DOC NYC Announce “Only In New York” Lineup

DOC NYC has announced the lineup of 46 work-in-progress documentaries chosen from submissions to participate in the “Only In New York” program, which consists of roundtable meetings with industry professionals and mentors. Over the course of four days (Nov. 11-14), filmmakers will network with financiers, producers, sales agents, distributors, festival programmers and other industry representatives at the DOC NYC PRO conference that runs concurrently with the festival. 

Only In New York is co-presented by SHOWTIME® Documentary Films for the fourth year.

“Now in its fourth year, we’re starting to see real outcomes for our Only In New York participants,” said DOC NYC PRO producer Amy Jelenko. “In the 2019 DOC NYC film lineup, we’re proud to screen several completed projects by Only In New York alumni, including American Muslim (dir. Adam Zucker), Blessed Child (dir. Cara Jones), Brooklyn Inshallah (dir. Ahmed Mansour), Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back (dir. John Carluccio), Queen of Hearts: Audrey Flack (dir. Deborah Shaffer and co-dir. Rachel Reichman), The Rabbi Goes West (dir. Amy Geller and Gerald Peary) and Searching for Mr. Rugoff (dir. Ira Deutchman).”

The film teams participating in this year’s Only In New York range from up-and-coming directors to established filmmakers. The diversity of film subjects is indicative of the times, including the exploration of a unique approach to prison reform in Coldwater Kitchen (dir. Brian Kaufman and Mark Kurlyandchik), and the brave stories of sexual assault survivors in Silent Beauty (dir. Jasmin Mara López) and Bella (dir. Bella Graves and Adam Dietrich). Stories of immigration are covered in A Place of Absence (dir. Marialuisa Ernst) and After Venezuela (dir. Braulio Jatar and Anaïs Michel), and American politics are front and center in A Stake in the Ground (dir. Jim Cricchi) and First Vote (dir. Yi Chen).

In addition, eight projects were selected to participate in DOC NYC’s Pitch Perfect event at Cinépolis Chelsea on Monday, November 11 (noted by an * below), an opportunity for film teams to present their projects for constructive feedback from a panel of industry representatives. Industry participants for Pitch Perfect include Christine Kecher (A&E IndieFilms), Adam Neuhaus (ESPN Films), Kelsey Koenig (Impact Partners), Dan O’Meara (NEON), Jeff Seelbach (Topic)  and Christopher Allen (UnionDocs). Elise McCave (Kickstarter) and Judith Helfand (Chicken & Egg Pictures) will serve as moderators. Pitch Perfect is co-presented by A&E IndieFilms.

Companies who are sending representatives to take meetings at Only In New York include A&E IndieFilms, American Documentary | POV, Amazon Studios, Cinetic Media, Condé Nast Entertainment, Discovery, EPIX, Hulu, Imagine Documentaries, Impact Partners, Kanopy, Motto Pictures, TIME Studios, Topic, WNET and others. 

 

FULL LIST OF “ONLY IN NEW YORK” PROJECTS

 

AFTER SHERMAN

 A film about our collective American inheritance that is in part a conversation between an African American father and his son about spiritual survival as a black American, a representation that is rarely seen in popular culture. 

Directed by Jon-Sesrie Goff

Produced by Blair Dorosh-Walther, Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich
*Selected for Pitch Perfect

AFTER VENEZUELA

A look into the biggest migratory crisis in all of Latin America, the Venezuelan migration, shot on the border of Venezuela and Colombia, where an estimated five thousand Venezuelans cross every day looking for new horizons. 

Directed by Braulio Jatar, Anaïs Michel

Produced by Rodrigo Diamanti, Carolina Gonzalez

*Selected for Pitch Perfect

AND SO I STAYED

The story of Kim Dadou Brown, a domestic violence survivor who shot and killed her boyfriend in self-defense in 1991. Now a free woman after 17 years in prison, Kim is fighting for New York’s Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act.

Directed by Daniel A. Nelson

Produced by Natalie Pattillo, Julian Lim

ARCHWIRE

A series of shorts exploring the humor and drama surrounding puberty. The project is being filmed over six years (2015-2020) and is directed by teenage filmmaker Zachary Maxwell. 

