We're in the midst of a pretty momentous week for documentary film: imminently, two major, established international documentary fests kick off their latest edition, a promising newcomer unveils itself in New York City and we’ll be announcing this year’s Cinema Eye nominees.
When you think about it, this week also marks the beginning of perhaps the most jam-packed, three-month stretch during our documentary year. Think about it, before the next 92 days are through we will know this year’s Oscar nominees, this year’s Spirit Award nominees and the Cinema Eye, IDA & Gotham award winners. We’ll have gotten our first look at the major docs of 2011 via their premieres in Amsterdam and Park City. And we’ll know the names of the films that are set to premiere in Austin.
It all begins today when the international documentary contingent braves the London tube strike to travel to Sheffield for the last November edition of Doc/Fest (it moves to June next year – yep, they’ve got another fest to plan starting right about yesterday). Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg’s JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK will launch this year’s Doc/Fest, with Stern, Sundberg and Rivers all in person.
Tomorrow night, at the Cinema Eye Roller Disco, we’ll announce the 2011 Cinema Eye nominees in 12 categories: 11 feature and the new award for Nonfiction Short Film. Each year, the Cinema Eye nominators manage to come up with a pretty remarkable mix of big ticket docs and slightly less heralded, artistic efforts. In a year heralded by many as the second coming of documentary (due to the huge number of major new works), it will be interesting to find out which films are called out on Thursday.