documentary | WAMC

documentary

Jayme Roy / The Pollinators

Peter Nelson is the director of “The Pollinators,” a documentary that follows his travels around the United States following migratory beekeepers as they pollinate the flowers that produce the nation’s fruits, nuts, and vegetables. The movie was released in late 2019 and is screening at a Berkshire International Film Festival event as a part of its Environmental Film Focus at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts this Sunday at 3 p.m.  Also a beekeeper, Nelson tells WAMC that “The Pollinators” explores the problems that bees, beekeepers, and the country’s agricultural system face – and why he’s still optimistic.

Founded in 2014 in Oakland, California by two queer women of color as a social justice alternative to scouting organizations, The Radical Monarchs create an opportunity for young girls of color to gather and grow together while celebrating their identities and contributing to their communities.

The documentary film “We Are The Radical Monarchs” will screen at Images Cinema in Williamstown, Massachusetts at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 13. 

Linda Goldstein Knowlton is the Director and Co-producer of the film and she joins us now.

Goldstein Knowlton is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker whose projects include “Women and Hollywood,” one of the six, one-hour documentaries for the Emmy-nominated PBS MAKERS: Women Who Make America series. Prior to that, she produced “Code Black” and “Somewhere Between.” For her directorial debut, Linda co-directed “The World According to Sesame Street,” which debuted at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. She started her career producing feature films, including the award-winning “Whale Rider” and “The Shipping News.” With Katie Flint she runs the independent production company Ladylike Films.

The Greenwich Free Library and community co-sponsors will be having a special film screening of the PBS documentary "American Creed" in which former US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Pulitzer-Prize winning historian David M. Kennedy come together from different points of view to investigate the idea of a unifying American Creed.

The screening will take place on Wednesday, October 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Greenwich Central School High School Auditorium. Following the film, Joe Donahue will be leading a panel and community discussion. To talk more about the event and the documentary, we welcome library director, Annie Miller.

The Woodstock Film Festival will present the world premiere screening of the new documentary "Parkland Rising," executive produced by Katie Couric and will.i.am, at the upcoming 20th anniversary film festival, on October 4.

The documentary from Gigantic Productions, directed by two-time Emmy Award winner Cheryl Horner McDonough, follows the high-school students and families who became fierce leaders of the national movement for gun reform after the February 2018 shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida.

Katie Couric began her journalism career as an assistant at the ABC network. She went on to report for NBC, eventually becoming co-anchor of Today and sole anchor of the CBS evening News. She heads Katie Couric Media, her production company which centers around scripted and non-scripted projects that are committed to creating smart, trustworthy, relatable content that aims to tell the stories that she believes need to be brought to awareness.

Up until the 1960s and 70s, there had been few, if any, human beings who were forced to live their lives under such intense media scrutiny as John F. Kennedy Jr. did.

Born in 1960, at the dawn of the television era. His father, a master of the new medium, used his young family to project a false, but highly attractive, image of himself as a wholesome family man. President Kennedy’s assassination increased public pressure on John even though he was only a boy. The salute by that little boy in blue at his father’s casket cemented the belief that John would be the natural heir to his father’s legacy.

"America’s Reluctant Prince" is a biography of JFK jr. by Steven Gillon - Scholar-in-Residence at The History Channel and Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma. There is also a corresponding documentary with A&E, which is based on the book and features Steven Gillon, “JFK JR – The Final Years,” and it will premiere on July 16, the 20th anniversary of JFK. Jr’s death.

The 2019 John Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative Documentary Forum, “Humor: Laughing with Reality,” happening at Skidmore College is a weekend-long festival with presentations of artistic work and symposium-style conversations around the theme of humor in documentary.

The first of two keynote events happens tonight. It is: Sam Green and Yo La Tengo “The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller” tonight at 8 PM at the Zankel Music Center in Saratoga Springs.

In this hour-long “live documentary,” Academy Award–nominated filmmaker Sam Green explores Fuller’s utopian vision of radical social change through a design revolution. The project is a collaboration between Green and the legendary indie band Yo La Tengo. At tonight’s screening, Green narrates the film in person and cues images while Yo La Tengo performs their original score.

Ira Kaplan for Yo La Tengo joins us.

In 2017, MASS MoCA became the largest museum for contemporary art in the world, but just three decades before, its vast brick buildings were the abandoned remains of a shuttered factory.

Jennifer Trainer's new documentary film, “Museum Town” tells that story.

“Museum Town” shows how a small rural Massachusetts town went from economic collapse to art mecca. “Museum Town” will be the closing night film for this year’s Berkshire International Film Festival, screening at 7 p.m. on June 2 at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

An early and longtime director of development and public relations for MASS MoCA, Jennifer Trainer is now the President & CEO and Hancock Shaker Village. “Museum Town” is her first movie.

