Addie Morfoot has been covering the entertainment industry for the last 17 years. Her work has appeared in Variety, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Crain's New York Business, Documentary Magazine and Adweek. Her personal essays have been published in The New York Times, Marie Claire, Salon, Cosmopolitan.com, Brain, Child, The LA Times and The New York Press.
Originally from Connecticut, Addie began her writing career at Variety's headquarters in Los Angeles before transferring to their Manhattan bureau in 2005. She has an undergraduate degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned an MFA in Creative Writing - Nonfiction from The New School in 2012.
In 2019, a short film that Addie co-wrote called BOY BOY GIRL GIRL was released on PBS. Starring Katie Holmes, BOY BOY GIRL GIRL is a dark comedy about a gay couple trying to adopt a newborn from a drug-addict and her abusive girlfriend.
My husband and I were looking for a house to rent when he left me on the side of an unfamiliar road in New Jersey. I was not entirely surprised. The topic of going our separate ways was not an unfamiliar one in our Brooklyn household.
On the stationary bike in front of me was a person who probably knew more about me than I knew about myself. How did that make me feel? "I saw you." I swallowed hard and looked up at my therapist. I began a rapid mental inventory of where I'd been in the week since our last meeting.
By Addie Morfoot It was 10:30 PM on New Year's Eve when a shot was fired and a car slammed into our front door. This was as close to a party as my husband and I were going to get. In the eleven and a half months since giving birth to our first child, I still didn't feel like myself.
Far too many women fear losing their job, their income, and their savings. It's a logical fear, but there is a way to stop feeling powerless about money and shift out of the scarcity mindset. The phrase "Bag Lady Syndrome" was coined in the 1970s to describe a fear specific to women: That we'll somehow lose our jobs, our savings, and end up homeless.
My eye was swollen shut, and my blond hair was tinged orange from my bruised and bloodied face. This was the aftermath of the accident that made me see my life very differently. "You're lucky you didn't die," the nurse told me. It was 3 AM.
The first time I saw a clear image of Annie was at the doctor's office three and a half years ago, on a gray afternoon in the beginning of January. I was 30 years old and approaching my fourth month of pregnancy. As my OB-GYN ran a transducer across my stomach, she laughed.
After my boyfriend accepted his Oscar for Best Documentary, my dad called to tell me to "get rid of that loser." Ross and I had only known each other for six weeks by the time Leonardo DiCaprio presented him with that golden statue, but things were serious.
I'm not a small-dog person. I'm more of a Rottweiler girl, but Charlie had a beagle named Trophy. It was 6 a.m. and she had to go out. "Shut up!" Charlie screamed. He lay beside me in bed, face down. "If she pees on the floor again, I'm getting rid of her."
En route to my Mexican nuptials, I left my wedding dress on a plane. The three-and-a-half-hour journey from New York City to Cancun started smoothly. Flight attendants were abnormally cordial and offered to hang my ivory silk chiffon knee-length dress in the plane's first class closet. "It's roomier," the flight attendant explained.
Two decades after his breakthrough as a documentary filmmaker, Chris Smith is on a tear in the non-fiction realm, having directed "Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond," "Fyre," and "Operation Variety Blues: The College Admissions Scandal" in the past four years, while also serving as an executive producer of last year's pandemic docuseries sensation " Tiger King."
In May, Richard Ray "Rick" Perez became the first person of color to serve as executive director of the Intl. Documentary Assn., taking over for outgoing leader Simon Kilmurry following a six-year run. A documentary filmmaker turned exec, Perez most recently was the director of acquisitions and distribution strategies at GBH's World Channel, in charge of curating and acquiring documentaries for the digital platform's three original series.
In February HBO released " Allen v. Farrow," a four-part docuseries that examined the events that led up to Dylan Farrow's sexual abuse allegations against her father, Woody Allen. That same month Skyhorse Publishing threatened a copyright infringement lawsuit against the premium cabler and the docuseries' directors, Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, over the series' use of unauthorized audio excerpts from Allen's 2020 memoir, "Apropos of Nothing."
Garrett Bradley's three-part Netflix docuseries about Japanese tennis sensation Naomi Osaka arrives on the streamer at a particularly fraught time in the athlete's career. Named simply "Naomi Osaka," it debuts one week before the start of the Tokyo Olympics, where the 23 year old will compete after having recently withdrawn from the French Open and Wimbledon.
Six years ago, " The Jinx," HBO's six-part series about murder suspect and real estate heir Robert Durst, reinvigorated the long-form docuseries format. A mad rush by premium cablers and streamers to come up with the next "Jinx" followed, with Netflix's 10-part "Making a Murderer" later that year and ESPN's format busting "O.J.: Made in America" in 2016 further whetting the appetite for long-form docuseries.
Discovery and National Geographic's annual battle for shark programming supremacy has crossed platforms to include both of their streaming services, with exclusive feature-length documentaries a notable part of their broader programming mix this summer. Together, the companies will air 66 hours of new shark programming through the remainder of summer, the majority of it on Discovery's Shark Week, now in its 33rd year.
Erika Dilday, who earlier this year became the first Black executive director of American Documentary Inc., oversees various ventures for the nonprofit, including management of the long-running " POV" series on PBS and "America ReFramed," a showcase of independent documentaries on the World Channel.
