2018 Critics Choice Documentary Awards Nominees Announced – Jennifer Merin reports

The official announcement of nonfiction nominees for the Third Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards (CCDA) kicks off this year’s race for nonfic recognition, and what a race it is. Throughout the year, documentary production and distribution have soared, making 2018 the year of trending nonfiction. This year, more than 300 qualifying documentaries were submitted for consideration by the CCDA nominating committees.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 19, 2018: CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

Melissa McCarthy trades pratfalls and slapstick for wry wit and introspection in Marielle Heller’s keenly observed biopic “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” McCarthy plays biographer Lee Israel, whose brief time in the Manhattan publishing scene’s spotlight has passed, leaving her bitter, lonely, and strapped for cash, which ultimately leads to a life of literary crime. It’s a compelling role for McCarthy, who seems to relish the opportunity to take on more serious material.

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SPOTLIGHT October 2018: Shauna Hardy Mishaw, Executive Director Whistler Film Festival

Shauna Hardy Mishaw is a movie mogul who neither produces nor directs movies. Nor does she write, work crew or appear in them. Her extraordinary industry impact comes from her work as Executive Director of Canada’s Whistler Film Festival, where she has consistently opened the doors of opportunity for emerging cinema artists, especially women.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 28, 2018: JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS

“Trying to be perfect is a toxic journey,” says Jane Fonda in Susan Lacy’s revealing, deeply personal documentary Jane Fonda in Five Acts, and — after hearing stories she’s told for the previous two hours — it’s impossible to disagree. Fonda’s revelatory reflections on her life as actress and activist make it clear that giving herself permission to be imperfect let her become her happiest self.

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Margaret Mead Film Festival 2018 – Jennifer Merin reports

Celebrating its 42nd edition, the Margaret Mead Film Festival (October18-21) focuses on the theme “Resilience in Motion,” documenting stories that celebrate individuals who are breaking new ground or breaking free despite challenging circumstances and sparking provocative conversations about the most pressing social and political situations worldwide.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 21, 2018: COLETTE

Keira Knightley shines as the star of Wash Westmoreland’s “Colette,” a beautifully realized biopic about the early years of the celebrated French writer. Knightly immerses herself in the role, bringing Colette’s personal struggles — and self-awakening — vividly to life within the lavish Belle Epoche environs established with gorgeous sets, costumes and cimenatography.

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I AM NOT A WITCH – Review by Jennifer Merin

Masterfully bewitching storytelling, a superb performances by first-time actor Maggie Mulubwa and a fine ensemble cast, exquisite cinematography that reveals nuanced emotions in close ups and captures broad sweeps of the arid landscape, and outstanding editing skills that balance satire and serious social commentary have brought ;I Am Not A Witch; into contention for Oscar gold as the UK’s submission for best foreign film. Rungano Nyoni’s cinematic style is unique and fascinating. <;em> Am Not A Witch<;/em> is a must see. And, it warrants a second watch, as well.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 17, 2018: THE WIFE

motw logo 1-35Glenn Close delivers a brilliant performance in Bjorn Runge’s The Wife. Based on Meg Wolitzer’s eponymous novel about the wife of a newly minted Nobel Prize-winning writer, this closely observed drama follows Close’s Joan and her husband, Joe (Jonathan Pryce), as they travel to Stockholm for his anointing — but will their marriage survive the trip?

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Fork Films Funds 16 Femme-Helmed and/or Produced Documentaries — Jennifer Merin reports

Abigail Disney’s Fork Films is dividng $625,000 in grants among 16 new documentaries that align with the company’s dedication to promoting peacebuilding, human rights, and social justice. All are directed and or produced by women. Selected from 500 applicants, the chosen films address topics ranging from refugee and immigration stories, to incarceration, civil rights, disability rights and media depictions of transgender people, as well as other timely topics. The unprecedented number of applications indicates growing demand for nonfiction storytelling in this turbulent time

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