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Step is Life - New Featurette for Inspiring, Energetic Dance Doc 'Step'

Step Documentary Featurette

"Strong women together are unstoppable." Fox Searchlight has released a new featurette for the fantastic documentary Step, profiling a step dance group at a school in Baltimore. This doc premiered at Sundance to rave reviews, and was one of the audience's favorites. It's one of the most energetic, inspiring, exciting documentaries I've seen this year and I highly recommend it. This featurette is more of an introduction to "step" and what it is, and where it came from, and why it's so important to these women. If you haven't seen the official trailer, you can check it out here after watching this promo below. Here's to hoping Searchlight can build up buzz and turn this doc into a big hit in theaters. It definitely has my support! Check this out.

 Posted June 16 in Documentaries, Featurette, To Watch | Comments

Must Watch: First Trailer for 'Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press'

Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press Trailer

"He's doing this because he wants to bring Gawker down." Netflix has premiered the official trailer for the documentary Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press, the latest from acclaimed filmmaker Brian Knappenberger, of the docs We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists and The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz. Knappenberger is one of my favorite doc filmmakers, as he understands the internet better than most people, and always sheds a light on the truth no matter how hard it is to find. Nobody Speak dives deep into the case of Hulk Hogan (aka Terry Bollea) vs Gawker. Unfortunately, Gawker lost the trial and they had to shut down because of this defeat. The film looks at how the idea of a free press is fading away, and the most powerful people with the most money are taking control over everything. This premiered at Sundance and it's a riveting, frightening, remarkable doc that you should take time to watch.

 Posted June 15 in Documentaries, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Official Trailer for 'Bronx Gothic' Doc About Artist Okwui Okpokwasili

Bronx Gothic Doc Trailer

"I wanted a voice screaming out into the wilderness of 'I am here and this is what is happening to me.'" Grasshopper Film has debuted an outstanding official trailer for a performance documentary titled Bronx Gothic, profiling the performances by and life of acclaimed artist/dancer Okwui Okpokwasili. This is the latest doc from director Andrew Rossi, who previously made Page One: Inside the New York Times, Ivory Tower, and The First Monday in May. Okwui has African parents, but she grew up in Brooklyn, and brings all of that to her powerful theatrical performances. This trailer gives an excellent introduction to who she is, what she's trying to do, and how she tells her story with her body in front of mesmerized crowds. This looks like an eye-opening, emotional doc that examines the breathtaking work of a truly gifted artist. Have a look.

 Posted June 15 in Documentaries, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Official Trailer for Doc 'Whitney: Can I Be Me' About Whitney Houston

Whitney: Can I Be Me Doc Trailer

"Success doesn't change you, fame does." Showtime has debuted the first official trailer for a documentary titled Whitney: Can I Be Me, telling the full story of singer/actress Whitney Houston's extraordinary life and tragic death. The doc premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, and will be released by Showtime later this summer. Houston is the only artist to chart seven consecutive #1 Billboard Hot 100 songs, and she released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums over the course of her singing career. She was found dead in her bathtub inside of her guest room at a hotel in Los Angeles in 2012. This trailer is a good sell, ending with the claim that she died of a broken heart. This looks like it's worth a watch.

 Posted June 14 in Documentaries, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Stunning First Trailer for Documentary 'Mountain' with Live Orchestra

Mountain Documentary Trailer

"What is this strange force that draws us upwards?" This looks spectacular! An official trailer has debuted for a new documentary experienced titled Mountain, an exploration of the mountains of the world. This is the new film from the director of the documentary Sherpa, named Jennifer Peedom, which was one of my favorite films of 2015, and she has gone all out bringing in some of the most mesmerizing and incredible footage of mountains and mountain climbing you've ever seen. In addition, there's a narration by Willem Dafoe and a beautiful orchestral score by the Australian Chamber Orchestra. If you're lucky to catch this on its tour, it's being performed with a live orchestra, which is even more magical. The film just premiered at the Sydney Film Festival to rave reviews, and hopefully will show up in America soon. Must watch first look.

 Posted June 13 in Documentaries, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Must Watch: Official Trailer for Powerful Documentary 'Chasing Coral'

Chasing Coral Doc Trailer

"Our oceans are dramatically changing and we are losing coral reefs on a global scale." So sad. Netflix has debuted the official trailer for the extraordinary documentary Chasing Coral, in celebration of World Oceans Day today. This amazing doc is the follow-up to Chasing Ice, also profiling the devastating effects of climate change. This time filmmaker Jeff Orlowski dives underwater to show use firsthand what's happening to the coral reefs on this planet. He spent three years with "divers, underwater photographers, and experts to reveal the majesty of our oceans, and the rapidly changing reality we're facing." I saw this at its premiere at Sundance and totally fell for it (read my glowing review). It made me cry with tears of frustration, and happiness, because it's a beautifully-made film - the best climate doc I've seen in years (I've seen them all).