"Women leaders in particular are finding that empathetic leadership - when they bring their whole self to work, when they are a little bit vulnerable, and when they share with fellow employees what they are going through - enables them to better connect with employees who are struggling," says Laura Newinski, deputy chair and chief operating officer of KPMG.
In 2016 a fire nearly destroyed the only arthouse cinema on the East End of Long Island. Five years and $18 million dollars later, the iconic, century-old Sag Harbor Cinema is once again open for business. A former whaling village, Sag Harbor, NY, located between Southampton and East Hampton, was at one point a thriving working-class community full of artists like John Steinbeck.
Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson's " Summer of Soul (...Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)," released nationwide in theaters July 2 and simultaneously on Hulu's streaming service, is the latest in a series of high-profile documentaries from L.A.-based Concordia Studio since it formally launched early last year.
Salacious headlines involving teachers who prey on students have segued into the storylines of plenty of movies and television series over the years. But with FX's "A Teacher," creator Hannah Fidell wanted to go beyond the sensational clickbait and thoroughly explore the damaging consequences of teacher-student sexual abuse.
Over the course of her legendary career, Alice Lee "Boaty" Boatwright has cast iconic movies, served as a studio exec and repped starry talent including Joan Didion, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Reflecting on it today, she says her career really took off after a pivotal encounter at Sardi's restaurant more than 60 years ago.
When the animated short "If Anything Happens I Love You" debuted on Netflix, it soon became a viral sensation. Viewers found the dialogue-free film, about two parents grappling with grief after losing their daughter in a school shooting, so moving it spawned a "Can you get through this film without crying?"
Just like the first page of a novel, a series' or episode's opening 10 minutes acts like a door. If executed successfully, it will make viewers want to run through that entrance, not just walk through it. Those 600 seconds have to not only grab hold of a viewer, but they also have to set the tone of the entire piece.
Between 2008 and 2018, four documentary directors focused their lenses on a quartet of formidable women. Women who are remarkably similar, yet incredibly different. Who defy patriarchy and inspire change. Women whose names are Dr. Amani Ballour, Hillary Clinton, Ursula Kroeber Le Guin and Michelle Obama.
The white-hot market for the next entertaining, obsessive, engaging, gasp-inducing docuseries that leads to real-world change is still very much alive and well. In the past six months alone, docuseries including HBO's "Atlanta's Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children," Lifetime's " Surviving R.
In January at the Sundance Film Festival, Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering's " On The Record," a searing look at sexual harassment allegations against music mogul Russell Simmons, debuted and received two thunderous standing ovations. The warm reception came after the film was engulfed in a media firestorm, one sparked by Oprah Winfrey's decision to remove herself from the project as executive producer.
For the past 27 years the Hamptons Intl. Film Festival meant fancy cocktail hours, plenty of celebrity sightings and the unspooling of award season's buzziest films. The 28th annual edition, like everything in 2020, will feel different. The Long Island-based fest, which runs Oct. 8-14, will be virtual and offer a select number of drive-in screenings.
On March 8, the 17th annual True/False documentary film festival in Missouri came to a close. Unbeknownst to filmmakers, the conclusion of the fest also marked the conclusion of in-person film festivals for the foreseeable future due to Covid-19.
Tom Paul can finally exhale. At the end of each November, for more than 20 years, the New York-based sound designer turns nocturnal. Forgoing sleep means he'll have just enough time to complete the sound edit and mix for the multitude of films he was hired to work on that are premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, the most recent edition of which wrapped on Sunday.
Heading into sundance 2020, twin brothers Josh and Dan Braun keep fielding the same question: "What is this year's ' Honeyland?'" It's not a surprising question because the Braun brothers are the co-founders and co-presidents of Submarine Entertainment, the New York-based sales, production and distribution company that sold Oscar-nominated " Honeyland " to Neon 12 months ago after its Sundance premiere.
It's been said time and again that the Academy's documentary branch is a consistently unpredictable bunch. But are they? Given their Oscar nomination track record, it certainly doesn't seem like it. The group has made their likes and dislikes perfectly clear in recent years.
At this year's Sundance Film Festival four documentaries spotlight adolescents who inspire change while also holding a mirror up to a society that provoked their pain and path to resistance. In Kim Snyder's " Us Kids " the director focuses her lens on a handful of teenagers who survived the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Exactly two weeks before " Bombshell" was set to begin shooting, Annapurna backed out of the $35 million production. Producer Charlize Theron, who also stars in the film, was on a location scout with production department heads when she heard the bad news.
As fate would have it, Norman Lear gave Marta Kauffman, recipient of this year's Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television at the PGA Awards, her first job in television development close to 35 years ago. The result was "The Powers That Be," which Kauffman created with David Crane and Lear executive produced.
It was November 2018 and Nanfu Wang had four weeks before picture-lock on her third feature documentary, " One Child Nation." The film, which Wang co-directed and edited, had already been accepted to the 2019 Sundance Film Festival but wasn't quite ready. "I was debating and really struggling with what note to end the film on," Wang says.
Every year, documentaries that examine crimes are made. Some, such as Ezra Edelman's "O.J.: Made in America," Joshua Rofe's "Lorena" and most recently Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg's "The Preppy Murder: Death in Central Park," study a single crime decades after the fact in hopes o...
When it comes to the film industry's non-fiction arm, 2019 has proven to be the year of the woman. Not only are females behind the majority of this year's high-profile documentaries, they are also, thus far, dominating the non-fiction feature awards race.
