Academy Tackles State of Nonfiction

Beverly Hills, CA (October 10, 2011) – Contemporary documentarians will explore the rapidly-changing landscape and increasing profile of documentary filmmaking in "The Rise of Nonfiction Movies," the latest installment of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ John Huston Lecture series, on Wednesday, October 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The evening will be moderated by R.J. Cutler, producer-director of "The September Issue" (2009) and producer of "The War Room" (1993).

While information may be spreading faster and distribution choices are evolving at a dizzying pace, non-fiction filmmakers continue to find cutting-edge solutions and storytelling forms to prove that truth is often better than fiction. Despite the significant hurdles their producers and distributors often face, theatrical documentaries have gained a newfound popularity, in many cases because of their willingness to challenge the status quo and delve into the drama, humor and fascination of real life.

Panelists for the evening include Amir Bar-Lev, director of "The Tillman Story" (2010) and producer-director of "My Kid Could Paint That" (2007); Davis Guggenheim, director of "Waiting for ‘Superman’" (2010) and Oscar®-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" (2006); Academy Award®-nominated documentarian Lourdes Portillo, producer of "Las Madres–The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo" (1985) and producer-director of "Señorita Extraviada" (2002); Ricki Stern, director of "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" (2010) and "The Devil Came on Horseback" (2007), Molly Thompson, executive producer of "Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer" (2010) and "Jesus Camp" (2006); and Diane Weyermann, executive producer of "Casino Jack and the United States of Money" (2010) and "Food, Inc." (2009).

The Academy’s John Huston Lecture on Documentary Filmmaking is named to honor Huston’s legacy as witnessed in his controversial World War II documentaries, "Report from the Aleutians" (1943), "San Pietro" (1944, withheld from release until 1945) and "Let There Be Light" (1946, suppressed from public release until 1980).

Tickets for "The Rise of Non-Fiction Movies" go on sale Monday, October 3. Tickets are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. They may be purchased online at, by mail, in person at the Academy during regular business hours or, depending on availability, on the night of the program when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit

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