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NOVEMBER 21, 2021 | SPECIAL ISSUE






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CO N T E N D E R S F I L M . D E A D L I N E .CO M


MOR N I N G PR E SE N TAT ION S

SHOWTIME 9:04am-9:35am

HBO 9:35am – 10:06am

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 10:07am – 10:28am

FOCUS FEATURES 10:29am – 10:49am

NETFLIX 10:49am – 11:09am

The Real Charlie Chaplin

Peter Middleton (Co-Writer/Director/Co-Producer) James Spinney (Co-Writer/Director/Co-Producer)

Attica

Stanley Nelson (Writer/Director/Producer) Traci A. Curry (Director/Producer)

CUSP

Parker Hill (Director/Producer/Cinematographer/ Editor) Isabel Bethencourt (Director/Producer/ Cinematographer)

Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street

Marilyn Agrelo (Director) Ellen Scherer Crafts (Producer) Trevor Crafts (Producer)

Simple as Water

Megan Mylan (Director/Producer) Robin Hessman (Producer) Hazem Obid (Co-Producer)

In The Same Breath

Nanfu Wang (Director/Producer) Jialing Zhang (Producer) Julie Goldman (Producer)

Becoming Cousteau

Liz Garbus (Director/Producer)

The First Wave

Matthew Heineman (Director/Producer/ Cinematographer)

The Sparks Brothers

Edgar Wright (Director) Ron Mael (Subject) Russell Mael (Subject)

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain

Morgan Neville (Director/Producer) Caitrin Rogers (Producer) Eileen Meyer (Editor) Aaron Wickenden (Editor)

Procession

Robert Greene (Director)

SCHEDULE, FILMS & SPEAKERS SUBJECT TO CHANGE


HBO MAX 11:09am – 11:19am

LFG

Andrea Nix Fine (Writer/Director/Producer) Sean Fine (Writer/Director/Producer/ Cinematographer) Becky Sauerbrunn (Subject/United States Women’s National Soccer Team Member)

NEON 11:20am – 11:30am

Flee

Jonas Poher Rasmussen (Co-Writer/Director)

AMAZON STUDIOS 11:30am – 11:50am

My Name is Pauli Murray

Betsy West (Co-Writer/Director) Julie Cohen (Co-Writer/Director) Talleah Bridges McMahon (Co-Writer/Producer)

Val

Leo Scott (Director/Producer) Ting Poo (Director/Producer) LUNCH BREAK

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V I S I T:




A F T E R N O ON PR E SE N TAT ION S

APPLE ORIGINAL FILMS 12:22pm – 12:43pm

Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry

Jenna Rosher (Cinematographer) R.J. Cutler (Writer/Director/Producer)

The Velvet Underground

Todd Haynes (Writer/Director/Producer) Adam Kurnitz (Editor)

HULU 12:44pm – 1:04pm

Homeroom

Peter Nicks (Director/Producer)

ONYX COLLECTIVE/ SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES/ HULU

Summer of Soul (...or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (Director/EP)

CNN 1:04pm – 1:14pm

Citizen Ashe

Rex Miller (Director/Producer) Sam Pollard (Director)

SONY PICTURES CLASSIC 1:14pm-1:34pm

Julia

Betsy West (Director/Producer) Julie Cohen (Director/Producer)

Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America

Emily Kunstler (Director/Producer/Editor) Sarah Kunstler (Director/Producer) Jeffery Robinson (Subject)

Francesco

Evgeny Afineevsky (Director/Producer)

Rebel Hearts

Pedro Kos (Co-Writer/Director/EP) Shawnee Isaac Smith (Co-Writer/Producer) Kira Carstensen (Producer) Judy Korin (Producer)

Introducing Selma Blair

Rachel Fleit (Director) Selma Blair (Subject)

DISCOVERY+ 1:35pm – 2:06pm

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THE

PODCAST

WWW.DEADLINE.COM



BOOM

FOR D Deadline’s nonfiction showcase celebrates real-world stories of arts, religion and society BY M AT T C A R E Y If the Contenders Documentary

Todd Haynes, best known for Oscar-

tennis world and fought for civil rights

event came with a soundtrack, it

nominated work in scripted films,

off the court, animates Citizen Ashe.

would surely be a chart topper for

turns documentarian for The Velvet

Attica, meanwhile, explores

the ages.