Nineteen years after he attended the Gotham Awards for the first time, Jeffrey Sharp is overseeing the closely watched kudofest as the Independent Filmmaker Project's new executive director. Under former exec director Joana Vicente's nine-year tenure at IFP, the Gotham Awards expanded from a small New York-centric dinner that honored the year's best under-the-radar films to a critical early campaign event for underdog Oscar contenders.
Producers Guild co-presidents Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher are headed to the org's annual awards celebration Jan. 18 with a big accomplishment under their respective belts: its anti-harassment program kicked into high gear in 2019, providing free training to 350 people in six months.
Jenny Raskin has been named executive director of Impact Partners, a documentary film funding company. Raskin replaces Impact co-founder Dan Cogan, who will continue his involvement with the company in an advisory role. Raskin will work closely with Impact's co-founder and veteran producer Geralyn Dreyfous, who serves in an advisory role to the company.
The IFP tweaked its Gotham Awards categories this year to better reflect the rich landscape on the small screen, and nominated two animated series in the process. "Tuca & Bertie" and " Undone" will both compete for breakthrough short-form series honors this year, vying with "Pen15," "Ramy" and "Russian Doll."
It is the best of times and, arguably, the trickiest of times when it comes to the documentary industry. There's no doubt that 2018 was a banner year for documentaries at the box office with Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin's Academy Award-winning "Free Solo" garnering $29 million; Morgan Neville's "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"
Stephen Colbert and Julia Louis-Dreyfus swapped stories about "Saturday Night Live," Northwestern University, "Seinfeld" and the possibility of running for office during a Q&A held Saturday as part of Montclair Film Festival's annual "Evening with Stephen Colbert " fundraiser. Colbert, a Montclair resident, has long been a booster of the festival, which is going into its ninth year in May.
Women may be the gatekeepers of the documentary arm of the entertainment industry, but this year marks the first time they have helmed the majority of awards season's high-profile documentaries.
It's been said that the golden age of nonfiction filmmaking is upon us. From "The Jinx" to "CitizenFour" to "Free Solo," the documentary sector has exploded creatively and commercially in the past few years. Key to the docu spike has been Netflix's decision to enter the arena in a big way - and with a fat checkbook.
The absence of women among director nominees for the Golden Globes is another example of how much work remains to be done to achieve gender parity in the entertainment industry, honorees said Tuesday night at the 40th annual Muse Awards presented by New York Women in Film and Television.
Documentaries will play a more prominent role than ever before at the AFI Fest, which kicks off Nov. 14. While AFI Fest 2018 featured 15 documentary features playing in various categories, this year's edition of Los Angeles-based fest will play host to 22 feature docs, 16 of which will screen i...
The documentary lineup at the New York Film Festival showcases largely hidden worlds of the city and nearby environs. When Tania Cypriano began filming Dr. Jess Ting at Manhattan's Mount Sinai Hospital in 2017, he was one of only 40 surgeons in the United States who performed gender-confirming surgery.
When Anita Gou launched her production company Kindred Spirit in 2018 the mission was to produce "purpose-driven, cross-cultural, and boundary-pushing content aimed at a global audience." A year later Gou did just that when Lulu Wang's " The Farewell" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Last year, two CNN original documentaries, "RBG" and "Three Identical Strangers," garnered $14 million and $12 million, respectively, at the box office. The abnormally lofty B.O. numbers made the film arm of the cable news channel an unlikely belle of the nonfiction community. Behind both docs was executive producer and CNN Films vice president, Courtney Sexton.
While much is made about video streaming's original series competition, it's off network series that seem to draw the real binging. And for the week of April 19-25, it was CBS procedural NCIS, streaming on Netflix, that was the most watched show in the U.S. SVOD biz, according to Nielsen.
Fueled by streamers and strong B.O. on high-profile titles, the documentary genre has exploded, and Toronto Intl. Film Festival documentary programmer Thom Powers sifted through 850 possibilities before determining this year's non-fiction lineup. While these 25 films vary widely, "politics is going to be ever-present in this section," Powers says.
Unlike narrative projects, documentaries are created in the edit suite. There, hundreds of hours of verité footage, archival materials, talking heads and even animated sequences need to be sorted through, digested and culled together to form a comprehensive, succinct and, with any luck, interesting and entertaining nonfiction series or specials.
The amount of time that passes between a traumatic or otherwise subjective event and the way that event is recounted often greatly determines the response to and reception of those involved.
It's not entirely surprising that portrait documentaries dominate this year's Sundance nonfiction lineup. Two of the biggest nonfiction films of 2018 - "RBG" and "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" - are profile films that premiered at last year's Sundance and later made the Oscar docu s...
It's been one year since deadly fires and mudslides came close to shutting down the 33rd edition of the Santa Barbara Intl. Film Festival. The Thomas Fire and subsequent flooding devastated the city and left 23 dead in the Montecito area. After some soul searching, organizers decided to carry on as scheduled.
In the summer of 2017, just weeks before Ben Stiller was scheduled to start filming Showtime's limited series " Escape at Dannemora," the director had a serious dilemma: He had nowhere to shoot the prison scenes.