 Posted June 8 in Documentaries, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Theatrical Trailer for Array's 'The House on Coco Road' Documentary

The House on Coco Road Trailer

"There is a freedom tide rising in our hemisphere." Array has released an official trailer for a documentary titled The House on Coco Road, from filmmaker Damani Baker. The documentary profiles Baker's own family that moved away from Oakland, California in the 1980s only to end up directly inside the Grenada Revolution, which America was involved with. The film features first hand accounts from activists including Angela Davis, Fania Davis and Fannie Haughton. It also has a score by musician/songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello. This looks like another powerful, eye-opening doc about racism and the struggle for justice in America - including going all the way to Grenada to make a point. I'm very curious about seeing this doc.

 Posted June 5 in Documentaries, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Official Trailer for 'Night School' Doc About Adults in School in Indiana

Night School Doc Trailer

"Here I am still trying to get my life together…" Oscilloscope Labs has debuted a trailer for Andrew Cohn's documentary Night School, about struggling adults in Indianapolis, Indiana who have decided to get their high school diploma by attending night school. The doc follows three different adults, profiling their lives and choice to return to school, as well as their struggles and daily challenges. This seems like a powerful film about the will to succeed and the belief that education can change the world. This also goes nicely with a few other recent docs about education in troubled areas, including Step and For Ahkeem. We also just featured a trailer for another school doc titled School Life, about teachers. This looks like it's definitely worth a watch.

 Posted June 2 in Documentaries, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Trailer for Documentary 'School Life' Profiling Inspirational Teachers

School Life Documentary Trailer

"Well, go on… impress me." Magnolia Pictures has debuted an official trailer for a fun documentary titled School Life, formerly known as In Loco Parentis when it premiered at film festivals last year/this year. From filmmakers Neasa Ní Chianáin & David Rane, the documentary profiles two inspirational teachers at Headfort, the only primary-age boarding school in Ireland. "Long careers are drawing to a close for John and Amanda, who teach Latin, English, and guitar at a stately home-turned-school, where they are legends with a mantra: 'Reading. 'Rithmetic. Rock 'n' roll!' But leaving is the hardest lesson." I haven't seen this yet, but it seems like I need to catch it when it opens. This looks seriously charming and inspirational, indeed a "heartwarming look at youth" and the fearless teachers who help shape them into good people. Have a look.

 Posted May 30 in Documentaries, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Trailer for Lost Silent Film Collection Doc 'Dawson City: Frozen Time'

Dawson City: Frozen Time

"It was an incredible story.." Kino Lorber has debuted the official trailer for a very unique cinema history documentary titled Dawson City: Frozen Time, that is a must-see for any die-hard fans of silent films. This beautiful doc tells the bizarre true story of a lost silent film collection, lost for over 50 years until being discovered buried in a sub-arctic swimming pool deep in the Yukon Territory. Dawson City is a gold rush town located about 350 miles south of the Arctic Circle in Canada, situated at the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon rivers and rests on a bed of permafrost. It was the "end of a film distribution line", and movies became popular in the town despite its distance. The old reels were discovered by a construction company in 1978, then recovered and restored. The film features a lovely original score composed by Alex Somers, from Sigur Ros, who also scored Captain Fantastic. This looks quite charming and fascinating - take a look.

 Posted May 28 in Documentaries, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Cannes 2017: Making Connections in Agnès Varda & JR's 'Faces, Places'

Faces, Places Review

Sometimes there's a film that is so delightful, so cheerful, full of so much optimism and happiness and joy, that it completely changes your mood. You can be upset, or tired, or whatever, and by the end of this film you're so happy. Nothing will take that happiness away. Everything you just saw was perfect and wonderful. That's how I felt with this film at the Cannes Film Festival, called Visages, Villages, which translates to Faces, Places in English. The film is a documentary made by 88-year-old filmmaker Agnès Varda and the 34-year-old French photographer known as "JR". They not only directed it, but it's about their unlikely friendship and collaboration on a road trip around France taking photos of people they meet along the way.

 Posted May 21 in Cannes 17, Documentaries, Review | Comments

First Trailer for Matt Heineman's Syria Documentary 'City of Ghosts'

City of Ghosts Trailer

"Our words are stronger than their weapons." Amazon Studios has revealed the first official trailer for the documentary City of Ghosts, the follow-up to Cartel Land made by filmmaker Matthew Heineman. This doc takes a closer look at the Syrian war as told from the inside, following a group of anonymous journalists working to report on what's really happening. Heineman is known for getting incredible footage and diving deep into the subject of his docs, and that's definitely the case here. It's describe as a "powerful cinematic experience that is sure to shake audiences to their core." This premiered at Sundance this year, where I saw it, and it's good but nowhere near as good as Cartel Land. This would also make a good double feature with the doc Last Men in Aleppo, as both films are important looks at the war in Syria. Watch the footage below.

 Posted May 18 in Documentaries, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

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