Since 2001, each February has marked the return of Documentary Fortnight, MoMA's annual showcase of recent nonfiction film and media. The festival includes an International Selection (labeled IS below) of 23 films, along with three thematic programs, that examine the relationship between contemporary art and nonfiction filmmaking, and reflect on new areas of nonfiction practice. This year’s thematic programs are New Cuban Shorts, recent documentary films by emerging Cuban filmmakers on Cuban life and history, most of which have never been screened in the U.S.; Marlon Riggs: A Special Tribute (labeled MR below), focusing on a pioneer for independent voices on television; and MoMA Selects: POV (labeled POV below), which highlights award-winning films from the past 25 years of television’s longest-running showcase for independent documentary, including a sneak preview of one of the films in its upcoming season.
New Cuban Shorts
Friday, February 15, and Saturday, February 16
Most films are U.S. premieres, made in Cuba, and in Spanish with English subtitles, unless otherwise noted.
Marlon Riggs: A Special Tribute
Wednesday, February 27
Three feature-length films by Marlon Riggs exemplify his insightful investigations into the ways racism and homophobia were embedded in American television, film, and popular culture in the 19th and 20th centuries. Riggs’s personal and intellectual commitment to frank discussions of the black, gay experience thrust him into the center of the "culture wars" of the 1990s, and revealed him to be an influential proponent for independent voices on television through a campaign to create the Independent Television Service (ITVS).
MoMA Selects: POV
Wednesday, February 27—Monday, March 4
Launched in 1988 to showcase new and challenging point-of-view documentaries on PBS, POV has grown to become American television’s longest-running series dedicated to contemporary nonfiction programming. During its 25 years on public television, POV has featured in-depth explorations of American ways of life, contemporary issues, and international perspectives. This selection of 22 titles highlights some of the award-winning, controversial, and outstanding POV titles.
Organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art, with the assistance of Marianne Shaneen, Festival Liaison, and Lesley Yiping Qin and Hsin-Yuan Peng, Film Interns. The Selection Committee consists of Sally Berger; Chi-hui Yang, independent curator; and Michael Gitlin, documentary filmmaker. Presented in collaboration with Ambulante, Americas Media Initiative, California Newsreel, Cinema Tropical, POV, and True/False Film Festival. New Cuban Shorts, a part of Documentary Fortnight 2013, is organized with Alexandra Halkin, Director, Americas Media Initiative.
Marlon Riggs: A Special Tribute is presented in collaboration with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, and California Newsreel.
Major support for New Cuban Shorts is provided by the Ford Foundation.
All films in MoMA Selects: POV courtesy of the filmmakers and POV, unless otherwise noted.
Image: Far from Afghanistan. 2012. USA. Directed by John Gianvito, Travis Wilkerson, Jon Jost, Minda Martin, Soon-Mi Yoo