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” explores the history of the women who founded the modern women’s movement from 1966 to 1971. The documentary takes its audience from the founding of the National Organization for Women to the emergence of more radical factions of women’s liberation - telling a proud and reflective story about feminist accomplishments and missteps.

The film combines dramatizations, performance, and archival footage, along with interviews with women who fought for their own equality, and in the process created a world-wide revolution.

The New York State Writers Institute will present a screening of “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” tonight at 7:30 at Page Hall on UAlbany’s Downtown Campus. A q&a with director and award-winning documentary producer Mary Dore will follow the screening and she joins us.

Storyhorse Documentary Theater is a documentary theater project based in the Hudson Valley founded by Mary Stuart Masterson and Jeremy Davidson, stories are inspired by transcribed conversations with the people in local communities, historical documents, and other primary sources, focusing on the social, political, environmental and medical issues we face. The stories are brought to life by actors in multimedia staged readings.

"The Face of It," a new series of three one-act documentary plays: “The Call of the Sasquatch," "The Weight," and "In Her Shoes" will be performed November 9-11 at Hudson Hall.

Mary Stuart Masterson and Jeremy Davidson join us.

The new documentary film, "Netizens," exposes the proliferation of cyber harassment faced by women, spreading from the web to the most intimate corners of their lives. As the internet becomes the next frontier of civil rights, this feature documentary follows three women who are targets of harassment, along with advocates, legal experts and others, as they confront digital abuse and strive for equality and justice online.

"Netizens" will screen twice as part of the Woodstock Film Festival. Cynthia Lowen is an award-winning filmmaker and writer and she joins us.

In her documentary film “Hot to Trot,” Hudson Valley based filmmaker, Gail Freedman, brings her audience into the world of same-sex ballroom dancing -- and into the lives of several dancers.

“Hot to Trot” will screen at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, New York on October 6 and at the Rosendale Theatre in Rosendale, New York on October 21. Gail Freedman will be in attendance for both screenings.

In more than 20 years as an award-winning filmmaker, Freedman has produced, directed and written dozens of documentaries on a wide range of subjects, through her company, Parrot Productions. She has also taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Among her films is Making the 9/11 Memorial, a primetime special for The History Channel, which aired on the 10th anniversary of September 11th, when the Memorial opened. Her creative output encompasses independent projects, as well as extensive work for PBS, network television, cable, syndication and the Internet, along with educational and non-profit films.

The 13th Annual Berkshire International Film Festival will showcase 80 of the latest independent feature, documentary, short and family films from 28 countries from May 31 to June 3 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and from June 1 to 3 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

The festival features screenings and various special events including three “Tea Talks”. One of this year’s Tea Talks features Berkshire based Academy Award winning filmmaker, Cynthia Wade, and a screening of her new documentary, “Grit.”

"Grit" is co-directed and co-produced by Wade and Sasha Friedlander and follows the lives of Indonesian citizens in East Jakarta displaced from their villages when an underground mudflow, struck by a natural gas drill, bubbles up and buries their homes and everything they own beneath 60 feet of mud.

Cynthia Wade joins us.

From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville ("20 Feet from Stardom"), "Won’t You Be My Neighbor?" takes an intimate look at America’s favorite neighbor: Mister Fred Rogers.

A portrait of a man whom we all think we know, this emotional and moving film takes us beyond the zip-up cardigans and the land of make-believe, and into the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination.

The highly anticipated and already much lauded film will be the closing night presentation of this year's Berkshire International Film Festival. BIFF takes place May 31-June 3. Nicholas Ma is a producer on "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" and he joined us to talk about the movie and his relationship with Fred Rogers.

The 13th Annual Berkshire International Film Festival will showcase 80 of the latest in independent feature, documentary, short and family films. The festival runs from May 31 to June 3 in Great Barrington, MA and June 1 to 3 in Pittsfield, MA.

Kelley Vickery is the Artistic Director and Founder of BIFF and she joins us with a preview of this year’s festival.

Boxes of film reels from the Dawson City Recovery site—an entire lost archive in need of preservation, 1978.
Kathy Jones-Gates / Dawson City Archives


  “Dawson City: Frozen Time” is the latest film from award winning documentary filmmaker, Bill Morrison, whose previous films include “Decasia,” "The Miners' Hymns" and "The Great Flood."

 

The film will be presented by Pothole Pictures in Shelburne Falls on May 4th and 5th and at The Opalka Gallery at Sage College in Albany, NY on May 11. Morrison will attend the Pot Hole Pictures screening on May 4th and will be at The Opalka Gallery screening on May 11.

 

"Dawson City: Frozen Time" pieces together the strange true story of a collection of some 500 films dating, from 1910s to the 1920s, which were lost for over 50 years until being discovered in 1978 buried in a subarctic swimming pool deep in the Yukon Territory

Morrison used these permafrost protected, rare silent films and newsreels, archival footage, interviews and historical photographs to tell the story of Dawson City’s gold rush boom-and-bust and the remote location’s unlikely ties to several aspects of early film history.  

