Documentary Fortnight 2013: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media
February 15–March 4, 2013
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.
Related Film Screenings
New Cuban Shorts Program I: Cuban Visions (I)
The Ones Who Stayed (Los que se quedaron)
1993. Directed by Benito Zambrano. 26 min. A Cuban mother reflects on her life since her son's violent, definitive departure to the United States.
The Mill (DeMoler)
2004. Directed by Alejandro Ramírez Anderson. 12 min. Sugar mill workers and local residents discuss their feelings in the face of the mill's impending disassembly.
2006. Directed by Alejandro Ramírez Anderson. 37 min. A community of hunters, Monteros from Cienaga de Zapata, in Matanzas province, face daily challenges from nature and the traditions of the community, Beasts of the Southern Wild–style.
Swan Black Neck, White Neck (Cisne cuello negro, cuello blanco)
2009. Directed by Marcel Beltran. 13 min. Sergio Abel, a grade-school teacher in a small town in central Cuba, videotapes his life. Despite his difficult circumstances, he lends keen insights into the images he takes and his students' aspirations for the future.
All films made in Cuba, and in Spanish with English subtitles. Courtesy of the filmmakers and Alex Halkin, Americas Media Initiative. Program 88 min.
Perret in Frankriech und Algerian (Perret in France and Algeria)
2012. Germany. Heinz Emigholz. 110 min.
El Invierno de Pablo (Pablo’s Winter)
2012. Scotland/Spain. Chico Pereira. 76 min.
Sofia’s Last Ambulance
2012. Bulgaria/Germany/Croatia. Ilian Metev. 75 min.
New Cuban Shorts Program II: Cuban Scenes—Films by Armando Capo
Inertia (La inercia)
2008. 15 min. In the cabin the conductor activates the gear lever; his motion breaks the inertia. Behind is the station, then images of the machinery, the resignation of travelers, and the landscape. The events are increasingly bizarre; there is no destination, only the journey as metaphor.
The Tide (La marea)
2009. 27 min. A man living in an abandoned barge in the bay of Santiago de Cuba has been out of the system for 10 years, and the arrival of a notification from the postal service fills him with uncertainty.
We Stay (Nos quedamos)
2009. 12 min. Despite an approaching hurricane, a Cuban family persists in defending their home from an invasion of bees.
All films made in Cuba, and in Spanish with English subtitles. Courtesy of the filmmaker and Alex Halkin, Americas Media Initiative. Program 54 min.
New Cuban Shorts Program III: Life in the Sierras—Films by Ariagna Fajardo
Where Are We Going? (¿A dónde vamos?)
2009. 22 min. A group of farmers talk about the problems that are forcing them to abandon the Sierra Maestra mountains.
The Bend (La Vuelta)
2008. 19 min. A community of brick-makers thrives through the collective efforts of its residents.
2011. 15 min. People react with frustration to institutional dysfunction. Can a society break free of ingrained patterns and progress?
All films made in Cuba, and in Spanish with English subtitles. Courtesy of the filmmaker and Alex Halkin, Americas Media Initiative. Program 56 min.
L'estate di Giacomo (Summer of Giacomo)
2011. Italy/France/Belgium. Alessandro Comodin. 78 min.
New Cuban Shorts Program IV: Cuban Visions (II)
2007. Directed by Beatriz García, Evelio León, Liván Magdaleno. 10 min. One day at a popular beach outside of Havana, from daybreak to dusk, pristine nature to chaos.
Liborio’s Shadow Play (Las sombras chinescas de Liborio)
2008. Directed by Liván Magdaleno. 26 min. The personal dreams of a sector of the Cuban population are seen through historical and psychological events, where past and present converge.
Lidia Doce Archive (Archivo de Lidia Doce)
2010. Directed by Alejandro Ramírez Anderson. 27 min. As a result of the Cuban Revolution, the first female battalions in Cuba were formed, and the women faced many societal contradictions. The Lidia Doce archive documents their story.
The Relay Race (Carrera de relevo)
2010. Directed by Sandra Ramos. 3 min. A satirical history of Cuba from Columbus to the present, this animated short chronicles historic cycles through some of the characters that have determined the island's circumstances.
All films made in Cuba, and in Spanish with English subtitles. Courtesy of the filmmakers and Alexandra Halkin, Americas Media Initiative. Program 66 min.
2012. Bulgaria/Sweden. Youlian Tabakov. 66 min.
Once I Entered a Garden
2012. Israel/France/Switzerland. Avi Mograbi. 97 min.
Back to the Square
2012. Norway/Canada. Petr Lom. 83 min.
2012. China. Bo Wang. 50 min.
Some Actions Which Haven’t Been Defined Yet in the Revolution
2011. China. Sun Xun. 13 min.
At Night I Fly
2011. Sweden/Denmark. Michel Wenzer. 88 min.
2012. The Netherlands. Marc Schmidt. 72 min.
As Above, So Below
2012. USA. Sarah J. Christman. 50 min.
2012. USA. Sarah Hagey. 20 min.
2012. Mexico. Jose Álvarez. 65 min.
I Have Always Been a Dreamer
2012. USA/UAE. Sabine Gruffat. 78 min.
Far from Afghanistan
2012. USA. John Gianvito, Jon Jost, Minda Martin, Travis Wilkerson, Soon-Mi Yoo. 129 min.
No Man’s Land (Terra de Ninguém)
2012. Portugal. Salomé Lamas. 72 min.
2012. Latvia. Ivars Zviedris, Inese Klava. 82 min.
The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear
2012. Germany/Georgia. Tinatin Gurchiani. 97 min.
Your Day Is My Night
2013. USA. Lynne Sachs. 64 min.
We Went to War
2012. Great Britain/Ireland. Michael Grigsby, Rebekah Tolley. 77 min.
An Evening with the Otolith Group
Founding Otolith Group members Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun discuss their newest work.
2012. Great Britain. The Otolith Group. 64 min.
1991. USA. Marlon Riggs. 88 min.
1982. USA. Christopher Beaver, Judy Irving, Ruth Landy. 82 min.
1987. USA. Marlon Riggs. 56 min.
1989. USA. Marlon Riggs. 55 min.
5 Broken Cameras
2011. France/Israel/Palestine. Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi. 90 min.
Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter
1994. USA. Deborah Hoffman. 44 min.
1987. USA. Louis Alvarez, Andy Kolker. 56 min.
2013. USA. Christine Turner. 58 min.
The Education of Shelby Knox
2005. USA. Marion Lipschutz, Rose Rosenblatt. 76 min.
Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision
1994. USA. Freida Lee Mock. 105 min.
Two Towns of Jasper
2001. USA. Marco Williams, Whitney Dow. 83 min.
2008. USA. Robert Kenner. 93 min.
Girls Like Us
1997. USA. Jane Wagner, Tina Di Feliciantonio. 56 min.
Where Soldiers Come From
2011. USA. Heather Courtney. 91 min.
Better This World
2011. USA. Kelly Duane de la Vega, Katie Galloway . 129 min.
2011. USA. Jennifer Fox. 83 min.
2012. USA. David Redmon, A. Sabin. 77 min.
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
2011. USA. Marshall Curry. 85 min.
Twitch and Shout
1994. USA. Laurel Chiten. 59 min.
2010. USA. Laura Poitras. 96 min.
1996. USA. Alan Berliner. 58 min.
Granito: How to Nail a Dictator
2011. USA/Guatemala. Peter Kinoy, Pamela Yates, Paco de Onís. 104 min.