Festival coverage in general tends to focus on the biggies -- Sundance, Toronto, Cannes, Berlin -- but regional festivals like this one in Dallas (or the Savannah Film Festival in Georgia, or the Oxford Film Festival in Mississippi) feel important in a different way. They breed grassroots-level enthusiasm for movies -- mainstream, independent, foreign, or short-form -- and foster community around discussions of said films.
Toronto International Film Festival doc programmer Thom Powers, IFC Center’s John Vanco and Raphaela Neihausen, the new event’s executive director, have unveiled DOC NYC, the first documentary film festival of it’s [sic] kind in the city since filmmaker Gary Pollard’s Docfest effectively closed its doors nearly a decade ago. The trio already work together on New York City’s ongoing “Stranger Than Fiction” film series for new docs.
It's hard to believe that New York has gone without a doc-oriented festival for this long but it's good to see a new festival from major players opening rather than shutting down. Good news for aspiring non-fiction filmmakers.
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Bowling's a big theme at Cinevegas. The Shoreline Entertainment party was held in the Kingpin Suite (pictured) upstairs at the Palms, and the Gold Coast hotel with its 70+ lanes plays host not only to most of the CV staff during the fest, but also to Filmmaker Bowling night on Wednesday.
More on Cinvegas upon my return to Austin.
Big day and I'm at a terminal in CVHQ so I won't go on at length, but I will say that Hi, My Name Is Ryan and South of Heaven are the highlights of my Cinevegas experience so far. Ryan is just a charmer of a doc-- go to your local film festival now and insist that they play it. Heaven is the complete opposite (an ultraviolent collision of comic book saturation and noir storytelling), but just as compelling. I've seen Ryan twice in the last two days and will be seeing Heaven again tonight -- I think they will both reward multiple viewings. There's a party tonight at the Palazzo and probably a score of events I don't even know about (like any prestigious festival, Cinevegas grows a halo of unofficial parties and happy hours), but I think I need to return to the unpredictable world of Mad Dog and Nobody before I reach for that first cocktail.