4, 2022 | SPECIAL ISSUE
SONY PICTURES CLASSICS
HALLELUJAH: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song Turn Every Page – The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb
The Return of Tanya Tucker –Featuring Brandi Carlile
Dan Geller (Co-Writer/Co-Director/ Co-Producer/ Co-Editor/Cinematographer)
Dayna Goldfine (Co-Writer/Co-Director/ Co-Producer/Co-Editor)
Lizzie Gottlieb (Director/Producer)
Kathlyn Horan (Writer/Director/Producer)
HBO DOCUMENTARY FILMS
All That Breathes 38 at the Garden
NETFLIX APPLE ORIGINAL FILMS
Moonage Daydream Sr. Descendant
Louis Armstrong's Black & Blues
Shaunak Sen (Director/Producer)
Frank Chi (Writer/Director)
Emma Pildes (Co-Director/Producer)
Tia Lessin (Co-Director)
Brett Morgen (Writer/Director/Producer/Editor)
Chris Smith (Director/Co-Cinematographer)
Margaret Brown (Director/Co-Producer)
Sacha Jenkins (Director/Producer)
Julie Anderson (Producer)
Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me Sidney Wildcat
Good Night Oppy
Alek Keshishian (Co-Writer/Director/Producer)
Reginald Hudlin (Director/EP)
Derik Murray (Producer)
Melissa Lesh (Co-Director/Producer/Co-Editor)
Trevor Beck Frost (Co-Director/Producer)
Ryan White (Co-Writer/Director/Producer)
Blake Neely (Composer)
Mark Mangini (Sound Design/Re-Recording Mixer)
SCHEDULE, FILMS & SPEAKERS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Daniel Roher (Director)
Maria Pevchikh (Subject)
Christo Grozev (Subject)
Dror Moreh (Director/Producer)
Oron Adar (Co-Editor)
Stephan Krumbiegel (Co-Editor)
Paz Encina (Writer/Director/Producer)
Jordana Berg (Editor)
Alejo Magariños (Interpreter)
Paula Eiselt (Co-Director/Co-Producer)
Tonya Lewis Lee (Co-Director/Co-Producer)
Paweł Łoziński (Writer/Director/Producer/Editor)
Betsy Hershey (Co-Director/Producer)
Emma Wall (Co-Director/Producer)
WARNER BROS. PICTURES/ CNN FILMS/HBO MAX SHOWTIME LOUVERTURE FILMS ONYX COLLECTIVE ŁOZI ń SKI PRODUCTION
Navalny The Corridors of Power
Aftershock The Balcony Movie Guerrilla Habeas DOCUMENTARY AFTERNOON
SCHEDULE, FILMS & SPEAKERS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
AWARD SEASON BLAST-OFF
The documentary Contenders lineup spans the solar system
BY MATTHEW CAREY
Our Contenders Film: Documentary virtual livestream event promises to open up distant lands and even a distant planet—no passport required.
The terrain covered here astonishes with its variety and range: an enclave of Delhi, India in All That Breathes, a remote section of Paraguay in EAMI, and possibly an even more remote outpost of the Brazilian rainforest in Wildcat. Moscow is the ultimate destination of Navalny, the documentary about Russia’s imprisoned and poisoned opposition leader, and Descendant takes us to a neighborhood of Mobile, Alabama settled by survivors of the last slave ship known to have navigated U.S. waters.
About 5,600 miles separate Moscow from Mobile, but these are mere inches apart compared to the far-flung rendezvous point of Good Night Oppy, which follows NASA’s incredible mission that dispatched two rovers to Mars—a voyage of roughly 35 million miles.
In a sense, Moonage Daydream ventures to outer space as well, to explore the art and music of David Bowie, the rock star known for inhabiting the guises of Ziggy Stardust and Major Tom.
Contenders Film: Documentary thrums to the sound not only of
Bowie, but a contemporary classic in HALLELUJAH: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, A Song. The beat goes on in The Return of Tanya Tucker: Featuring Brandi Carlile, Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues, and a pop star-actress who bravely shares her mental health struggles in Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me
The livestream boasts some of documentary’s most established talents: Oscar nominees Brett Morgen of Moonage Daydream and Tia Lessin of The Janes (co-directed with Emma Pildes). Multiple Emmy nominee Chris Smith directs Sr., his intimate look at filmmaker Robert Downey Sr. and his relationship with his son, Robert Downey Jr. Oscar and Emmy nominee Reginald Hudlin, whose feature directing career began with the comedy House Party in 1990, turns his lens onto a Hollywood icon in Sidney, his portrait of the late Sidney Poitier.