Known as a notoriously unpredictable bunch, the Academy's documentary branch has become rather predictable in the past two years. The evidence lies in the films they choose not to recognize come Oscar time: Films such as Brett Morgen's 2017 Jane Goodall docu, "Jane," and two of last year's biggest nonfiction box office successes - Morgan Neville's "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"
Since becoming the Independent Film Project's executive director in late 2009, Joana Vicente has made her mark. In addition to increasing IFP's grant support, she also helped found the Made in NY Media Center and transitioned the org from a film-based foundation to an org that supports various media including film, television, web, podcasts and virtual reality.
Documentaries have a reputation for being, as Jerry Seinfeld put it at the 2007 Oscars, "incredibly depressing." But not this year. While 2018 has seen its share of high-profile political docus, including Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 11/9" and Errol Morris' "American Dharma," audiences seem to be in serious need of inspirational non-fiction films that don't deal directly with politics.
In June, a mere five months before the American Film Institute's 32nd annual film festival, Michael Lumpkin took over the reins from fest director Jacqueline Lyanga, who exited after eight years at the helm.
In 2005, when the public's love affair with theatrical feature documentaries was at an all-time high, the Television Academy decided to create a juried Emmy award for nonfiction projects. The new kudo, called exceptional merit in documentary filmmaking, would not be part of the overall Primetime Emmy ballot.
Once upon a time, a feature-length documentary that did well theatrically was the holy grail of nonfiction film. But in 2015, the nonfiction world began to change. That year, HBO's six-part series "The Jinx," about murder suspect and real estate heir Robert Durst, aired to great acclaim and became a pop-cultural phenomenon.
It's been close to two years since the 2016 presidential election and although a few documentaries about President Trump have been released, including Jack Bryan's "Active Measures" and Maxim Pozdorovkin's "Our New President," there has yet to be a seminal film about the making of America's 45th president. Until TIFF 2018.
By Addie Morfoot A little less than a decade ago, Amy Nauiokas decided it was time for a change. The former Barclays Stockbrokers CEO and managing director wanted to make the transition from a career in finance to a career in the entertainment industry. So she did.
Television academy voters have been known to snub series that originally missed the Emmy boat in subsequent seasons: Consider "The Leftovers," "Oz" and "The Wire." None of those shows were ever nominated in the drama series category despite overwhelming critical acclaim.
After three years in the dark, New Jersey 's film and television production tax credit has officially returned. In May, the Garden State's newly elected Gov. Phil Murphy vowed to restore the tax incentive. At a Montclair Film forum in Montclair, N.J., the state's Motion Picture and Television Commission associate director, David W.
People like to say that history repeats itself, but Ken Burns isn't buying it. "Every event is new and unique," documentarian Burns says. "What doesn't change is human nature. Human nature stays the same.
Gone are the days when HBO, PBS and Showtime ruled the documentary marketplace. Netflix and Amazon - as well as the recent emergence of digital distributors including Apple, Facebook, Hulu and YouTube Red - have changed the face of the docu genre: There is a newfound excitement around unscripted projects.
Frank Wuterich, Sandra Bland and Rachel Dolezal captured the attention of the country for weeks, sometimes months, only to eventually be eclipsed by fresher faces in the news. But documentary filmmakers couldn't forget their stories - or those of other news makers.
Filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Alex Gibney have teamed to produce a docu-series for Discovery Channel examining the origins and dangers of hate. The two Oscar winners will executive produce the six-part series tentatively titled " Why We Hate." Spielberg's Amblin Television partnered with Gibney's Jigsaw Productions on the project, which began production earlier this year and will air on Discovery in 2019.
Netflix will revisit the political legacy of Robert F. Kennedy with the four-hour documentary series "Bobby Kennedy For President." The series, which launches globally on April 27, is timed to correspond with the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's 83-day presidential run, which officially began ...
Claire Danes, Jeff Daniels, Ethan Hawke and Rachel Weisz are heading to New Jersey for the seventh annual Montclair Film Festival. Kicking off on April 26 with Rachel Dretzin's "Far From the Tree," the 11-day fest will feature 77 feature films, 94 shorts and 13 special events including pane...
Michelangelo had Pope Julius II and the Medici family. And socially minded documentary filmmakers have Impact Partners. While they aren't popes or an Italian dynasty, Impact Partners' 43 members are patrons of the arts. Specifically they are 43 high-net-worth individuals - multi-millionaires, and in some cases, billionaires - who seek to promote social change through nonfiction film.
It was a moment five seasons, four years and countless twists, turns and cases of the week in the making when the cast and crew of " The Blacklist " gathered on-set in New York for their 100th episode celebration late last year.
It's serendipitous timing that McCarthy's third feature, " Ophelia," is being released in the midst of the #MeToo movement. The film, set in the 14th century but spoken in a contemporary voice, is a re-imagining of Shakespeare's "Hamlet."
Like her dialogue, Amy Sherman-Palladino's direction comes at rapid speed. It's July in Brooklyn, and the " Gilmore Girls" creator is helming episode five of her new Amazon series, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," which bows on Amazon on Nov. 29. Almost as soon as she yells, "Action!" she announces: "Go again!"
As rival top-tier film festivals across the globe began to program episodic television, Cannes' artistic director Thierry Fremaux remained a notable holdout - until recently. SEE MORE: Awards: The Contenders Earlier this year, he relented and invited David Lynch's " Twin Peaks" TV reboot and Jane Campion's " Top of the Lake 2: China Girl" to the Croisette for special screenings, the former with full red-carpet treatment.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 's pending exit in January after seven years in office could spark the rebirth of the state's film and television production tax incentive. In 2005, the Garden State created a 20% tax credit program to boost film production throughout New Jersey.
