2010–2011 Contemporary Documentaries

A Survey of Outstanding Recent Work in the Documentary Field

Part Two: March 23 to June 1, 2011

The 29th annual Contemporary Documentaries series is a showcase for feature-length and short documentaries drawn from the 2009 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 screen at the Linwood Dunn Theater at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. The filmmakers will be present at screenings whenever possible. Admission for all screenings is free.

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Admission is free; tickets are not required.

Event Information

Wednesday evenings through June 1 at
7 p.m.
Linwood Dunn Theater

Doors open at 6 p.m.

All seating is unreserved

For more information, call
(310) 247-3600
  • Wednesday, March 23 at 7 p.m.

    Food, Inc.

    Q&A with Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
    Food, Inc.

    Directed by Robert Kenner
    Produced by Kenner, Elise Pearlstein

    From cruel and unsanitary conditions in cattle and chicken farming to the presence of corn syrup and sodium in many foods, this indictment of the American food industry examines the ways in which large corporations dominate the marketplace and affect the quality of what we consume. 35mm. 93 mins.

    Academy Award nominee: Documentary Feature

    Under Our Skin

    Under Our Skin

    Directed and produced by Andy Abrahams Wilson 

    A gripping tale of microbes, medicine and money, “Under Our Skin” investigates the untold story of Lyme disease. Following the stories of patients and physicians fighting for their lives or livelihoods, the film brings into focus a haunting picture of our broken healthcare system. 35mm. 104 mins. 

  • Wednesday, March 30, at 7 p.m.

    Music by Prudence

    Music By Prudence

    Directed by Roger Ross Williams

    Produced by Williams, Elinor Burkett

    This is the story about the most unlikely voice of hope, singer-songwriter Prudence Mabhena. Her country is bankrupt, her body is broken. Neighbors and family consider her cursed. But in music, Prudence and her band of seven young disabled Zimbabweans may have found a way out. Digital. 35 mins.

    Academy Award winner: Documentary Short Subject

    Mugabe and the White African

    Mugabe and the White African

    Directed by Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson

    Produced by David Pearson, Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock

    With extraordinary courage and in the face of a relentless campaign of state-sanctioned terror, white farmer Mike Campbell challenges Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, before an international court to defend Campbell’s property, his family’s livelihood and that of the 500 black workers who also live on the farm. Digital. 94 mins.

  • Wednesday, April 20, at 7 p.m.

    Rabbit à la Berlin

    The Fence

    Directed by Bartek Konopka

    Produced by Anna Wydra

    During the decades before the fall of the Berlin Wall, an enormous colony of wild rabbits took up residence in its shadow. Digital. 40 mins.

    Academy Award nominee: Documentary Short Subject

    We Live in Public

    Q&A with Director/Producer Ondi Timoner
    We Live In Public

    Directed by Ondi Timoner

    Produced by Timoner, Keirda Bahruth

    Created over ten years and culled from 5,000 hours of footage, “We Live in Public” documents the surveillance-heavy social experiments of Internet pioneer Josh Harris. 35mm. 89 mins.

  • Wednesday, April 27, at 7 p.m.

    The Fence

    Q&A with Director/Producer Rory Kennedy
    The Fence

    Directed by Rory Kennedy

    Produced by Kennedy, Liz Garbus, Keven McAlester

    In October 2006, the U.S. government decided to build a 700-mile fence along its Mexican border. Three years and $3.1 billion later, director Rory Kennedy investigates the impact of the project and how its stated goals – stopping illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and terrorism – have given way to unforeseen consequences. Digital. 35 mins.

    Which Way Home

    Which Way Home

    Directed and produced by Rebecca Cammisa

    Two young boys, Kevin and Fito, are among the countless children who leave their homes in Central America and attempt to enter the United States illegally in search of a better life. Many of the children are injured or killed as they travel on top of freight trains and trust their fate to brutal smugglers. Digital. 83 mins.

    Academy Award nominee: Documentary Feature

  • Wednesday, May 11, at 7 p.m.

    Soundtrack for a Revolution

    Q&A with Director Dan Sturman and Producer Dylan Nelson
    Soundtrack for a Revolution

    Directed by Bill Guttentag, Dan Sturman

    Produced by Joslyn Barnes, Jim Czarnecki, Guttentag, Sturman, Dylan Nelson

    The story of the civil rights movement is told through the music that informed and inspired its participants. As current singers perform songs from the era, interviews and archival footage evoke the movement’s passionate and dramatic history. Digital. 82 mins. 

    Every Little Step

    Q&A with Director Adam Del Deo
    Every Little Step

    Directed and produced by James D. Stern, Adam Del Deo

    Seventeen dedicated dancers audition for roles in a Broadway revival of “A Chorus Line,” a show that is itself about the lives of dancers and the audition process. The talent, drive and self-discipline necessary for even a chance of success in the dance world come through in the stories of the men and women hoping to be cast in the show.  35mm.  96 mins.

  • Wednesday, May 18, at 7 p.m.

    Lt. Watada

    Q&A with director/producer Freida Mock
    Lt. Watada

    Directed and produced by Freida Mock

    Driven by his strong belief in the illegality of the Iraq War, United States Army lieutenant Ehren Watada made the difficult decision to refuse deployment to Iraq. Digital. 39 mins.




    Q&A with director Greg Barker

    Directed by Greg Barker

    Produced by John Battsek, Barker, Julie Goldman

    Throughout his long career with the United Nations, Brazilian diplomat Sérgio Vieira de Mello earned a reputation as one of the organization’s most accomplished and charismatic representatives. In May of 2003, he accepted a new post as the Special Representative of the Secretary General in Iraq. Digital. 94 mins.

  • Wednesday, May 25, at 7 p.m.

    Woman Rebel

    Q&A with producer/director Kiran Deol Woman Rebel

    Directed and produced by Kiran Deol

    During the decade-long civil war in Nepal, many women joined the ranks of the Maoist guerrilla fighters. Digital. 36 mins.



    Burma VJ

    Burma VJ

    Directed by Anders Østergaard

    Produced by Lise Lense-Møller

    Inside Burma, hidden from the repressive military regime that has ruled the country for many decades, courageous journalists secretly videotape events around them and smuggle the tapes out of the country to foreign news agencies. Digital. 89 mins.

    Academy Award nominee: Documentary Feature

  • Wednesday, June 1, at 7 p.m.

    Facing Ali

    Q&A with producer Derik Murray
    Facing Ali

    Directed by Pete McCormack
    Produced by Derik Murray

    The career of the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali is explored through the memories of ten fighters who faced him in the ring. Now suffering from Parkinson's disease, Ali himself is heard in the film through newsreel footage and past interviews. 35mm. 100 mins.




    Q&A with producer Damon Bingham
    Mike Tyson

    Directed by James Toback
    Produced by Toback, Damon Bingham

    Former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson examines his life in and out of the ring. 35mm. 90 mins.

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