Directed and Produced by Zachary Maxwell

BE OUR GUEST

In suburban New Hampshire, Ronan and his sisters grow up in a family whose home doubles as a halfway house for recovering addicts. As they bear witness to one of America’s most pressing crises, the children re-examine their place in the world.

Directed by Diane Tsai

Produced by Francesca Trianni

BEAUTY ISN’T PRETTY

The quest for “beauty” is epic and timeless. Desperate and often dangerous pursuits of unrealistic beauty ideals by women and men are rampant globally… now more than ever. What fuels this desperate pursuit of beauty? 

Directed and Produced by Dori Berinstein

BELLA

Bella’s life was irreparably altered at 13 years old when fabricated nude images of her were posted online. Returning home forces Bella to confront the online sexual assault that has followed her for a decadeand the childhood friend who betrayed her. 

Directed by Bella Graves, Adam Dietrich

Produced by Susan Bedusa, Douglas Tirola

BIOGRAPHY OF A PHOTOTracing the stories of two iconic images—one in Panama (1989), the other in Bosnia (1992)—that have led extraordinary existences. Amidst these photos’ histories exist two people whose lives were changed by the events captured on film.

Directed by Ron Haviv, Lauren Walsh

Produced by Doug Blush, Srdjan Sarenac

CHARM CIRCLE

Nira Burstein returns to her childhood home to explore how her eccentric parents Uri and Raya have come to live like roommates in a house in total disrepair. Beneath the financial woes is a story of tragedy, fleeting dreams and the ripple effects of mental illness.

Directed by Nira Burstein

Produced by Betsy Laikin

CHEESE: A TASTE OF PLACE

This four-part docuseries follows the world’s most renowned cheese makers as they fight to save their communities with artisan cheeses that promote a regional, yet dying, taste of place.

Directed by Ben Niles

Produced by Ben Niles, Will Studd

COLDWATER KITCHEN

There are few places where food is as purposeful as it is at Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, MI. For nearly 30 years, chef Jimmy Lee Hill has run a culinary training program for prisoners, teaching inmates the value of both knife skills and life skills. 

Directed by Brian Kaufman, Mark Kurlyandchik

Produced by Kathy Kieliszewski, Steve Byrne, Nicole Avery

*Selected for Pitch Perfect

DON’T LOOK AWAY

The daily lives of several adults with facial differences are followed in an effort to create more awareness of the issues facing this often misunderstood and ignored community.

Directed by Joseph Lingad

Produced by George Manatos, Laura Klein, Mia Unger, Jeffrey Thompson

DUSTY & STONES

Country music duo Dusty & Stones struggle to sustain a career in their tiny African kingdom of Swaziland. When a Nashville producer and a Texas Battle of the Bands come calling, the two cousins embark on a pilgrimage through the American South.

Directed by Jesse Rudoy

Produced by Melissa Adeyemo

*Selected for Pitch Perfect

EL RETORNO (THE RETURN)

Aura is followed during her last months in New York. After having cleaned the homes of wealthy residents and navigating the social hierarchies of NYC, she emerges as the owner of a 17-unit rental property in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Directed by Luz Zamora

Produced by Neyda Martinez, Carol Colmenares

ESU AND THE UNIVERSE

A film about religious freedom and the influence of the African Yoruba people in Brazil and around the world, demonstrating the historical struggle against forces that demonize Yoruba culture and how it flourished against the odds.

Directed by Thiago Zanato

Produced by Adriana Barbosa

ETHEL

Ethel is a Jewish-Algerian student based in Paris, and member of the gilets jaunes (the Yellow Vests Movement). When the Algerian movement catalyzes, Ethel goes on a journey of self-discovery to join her people and find her roots in Algeria.

Directed by M. Siam

Produced by François Artemare

THE FIGHT

People with disabilities are amongst the most discriminated in Bolivia. A group of them embark on a 350 km march over the Andean mountains in their wheelchairs to arrive in La Paz and fight toe-to-toe with the government.

Directed by Violeta Ayala

Produced by Daniel Fallshaw, Redelia Shaw, Violeta Ayala

FIRST VOTE

Filmmaker Yi Chen embarks on a two-year journey into the South and Midwest to capture ardent first-time voters’ participation in American democracy against the backdrop of demographic changes and intensifying polarization.

