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Monday Memo

DOC NYC 2020 Wraps Up, Simon Kilmurry Stepping Down From IDA Post, Valentina Pedicini Dead at 42

FESTIVAL ESSENTIALS:

TOP 10 FOR 11/27 & 11/28

Updated daily, this snapshot reflects the most popular films across the lineup.

Runner Up: Audience Award DOC NYC 2020 WORLD PREMIERE |   After stints as a contributor to CNN and MTV, Sian-Pierre Regis makes his directing debut with this poignant story about his immigrant mother, Rebecca Danigelis. At the age…

Runner Up: Audience Award DOC NYC 2020 WORLD PREMIERE |  How can we bring accountability over the climate crisis? This inspiring story of youth activism documents 21 activists from across the nation as they file a groundbreaking lawsuit against…

Winner: Audience Award DOC NYC 2020 WORLD PREMIERE | Lorine Padilla rose to prominence as the “first lady” of the Savage Skulls gang in 1970s New York City. As the wife of one of its founders, Padilla’s position as surrogate…

WORLD PREMIERE | Blues and folk singer Karen Dalton was a prominent figure in 1960s New York. Idolized by Bob Dylan and Nick Cave, Karen discarded the traditional trappings of success and led an unconventional life until her early death. Since most…

WORLD PREMIERE | Overprotected and overdirected, American children are wilting under the weight of well-meaning parents. In the pursuit of keeping them safe and creating an impressive resumé of extracurricular activities to wow admissions boards…

Runner Up: Audience Award DOC NYC 2020 Kimonti Carter is serving life without parole in a Washington state prison based on a harsh 1990s three-strikes law, but rather than accept this condemnation, he has worked to transform inmates’ lives…

2020 VIEWFINDERS COMPETITION WINNER An intimate and lyrical portrait of trauma, resilience, and resistance in Puerto Rico at a time when economic, political, and ecological forces post-Hurricane María have created a breeding ground…

Runner Up: Audience Award DOC NYC 2020 WORLD PREMIERE | Beginning in 1980s New York City, this film chronicles the love story between dancers Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane, the diverse dance company they founded, and the painful devastation…

Runner Up: Audience Award DOC NYC 2020 NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE |   In 1970, off the coast of Cape Cod, Lithuanian sailor Simas Kudirka jumped from his Soviet ship onto a US Coast Guard vessel seeking asylum. Denied refuge by the American…

On John Belushi’s 30th birthday, he had the top TV show in Saturday Night Live , the top film in Animal House , and the top record with The Blues Brothers. But his insatiable appetites and anarchic energy were fraught with danger. Filmmaker R.J….

FAMILY-FRIENDLY FILMS

Each year, hundreds of thousands of children’s letters to Santa arrive at post offices around the country. The USPS attempts to make their Christmas wishes come true through a massive community organizing project known as Operation Santa. Through this…

Runner Up: Audience Award DOC NYC 2020 WORLD PREMIERE |   After stints as a contributor to CNN and MTV, Sian-Pierre Regis makes his directing debut with this poignant story about his immigrant mother, Rebecca Danigelis. At the age…

The Harlem Children’s Zone Initiative has transformed the lives of several generations of children and led a revolutionary educational and social experiment to break the cycle of poverty and violence. This inspiring and timely film uses an extraordinary…

Brothers and gifted musicians, pianist Aldo and violinist Ilmar were separated during childhood after Ilmar left their native Cuba to study abroad, beginning a lifetime of being physically apart, yet alway connected by music. Brief windows of open…

Runner Up: Audience Award DOC NYC 2020 WORLD PREMIERE |  How can we bring accountability over the climate crisis? This inspiring story of youth activism documents 21 activists from across the nation as they file a groundbreaking lawsuit against…

In the midst of the most devastating attack in American history on US soil, President George W. Bush finds himself in a South Florida classroom with a group of elementary school children. Nearly 20 years later, filmmaker Elizabeth St. Phillip follows…

WINNER’S CIRCLE

New Jersey’s Good Grief counseling center offers a holistic approach to mourning. Filmmaker Katrine Philp presents viewers with a child’s perspective of its programs, offering an affectionate and intimate look at the lives of several children who have…

Executive produced by Joshua Oppenheimer, this poignant portrait reveals the dark truth behind Chile’s seemingly idyllic, tourist-friendly German colony, Colonia Dignidad. Led by a cruel cult leader for more than 40 years, it remains the home of several…

Based on the groundbreaking book written by Naoki Higashida when he was only 13 years old, this extraordinary film takes viewers on a sonic dive into the interior worlds and fascinating daily experience of the lives of five nonverbal autistic young…

The 11 members of the Enache family have long lived off the grid in a sprawling tract of wilderness adjacent to the city of Bucharest. When the authorities decide to reclaim this land, the family is evicted from their paradise and forced to resettle in…

After the police arrest the thieves who took two of her paintings from an Oslo gallery, Barbora Kysilkova is desperate to recover her artwork, but they are nowhere to be found. Intrigued by one of the thieves, Karl-Bertil Nordland, she asks him to sit for…

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