Documentary Fortnight: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media is an annual showcase of recent documentary film that examines the relationship between contemporary art and nonfiction practices and reflects on new areas of documentary filmmaking. This year’s festival includes an international selection of 21 feature films and seven short films, a performance lecture, an archival film program, and a flat-screen installation. Many of the directors will be present, and screenings are followed by discussions.
The 2015 line-up has films for everyone, documentaries of startling beauty and tragedy, stunning complexity and sly humor. Two practitioners of "durational cinema" present works about how the young experience the world, in Wang Bing's Father and Sons and Lav Diaz's Storm Children, Book One. Other films tell rare stories, from an Iranian trucker and amateur filmmaker who tries to bounce back from the death of his central actor—a trained fox—in Trucker and the Fox, to Episode of the Sea, in which the isolated Dutch fishing community of Urk struggles to retain their unique culture. Two visual artists bring a variety of styles to their feature-length projects: Phil Collins collaborates with the citizens of Glasgow, playfully mixing documentary, musical, animation, and television styles to capture the scope of contemporary urban experience in Tomorrow Is Always Too Long; while Cao Fei mixes pop, fantasy, and social critique to dramatize the activities of the residents of a Beijing apartment building haunted by zombies in Haze and Fog.
A pair of American masters unveils new films for the opening- and closing-night events, respectively. Stanley Nelson introduces his meticulously researched The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, the most comprehensive film to date on the multiple, complex histories of the Black Panther movement; and Barbara Kopple presents the world premiere of Hot Type: 150 Years of The Nation, a look inside the longest continuously running weekly magazine in the US and its in-depth coverage of news stories with field reporters. For the mid-festival event, Peruvian-born, Amsterdam-based filmmaker Heddy Honigmann presents Around the World in 50 Concerts, a film about the inspiring power of music.
Organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, with Jesus Hernandez Bach, Festival Liaison. The selection committee is Sally Berger; Chi-hui Yang, independent curator; and Kimi Takesue, filmmaker. Collaborating partners include Cinema Tropical, Milestone Films, and True/False Film Festival.