Directed by Yi Chen

Produced by Yi Chen, Diane Quon, Su Kim

*Selected for Pitch Perfect

FLOOD

A rich, timely and unusual story about an artist who uses filmmaking to reconnect to her young-earth creationist father. With honesty, poignancy and humor, the film portrays how the creative process can reconnect estranged family members.

Directed by Katy Scoggin

Produced by Katy Scoggin, Karen Duffin

FORGET ME NOT

Will Emilio be included? Two parents of a child with Down syndrome intimately document their navigation through the world’s largestand America’s most segregatedschool system.

Directed by Olivier Bernier

Produced by Tiffany deGuzman, Patrick Solomon

FREE AGENT

While supporting her partner Kelly in his gender confirmation surgery, Roseanne is triggered by her sexual trauma and faced with an unexpected opportunity to pursue legal action against her abuser. Free Agent follows the couple on a quest to reclaim their identities and help each other heal.

Directed by Roseanne Malfucci, Joy E. Reed

 

GIRL TALK

Set in the male-dominated world of high school debate, this film tells the story of five females on one nationally ranked co-ed debate team. Filmed over four years, a complex story emerges as the protagonists struggle to beat the odds.

Directed by Lucia Small

Produced by Dia Sokol Savage, Lucia Small

I AM THE TIGRESS

With 17-inch biceps and back muscles to make any man jealous, Tischa “The Tigress” struggles to face the end of her career as a professional female bodybuilder. Can she find acceptance and love in the life waiting for her on stage? 

Directed by Philipp Fussenegger, Dino Osmanovic

Produced by Michael Steinwand, Sujmo Akcali

KID DYNAMITE: THE KYLE DAKE STORY

The decade-long journey of amateur wrestler Kyle Dake as he pursues the pinnacle of his sport: Olympic gold.

Directed and Produced by Gregory Accetta

THE KIDS ARE NOT ALRIGHT

Thousands of teenagers across the US are held in cult-like reform programs that generate multibillion-dollar profits with little to no government oversight. This exposé  draws the curtain back on those who have promoted and protected this industry.

Directed by Mikaela Shwer

Produced by Kate Logan, Kimberly Stuckwisch, Carlos Lopez-Estrada, Neil Garvey

THE LAST 90 MINUTES

A chronicle of the tension-filled, touching and sometimes comical journey of old school Coach George and his college women’s soccer team through their final season.

Directed and Produced by Dana Kalmey

LEAD AND COPPER

An intimate look at how the Flint Water Crisis rocked an already systematically oppressed city, serving as a blueprint for how other cities in America can combat the neglect and results of their failing infrastructure. 

Directed by William Hart

Produced by Patrick Letterii, Alex Olsen, Glen Zipper, Steven Leckart, Edwina Brandon-Kane, Victor Kane

THE LITTLE DRESS: A JOURNEY OF HOPE

Three women from disparate worlds join forces to improve the lives of girls in Malawi, one of the poorest nations on earth. 

Directed and Produced by Vicki Vasilopoulos

LOVE IS IN THE LEGEND

This project connects the House of Field Grand Street Ball of September 1988 and the Paradise Garage dance club. Celebrating the power of being an outsider and told by living legends who found belonging through music, fashion and dance, this story reveals how voguing and fashion competition were introduced to the world.

Directed and Produced by Dr. Myra Lewis

MAFQUD (THE MISSING)

In the wake of the horrific ISIS campaign that tore through Northern Iraq and Syria, thousands of Yazidi women and children remain missing, assumed dead or in captivity and enslavement. As the local and international communities struggle to mount re-unification missions, a team of smugglers works to reunite four orphaned Yazidi siblings in this visceral investigation of crimes against humanity. 

Directed by Hasan Oswald

Produced by Annelise Mecca, Alexander Spiess, Fahrinisa Campana

MILLION DOLLAR BLOCK

A compassionate and immersive community tableau examining the role of public institutions and how poverty and race intertwine with the structures of housing, education and policing to prescribe much of the residents’ lives.

Directed by Diane Hodson, Jasmine Luoma

Produced by Diane Hodson, Jasmine Luoma, Shantel Palacio, Brett Story

MY SO-CALLED SELFISH LIFE

In our society, it’s assumed all women want children. This project explores this long-standing assumption about women’s bodies and choices through personal stories, pop culture, history, science, memory and myth. 