In the past decade, half of all documentaries nominated for an Academy Award went on to receive a Primetime, News and Doc or Intl. Emmy nomination. Unlike "Moonlight," "Spotlight" and "12 Years a Slave," nonfiction feature Oscar winners including "CitizenFour," "Taxi to the Dark...
It's been well documented that Hollywood is no picnic for women. But when it comes to documentaries, females thrive. SEE MORE: Awards: The Contenders This story first appeared in the November 10, 2015 issue of Variety. When Laura Poitras won the Academy Award for "Citizenfour" last year, she joined a group of 10 female nonfiction directors who have also won an Oscar.
While social justice and eco-themed documentaries are once again prevalent at Tribeca, portrait docs focusing on politically controversial subjects dominate the nonfiction lineup. Ronald Reagan, Elián González, Frank Serpico, Roger Stone, Rodney King and WeCopwatch member Ramsey Orta, who filmed Eric Garner's fatal Staten Island arrest, are among the many famous and infamous figures being explored by 11 directors including Sierra Pettengill, Camilla Hall and Academy Award winners Dan Lindsay...
While political and eco-themed documentaries are once again prevalent at Sundance, portrait docus dominate this year's nonfiction lineup. This story first appeared in the January 20, 2015 issue of Variety. Kurt Cobain, Barry Crimmins, Marlon Brando, Tig Notaro, Robert "Evel" Knievel, Warren Jeffs and Nina Simone are among the many famous and infamous figures being explored by Sundance veteran directors including Bobcat Goldthwait, Amy Berg, Liz Garbus and Brett Morgen.
If President Trump is looking for a celebrity to host the White House Correspondents Dinner, Stephen Colbert is available. On Saturday, the late-night host was at a 1980s dance party fundraiser benefiting the upcoming Montclair Film Festival. Colbert, a Montclair resident, has long been a booster of the event, which is going into its sixth year in April.
The institutional bias against minorities and women within the Academy has been widely discussed. However, encouraging Oscar docu statistics as well as an impressive roster of female nonfiction gatekeepers suggest that women in the documentary arena are not only breaking down barriers but also successfully steering the ship.
Thanks to such deep-pocketed streamers as Netflix, Amazon and now Hulu, the campaign to win an Oscar for documentary has evolved into a pricey, cutthroat endeavor. But the fight for a little gold man doesn't end after the Academy Awards - it starts right back up again for the Primetime Emmy race.
In its 18-year history, Full Frame has become one of the most prestigious documentary film festivals in the nonfiction community. While it's not a marketplace, the Durham, N.C.-based four-day fest gives well received Sundance and SXSW docs a boost, while also showcasing smaller films seeking distribution.
Morgan Spurlock is back baiting the big food industry with "Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!" In 2004's Oscar-nominated "Super Size Me," the filmmaker took on McDonald's, and now tackles the chicken industry by opening his own fast-food chicken franchise to investigate and challenge the multibillion-dollar business of chicken.
Documentaries "Street Fight," "Jesus Camp," "Which Way Home" and "Taxi to the Dark Side" have two things in common: Oscar nominations (which "Taxi" would go on to win) and world premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival. This story first appeared in the April 15, 2014 issue of Variety.
It's never easy being green, but if you're a documentary filmmaker it can have its advantages. Especially come Oscar season. In the past two decades, 12 directors have taken home the Academy Award for their very first documentary theatrical feature. They include Ezra Edelman ("O.J.
Ava DuVernay, Ryan Murphy, and Charles Roven will all be honored at the Producers Guild Awards on Jan. 20. DuVernay, the guild's Visionary Award honoree, first picked up a movie camera 13 years ago. She was 32. Since then the L.A.
While it's not a great time to be a woman entrenched in the Hollywood system, it is a good time to be an up-and-coming female director, writer, producer or even cinematographer trying to get her foot inside entertainment's heavy doors. Just look at the past several months.
All eyes are on Jason Sudeikis' quirky feel-good hit as it premieres its second season Friday. But quietly, it's the 'MQ' creative team, led by 'It's Always Sunny's' Rob McElhenney, who are doing some of the most innovative storytelling on television
Netflix'ssupernatural-themed original series Lucifer was once again the most watched program on a major U.S. SVOD services for the week of May 31-June 6, attracting 1.838 billion viewing minutes, according to Nielsen. Netflix released the second leg of Lucifer's Season 5 campaign on May 28, and the show was the top draw for the week of May 24-30, as well.
Purchasers of Apple hardware probably have Ted Lasso to thank for having free access to Apple TV Plus for just three months as opposed to a full year, the promotion that was offered to purchasers of new Apple gadgets for streaming service's first 20 months on the market.
In its first full week on Netflix, original series Shadow and Bone captured 1.192 billion minutes of viewing, making it the most watched show on the major U.S. SVOD services for the week of April 26-May 2, according to Nielsen.
Netflix's Sweet Tooth was the most watched program on the four biggest domestic SVOD services for the week of June 7-June 13, attracting 1.434 billion viewing minutes in the U.S., according to Nielsen. It's a big number but, 404 million less viewing minutes than Lucifer tallied the previous week, May 31-June 6.
