Films Programs

True Stories

At the beginning of the gripping new documentary Wild Horse, Wild Ride (a World Premiere at this year’s Festival), one of the film’s main characters experiences a moment in which he stands perfectly still, eyeball-to-eyeball, with an untamed mustang, each taking the measure of the other.

This frozen moment mirrors the delicate process by which all documentary filmmakers must come face-to-face with their subjects.

The ability of the 37 documentary filmmakers in our True Stories lineup (in addition to the 8 documentaries included in other sections) to take the measure of their subjects and to wrangle them into compelling, memorable film-going experiences is nothing short of remarkable.

From the illuminating portraits of artists in Bill Cunningham New York, The Woodmans, Waste Land, A Not So Still Life, Cameraman: the Life and Work of Jack Cardiff, The Arbor, Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, and How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster to the fascinating political/historical topics in Farewell, Garbo: The Spy, My Life with Carlos, Precious Life, My So-Called Enemy, Feathered Cocaine, The Pipe, and I Am, and the awe-inspiring environmental/nature subjects in The Four Times, Jane’s Journey, Acquainted With the Night, and In the Garden of Sounds these documentaries go from the personal to the political, from long shot to close up, all within an-hour-and-a-half. From the comfort of your seat, a wild ride for all.


12 Angry Lebanese: the Documentary   

12 Angry Lebanese: the Documentary
Lebanon, 2009, 78 min.
For 15 months, 45 inmates in a notorious Lebanese prison worked together to present an adaptation of 12 Angry Men. This inspiring, affecting documentary demonstrates the efficacy of drama therapy and its positive effects on some of society’s most ostracized individuals. Winner, Best Documentary, Aud... more



Acquainted With the Night   

Acquainted With the Night
Canada, 2010, 80 min.
20 million hungry bats, 700,000 watts of light beaming into space, 80,000 flaming rockets, 9,000 cemetery candles… In this enchanting documentary, filmmaker Michael MacNamara travels around the world exploring stories of nighttime phenomena, customs and rituals from sunset to sunrise.... more



The Arbor   

The Arbor
United Kingdom, 2010, 90 min.
This stunningly original picture reconstructs the life of talented British playwright Andrea Dunbar (Rita, Sue and Bob Too) who died at age 29. After spending two years conducting audio recordings with Dunbar’s family, friends, and neighbors, Barnard filmed actors flawlessly lip-synching the intervi... more



Autumn Gold   

Autumn Gold
Austria, 2010, 94 min.
Full of humor and determination, Autumn Gold centers on five senior athletes who each have one goal: to take part in the track and field section of the World Masters Championships 2009 in Finland. The biggest challenge they face is their age: all are between 82 and 100 years old.... more



Bill Cunningham New York   

Bill Cunningham New York
USA, 2010, 84 min.
As a photographic contributor to the Style section of The New York Times, Bill Cunningham redefined ideas of fashion in post-WWII America. Still snapping pictures, the singular Cunningham—as captured in this joyful and affectionate documentary—gets the celebration he deserves.... more



Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff   

Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff
United Kingdom, 2010, 90 min.
An insightful tribute to the great British cameraman Jack Cardiff, recipient of the first-ever honorary Academy Award for cinematography for his work with masters such as Powell & Pressburger (The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus) and Huston (The African Queen), and a pantheon of screen goddesses from Die... more



Circo   

Circo
USA, 2010, 75 min.
A captivating documentary that examines a century-old, family-run circus travelling the landscapes of rural Mexico. Circo is an intimate portrait of a family making a living from their sweat, artistry, wit, and tenacity while exploring the universal themes of family loyalty and cultural heritage.v... more



David wants To Fly   

David wants To Fly
Germany, 2010, 96 min.
This sprightly documentary about finding your own artistic inspiration follows German writer-director David Sieveking on his road to enlightenment, a journey that involves cult director David Lynch, various headquarters of the Transcendental Meditation movement and the icy source of the Ganges.... more



The Desert of Forbidden Art   

The Desert of Forbidden Art
Uzbekistan, 2010, 80 min.
One of the world's top art collections fills the walls of a museum in a far off desert town in Uzbekistan. What sounds like a mirage is really the miraculous story of Igor Savitsky and the oppressed Soviet artists whose work he preserved.... more