Using a trove of footage unearthed from the National Geographic archives, the new documentary film "Jane" tells the true story of Jane Goodall as a young woman whose chimpanzee research challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world.

Filmmaker Brett Morgen joins us. Dubbed the “mad scientist” of documentary film by the New York Times, Brett Morgen has been directing, writing, and producing ground breaking documentary films for the past 15 years.

After five years of war in Syria, the remaining citizens of Aleppo are getting ready for a siege. Through the eyes of volunteer rescue workers called the White Helmets, "Last Men in Aleppo" allows viewers to experience the daily life, death, and struggle in the streets, where they are fighting for sanity in a city where war has become the norm.

The film is nominated for a 2018 Academy Award for Best Documentary and is currently available to view on Netflix. It will also air on PBS on March 1. Director, Feras Fayyed, joins us.

Arthur Miller: Writer is an intimate portrait of the great American playwright and social critic, Arthur Miller, from the unique perspective of an award-winning filmmaker — his daughter, Rebecca Miller.

The film contains material never before seen by the public, including in-depth interviews and home-movie style glimpses into Miller's persona — quite different from the face that was presented in formal interviews and to the press. Rebecca Miller opens the door to the man behind the icon, delves into the roots of his life as an artist, and explores his character — both its strengths and its weaknesses.

Rebecca Miller's film is playing the final night of the Woodstock Film Festival, October 15th, at 7:30pm in the Woodstock Playhouse. It will be followed by a Q & A. 

In the documentary film, The Rape of Recy Taylor, Nancy Buirski reconstructs events from 1944, when Recy Taylor, a twenty-four-year-old black woman in Abbeville, Alabama, was abducted on her way home from church by six white men who then raped her. Though Taylor identified her attackers, a local grand jury did not indict anyone for the crime. The NAACP mobilized a national campaign on Taylor’s behalf, sending Rosa Parks, its leading rape investigator to Abbeville. She and others recognized that, if justice could be served, it would be the result of reporting outside the immediate area. They nationalized the case yet the perpetrators remained uncharged, and the case slipped into oblivion.

The film will screen in Woodstock on Saturday at 10 a.m. as part of the Woodstock Film Festival and Nancy Buirski will be there for a Q&A following.

Griffin Dunne
Chronogram Magazine

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold is a biographical documentary featuring the life of influential American writer, Joan Didion. Directed by Joan's nephew, Griffin Dunne, the film enlightens the viewer with an unprecedented, intimate perspective on Joan's life and career accomplishments.

The film features interviews from Joan herself, as well as close family and friends, interwoven with contextual archival footage/stills to visualize Joan's astute writing. Joan, famous for bringing order to disorder through her words, exposes, examines and divulges the most pivotal events in American history, making her one of the most recognizable and influential voices within the literary world. The story of this film not only considers Joan Didion the writer, but gives light to Joan Didion, the individual. 

The film will be screened at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, NY on October 13th at 5:45pm as part of the Woodstock Film Festival with a Q & A to follow with Griffin Dunne. 

A screening of the new documentary, Backpack Full Of Cash, about the effects of privatization of America’s public schools, will be followed by Q&A with award-winning director/producer Sarah Mondale and producer/editor Vera Aronow on Friday, September 8 at 7:00 PM in Page Hall on the University at Albany downtown campus.

Narrated by Academy Award-winning actor, Matt Damon, the documentary film Backpack Full Of Cash explores the real cost of privatizing America’s public schools.

Sarah LaDuke and Lonny Price
Joe Donahue

The third Main Stage production of the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2017 season is A Legendary Romance. Written by Timothy Prager and Geoff Morrow and starring Jeff McCarthy and Lora Lee Gayer, A Legendary Romance is directed by Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee, Lonny Price.

Price played Charley in the ill-fated original production of Merrily We Roll Along on Broadway -- an experience which he has lately translated into an acclaimed documentary film The Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened (which is now available to stream on Netflix).

He’s an award winning director who helmed the recent Broadway revival of Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close. Other directorial credits include Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill starring Audra McDonald -- which is running in London this summer -- and episodes of the television programs 2 Broke Girls and Desperate Housewives and the screen-via-stage favorites Great Performances and Live from Lincoln Center. He’s also a writer and was nominated for a Tony Award in 2001 for the book of A Class Act. As an actor he has a number of theatrical credits after Merrily and several films, including The Muppets Take Manhattan and Dirty Dancing.

