Connect with us

Features

What’s Up Doc?: Crocodile Gennadiy Among Top Sundance Hopefuls (November 2014)

Turkey or no turkey, these next couple of days lucky filmmakers who’ve been selected to screen as part of the Sundance Film Festival will get the invitation notice straight from John Cooper and the Park City programming team, and thus, those that we’re betting have made the cut have also inched up the list a bit. One of those that seem an obvious choice to premiere at the fest is director Steve Hoover and producer Danny Yourd’s Crocodile Gennadiy. Following up their Grand Jury Prize winning Blood Brother with incredible turnaround time, our new most anticipated film tracks the delicate operations of Gennadiy Mokhnenko, a Ukrainian activist, orphanage manager and savior of countless children whose addict parents favor injected cold medicine and alcohol over them. Part heartwrenching domestic drama, part sleuth thriller, the film looks to use the Ukrainian uprising as a backdrop to highlight its protagonist’s valient efforts to mitigate extreme cases of child neglect and abuse (the film crew was actually attacked by an angry mob at one point). With Terrence Malick serving as executive producer, Atticus Ross composing an original score and cinematographer John Pope behind the camera, this thing is a non-fictional hot commodity. And if the astoundingly tense, soon-to-be-released trailer is any indication, Hoover’s film will be one hell of an intense portrait of social heroism. A sampling of test footage released about a year ago can be found directly below.

Another film that’s moved up towards the top is Bill and Turner Ross’ Western. Set in the border towns of Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Mexico, the Ross brothers’ latest documents the “harmonious vision of border life until the specter of cartel violence threatens to divide them.” Surely operating within the same curiously observant, Les Blank inspired mode they’ve been cultivating throughout 45365, Tchoupitoulas and even their culturally comedic web series turned three hour festival shown feature, River, their new feature recently reached picture lock after their final sound check. Though both 45365 and Tchoupitoulas found their premieres at SXSW, timing and the fact that they were one of the few filmmakers selected to participate in the Sundance Institute Music & Sound Design Lab suggests that Western is a lock for a Park City premiere. Here’s a gorgeous little teaser they dropped a while back.

Though an unlikely guest filmmaker at Sundance, Mark Cousins has a pair of films debuting on the list, I Am Belfast and Dear John Grierson: A Postscript to The Story of Film. The latter is a three hour expansion of his short of the same name produced for Sight & Sound’s recent Greatest Documentaries poll in which Cousins, in his tried and true cineaste essayistic form, tries to expand the non-fiction film canon to include “names like Pelechian, Honkasalo, Tsuchimoto, Kaul, Kötting, Leduc, Perlov, Łoziński… Names that are not household, but perhaps could be, if we loved movies more.” The former film sees Cousins dipping his toes into formally foreign waters, telling the story of his hometown of Belfast from the perspective of the city itself as a female orator. Produced in collaboration with composer David Holmes, about ten abbreviated minutes of the film were previewed at the Belfast Film Festival earlier this year, but has been in post production since. The man must be feeling inspired, as 6 Desires: DH Lawrence and Sardinia recently premiered at the BFI London Film Festival, while Life May Be played the Edinburgh International Film Festival earlier this year, both incited critical buzz around the filmmaker’s uniquely personal engagement with cinema. Cousins commands the film essay form like few filmmakers today and bears a seemingly boundless knowledge of film in all forms, so any and all new projects he’s got in the works will be ranking high on this list. Just below is a clip of Cousins speaking briefly about I Am Belfast, followed by this month’s complete breakdown of our top 50 most anticipated docs in development.

As mentioned previously, for those attached to any of the docs mentioned below — please feel free to share any updates on the status of your projects. I can be reached at jordan [at] ioncinema dot com.