Exporting Raymond   

Exporting Raymond
USA, 2010, 86 min.
The export business never seemed so funny as it does in this comic documentary in which Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal attempts to bring his highly successful sitcom to Russian television.... more



Farewell   

Farewell
Netherlands, 2009, 90 min.
A tender love story compiled from breathtaking footage of the 1929 Graf Zeppelin trip around the world, and the diaries of the only female reporter on board. Her reports are front-page news, but her private diaries reveal her futile struggle with feelings for a past lover who is now shipmate, superv... more



Feathered Cocaine   

Feathered Cocaine
Iceland, 2010, 80 min.
In a plot that sounds more spy thriller than documentary, an 18-year-old American travels to Iran in the mid-1970s to learn the art of falconry. Eventually, he crosses paths with Persian Gulf royalty, black market smugglers, and, possibly, the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden.... more



The First Movie   

The First Movie
United Kingdom, 2009, 76 min.
A lyrical journey into the hearts and minds of the children of a small Kurdish village in northern Iraq, Mark Cousins’ celebrated film The First Movie shows his infectious passion for cinema inspiring the village children to create their own images and stories that transcend adversity. ... more



The Four Times   

The Four Times
Italy, 2010, 88 min.
A gentle observational parable, The Four Times leads viewers silently through windows, fields and seasons into a quiet state of wonder at the simple beauty of the cycle of life. If you are looking for plot, action or narrative, you’ve come to the wrong place. This is pure poetry – a palate cleanser ... more



Garbo: The Spy   

Garbo: The Spy
Spain, 2009, 89 min.
A fascinating account of an extraordinary Spanish double agent who helped change the course of history during WWII. The peak of “Garbo”’s career came in 1944, when he succeeded in diverting German defense forces to Calais while the Allied landings were taking place in Normandy. After this, he retire... more



Grace Paley: Collected Shorts   

Grace Paley: Collected Shorts
USA, 2010, 74 min.
A rich, inspiring portrait of writer, activist and New York icon Grace Paley (1922-2007). Winner, Audience Award, Woodstock Film Festival and Denver Film Festival.... more



How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?   

How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?
United Kingdom, 2010, 78 min.
This terrific-looking globe-trotting documentary traces the career of prolific English architect Norman Foster from his humble origins to the top of his profession, visits some of his most iconic structures, and explores how the “Mozart of Modernism” has been influenced by the world of art and how h... more



How to Live Forever   

How to Live Forever
USA, 2009, 94 min.
Director Mark Wexler embarks on a worldwide exploration of what it means to grow old or even live forever. Could a chain-smoking, beer-drinking centenarian marathoner have the answers? An elder porn star? Wexler also includes the insights of health, fitness and life-extension experts in this engagin... more



I Am   

I Am
USA, 2010, 76 min.
Post-concussion syndrome sent Hollywood insider Tom Shadyac—director of Liar, Liar, Bruce Almighty and many other films—on a spiritual journey to find meaning outside of the material trappings of success. This funny, deeply felt and controversial documentary is the result.... more



Jane’s Journey   

Jane’s Journey
Germany, 2010, 107 min.
More than 20 years ago, primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, now 75, decided to give up her career, as well as her private life, in order to devote all her energy to saving our endangered planet. As The Boston Globe once put it: “To be with Jane Goodall is like walking with Mahatma Gandhi.”... more



Louder Than A Bomb   

Louder Than A Bomb
USA, 2010, 99 min.
Winner of audience awards at major U.S. film festivals, Louder Than a Bomb tells the story of the world's largest youth poetry slam competition held annually in Chicago. The vividly drawn, richly complex cast of characters makes this gripping documentary one of the most inspirational films of the ye... more



My Life with Carlos   

My Life with Carlos
Chile, 2010, 82 min.
The director was only a year old when his father was brutally killed under the Pinochet regime. In this arresting documentary he revisits the legacy of the man he never knew and the regime that devastated the country.... more



My So-Called Enemy   

My So-Called Enemy
USA, 2010, 89 min.
When six Palestinian and Israeli teenagers travel to the United States to participate in a women's leadership program called Building Bridges for Peace, they find the experience complicates the next seven years of their lives. An ideal companion piece to Precious Life. Winner, Best Conflict and Reso... more