For all the distance traveled by these films, one of our Contenders, The Balcony Movie, strays no further than, well, a balcony overlooking a street in Warsaw, Poland. It’s one of the truths of the documentary artform that compelling experiences can spring from the unlikeliest of places.
Please join us on a journey of discovery in our Contenders Film: Documentary event. ★
MEET THE moderatorS
The Deadline staffers who’ll be guiding you through Contenders Film: Documentary
YOUR MODERATOR MATTHEW CAREY DOCUMENTARY EDITOR, AWARDS
Matthew Carey joined Deadline fulltime in 2020, after a long association as a freelancer, to specialize in coverage of the nonfiction film landscape. Matthew 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.
YOUR EMCEE JOE UTICHI EXECUTIVE AWARDS EDITOR
Joe oversees Deadline’s awards coverage, including its dedicated print magazine for the Oscar and Emmy seasons, AwardsLine. He also edits Deadline’s special “Disruptors” edition for the Cannes Film Festival and serves as the emcee for its Contenders events. He has been aboard since 2012. Prior to joining, his work regularly appeared in his native UK—for outlets including The Sunday Times and The Guardian—and around the world. He has also worked extensively in film and television, producing EPK and production notes and working as a unit publicist. He is a member of BAFTA and has sat on multiple juries for the BAFTA Film Awards.
Good Night Oppy
This NASA-centric documentary follows the story of the Mars Exploration Rover named Opportunity. When it was launched in 2003, Oppy was only expected to operate for 90 days, but to everyone’s surprise, it managed to explore Mars for nearly 15 years. Director Ryan White uses a compilation of archival footage and interviews with NASA scientists and engineers to showcase the journey.
Wildcat follows the emotional and inspiring story of a young veteran on his journey into the Amazon. Once there, he meets a woman running a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center, and his life finds new meaning as he is entrusted to take care of an orphaned baby ocelot. What was meant to be an attempt to escape from life turns out to be an unexpected journey of love, discovery and healing. Melissa Lesh and Trevor Beck Frost direct.
APPLE ORIGINAL FILMS
Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues
Director Sacha Jenkins’ documentary shines a spotlight on the life of legendary jazz musician Louis Armstrong. By using a series of archival footage, Louis’ personal audio recordings, interviews, and documented performances, Jenkins crafts a staggering tribute to the transcendent Black icon, highlighting his 50year career.
GOOD NIGHT OPPY
LOUIS ARMSTRONG’S BLACK & BLUES
Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me
Alek Keshishian directs this documentary about pop star Selena Gomez who achieves unimaginable fame after years in the limelight. However, just as she reaches a new peak, an unexpected turn pulls her into the darkness. This uniquely raw and intimate documentary spans her six-year journey into a new light. Gomez has sold more than 210 million singles worldwide and has amassed more than 45 billion global streams of her music.
Reginald Hudlin directs this documentary about Sidney Poitier, who in 1964 became the first Black man to win an Academy Award. Using narration taken from an interview between Poitier and producer Oprah Winfrey, the film takes an in-depth look at his life and career from a leading man to a key figure in the civil rights movement. The film is also told by those he influenced most, including Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Robert Redford and Halle Berry.
Guerrilla Habeas co-directed by Betsy Hershey and Emma Wall centers around the injustices of the American legal system. The film follows Sarah Gillman and Gregory Copeland as they fight against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They aim to seek justice during a
time of mass deportations that threaten to tear individuals away from their families and uproot them from their communities.
HBO DOCUMENTARY FILMS 38 at the Garden
This film explores the career and cultural impact of NBA star Jeremy Lin during his 2011-12 season with the New York Knicks. Director Frank Chi unravels the sensationalism behind “Linsanity” and unpacks its lingering significance against the backdrop of rising stereotypes and hate crimes in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
All That Breathes
This documentary offers a unique look at the human impact on nature and its living creatures in New Delhi. Director Shaunak Sen’s film follows Nadeem Shehzad and Mohammad Saud, two brothers who have devoted the last 20 years of their lives to protecting and rehabilitating injured birds known as black kites and other birds of prey.
Brett Morgen’s Moonage Daydream is an inspiring cinematic journey highlighting the career of English musician David Bowie. Sanctioned by the Bowie estate, the documentary uses never-before-seen footage and performances to take viewers on an expansive journey throughout his decades-long career. The film takes its title from the 1971 Bowie song of the same name.