(Image credit: Warner Bros. TV) While Manifest pulled in the U.S. subscription streaming biz's highest viewership of 2021 during the week ending June 20, the series-its flight ended at Season 3-is still making a strong case for itself. It's now the only show since Nielsen started tracking the four biggest U.S.
The daughter of a career military officer, Angela Courtin moved every two and a half years as a child to different states and countries, subsequently becoming a citizen of the world. Now, as the global head of brand marketing at YouTube, she gives the platform's 2 billion users the opportunity to also become worldwide citizens.
(Image credit: Warner Bros. TV) We might never know just what top-secret internal metrics Netflix was considering when it decided not to carry on with a fourth season of recently cancelled NBC series Manifest .
When choosing which projects to produce, Susan Levison, WWE senior VP and head of WWE Studios, thinks about it from a selling and buying standpoint. "We have to be aggressive and constantly talking to the marketplace and pushing our projects forward in that seller mode," Levison explained.
(Image credit: Sony Pictures) The debut of Sony's The Mitchells vs. The Machines captured 853 million viewing minutes on Netflix making the animated feature the most watched program on the major U.S. SVOD services during the week of May 3 -May 9, according to Nielsen.
In its first full week on Netflix, Jupiter's Legacy captured 1.019 billion minutes of viewing in the U.S., making it the most watched show on the major U.S. SVOD services for the week of May 10-16, according to Nielsen.
The season-premiere episode of Lucifer on Netflix captured an impressive 1.284 billion viewing minutes in the U.S., according to Nielsen, making it the top show in the subscription streaming business for the week of May 24-30.
The debut of Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead captured 913 million viewing minutes after just three days on Netflix, making the zombie thriller the most watched program on the major U.S. SVOD services during the week of May 17-23, according to Nielsen.
(Image credit: Amazon Studios) Coming off a pandemic year, in which most of Oscar Best Picture nominees were either produced by big streaming companies, or at least debuted on streaming services, we have perhaps arrived at the point at which Silicon Valley has not only seized economic control of film and TV from Hollywood, but the creative juice, as well.
On Feb. 18, BBC Studios launched its first fully owned U.S. streaming service, BBC Select. The new $4.99-a-month SVOD platform is available on Amazon Prime Video Channels and the Apple TV app. The ad-free nonfiction channel focuses on its proprietor calls "three pillars": culture, politics and ideas.
On January 4, Discovery Plus debuted in the U.S. with no major device support hassles. The new $4.99-a-month SVOD service is available on all four major OTT device platforms: Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Android TV.
In 2016, Apple hired the former Time Warner Cable executive to handle cloud-based subscription services. At the time, the Wall Street Journal speculated that in addition to increasing Apple's investment in Apple Music, Apple Books and iCloud, Stern's duties would include helping the tech giant tap into the television streaming service industry, which had been on the table for years.
(Image credit: Discovery) While Discovery seems months late to the "plus"-themed launch party for subscription streaming services, its upcoming Discovery Plus does appear to rising up to a promise Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus, HBO Max and Peacock weren't able to fulfill because of pandemic-caused studio shutdowns-that is, a large stable of original shows at launch.
(Image credit: Prime Video) Coming 2 America did the seemingly impossible and put Amazon at the top of Nielsen's typically Netflix-dominated weekly SVOD top 10 ranking list for the very first time during the week of March 1-7.
After only around 30 months in the streaming video market, Amazon's IMDb TV appears to have hit its stride. During Amazon's NewFront presentation Monday, the tech giant said that IMDb TV viewership has increased by 138% year over year, and that 62% of IMDb TV viewers are age 18-49.
Speaking to investors on Dec. 7, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell noted that, with The Office set to shift its exclusive streaming rights to his company's Peacock service in less than a month, the big incumbent platform was doing everything it could to make the show "pretty hard to find" for its users.
(Image credit: Disney Plus) The Force was clearly with Disney Plus in mid-December 2020. The season 2 finale of The Mandalorian did the seemingly impossible and stole the top spot from Netflix on Nielsen's weekly SVOD Top 10 ranking list for the first time.
Turns out that a white, male antihero is all the rage with stuck-at-home American audiences. From December 30, 2019 through December 27, 2020, Netflix's Ozark was the most watched original series in the U.S. SVOD market, according to Nielsen. The series' 30 posted episodes over three seasons garnered more than 30,462 billion minutes of total viewing, the research company said.
In January, just ahead of the introduction of new streaming service Peacock, NBCUniversal introduced its One Platform advertising initiative. Created to streamline ad buys across all Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky platforms by uniting linear, digital and streaming ad inventory, the initiative provides marketers with tools to target key consumers.
BOY BOY GIRL GIRL
The seventh annual Montclair Film Festival - so close we can smell the popcorn - includes discussions with actors Rachel Weisz, Jeff Daniels and Ethan Hawke, all moderated by Stephen Colbert; a discussion with actor Nick Offerman moderated by Patrick Wilson; post-screening Q&A's with actress Claire Danes and director Paul Schrader; and a performance by larger-than-life creative hyphenate Taylor Mac.
Based on a true story, BOY BOY GIRL GIRL is a dark comedy about a gay couple trying to adopt a newborn from a drug-addict and her abusive girlfriend. Co-written by Ross Kauffman and Addie Morfoot....