Underground, his innovative study of

the racial dimension of one of the

the avant-garde rock band fronted by

bloodiest prison uprisings in American

Lou Reed.

history: when mostly Black and

No fewer than four of the films included in our virtual showcase of the year’s leading nonfiction features

Multiple Grammy-winner Billie

brown inmates overtook the titular

pulsate to a musical beat: Summer of

Eilish, one of the most highly regarded

correctional facility in upstate New

Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could

young singer-songwriters of today,

York in 1971. The white-dominated

Not Be Televised) recovers the long-

shares her rocket ride to stardom in

state power structure ultimately

forgotten Harlem Cultural Festival

Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry.

retaliated with indiscriminate gunfire.

of 1969 that welcomed incredible

The country’s long history of

High school kids in Oakland, who

artists, from a teenage Stevie Wonder

racial injustice underpins a number of

are using their voices to demand

to Mahalia Jackson, Sly and the Family

Contenders Documentary films, from

social change, star in Homeroom. In

Stone, and The Fifth Dimension.

Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in

Cusp, three young women coming

America to My Name Is Pauli Murray,

of age in small-town Texas navigate

who formed the rock-pop duo Sparks

directed by Oscar-nominated duo

a world of toxic masculinity. Gender

in 1966, make for compelling subjects

Betsy West and Julie Cohen. The late

inequality forms the backdrop to LFG,

of The Sparks Brothers, while director

Arthur Ashe, who faced racism in the

a film about the legal fight by the U.S.

Ron and Russell Mael, siblings


M TIME

DOCS This year’s Contenders

Women’s National Soccer Team to

the famous—cookbook author and TV

achieve equal pay with their sporting

personality Julia Child, chef, author

Documentary event reflects the

male counterparts.

and TV personality Anthony Bourdain,

growing availability of documentary

marine explorer and filmmaker

content across a variety of platforms:

frame in several of the Contenders

Jacques Cousteau, Pope Francis—and

Showtime and HBO, streamers

features, including one of the

the little known: the nuns of Rebel

HBO Max, Netflix, Discovery+, Hulu,

industry’s foundational geniuses

Hearts, who dared to defy Catholic

Amazon Studios, and Apple TV+, as

in The Real Charlie Chaplin. Among

Church orthodoxy in the 1960s, and

well as theatrical distributors Neon,

Chaplin’s successors in the business,

the courageous men of Procession,

Focus Features, Searchlight Pictures

actor Val Kilmer shares his artistic

seeking a therapeutic way to deal

and Sony Pictures Classics. It’s a

and spiritual quest, as well as his

with sexual abuse committed against

boom time for docs, and with so

recovery from throat cancer, in the

them as children by Catholic clergy.

many outstanding films to consider

Hollywood figures occupy the

revealing Val. Actress Selma Blair,

Refugees from war in the

this Oscar season, Contenders

diagnosed with MS three years ago,

Middle East, so often relegated to

Documentary is your essential guide

offers intimate access to her life in

anonymity, tell their stories in Simple

to an incredible slate.

the moving and surprisingly funny and

as Water, and in Flee, which uses

joyous Introducing, Selma Blair.

animation to document a gay Afghan

your host, please sit back, relax and

man’s arduous path towards a safe

join us for a journey of cinematic

resettlement in Denmark.

documentary discovery. ★

The Contenders Documentary lineup alternates between stories of

With Deadline’s Joe Utichi as


Meet the

moderator YOUR MO DERATO R MATT CAREY DOCUMENTARY EDITOR, AWARDS

Matt Carey joined Deadline fulltime in 2020, after a long association as a freelancer, to specialize in coverage of the nonfiction film landscape. Matt is a writer and producer whose work has appeared on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español. He has written extensively about documentary film for CNN and CNN.com, Documentary magazine, NBCNews.com and TheWrap.



