February 24, 2017 | POV’s daily list of essential reading for the documentary and independent filmmaking community.

How the Student Academy Awards Opens Doors to the Film Industry Club
The Academy Awards may be the pinnacle of accomplishment, the crowning achievement for some filmmakers’ finished products. But for many rising creators in the film industry, the first stop in putting their work to the test comes from a different competition, outside the usual film festival and Oscars circuit. The Student Academy Awards are “a part of the pipeline for burgeoning filmmakers,” according to Student Academy Award winner and now Oscar nominee Dan Krauss.
Read more | ABC News »

Toronto International Film Festival’s 2017 Lineup Will Be ‘More Tightly Curated,’ Programmers Say
The Toronto International Film Festival organizers have today announced their 2017 lineup of programs and programmers, a new take on their lineup that speaks to their “renewed commitment to bold, discerning curation” and a “more tightly curated edition” of the festival.
Read more | IndieWire »

Journey to the Academy Awards: A Decade of Race & Gender in Oscar-Shortlisted Documentaries (2008-2017)
In the Best Documentary Feature category of the Academy Awards, 2017 is a year of firsts. For the first time, four of the five Oscar-nominated documentary directors in the category are people of color (Roger Ross Williams, for Life, Animated; Ezra Edelman, for O.J.: Made in America; Ava DuVernay, for 13th; and Raoul Peck, for I Am Not Your Negro). In fact, 2017 reveals the largest percentage of Oscar-shortlisted documentary directors of color over at least the past decade. Almost a third (29 percent) of this year’s 17 credited Oscar-shortlisted documentary directors (in the Best Documentary Feature category) are people of color, up from 18 percent in 2016, none in 2015, and 17 percent in 2014. The percentage of recognized women documentary directors, while an increase from last year (24 percent of recognized shortlisted directors in 2017 are women, compared to 18 percent in 2016), remains at relatively the same low level of recognition over the past decade.
Read more | Documentary Magazine »

These Oscar-Nominated Documentaries Tell Intimate Stories Of Syria’s Civil War
The oft-overlooked Oscar category of best documentary short has a dramatic theme this year: Three of the five films nominated are about Syrians, and each offers an intimate, eye-witness account of the devastation in that country.
Read more | NPR »

Why Martin Scorsese’s Netflix Deal Is The Future of Cinema (And That’s OK)
However, we’ve passed the point where Netflix is merely a challenge to the way we understand movies and television. Even if the company inexplicably went bankrupt tomorrow, or its servers got hacked, or Apple bought it out, it no longer matters because another digital giant would take its place. The future has arrived, and for the moment, Netflix owns it.
Read more | IndieWire »

Exclusive: Claire Aguilar joins IDA
The International Documentary Association (IDA) has appointed former Sheffield Doc/Fest exec Claire Aguilar as director of programming and policy.
Read more | Realscreen »

Upcoming Festivals and Deadlines

This Week

  • Doc Fortnight 2017: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media Feb 16 – 26
  • Big Sky Documentary Film Festival Feb 17 – 26

Next Week

  • Doc Fortnight 2017: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media Feb 16 – 26
  • Big Sky Documentary Film Festival Feb 17 – 26
  • Deadline: Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund Feb 27
  • Deadline: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Submissions Feb 28
  • Deadline: Visions Sud Est Fund Feb 28
  • Deadline: Vision Maker Media Public Media Content Fund Mar 1
  • True/False Mar 2 – 5
  • Thessaloniki Documentary Festival Mar 3 – 12
  • Deadline: 2017 IFP Labs (Narrative, Documentary, and Serialized Projects) Mar 3

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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.