Boy Boy Girl Girl. 28 likes. Based on a true story, BOY BOY GIRL GIRL is a dark comedy about a gay couple trying to adopt a newborn from a drug-addict and her abusive girlfriend.
Long Island Pulse Magazine
U2, The Clash, Duran Duran, Blondie. Today these bands are rock royalty but once upon a time they were outsiders looking in on American popular music. And they may have never gotten in if not for an unsuspecting Hempstead radio station desperate to make some noise. Founded in 1959 by John R.
Last year the Tribeca Film Festival shook things up a bit, both on screen and behind it. Most notably it introduced TV programming, allowing festival goers to view premieres of some of the industry's most buzzed-about shows. Then Cara Cusumano was promoted to director of programming.
Many things about the 24th annual Hamptons International Film Festival will be familiar when it rolls into town this month. East End locals and visitors will again have access to a carefully curated batch of 140 feature-length and short films from all over the world.
Nearly 26 years ago, Yance Ford's brother William was murdered in Central Islip. It was April 1992 and William, a black 24-year-old teacher, was confronted by an auto body shop owner about the quality of a car repair. The interaction turned deadly when Mark Reilly, a white 19-year-old mechanic on the premises, shot William once in the chest, killing him.
In the short span of seven years, she went from prolific personal essay writer to prolific feature writer for The New York Times Magazine and GQ Magazine. At The Times, she won the New York Press Club award for her profiles of Gaby Hoffmann and Damon Lindelof, and at GQ, she won the same award for her profile of Don Lemon, which also garnered a Newhouse Mirror award.
Brooke Hauser has a way with celebrities. You name the star, she's interviewed them. Jennifer Aniston? Check. Matt Damon? Check. Julia Roberts? Double check. (She's interviewed her twice.) Allure, Glamour, Marie Claire and Parade are among the numerous publications that have sought Hauser out to take on interviewing and writing about Hollywood's elite.
Esquire.com / Amtrak's National Magazine
As Suri Bieler strolls the first floor of her 95,000-square-foot Long Island City warehouse, she notes the absence of a fiberglass sphinx and a giant plastic candy cane. Upstairs, she points to a 1970s white vinyl sofa set, one of more than 150 couches lining the floor. "An ottoman is missing," she says.
The true stories behind the most shocking, scandalous and moving Oscars moments. The Academy Awards are Hollywood's Super Bowl. While the annual telecast may seem over self-congratulatory at times, it's the most important night in show business. The show not only celebrates a medium that brings people from all over the world together, but it can also make a career.
BookCon is hosting three romance panels today-"New York, I Love You: Romance (Novels) 'Made' in Manhattan"; "Suffragettes, Sex Positivity, and Smashing the Patriarchy: Historical Romance as a Powerful Political Text"; and "When Millennials Met Romance: The Rom Com Phenom." We talked to six participating writers to find out how they are reinventing romance for 2019.
"The promise of happily ever after is a really powerful thing," Cole says. A Duke by Default is the second book in her Reluctant Royals series. The story follows Portia Hobbs on her quest to reinvent her life by leaving New York for a sword-making apprenticeship in Scotland.
Nigerian-American Tomi Adeyemi's debut novel, Children of Blood and Bone, is the first volume of the Orïsha Legacy trilogy. The book follows an African teen, Zélie, as she attempts to restore magic to her homeland, Orïsha, after an evil king killed all those who wielded it, including Zélie's mother.
Last November Marissa Meyer, best known for her series the Lunar Chronicles, introduced fans to the world of Renegades. It's the first book in a trilogy about superheroes and supervillains who battle over the future of a city where morality is never as simple as good versus evil-as Nova (an Anarchist aka Insomnia) and Adrian (a Renegade alias Sketch) know all too well.
The popular Top Chef judge had been contemplating a cookbook for several years, but it took a trip to Singapore during the filming of season seven to convince her that it was finally time to share her wealth of recipes with the public.
'Fresh Complain't is Pulitzer-winner Jeffrey Eugenides's first short story collection. Claire Messud's new novel, 'The Burning Girl,' follows Julia and Cassie, two teenagers from a Massachusetts town who have been inseparable since early childhood, but drift apart as they come-of-age.
Crains New York
The mood at an awards ceremony celebrating documentaries was more like a funeral a day after Donald Trump's presidential election. DOC NYC's third annual Visionaries Tribute luncheonevent, which kicked off the seventh annual DOC NYC documentary film festival on Nov. 10, drew the who's who of the nonfiction film world to City Winery.
On one corner of West 26th Street, nestled by the High Line, sits four-year-old Avenues: the World School, an elite nursery-through-12th-grade, for-profit private school with a minimum $49,550 yearly price tag. From kindergarten every student gets an iPad. In high school, they also get MacBooks.
When Joe Daniels joined the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in 2005 as general counsel, Ground Zero was a large hole and the plans for the memorial and museum were caught up in a larger battle over the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site.
Eugene Lee has been designing the sets for Saturday Night Live for the past 41 years. At 77, he is one of the only SNL inaugural staff members still working on the show alongside Lorne Michaels, the creator and executive producer of the program.
Filmmaker Joshua Marston grew up in Beverly Hills and earned his masters of fine arts in film at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 1998. Six years later he made his feature debut in 2004 when Maria Full of Grace debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.