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THE

FILMS AMAZON STUDIOS

My Name is Pauli Murray Directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West, this documentary tells the story of Pauli Murray, the non-binary Black lawyer and political activist who fought against discrimination on the basis of sex. Murray served as an inspiration for Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the latter of which was the subject of Cohen and West’s 2018 documentary RBG. Val This documentary tells the story of Val Kilmer’s life and career, through footage Kilmer had shot himself during his career and his home movies. Following his battle with throat cancer and

losing his voice, Kilmer decided to tell his story in his own words, read by his son Jack Kilmer. APPLE ORIGINAL FILMS

Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry Directed by R.J. Cutler, this film gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Billie Eilish’s debut studio album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Giving an inside look into her life, the film shows her working on music with her brother and collaborator Finneas O’Connell and going on tour as she completes the album. The Velvet Underground Directed by Todd Haynes, this film documents the life of early

’60s avant-garde rock band The Velvet Underground until their break-up in the early ’70s. Managed and promoted by pop artist Andy Warhol, the band was influential in the underground experimental music scene. The film includes interviews with surviving band members John Cale and Maureen Tucker with archival footage of the band. CNN

Citizen Ashe Rex Miller and Sam Pollard direct this documentary about professional tennis player and HIV activist Arthur Ashe. Ashe was the first Black player to be selected for the United States Davis Cup team and the only


MY NAME IS PAULI MURRAY

BILLIE EILISH: THE WORLD’S A LITTLE BLURRY

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND

VAL

CITIZEN ASHE


ROADRUNNER

FRANCESCO

IN THE SAME BREATH

STREET GANG

STILL AS WATER

LFG

REBEL HEARTS

INTRODUCING, SELMA BLAIR

THE SPARKS BROTHERS


Black man to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the Australian Open. After retiring in 1980, Ashe contracted HIV and became an activist to educate people about HIV and AIDS. DISCOVERY+

Francesco Directed and produced by Evgeny Afineevsky, the documentary examines the life of Pope Francis and the impact of his teachings on the Catholic Church. Including interviews with Pope Francis, his family, and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the story revolves around contemporary issues, such as climate change and immigration, and the role the Catholic Church plays in response to those issues. The film premiered at the Rome Film Festival in 2020 before being released on Discovery+ in March 2021. Introducing, Selma Blair Rachel Fleit directs this intimate look at the life of actress Selma Blair after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018. Documenting Blair’s attempts to slow the progression of the disease, through treatments such as chemotherapy, the film depicts a moving emotional portrait of a woman trying to survive for her son. Rebel Hearts Directed, produced and edited by Pedro Kos, this documentary follows the nuns of the Immaculate

Heart College in Los Angeles, California. For the past 50 years, a group of progressive nuns challenged the patriarchal conventions of the Catholic Church by taking a stand for the education of women. This film premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival before streaming on Discovery+ in June. FOCUS FEATURES

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain This film, directed and produced by Morgan Neville, documents the life of Anthony Bourdain and his career as a celebrity chef and writer. Featuring archival footage of Bourdain, the documentary takes an honest and unflinching look at the man renowned for his coverage of international culture and cuisine. The Sparks Brothers Directed and produced by Edgar Wright, this documentary celebrates the legacy of Ron and Russell Mael, known as the pop-rock duo Sparks. Featuring interviews with the brothers, as well as a multitude of musicians, Wright takes the viewer through a quirky musical odyssey spanning five decades, 25 albums and 345 songs. HBO

In the Same Breath Nanfu Wang examines how the Chinese and American governments responded to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in this documentary. Though it started as a short film about the Chinese response to COVID-19, the documentary

escalated into a feature-length film after Wang discovered a shockingly large discrepancy between what was being announced to the public and what was actually happening. Simple as Water Directed, produced and edited by Megan Mylan, this documentary follows four Syrian refugee families separated by war. Filmed in Greece, the U.S., Germany, Turkey and Syria, the film examines the emotional bonds between families as a conflict forces them to split up and move to unfamiliar parts of the world. Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street Inspired by the book Street Gang by Michael Davis and directed by Marilyn Agrelo, this documentary chronicles the creation of one of the most impactful children’s television series, Sesame Street. Featuring interviews with the surviving creators of the series, as well as archival footage, the film tells the story of the first two decades of the experimental and groundbreaking series. HBO MAX

LFG Directed and produced by Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine, this film documents the U.S. women’s national soccer team as they fight the United States Soccer Federation for pay discrimination. The film stars Megan Rapinoe, Jessica McDonald, Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelly O’Hara, Christen Press,


