A new, free online screening series that spotlighted the most talked-about nonfiction series and films of the year, featuring exclusive conversations with the creative teams behind them.

DOC NYC’s inaugural Spring Showcase offered documentary lovers a new online screening series. From May 24th – June 20th, 2021 viewers had free access to 14 of this year’s most talked-about nonfiction films and series, paired with exclusive conversations featuring the creative teams behind them.
Over the course of four weeks, audiences heard from creators Padma Lakshmi, Steve James, Fran Lebowitz, Asif Kapadia, Dr. Orna Guralnik, Louis Theroux, and more, in Q&As moderated by DOC NYC’s programming team.

The lineup spanned a wide variety of nonfiction formats and subjects, from hosted series to biographies, vérité films, and multi-part cultural explorations, covering everything from culinary history to city politics, pop music, and the inner workings of intimate relationships.

2021 Spring Showcase Events:

Click the links below for more info or to watch the Q&As.

Louis Theroux: Life on the Edge – Q&A with writer and presenter Louis Theroux
Screened May 24 – 25

The Infinite Race – Q&A with filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz and film editor Flavia de Souza
Screened May 26 – 27

High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America – Q&A with executive producers Fabienne Toback and Karis Jagger; and series producer Shoshana Guy
Screened May 28 – 29

The Year Earth Changed – Q&A with executive producers Alice Keens-Soper and Mike Gunton
Screened May 30 – 31

76 Days – Q&A with director/producer Hao Wu
Screened June 1 – 2

City So Real – Q&A with director/producer/cinematographer/editor Steve James and producer/sound recordist Zak Piper
Screened June 3 – June 4

Couples Therapy – Q&A with director/executive producer Josh Kriegman, director Kim Roberts, executive producer Elyse Steinberg, psychoanalyst and psychologist Dr. Orna Guralnik
Screened June 5 – 6

The Secrets of the Whales – Q&A with National Geographic explorer & photographer/producer Brian Skerry and composer Raphaelle Thibaut
Screened June 7 – 8

Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi – Q&A with host and executive producer Padma Lakshmi
Screened June 9 – 10

The Social Dilemma – Q&A with director Jeff Orlowski and producer Larissa Rhodes
Screened June 11 – 12

Framing Britney Spears – Q&A with producer/director Samantha Stark, showrunner/executive producer Mary Robertson, and senior story editor Liz Day
Screened June 13 – 14

Pretend It’s a City – Q&A with series subject/executive producer Fran Lebowitz
Screened June 15 – 16

1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything – Q&A with executive producer/series director Asif Kapadia, executive producer James Gay-Rees, executive producer/editor Chris King, series producer/director Danielle Peck and director James Rogan
Screened June 17 – 18

Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry – Q&A with director/writer/producer R.J. Cutler, cinematographer Jenna Rosher, editor Greg Finton and editor Lindsay Utz
Screened June 19 – 20


All prerecorded conversations and select shows will have closed captioning. To inquire about accessibility for any DOC NYC events, please email accessibility@docnyc.net.

Week 1

Louis Theroux: Life on the Edge features Louis looking back at his most notable American contributors. Catch all episodes on BBC SELECT from May 24.

The Tarahumara people inspired a barefoot, ultrarunning craze all across the world. But back in Mexico, they’ve been forgotten as their homes and communities were ravaged by drug cartels and violence.

Week 2


Filmed in Wuhan, China by an independent crew, 76 Days covers the length of the city’s lockdown for COVID-19. The film’s suspenseful pacing and otherworldly imagery make it feel like a science-fiction thriller. The heroes are the front-line hospital workers who still manage to find humanity and humor even while fully encased behind PPE. Debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival, 76 Days was widely praised as “utterly compelling” (The Atlantic), “invaluable” (Rolling Stone), and “one of the best” at TIFF (The New York Times).   (Courtesy of MTV Documentary Films)

Producer Jean Tsien is the recipient of DOC NYC’s Visionaries Tribute Lifetime Achievement Award for 2020.

Catch this film at our Spring Showcase.

Steve James’ fascinating portrait of Chicago, set against the backdrop of its historic 2019 mayoral election, and the tumultuous 2020 summer of COVID-19 and social upheaval.

Couples Therapy follows eight months of therapy sessions with Dr. Orna Guralnik, deftly guiding couples through honest confrontation with each other, revealing real-life struggles and extraordinary breakthroughs.

Week 3

Secrets of the Whales is an epic journey within the world’s oceans and seas, offering cinematic storytelling and breathtaking images of the planet’s whales.

A journey across America, exploring the rich, diverse food culture of various immigrant groups, seeking out people who have shaped what American food is today.

In The Social Dilemma, key tech insiders reveal how social media is reprogramming civilization by exposing what’s hiding on the other side of your screen

Week 4

Her rise was a global phenomenon. Her downfall was a cruel national sport. Britney Spears and lawyers tied to her conservatorship battle over who should control her life.

Directed by Lebowitz’s longtime friend Martin Scorsese, Pretend it’s a City is a dose of NYC attitude that sparks pangs of delight, fury and recognition