Monthly Archives: November 2009

Two Lists

List #1: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday this year’s Documentary Feature Shortlist. I wrote about two films that appear on this list (Burma VJ and Mugabe and the White African) in a recent post.  Glad to see that they made it. Fellow docs blogger (read: guru) AJ Schnack writes to the fifteen picks and also to some notable snubs in this post.

Check back here for my thoughts on two other shortlisters: Which Way Home and The Cove. I’ve got some things to say about each.

List #2: IDFA (the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam) is the world’s largest and prestigious documentary gathering and showcase. Several of the docs considered for Oscars this year were debuted at IDFA last year. So as we look backwards to the year that was in documentary filmmaking, the air is electric with the documentaries that await us. If you are interested, you can read more about the festival and the hot entries in this IndieWire article.

Boy does this Dutchy docs gal ever wish she was going to IDFA. I will have to live vicariously through my boss instead. At least I’m only one degree of separation away.

65_RedRoses

65_RedRoses is one of the most emotionally stirring documentaries I have ever watched and is now free to watch online to Canadian residents. It tells the story of 23-year old Eva Markvoort’s brave and ongoing battle with Cystic Fibrosis – a disease that is ravaging her lungs – as she awaits a double-lung transplant.

Through the Internet, Eva (a.k.a. 65_redroses when online) meets two other young women who also face a drastically reduced lifespan due to CF. They provide each other with the peer support each needs; such a battle cannot be overcome without the support of family and friends.

The film is an unflinching look at what it means to be young and facing death and is also a remarkable tale of courage and a true source of inspiration.

Click here for the official website and to watch a trailer.

Prom Night in Mississippi

Here is a note P.O.V. editor Marc Glassman distributed to the D.O.C. members. I encourage you to see Paul Saltzman’s documentary “Prom Night in Mississippi,” especially any teens out there: you can make a difference. If you are in Toronto, there is a special screening tonight, and the film opens in general release in Toronto theatres also on Friday, November 13 and in Vancouver on November 20 and Montreal on December 4, 2009.

Opening Night Benefit Screening – Friday, November 13, 7:30pm Varsity Cinemas
With Special Guest Morgan Freeman
Proceeds to Benefit Moving Beyond Prejudice’s Educational Initiatives.
To purchase tickets and for more info about the Toronto Benefit Screening: www.PromNightInMissippi.com 905-901-1200

Toronto, Thursday, October 29, 2009:

In 1997 Academy Award winning actor Morgan Freeman offered to pay for the senior prom at Charleston High School in his Mississippi home town under one condition: the prom had to be racially integrated. His offer was ignored. In 2008, Freeman offered again. This time the school board accepted, and history was made. Charleston High School had its first ever
integrated prom – in 2008.

Filmmaker Paul Saltzman’s feature documentary Prom Night in
Mississippi tells the story of how Freeman’s generosity fans the
flames of racism – and racism in Charleston has a distinctly
generational tinge, as some white parents forbid their children to
attend the integrated prom.

Prom Night in Mississippi captures a big moment in a small town, where
hope finally blossoms in black and white, and a whole lot of taffeta.

Prom Night in Mississippi marks the feature directing debut of Paul
Saltzman, a two time Emmy Award winning television and film producer,
director with 300 productions to his credit. A published author and
photographer, Saltzman’s most recent book is The Beatles in India.
One of his formative experiences was volunteering as a civil rights
worker in 1965 with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee –
inMississippi.

Academy award winning actor Morgan Freeman is coming to Oakville and
Toronto to support the Moving Beyond Prejudice initiative,
distributing Prom Night in Mississippi’s educational DVD package to
schools across Canada that cannot afford them. Mr Freeman’s visit is
sponsored by five passionate Oakville families: Lesley and
Christopher Invidiata, Kelly and Paul Gardiner, Tracy and Hugo
Powell, Zev and Kamal Sharma, Katherine and Pierre Morrissette, as
well as Marc Hewitt and Drs. Margaret Found and George Southey.

Marc Glassman,
Editor, POV Magazine