#
Film Title 
Filmmaker(s)
Producer(s) 
Status
PMR
1
Crocodile Gennadiy
Steve Hoover
Danny Yourd
Near Completion
2
Racing Extinction
Louie Psihoyos
Olivia Ahnemann & Fisher Stevens
Post Production
3
Western
Bill Ross and Turner Ross
TBD
Post Production
4
Unlocking The Cage
DA Pennebaker & Chris Hagedus
DA Pennebaker & Chris Hagedus
Filming
5
Hitchcock/Truffaut
Kent Jones
TBD
Unknown
6
Untitled Campus Assaults Project
Kirby Dick
Amy Ziering
Post Production
7
I Am Belfast
Mark Cousins
Post Production
8
(T)ERROR
Lyric Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe
Robert Redford – exec producer
Post Production
9
Untitled Bill Clinton Documentary
Martin Scorsese
Steve Bing
Post Production
10
Untitled Malala Yousafzai Project
Davis Guggenheim
Laurie MacDonald, Walter F. Parkes
Post-Production
11
Be Natural: The untold story of Alice Guy-Blaché
Pamela Green and Jarik van Sluijs
Robert Redford – exec producer
Post Production
12
Untitled Frank Sinatra Portrait
Alex Gibney
Nancy Sinatra, Jeff Pollack
Pre-Production
13
Diamond, Silver and Gold
Jason Kohn
Jared I. Goldman, Amanda Branson Gill
In Production
14
Untitled Grateful Dead Doc
Amir Bar-Lev
Martin Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Andrew Heller, Sanford Heller, and Rick Yorn
Unknown
15
Dear John Grierson: A Postscript to The Story of Film
Mark Cousins
TBD
Unknown
16
The Settlers
Shimon Dotan
TBD
In Production
17
Untitled Frederick Wiseman Project
Frederick Wiseman
TBD
Unknown
18
Mixed Feelings
Guy Davidi
Anna Somershaf, Kristian Mosvold
Financing
19
A Better Man
Attiya Khan & Lawrence Jackman
Sarah Polley – exec producer, Christine Kleckner
Financing
20
Les Blank: A Quiet Revelation
Gina Leibrecht
Harrod Blank
Unknown
21
Janis: Little Blue Girl
Amy Berg
TBD
Filming
22
Beatles Touring Doc
Ron Howard
Nigel Sinclair
Filming
23
Strong Island
Yance Ford
Esther Robinson
Post Production
24
3 1/2 Minutes
Marc Silver
Carolyn Hepburn, Minette Nelson. Executive Producers: Orlando Bagwell, Bonni Cohen, Julie Goldman
Post-Production
25
Untitled Doc About Her Mother’s Final Days
Chantal Akerman
TBD
Unknown
26
Rose
Ben Rivers
TBD
Announced
27
 Rats NYC
Morgan Spurlock
Morgan Spurlock & Jeremy Chilnick – exec producers
Pre-Production
28
Command and Control
Robert Kenner
Robert Kenner, Eric Schlosser, Melissa Robledo
In Production
29
David Millar Project
Finlay Pretsell
Iain Smith, Sonja Henrici
In Production
30
Driving with Selvi
Elisa Paloschi
TBD
Post Production
31
Ring Girls
Amy Berg
TBD
Post Production
32
Untitled Celebrity Scientologist Doc
Alex Gibney
TBD
Announced
33
Mythical Creatures
David Charles
Lanette Philips
In Production
34
Gun Runners
Anjali Nayar
TBD
Post-Production
35
Speed Sisters
Amber Fares
Jessica Devaney
Post-Production
36
Tig (formerly Hello, I Have Cancer)
Kristina Goolsby, Ashley York
Huy Truong
Unknown
37
Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four
Deborah Esquenazi
TBD
In Production
38
Catching the Sun (Chasing the Sun)
Shalini Kantayya
TBD
Unknown
39
Mudflow
Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander
Cynthia Wade, Sasha Friedlander, Tracie Holder (Co-Producer)
In Production
40
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
Brett Morgen
Sara Bernstein, Sheila Nevins, Frances Bean Cobain, Danielle Renfrew Behrens, Larry Mestel and David Byrnes. David Morrison
In Production
41
Logs of War
Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman
Steven Markovitz, Anjali Nayar, Jonathan Stack (Executive Producer), Edward Zwick (Executive Producer)
In Production
42
On the Outside: The Year After Prison
Matthew O’Neill
John Kennedy, Cynthia Farrar, Jon Alpert, Shannon Sonenstein Sonrouille, Reina Higashitani, Matthew O’Neill
Unknown
43
Cocaine Prison
Violeta Ayala
TBD
Filming
44
The Murder and the Journalists
Francisco Bello
Rebecca Richman Cohen
In Development
45
Phantom Cowboys
Annie P. Waldman & Daniel Carbone
TBD
Post Production
46
Containment
Robb Moss & Peter Galison
Robb Moss & Peter Galison
Editing
47
Bikes vs. Cars
Fredrik Gertten
TBD
Unknown
48
Being George Clooney
Paul Mariano
Christine O’Malley, Rivkah Beth Medow
In Production
49
The Lovers and the Despot
Robert Cannan & Ross Adam
TBD
In Development
50
Trapped
Dawn Porter
 TBD
 In Production

Legend:

New to Chart
No Change
Position Increase
Position Drop

Continue Reading
Click to comment

More in Features

Banner

Super 8: Trending

the-conversation
To Top