August 29, 2016 | POV’s daily list of essential reading for the documentary and independent filmmaking community.

Werner Herzog Tells Conan O’Brien That Breaking the Law Can Make for Great Film
Werner Herzog — world-renowned auteur, global treasure and cinematic spirit animal — appeared on “Conan” this week to discuss his new documentary Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World. Like most exchanges involving the filmmaker, the interview contained a distinctly Herzogian anecdote — this one about breaking the law in order to make a film.
Read more | IndieWire »

Why the Amanda Knox Netflix Documentary Is More Illuminating than a Decade’s Worth of Trial Coverage
In January 2014, after much wooing around the case of Amanda Knox, Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn, got Knox to speak on film bluntly and with icy precision about the pain, lies, and excruciatingly inventive worldwide headlines surrounding her travails. With extraordinary access to the now exonerated suspects—and the prosecutor who charged them—documentary filmmakers Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn get at the core of a murder case that gripped the world.
Read more | Vanity Fair »

The Race to Save the Films We Love
If you have ever seen the 1931 film of The Front Page, based on the jauntily cynical play, you might have been startled by the moment when a wisecracking newspaperman silences his machine-gun-fast patter to raise his middle finger at the mayor and sheriff. Is this what the New York Times reviewer Mordaunt Hall was thinking of when he wrote that the film’s humor is “frequently harsh”? Probably not.
Read more | The New York Times »

Could This Be the Year Movies Stopped Mattering?
Clearly, film still has an impact—it’s just that, in 2016, that impact feels diffuse, and is certainly difficult to ascertain. Which is why we need one of those mass-audience, culture-shifting flicks more than ever: Not only do they bring us together, physically and emotionally, they supply us with images and ideas that trickle down and influence all art, even if takes years for that influence to be felt.
Read more | Wired »

‘Pretty Images Don’t Do Anything’: ‘The Birth of Saké’ Director on Shooting with Your Gut
Erik Shirai and his producer, Masako Tsumura, went all in for the filming of their Tribeca award-winning documentary The Birth of Saké. The popularity of the resulting film, with its subtle, meditative pace and delicate style, may be a surprise, but it successfully hits on two moments in the cultural zeitgeist: documentary visuals are becoming increasingly cinematic, and global audiences care more about where their food comes from.
Read more | No Film School »

Vice’s founder thinks television is failing young people – is he right?
Everyone at this year’s Edinburgh International Television Festival was expecting Vice chief executive Shane Smith to ruffle a few feathers when he gave the annual MacTaggart lecture on Wednesday evening, but few were prepared to be quite so ruffled. Smith said media owners need to keep up with young people or ‘risk alienating’ them.
Read more | The Guaardian »

Upcoming festivals and deadlines
This Week

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

Next Week

  • Open Call: Tribeca Film Festival Submissions 9/6
  • Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 9/8-18
  • Late Deadline: POV Digital Lab in LA and SF 9/9

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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.