2009–2010 Contemporary Documentaries

A SURVEY OF OUTSTANDING RECENT WORK IN THE DOCUMENTARY FIELD
PART TWO: MARCH 24 TO JUNE 9, 2010

The 28th annual Contemporary Documentaries series is a showcase for feature-length and short documentaries drawn from the 2008 Academy Award nominations as well as other important and innovative films considered by the Academy that year.

The filmmakers were present at screenings whenever possible. Admission for all screenings is free.

The films included in the series were “The Witness – From the Balcony of Room 306,” “Trouble the Water,” “The Final Inch,” “The Forgotten Woman,” “Downstream,” “Fuel,” “At the Death House Door,” “They Killed Sister Dorothy,” “Viva La Causa,” “I.O.U.S.A,” “The Conscience of Nhem En,” “Standard Operating Procedure,” “Tongzhi in Love” and “The Betrayal (Nerakhoon).” The 2008 Academy Award-winning documentary feature (“Man on Wire”) and documentary short (“Smile Pinki”) were screened in April as part of the Oscar’s Docs series.

Event Information

When
Wednesday evenings, March 24 through June 9, at 7 p.m.
Where
Linwood Dunn Theater
1313 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028
  • Wednesday, March 24, at 7 p.m.

    The Witness – From the Balcony of Room 306

    The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306

    Directed by Adam Pertofsky

    Produced by Vicki Tripp, R. Stephan Mohammed, Margaret Hyde

    On April 4, 1968, the Reverend Samuel “Billy” Kyles stood beside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel and bore witness to his brutal assassination. “The Witness – From the Balcony of Room 306” is a poignant retelling of a crucial turning point in the civil rights movement and a vibrant reminder of Dr. King’s impact on the movement and our nation. 35mm. 32 mins.

    Academy Award nominee: Documentary Short Subject

    Trouble the Water

    Trouble the Water

    Directed and produced by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal

    “Trouble the Water” is a redemptive tale of two self-described street hustlers who survive Hurricane Katrina and then seize a chance for a new beginning. 35mm. 96 mins.

    Academy Award nominee: Documentary Feature

  • Wednesday, April 7, at 7 p.m.

    The Final Inch

    The Final Inch

    Directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky

    Produced by Brodsky, Tom Grant

    Following American survivors and Indian vaccinators, “The Final Inch” tracks the massive mission to eradicate the world’s most forgotten disease: polio. The stories of those working in the poorest corners of our planet challenge our most basic assumptions about disease, poverty and health as a human right. Digital. 38 mins.

    Academy Award nominee: Documentary Short Subject

    The Forgotten Woman

    The Forgotten Woman

    Directed by Dilip Mehta

    Produced by David Hamilton, Noemi Weis

    “The Forgotten Woman” aims to bring about an understanding of the destitution and marginalization of many of the millions of widows in India today, who are forced by age-old traditions to live out their remaining years isolated and shunned from the society at large. 35mm. 90 mins.

  • Wednesday, April 21, at 7 p.m.

    Downstream

    Downstream

    Directed by Leslie Iwerks

    Produced by Philip Alberstat, Randy Bradshaw, Mark Cranwell

    At the heart of the multi-billion dollar oil sands industry in Alberta, Canada, a doctor jeopardizes his career by fighting for the lives of the aboriginal people, who are living and dying of rare cancers downstream from one of the most polluting oil operations in the world. Digital. 33 mins.

    Fuel

    Fuel

    Directed by Josh Tickell

    Produced by Greg Reitman, Dale Rosenbloom, Daniel Assael, Darius Fisher, Rebecca Harrell

    A comprehensive and entertaining look at energy in America: a history of where we have been, our present predicament and solutions to our dependence on foreign oil. Digital. 113 mins.

  • Monday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m.

    Smile Pinki

    Smile Pinki

    A social worker in India travels from village to village gathering patients for a hospital that provides free surgery to thousands each year. 39 mins.

    Q&A with producer-director Megan Mylan.

    Man on Wire

    Man on Wire

    On August 7, 1974, a 24-year-old French high-wire artist named Philippe Petit committed one of the most astonishing performance feats of the late 20th century by stringing a thin cable between the two towers of the World Trade Center and walking across. 94 mins.

  • Wednesday, May 5, at 7 p.m.

    At the Death House Door

    At the Death House Door

    Directed and produced by Steve James, Peter Gilbert

    The story of Reverend Carroll Pickett, who served as chaplain to the inmates of the infamous “Walls” prison for over 15 years, and the inmate, Carlos De Luna, whose execution continues to haunt him. Digital. 96 mins.

     

    They Killed Sister Dorothy

    They Killed Sister Dorothy

    Directed by Daniel Junge

    Produced by Henry Ansbacher, Nigel Noble

    In 2005, Dorothy Stang, a 73-year-old Catholic nun from Ohio, was shot six times and left to die on a muddy Amazon road. “They Killed Sister Dorothy” follows the real-life courtroom drama that unfolds at the trials of her killers, and explores her life’s work in the Brazilian rainforest. Digital. 94 mins.

  • Wednesday, May 19, at 7 p.m.

    Viva la Causa

    Viva La Causa

    Directed by Alonso F. Mayo and Bill Brummel

    Produced by Brummel

    Mistreated and exploited for decades, a small group of poor and powerless California farm workers, led by Cesar Chavez, risk everything when they launch a strike and national boycott against the multimillion-dollar California grape industry. 35mm. 40 mins.

    I.O.U.S.A

    I.O.U.S.A

    Directed by Patrick Creadon

    Produced by Christine O’Malley, Sarah Gibson

    Following former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker on his ‘Fiscal Wake-Up Tour,’ “I.O.U.S.A.” dissects the United States of America’s skyrocketing national debt as well as steps necessary to correct the problem. 35mm. 90 mins.

  • Wednesday, May 26, at 7 p.m.

    The Conscience of Nhem En

    The Conscience of Nhem En

    Directed and produced by Steven Okazaki

    “The Conscience of Nhem En” explores conscience and complicity in the story of a young soldier responsible for taking the ID photos of thousands of innocent people before they were tortured and killed by the Khmer Rouge. Digital. 26 mins.

    Academy Award nominee: Documentary Short Subject

    Standard Operating Procedure

    Standard Operating Procedure

    Directed by Errol Morris

    Produced by Morris, Julie Bilson Ahlberg

    Errol Morris’s “Standard Operating Procedure” examines the war in Iraq by focusing on the tragic events at Abu Ghraib prison, a site made infamous in 2004 by the photographs that shocked the world. 35mm. 118 mins.

  • Wednesday, June 9, at 7 p.m.

    Tongzhi in Love

    Tongzhi in Love

    Directed by Ruby Yang

    Produced by Thomas Lennon

    “Tongzhi in Love” examines the dilemmas of being gay in today’s China; the film follows three young men who are torn between their modern lives and the families and traditions they grew up with. 35mm. 31 mins.

    The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)

    The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)

    Directed by Ellen Kuras

    Co-directed by Thavisouk Phrasavath

    Produced by Kuras, Flora Fernandez-Marengo

    Filmed over the course of 23 years by cinematographer Ellen Kuras, “The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)” is the story of a family’s epic journey from war-torn Laos to the streets of New York. 35mm. 96 mins.

    Academy Award nominee: Documentary Feature