Denial documentary poster
Denial/Derek Hallquist

A film that will be screened in Saratoga Springs this weekend interweaves two topics close to the heart of the filmmaker.  Derek Hallquist intended to make the film “Denial” to explain the electric grid and its impact on the environment.  For years he followed his father, the leader of a small electric utility, as he tried to confront how the electricity sector addresses climate change.  But Hallquist says that as filming on the documentary progressed he discovered and then interwove his father’s personal story of confronting gender denial.

Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that with her own kids and learned that the average kid spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. She wondered about the impact of all this time and about the friction occurring in homes and schools around negotiating screen time—friction she knew all too well. 

In Screenagers, Delaney takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, Screenagers reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.

There will be a screening at the Maple Avenue Middle School at 7PM in Saratoga on 11/30.

We are joined by Delaney Ruston and Gina Karp, who currently teaches high school humanities (and previously taught grades 1-8) at the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs.

US News and World Report has declared that “the 2016 presidential election may be America’s last chance to elect a leader who will halt climate change.” National Geographic Channel will premiere the second season of the Emmy award-winning documentary series Years of Living Dangerously this Sunday, October 30th at 8PM — just over a week before the presidential election.

Years of Living Dangerously once again features some of Hollywood’s biggest influencers who are passionate about environmental issues, and it reveals emotional and hard-hitting accounts of the effects of climate change from across the planet.

On the premiere, In his first television project since retiring as host of CBS’s The Late Show, David Letterman travels to India for the first time to find out what the world’s soon-to-be most populous country is going to do to expand its inadequate energy grid, power its booming economy and bring basic electricity to 300 million citizens who have never plugged in. 

David Gelber is an Executive Producer of Years of Living Dangerously. He served as Ed Bradley’s producer at 60 Minutes for twenty-five years, during which he won every major journalism award, including a Peabody, two DuPont Awards and eight Emmy Awards.

Adirondack Theatre Festival is having a major new event on October 21st and 22nd, The Adirondack Film Festival. Featuring over 30 of the best new national and international films, the inaugural event will take place on five movie screens in four locations in downtown Glens Falls, allowing ATF to expand community programming outside of the regular summer theatre schedule.

The Adirondack Film Festival will show feature films, short films, webseries, children's films, and documentaries. In addition to film screenings, the festival will include panel discussions, meet and greet events, parties, and Q&A's with the filmmakers and casts.

The Festival will also feature a contest where local actors, directors, and writers (of all skill-levels) will be invited to create a film in 48hrs. They will provide the equipment - you make the movie! Audiences will vote on their favorites and awards will be presented to the winners. 

Festival Director, Chad Rabinowitz joins us to tell us more. 

  The film Everybody Knows…Elizabeth Murray is an intimate portrait of the groundbreaking artist Elizabeth Murray. The film explores the relationship between Murray’s family life and career, and reconsiders her place in contemporary art history.

The film will be shown as part of the Reel Women in Film Series at The Linda in Albany on Saturday night at 8PM.

The film is directed and produced by Kristi Zea who will be speaking after the film is shown Saturday. Zea has been in the contemporary film scene for three decades. She has been acclaimed for her work as a production designer, costume designer and producer of major feature films and we welcome her to The Roundtable.

  The documentary feature film, Life, Animated, will be The Berkshire International Film Festival’s opening night film in Pittsfield, MA at The Beacon Theatre on Friday, June 3rd at 7pm.

Life, Animated tells the story of how Owen Suskind, who is autistic, found a pathway through Disney animation to language and a framework for making sense of the world. This emotional coming-of-age story follows Owen as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence. Owen’s father, Ron Suskind, wrote a book of the same name to tell his family’s story of losing Owen.

The film interweaves classic Disney sequences with verite scenes from Owen’s life, the film explores how identification and empathy with characters like Simba, Jafar, and Ariel forge a conduit for him to understand his feelings and interpret reality.

Life, Animated won the Directing Award for a U.S. Documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and director, Roger Ross Williams, join us now. Roger Ross Williams is an Academy Award winning documentarian -- winning in 2010 for the Documentary Short Subject, Music by Prudence.

  Nancy Spielberg grew up surrounded by the film industry, where she worked on her brother Steven’s early films.

She join us this morning to talk about her new documentary, Above and Beyond, and about her Women's Philanthropy Connections event for the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York

  Darius Clark Monroe, award-winning film director, producer, and screenwriter, will provide commentary and answer questions immediately following the screening of his film, Evolution of a Criminal this Friday in Page Hall on the University at Albany’s downtown campus.

The film reexamines, in strikingly candid fashion, an event from Monroe’s own teenage years: his participation in a 1997 Texas bank robbery and his subsequent incarceration. The film includes a variety of interviews with Monroe’s family members, teachers, and law enforcement officials. Monroe also talks to the two men who robbed the bank with him and stages a reenactment of the crime.

The event is sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute in conjunction with the School of Criminal Justice’s Crime, Justice, and Social Structure film series.

Pages