Complementing the Documentary Competition items, not unlike Sundance’s Documentary Premieres section which features the latest from established docu helmers, this year’s batch includes as usual several sport themed docu portraits, and the latest from Amy Ziering & Kirby Dick, Michael Epstein, producer Don Hahn and some offerings from Sundance and Berlin. Here are the selected menu items:
Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable, directed by Aaron Lieber, written by Aaron Lieber, Carol Martori. Produced by Penny Edmiston, Jane Kelly Kosek. (USA) – World Premiere. One of the most fearless and accomplished athletes of her generation, Bethany Hamilton became a surfing wunderkind when she returned to the sport following a devastating shark attack at age 13. As she continues to chase waves she also now tackles motherhood. Also playing as part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.
Bleeding Edge, directed by Amy Ziering, Kirby Dick. Produced by Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering. (USA) – World Premiere. Each year in the United States, unparalleled innovations in medical diagnostics, treatment, and technology hit the market. But when the same devices designed to save patients end up harming them, who is accountable? A Netflix release.
General Magic, directed by Matthew Maude, Sarah Kerruish, written by Matt Maude, Sarah Kerruish, Jonathan Keys. Produced by Matt Maude, Sarah Kerruish. (UK, USA) – World Premiere. A Silicon Valley startup built by the best and brightest minds of the 1980s tech world, General Magic shipped the first handheld wireless personal communicator in 1994. It was decades ahead of its time—and a complete failure. With Tony Fadell, Marc Porat, Andy Hertzfeld, Megan Smith, Joanna Hoffman, Kevin Lynch.
House Two, directed and written by Michael Epstein. Produced by Michael Epstein, Tony Wood. (USA) – World Premiere. In 2005, a group of U.S. Marines killed 24 unarmed Iraqi men, women, and children in a matter of minutes, sparking the largest criminal investigation in Marine Corps history. House Two delves into that investigation and the ensuing court proceedings, all the way up to the case’s shocking conclusion.
Howard, directed and written by Don Hahn. Produced by Don Hahn, Lori Korngiebel. (USA) – World Premiere. Howard Ashman, the once-in-a-generation songwriting talent, penned the lyrics for Little Shop of Horrors and revitalized Disney with his work on The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. Howard is a tribute to the lyricist and to the power of musical storytelling. With Howard Ashman, Alan Menken, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Bill Lauch, Sarah Gillespie, Peter Schneider.
Into the Okavango, directed by Neil Gelinas, written by Neil Gelinas, Brian Newell. Produced by Neil Gelinas. (USA) – World Premiere. Botswana’s Okavango Delta is one of the planet’s last remaining true wildernesses, but studies have shown it is shrinking. A group of intrepid scientists embark on a four-month, 1500-mile journey upriver to the Okavango’s source to investigate why. A National Geographic release
McQueen, directed Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui, written by Peter Ettedgui. Produced by Ian Bonhôte, Andee Ryder, Nick Taussig, Paul Van Carter. Legendary couturier Alexander McQueen’s rags to riches story is vividly brought to life by his closest friends and family, and through his revolutionary body of work, as inspired, tortured, and visionary as the man himself. A Bleecker Street release
Roll Red Roll, directed by Nancy Schwartzman. Produced by Nancy Schwartzman, Jessica Devaney, Steven Lake. (USA) – World Premiere. At a 2012 pre-season high-school football party in Steubenville, Ohio, a young woman was raped. The aftermath exposed an entire culture of complicity—and Roll Red Roll maps out the roles that peer pressure, denial, sports machismo, and social media each played in the tragedy. Also playing as part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda, directed and written by Stephen Nomura Schible. Produced by Eric Nyari, Yoshiko Hashimoto, Stephen Nomura Schible. (USA) – North American Premiere. Ryuichi Sakamoto has had a prolific career spanning over four decades, from techno-pop stardom to Oscar-winning film composer. Coda offers an intimate portrait of a legendary artist and a passionate activist.
Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland, directed by Kate Davis, David Heilbroner. Produced by David Heilbroner, Kate Davis. (USA) – World Premiere. Sandra Bland was a bright, energetic activist whose life was cut short when a traffic stop resulted in a mysterious jail cell death just three days later. Say Her Name follows the two-year battle to uncover the truth. An HBO release.
Serengeti Rules, directed and written by Nicolas Brown. Produced by David Allen. (UK) – World Premiere. A band of young scientists discover a radical new theory of the natural world—one that could help confront some of the biggest environmental challenges of our time.
Songwriter, directed and written by Murray Cummings. Produced by Kimmie Kim. (UK) – North American Premiere. Songwriter is an intimate immersion into the intense and collaborative process that created Ed Sheeran’s chart-topping album, ÷.
Studio 54, directed by Matt Tyrnauer. Produced by Matt Tyrnauer, Corey Reeser, John Battsek. (USA) – New York Premiere. In 1977, Studio 54 and its founders, Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, epitomized New York hedonism. But by, 1979 the fantasy was over—and Studio 54 goes inside that meteoric rise and catastrophic fall. With Steve Rubell, Ian Schrager, Nile Rodgers, Norma Kamali, Karin Bacon, Myra Scheer. An A&E release.
Time for Ilhan, directed by Norah Shapiro. Produced by Jennifer Steinman Sternin, Chris Newberry, Norah Shapiro. (USA) – World Premiere. In November 2016, Ilhan Omar made history as the first Somali Muslim woman to be elected for state office in America. Time for Ilhan offers an inspiring look at her campaign and the changing face of American politics.
Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie, directed and written by Andrea Nevins. Produced by Cristan Crocker, Andrea Nevins. (USA) – World Premiere. Since her debut nearly 60 years ago, Barbie has been at turns a fashion idol and a cultural lightning rod. Tiny Shoulders steps behind the scenes as the icon undergoes her greatest reinvention yet. With Kim Culmone, Michelle Chidoni, Gloria Steinem, Roxane Gay, Peggy Orenstein. A Hulu release.