2009–2010 Contemporary Documentaries
A SURVEY OF OUTSTANDING RECENT WORK IN THE DOCUMENTARY FIELD
PART ONE: SEPTEMBER 30 TO DECEMBER 9, 2009
The 28th annual Contemporary Documentaries series was a showcase for feature-length and short documentaries drawn from the 2008 Academy Award® nominations, including the winners, as well as other important and innovative films considered by the Academy that year.
All films in the series were screened at the Linwood Dunn Theater at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., except for the IMAX presentations on December 9. The filmmakers were present at screenings whenever possible.
The films included in the series were “Man on Wire,” “In a Dream,” “The Garden,” “Crips and Bloods: Made in America,” “Encounters at the End of the World,” “Flow,” “David McCullough: Painting with Words,” “Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts,” “Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh,” “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” “Wild Ocean,” and “Hurricane on the Bayou.”
- Wednesday evenings, through December 9, at 7 p.m.
- Linwood Dunn Theater
1313 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028
- IMAX Theater
California Science Center
39th Street & Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90037
Wednesday, September 30, at 7 p.m.
Man on Wire
Directed by James Marsh
Produced by Simon Chinn
In 1974, Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire illegally rigged between New York’s twin towers, in a feat that became known as “the artistic crime of the century.” Petit and some of his co-conspirators recall this extraordinary adventure in this Oscar®-winning documentary. 35mm. 94 mins.
Academy Award winner: Documentary Feature
In a Dream
Directed by Jeremiah Zagar
Produced by Jeremy Yaches
Over the past four decades, artist Isaiah Zagar has covered Philadelphia with mosaic murals. “In a Dream” chronicles this work and his tumultuous relationship with his wife, as a new chapter in their life unfolds. Digital. 78 mins.
Wednesday, October 7, at 7 p.m.
Directed and produced by Scott Hamilton Kennedy
In response to the 1992 L.A. riots, the South Central Farmers started a 14-acre community garden as a form of healing. As this film unfolds, the future of the garden hangs in the balance as developers look to bulldoze the area. 35mm. 80 mins.
Academy Award nominee: Documentary Feature
Crips and Bloods: Made in America
Directed by Stacy Peralta
Produced by Baron Davis, Dan Halsted, Peralta, Jesse Dylan
Tracing the origins, rise and four-decades-long feud of two Los Angeles gangs, “Crips and Bloods: Made in America” (previously titled “Made in America”) gives viewers unprecedented access into a little understood world. Current and former gang members offer street-level testimony that paints a stark portrait of life in South Central L.A. Digital. 93 mins.
Wednesday, October 21, at 7 p.m.
Encounters at the End of the World
Directed by Werner Herzog
Produced by Henry Kaiser
Antarctica is a breathtaking and surreal world within a world. Herzog examines the forces of human nature and Mother Nature, as they come head-to-head in Earth’s most remote continent. 35mm. 99 mins.
Academy Award nominee: Documentary Feature
Directed by Irena Salina
Produced by Steven Starr
The growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply is a political, environmental and human rights crisis. “Flow” identifies not only the culprits, but also the crusaders who are fighting for change. 35mm. 84 mins.
Wednesday, November 4, at 7 p.m.
David McCullough: Painting with Words
Directed by Mark Herzog
Produced by Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman
Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough (Truman, John Adams), known for immersing himself in the lives of his subjects, turns that inquisitive eye on himself. McCullough provides an insightful, anecdotal look into his life and career. Digital. 39 mins.
Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts
Directed by Scott Hicks
Produced by Hicks, Susanne Preissler
Composer Philip Glass grants audiences a rare glimpse behind the curtain into his working process and family life, as well as to his spiritual teachers and longtime collaborators. Shot over 18 months and on three continents, Hicks assembles a mosaic portrait of a surprising and complex artist. Digital. 119 mins.
Wednesday, November 11, at 7 p.m.
Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh
Directed by Roberta Grossman
Produced by Grossman, Lisa Thomas
Poet, diarist and paratrooper, Hannah Senesh was a uniquely talented and brave woman. Through eyewitness accounts and her own words describing Senesh’s role in the only military rescue mission for Jews during the Holocaust, the soul of a hero is revealed. 35mm. 86 mins.
Pray the Devil Back to Hell
Directed by Gini Reticker
Produced by Abigail E. Disney
“Pray the Devil Back to Hell” chronicles the story of women in Liberia who mounted a peaceful campaign against the country’s bloody civil war. Proving that nonviolent protest can still effect change, demonstrators gathered daily in the central market area of Monrovia, and later staged a sit-in at the location of peace talks in Ghana. This grassroots effort by women of different backgrounds, ages and religions got warlords to listen, and helped transform Liberia. 35mm. 72 mins.
Wednesday, December 9, at 7 p.m.
At the IMAX Theater, California Science Center
Directed by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas
Produced by Don Kempf, Steve Kempf, David Marks
Shot on the KwaZulu-Natal Coast of South Africa (also known as the Wild Coast), this film plunges the viewer into a sea teeming with dolphins, sharks and whales. Economic and ecological factors are increasingly impacting the coastal communities, but locals are taking new measures to protect and preserve the area. 70mm. 40 mins.
Hurricane on the Bayou
Directed and produced by Greg MacGillivray
This film, initially intended as a clarion call for wetlands preservation along the Louisiana coast, changed as two-time Academy Award-nominated producer-director Greg MacGillivray shifted gears in post-production. After Hurricane Katrina, he returned to Louisiana to capture the devastation wrought by the storm on New Orleans. Narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep. 70mm. 40 mins. (Submitted to the Academy in 2006)