SELENA GOMEZ: MY MIND & ME
ALL THAT BREATHES
38 AT THE GARDEN
THE BALCONY MOVIE
This HBO documentary looks at the lives of a secret network of women called “The Janes”. In the spring of 1972, seven women were arrested for facilitating safe abortion access in Chicago. A year before the passing of Roe v. Wade, the film spotlights the fraught journey of these female activists as they provided services to approximately 11,000 women.
Paz Encina’s EAMI tackles the harmful effects of deforestation in Paraguay through the lens of indigenous fables and historical accounts. EAMI follows the story of a five-year-old girl named Eami, who is the reincarnation of Asojá, a bird-God-woman who presides over the AyoreoTotobiegosode people. After the village suffers a brutal attack, Eami searches the rainforest looking for her people and friends.
The Balcony Movie
Paweł Łoziński’s The Balcony Movie is an intimate social experiment told through a series of casual human encounters. Armed with just a camera and a boom mic, Łoziński spent two years interviewing strangers from his apartment balcony in Poland. From friends, to expectant mothers, ex-convicts, and old couples, Łoziński asks them a series of philosophical questions to get their views on life, love and society.
After the wreckage of the slave ship Clotilda was found in 2019, director Margaret Brown spent four years with the descendants of its survivors. Descendant tells the story of the impact of the discovery on the residents of Africatown, whose ancestors were the last known slaves brought to the U.S. 40 years after slavery was declared illegal.
Robert Downey Jr. recounts the life and career of his late father, visionary director Robert Downey Sr., in this Netflix documentary. Directed by Chris Smith, the film tells the story of how Downey Sr. set the standard for countercultural comedy in the 1960s and 1970s. Featuring Paul Thomas Anderson, Alan Arkin, Mezi Atwood, Sean Hayes, Norman Lear and Lawrence Wolf.
ONYX COLLECTIVE Aftershock
Directors Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee examine the failures in U.S. maternal healthcare with Aftershock. After two young women died due to preventable childbirth complications, their partners Omari Maynard and Bruce McIntyre come together with other affected families to push for change in a racist system that is failing Black mothers.
The Corridors of Power Academy Award nominee Dror Moreh directs this documentary detailing how American
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
leaders responded to reports of genocide, war crimes and mass atrocities since the fall of the Soviet Union, when America stood as the only global superpower. Featuring interviews with several government officials, including Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Hilary Clinton.
SONY PICTURES CLASSIC HALLELUJAH: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song
Featuring never-before-seen archival footage from the Cohen estate, this film tells the story of singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen through the journey of his internationally renowned song, “Hallelujah”. Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine direct this biography with footage of his artistic collaborators and other artists who recorded their own versions of the song.
The Return of Tanya Tucker–Featuring Brandi Carlile
Director Kathryn Horan documents Tanya Tucker’s return to the country music spotlight after 17 years with the help of country music star Brandi Carlile in this film. Decades after Tucker disappeared from the spotlight, Carlile decided to write an entire album based on Tucker’s life, which spurred one of the greatest comebacks in country music history.
Turn Every Page – The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb
Lizzie Gottlieb tells the story of the 50-year working relationship between her
father, editor Robert Gottlieb, and biographer Robert Caro. She chronicles their journey as the pair works to complete the fifth and final volume of Caro’s Lyndon Johnson biography. The film also features interviews with politicians and media personalities.
WARNER BROS. PICTURES/ CNN FILMS/HBO MAX
In 2020, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent and fell into a coma. Director Daniel Roher documents Navalny’s recovery and his struggle against the authoritarian regime believed to be responsible for the attack. After making shocking discoveries about the attempt on his life, Navalny makes a highly publicized return to Moscow in January 2021.
HALLELUJAH: LEONARD COHEN, A JOURNEY, A SONG
TURN EVERY PAGE – THE ADVENTURES OF ROBERT CARO AND ROBERT GOTTLIEB
THE RETURN OF TANYA TUCKER: FEATURING BRANDI CARLILE
LIVE IN-PERSON EVENT JW Marriot at LA Live FOR MORE INFO VISIT: CONTENDERSFILM.DEADLINE.COM SATURDAY DECEMBER 10, 2022 Deadline moderators will sit down with the leading actors, directors and more to discuss the inspiration behind their films. ‘The Final Round’ is sure to cast a spotlight on the true contenders of the 2022-2023 Awards Season!