Sam Mewis and Julie Foudy. HULU

Homeroom In the final chapter of his Oakland trilogy, directorproducer Peter Nicks takes a look at the students of Oakland High School in their final year in 2020. While they already live in a city that struggles with crime and a lack of health care, the students try to make their senior year great as they deal with budget cuts, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ongoing issues of police brutality and racial profiling. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Becoming Coustaeu Directed and produced by Liz Garbus, this documentary follows the life and career of famed French oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau. While he studied the sea and pioneered the efforts for marine conservation, Cousteau was also a major force in warning the world about climate change. The film features newly restored archival footage of Cousteau during his life. The First Wave Set in New York during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a hospital attempts to respond appropriately to this illness as it developed in this documentary by director-producer Matthew Heineman. The film follows nurses, doctors and hospital staff at Long Island Jewish Medical Center as they deal with the tragedy that unfolded and the crushing stresses involved.

NEON

Flee Jonas Poher Rasmussen directed and co-wrote this documentary with Amin, the subject of the film. As Amin is about to marry his husband, he decides to share a traumatic story about his hidden past. Recreated in animation, Amin shares the story of his perilous escape from his home country as a refugee. NETFLIX

Procession Directed and edited by Robert Greene, this documentary tells the story of six men who were sexually abused by Catholic priests when they were young. Each man writes a fictionalized reenactment for the film crew to stage in an attempt to heal from these traumatic events, with the help of their fellow group of abuse survivors. ONYX COLLECTIVE/ SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES/HULU

Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson was the director for this documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. The legendary festival lasted for six weeks and celebrated African American music and culture, and includes amazing performers like Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson and Gladys Knight. The film features painstakingly restored footage that was taken at the event but has never seen the light of day until now.


FLEE

BECOMING COUSTEAU

SUMMER OF SOUL

HOMEROOM

THE FIRST WAVE

PROCESSION


JULIA

CUSP

THE REAL CHARLIE CHAPLIN

SHOWTIME

Attica Written and directed by Stanley Nelson, this documentary details the events of the 1971 Attica Prison Riot, the bloodiest riot in United States History. By using the violent five-day standoff between inmates, mostly Black and Latino, and law enforcement, Nelson highlights the ongoing struggle and need for prison reform that hasn’t happened in the past 50 years. CUSP Isabel Bethencourt and Parker Hill directed and produced this documentary that follows three teenage girls in Texas at the end of summer. As they prepare to become adolescents, they

ATTICA

WHO WE ARE

confront what that means to them and how their friendships and relationships will be affected by the problems of adulthood. The Real Charlie Chaplin Written and directed by Peter Middleton and James Spinney, this documentary follows the life and career of actor Charlie Chaplin. Using his own words from a 1966 Life magazine interview, the film tells the story of how Charlie Chaplin rose to fame in Hollywood during the era of silent film. SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

Julia Writer-directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West tell the story of the legendary cookbook author

and television chef, Julia Child. By bringing French cuisine to an American audience in a jovial manner, Julia Child changed the way Americans think about food through her cookbooks and popular cooking shows, such as The French Chef. Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America Directed by Emily and Sarah Kunstler, this documentary chronicles anti-Black racism in the United States, from the era of slavery until today. Lawyer Jeffery Robinson documents the timeline of racism through a series of lectures, anecdotes and interviews as he thoroughly debunks the myth of a postracial America.


N E W

YO R K

A Hy b ri d L i ve In -Perso n & Vi r tu a l L i ve s tre a m Eve n t D e s i g ne d t o G ive AM PAS, BA F TA a n d G u i l d M e mbe r s a n O ve r v iew of Th i s Yea r ’s Awa rds S e a s o n F i l m s

SAT U R DAY, D EC E M B E R 4 LIVE IN-PERSON

VIRTUAL LIVE STREAM

8:0 0 A .M. - 5 : 00 P.M. ET Muse um o f the Movi ng I m ag e 36 -01 3 5th Ave . Q u eens, NY 1 1 1 06

9:3 0 A . M. - 3 :3 0 p. m . E T st r e am in g l iv e f r om n ew yor k c it y

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C O N T E N D E R S F I L M N E W YO R K . S P L A S H T H AT. C O M

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