, and Stop Making Sense. This is a shame. Because the 1960 film precedes—and, in many ways, paved the way for—those later documentaries.
Read more | Noisey »

Watch Behind the Scenes Werner Herzog Doc ‘Burden of Dreams’ Free For One Week
When Werner Herzog ventured into the jungle to make Fitzcarraldo, the story of a robber baron’s quest to build an opera house in the heart of the Amazon (as apt a metaphor for filmmaking as any I’ve encountered), documentarian Les Blank was along to document the process, and for the next week, you can watch the resulting Criterion Collection film, Burden of Dreams, for free on Fandor.
Read more | No Film School »

‘Documentary Now!’ Set for Season 2 Laughter
Documentaries have seldom been this amusing. Well, it helps that the films in IFC’s Emmy-nominated Documentary Now! are spoofs of documentaries rather than the real thing. Starring Fred Armisen and Bill Hader, produced by Seth Meyers (among others), and hosted by Helen Mirren, the series returns Sept. 14 (10 p.m. ET/PT) with The Bunker, a spoof of the 1993 political documentary The War Room.
Read more | USA Today »

HBO Announces Documentary Lineup for the Second Half of 2016
HBO has confirmed a diverse array of timely and thought-provoking documentaries for the second half of 2016, including: Alexandra Pelosi’s Meet the Donors: Does Money Talk?, a behind-the-scenes look at top-dollar political fundraisers and mega-donors; two films spotlighting Cuba and its people, Mariela Castro’s March: Cuba’s LGBT Revolution and Patria O Muerte: Cuba, Fatherland or Death; Class Divide, which highlights the effects of hyper-gentrification in New York City’s West Chelsea neighborhood; and The Trans List, exploring the experiences of Americans who identify as transgender.
Read more | Medium »

“Documentary is the fiction of reality”: Behind the Scenes of the Doc Edit and Story Lab
For Sundance Institute, Robert Greene goes behind the scenes of the Documentary Edit and Story Lab: “I’d come to the mountain full of doubts and skepticism and, after countless moments of cinematic discovery and genuinely felt camaraderie, I left with the zeal of a convert. The word “community” can be nauseating, but it’s an absolutely necessary element of documentary filmmaking, where the rewards for the work are often elusive or, at best, fleetingly ephemeral.”
Read more | Sundance »

Nat Geo Acquires Climate Change Pic from Leonardo DiCaprio, Partners with Katie Couric on Gender Doc
National Geographic Channel has acquired the worldwide rights to an untitled climate change feature documentary produced by Fisher Stevens and Leonardo DiCaprio, the cable network announced at their Television Critics Association summer press tour panel Saturday. NatGeo plans to release the film theatrically in New York and Los Angeles in October, followed by a global premiere on National Geographic Channels worldwide preceding the U.S. election in November.
Read more | Variety »

How ‘Last Chance U’ Turned Football Into Poetry, With Help From ‘Friday Night Lights’ (And A Ton of Crazy Cameras)
Last Chance U director Greg Whiteley isn’t offended if you ask him whether he drew inspiration from the seminal NBC series Friday Night Lights. In fact, as he told IndieWire, “I’m flattered by the comparison.” Director Greg Whiteley reveals the technical magic behind the Netflix documentary series about underdog college football players at a small Mississippi college.
Read more | IndieWire »

Upcoming festivals and deadlines

  • Deadline: DOK Co-Pro Market Submission 8/1
  • Deadline: IDFA DocLab 8/1
  • Deadline: International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 8/1
  • Deadline: HBF Post-Production Grant 8/1

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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.