January 11, 2017 | POV’s daily list of essential reading for the documentary and independent filmmaking community.

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival 2017 Announces Full Lineup
The 14th annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival has announced the official selections of the 2017 festival, which takes place February 17-26 in Missoula, Montana.
Read more | Filmmaker Magazine »

Donald Trump Documentary Added to Sundance Lineup
A documentary telling the inside story of Donald Trump’s stunning presidential election victory has been added to the Sundance film festival lineup. Trumped: Inside the Greatest Political Upset of All Time has been put together by the team behind the Showtime network’s election series, The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth, which ran from January to November 2016 and covered the presidential race in detail over 26 episodes. No screening date has been confirmed, but Trump’s inauguration will take place on 20 January, on the second day of the festival.
Read more | The Guardian »

HBO Picks Up Syrian Civil War Documentary from Sundance
HBO has acquired U.S. TV rights for Cries From Syria, a documentary about the Syrian civil war. The film is directed by Evgeny Afineevsky, who previously oversaw the Emmy and Oscar-nominated Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom. In recent days, other studios and companies have snapped up buzzy Sundance projects in advance of their premiere — Sony Pictures Classics picked up the gay love story Call Me By Your Name and A24 nabbed Ghost Story with Casey Affleck.
Read more | Variety »

Hooligan Sparrow filmmaker recounts how her documentary opened her eyes to China’s secret police
When director Nanfu Wang learned that her debut film Hooligan Sparrow had made the feature documentary Oscar shortlist last month, she was of course excited but also a little anxious. Part political thriller, part travelogue, part character study, the film sheds unflattering light on China’s secret police and, sure enough, within days of the Academy Award announcement, government authorities visited Wang’s family in China. Speaking calmly by phone from her current home in Brooklyn, Wang says, “National security people had been monitoring me and told my family to warn me not to say anything negative about China.”
Read more | L.A. Times »

David Bowie’s Last Five Years lovingly remembered in new documentary
Released one year after the legendary artist died on January 10, 2016, a new documentary traces Bowie’s prolific spurt in the years before his death. Directed by Francis Whately, David Bowie: The Last Five Years tells the stories of his 2013 surprise album The Next Day, his 2015 musical Lazarus, and Blackstar, the singer’s twenty-fifth studio album released just two days before his death.
Read more | U.S.A. Today »

Upcoming Festivals and Deadlines

This Week

  • Deadline: NEH Media Development & Media Production Grants Jan 11
  • Deadline: Screen Australia’s Documentary Development Funding Jan 13

Next Week

  • Deadline: Edinburgh International Film Festival Submissions Jan 18
  • Sundance Film Festival Jan 19 – 29
  • Premiers Plans – Angers Film Festival Jan 20 – 29

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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.