Directed and Produced by Therese Shechter

Take the Ice

A behind-the-scenes look at the first professional women’s hockey league in history, profiling the founder, commissioner and the athletes competing to win its first championship.

Directed by Rachel Koteen

Produced by Rachel Koteen, Judah-Lev Dickstein, Batya Feldman

THE ONE AND THE MANY

Compagnia Della Fortezza, a theater troupe inside the prison of Volterra, has instigated a transformation of inmates, authorities and audiences for 30 years. This film follows founder Armando Punzo and inmates as they struggle to secure the future of this utopic theatre destined to disappear.

Directed by Inaya Yusuf

Produced by Alessandra Pasquino

ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY

Four students work to graduate from MIT, intending to become agents of change for their home countries in Africa. Each must decide how much of America to absorb, how much of Africa to hold on to and whether they can ever really return.

Directed by Arthur Musah

Produced by Arthur Musah, Brook Turner

OYATE

In 2016, the world turned its eyes to the Lakota Nation as they fought to prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline. Three years later, community leaders are using the spotlight to bring attention to human rights violations committed against indigenous societies at large.

Directed by Brandon Jackson, Emil Benjamin

Produced by Brandon Jackson, Emil Benjamin, Sandra Evers-Manly

PARADISE

Three environmental crusaders confront murder, betrayal and their own demons as they are tested like never before in their battle to save an island paradise in the Philippines.

Directed by Karl Malakunas

Produced by Marty Syjuco, Michael Collins

*Selected for Pitch Perfect

A PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY

A young photographer attempts to piece together a portrait of her mother, Sheila Turner-Seed, a daring journalist and a woman she never knew. Uncovering a vast audio-visual archive, the film explores memory, legacy and stories left untold.

Directed by Rachel Elizabeth Seed

Produced by Rachel Elizabeth Seed, Danielle Varga

A PLACE OF ABSENCE

The director follows the Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants, Central American women looking for sons and daughters who have disappeared en route to the US.

Directed and Produced by Marialuisa Ernst

RAISING KHAN

After returning from Afghanistan with severe depression and PTSD, Harry Turner went to the jungle to end his life. There, he met scientist Samantha Zwicker, and, through their work together raising orphaned wildlife, he finds a reason to live.

Directed by Melissa Lesh, Trevor Frost

Produced by Melissa Lesh, Trevor Frost, Mariah Wilson, Alysa Nahmias, Mallory Bracken

*Selected for Pitch Perfect

THE REVEREND

A profile of the life and music of Reverend Vince Anderson. With his band The Love Choir, he has played his own brand of music, dirty gospel, at a weekly residency for NYC audiences for over 20 years.

Directed by Nick Canfield

Produced by Nick Canfield, Nick Daniele

SILENT BEAUTY

An autobiographical exploration of a family’s history with child sexual abuse and a culture of silence, which confronts and accepts difficult truths while finding beauty in the process.

Directed by Jasmin Mara López

Produced by Jasmin Mara López, Pilar Timpane

*Selected for Pitch Perfect

A STAKE IN THE GROUND

From rural politics to a hotly contested governor’s race and a $4.5 billion boondoggle, the story of Wisconsin and how it became a proving ground for anti-democratic legislation.

Directed by Jim Cricchi

Produced by Susan Peters

STOLEN CHILDHOOD

A personal story following an American cinematographer who supports three Mongolian street children, demonstrating what’s possible when we tap into our compassion and overcome our fear to connect to another human being.

Directed and Produced by Martina Radwan

UNTITLED (PARENTING)

In today’s world of achievement culture, helicopter parenting and the college arms race, kids don’t have time to be kids anymore. Psychologists, activists and leaders of the “free play” movement fight to bring back the benefits of a less curated childhood.

Directed by Eden Wurmfeld, Margaret Munzer Loeb

Produced by Eden Wurmfeld, Lisa Eisenpresser 

UNTITLED PIZZA MOVIE

A six-part documentary series that weaves an archival film about pizza in a pre-gentrified New York with a stunning filmic inventory to paint a portrait of three men.

Directed by David Shapiro

Produced by Michael Tubbs, Brendan Doyle, Peter Sillen, Karin Roach