Next Year in Bombay   

Next Year in Bombay
France, 2010, 55 min.
The Jewish community “Bene Israel” settled in India 2000 years ago. Although they never faced anti-Semitism, most moved to Israel in the 1950s and today barely 4000 are left. Indian-Jewish culture could evaporate within one generation. Preceded by short animation I Was A Child Of Holocaust Survivors... more



A Not So Still Life   

A Not So Still Life
USA, 2010, 82 min.
An inspiring testament to the tenacity and brilliance of artist Ginny Ruffner’s revolutionary artistic achievements, as well as her miraculous and determined recovery from a near-fatal car accident. This documentary will challenge you see the world from a new and unexpected perspective.... more



Out For the Long Run   

Out For the Long Run
USA, 2010, 78 min.
Being a gay athlete in high school or college is still a very difficult road to travel. Bloom takes his camera into the campus locker room to record the stories of a new generation of courageous young people as they battle stereotypes and homophobia by speaking out. ... more



Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow   

Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow
United Kingdom, 2010, 98 min.
An art film in the literal sense of the term, this glorious-looking documentary shows renowned German artist Anselm Kiefer at work at La Ribaute, his sprawling estate in the south of France, where, during the first decade of the 21st century, he began constructing a series of elaborate, large-scale ... more



The Pipe   

The Pipe
Ireland, 2010, 83 min.
When gas was discovered off Ireland’s west coast, events were set in motion that soon had the locals up in arms against the Shell oil company. By focusing closely on the locals, director O’Domhnaill shows how individual action remains important in an increasingly corporate world. Winner, Best Docume... more



Precious Life   

Precious Life
Israel, 2010, 90 min.
Set against the backdrop of Israel's 2008-09 blockade of Gaza and its military offensive there, Israeli television correspondent Shlomi Eldar's personal, provocative documentary offers a feast for debate and was named to the long list of potential documentary Academy Award nominees.... more



The Rescuers   

The Rescuers
USA, 2010, 99 min.
Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List illuminated the story of a German businessman who saved hundreds of Jews from the concentration camps during WWII. However, there were many such little-known heroes who defied the Nazis to save countless Jews from a similar fate–-chief among them the 13 diplomats... more



Rise   

Rise
USA, 2010, 77 min.
February marks the 50th anniversary of the plane crash that killed the 1961 U.S. Figure Skating Team on its way to the World Championships. Through personal remembrances of those who knew them, Rise tells the fascinating--and largely forgotten--stories of these remarkable athletes and coaches.... more



The Sons of Tennessee Williams   

The Sons of Tennessee Williams
USA, 2010, 75 min.
Mardi Gras, drag balls and politics–-where else could these elements come together but in New Orleans? This lively documentary charts the evolution of the gay Mardi Gras krewe scene over the decades, illuminating the ways in which its emergence was a seminal factor in the cause of gay liberation in... more



Summer Pasture   

Summer Pasture
China, 2010, 85 min.
In one of the most beautiful but remote grasslands of eastern Tibet, we are allowed a rare glimpse into the life of nomads, who, having followed 4000 year old traditions, are now at a crossroad, lured by a permanent life in the city.... more



Waste Land   

Waste Land
Brazil, 2010, 98 min.
An unlikely collaboration between Vik Muniz, one of the world's leading visual artists, and the catadores who pick recyclable materials out of Rio's Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest garbage dump, forms one of the year's most lauded documentary films.... more



Wild Horse, Wild Ride   

Wild Horse, Wild Ride
USA, 2010, 106 min.
100 trainers. 100 wild mustangs. 100 days. In this moving documentary, a diverse group of characters participate in the annual "Mustang Makeover" competition in Ft. Worth, TX. What begins with mutual suspicion, ends with a profound bond between these remarkable animals and the men and women who trai... more



The Woodmans   

The Woodmans
USA, 2010, 82 min.
Filmmaker C. Scott Willis places a gripping and disturbing mystery at the center of this brilliantly plotted character study of The Woodmans, a family of exceptional artists: what led up to the suicide of the young photographer Francesca Woodman?... more



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