Kirsten Johnson has spent 25 years behind a camera attempting to-and more often than not, succeeding in-capturing the best shot. As a result, the Manhattan-based mother of two is one of the most sought-after documentary cinematographers in the entertainment business. For the last 20 years, Johnson has called New York City home.
Sarah Jessica Parker began work in February 2015 on the pilot episode of Divorce, her first series since starring in the smash hit Sex and the City, which ran for six seasons on HBO, led to two motion pictures and inspired a bus tour throughout the city that still sells out to die-hard fans 12 years after the show ended.
His sufi rock band, Junoon, has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide and was likened to U2 by The New York Times ' music critic. But despite collaborating with such music superstars as Melissa Etheridge and Peter Gabriel, rock star Salman Ahmad is unknown to the majority of New Yorkers.
Hollywood has long had a fascination with Wall Street. Wall Street (1987), Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Margin Call (2011) and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) are just a handful of films that have examined America's financial capital. But what sets those films apart from Equity- the latest Hollywood film about Wall Street-is that those movies are all about men.
The start of a two-week-long Lincoln Center film screening of Indian Point, a documentary about the controversial nuclear power plant in Buchanan, N.Y., gave New Yorkers an opportunity to share their concerns about their safety five years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.
With its January appointment of former journalist and ad exec Andrew Essex as chief executive, Tribeca Enterprises ushered in a new era for the company that had been run by Jane Rosenthal since she, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff founded it after Sept. 11.
City Councilman Stephen Levin is bringing back legislation opposed by the film and television industry that would require the city to disclose more frequently when and where productions take place as well as the companies behind them. Levin, who represents hot-spot film neighborhoods along the Brooklyn waterfront from Greenpoint to Brooklyn Heights, tabled Intro.
Cirque du Soleil generated more than half its $850 million in revenue last year from eight acrobatically inclined shows, all of them in Las Vegas. The other half came from markets that did not include New York.
Even councilman backing the move says it could attract hordes of starstruck fans and stalkers City Councilman Stephen Levin, whose push to pass legislation that would make film and television data more transparent has angered the industry, would like to explore what he calls real-time permit distribution.
For 14 years, the Tribeca Film Festival focused on the big screen, but this year it is getting into television with a new series called Tribeca Tune In. Who can blame it? A-list film directors including Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh and David Fincher have brought their talents to the small screen, helping to create what is widely considered the golden age of television.
WSJ SPEAKEASY + NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE
By Addie Morfoot Ken Burns's documentary "The Central Park Five" has been making waves for the last several months despite the fact that the film has not yet been theatrically released. In early September lawyers representing New York City subpoenaed the film's unseen footage.
The season 5 finale of "Pretty Little Liars," titled "Welcome to the Dollhouse" reveals that Mona is alive and calling herself Alison DiLaurentis! That's right! Mona is alive! She is residing in a cement basement/prison; sleeping in a comfortable looking queen sized bed; dyed her hair blond and is up-to-date about generator power.
The Truth to Power Award, a new addition to the IDA Documentary Awards roster, recognizes an individual or institution that has shown conspicuous fortitude, tenacity and resoluteness in holding those in power to account.
Roman philosopher Seneca once said, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." Apparently, Rachel Lears was listening. Her self-created luck began in 2016. Having directed two feature documentary films ( Birds of Passage and The Hand That Feeds), she had the preparation.
In October 2011, the documentary series Women, War & Peace premiered on PBS. It consisted of five hour-long docs, including Pray the Devil Back to Hell, about Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, and I Came to Testify, about Bosnian women who broke history's great silence and testified about their rape and sexual enslavement.
The first time I met Oscar-winning documentary director Roger Ross Williams was in the lobby of the W Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard. It was 2014 and we were both attending the inaugural IDA Getting Real Conference. He was standing next to prolific documentary producer and founder of Motto Pictures, Julie Goldman.
Editor's Note: On October 21 at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Los Angeles, IDA will present Davis Guggenheim in conversation with Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz. The two will explore his wide-ranging body of work that includes culturally significant and brilliantly crafted films. Learn more and purchase tickets.
The decision to venture into documentary directing was not an easy one for writer-director-actress Sarah Polley. Despite having helmed two narrative features in the last six years, Polley admits that directing her first nonfiction project, Stories We Tell , was "like learning how to make a film from scratch.
It's no secret that women make up a large majority of the documentary world's executive positions. Cara Mertes, director of the Ford Foundation's JustFilms; Tabitha Jackson, director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program; Diane Weyermann, executive vice president, documentary films at Participant Media; Molly Thompson, senior vice president of A&E IndieFilms; and Sheila Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films are just of a few of the nonfiction genre's gatekeepers.
© 2015 International Documentary Association. All Rights Reserved.
The 18th annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, which ran April 9 through 12 in Durham, NC, was a four-day fest crammed with documentaries, nonfiction filmmakers, producers and interested locals. In addition to film screenings, the panel discussions, sponsored by A&E IndieFilms, also attracted large crowds.
NEWSELA + REDBOOK + PAPERMAG
In the United States, sipping water, brushing your teeth and taking a shower are all things we take for granted as harmless, healthy habits. But what if doing any of those things could make you sick - sick enough to die?
Josh Thomas wants Americans to knock it off with the Hershey Kisses. Now. "I don't want to tell you how to run your country, but you need to stop eating them," the Australian comedian says in between bites of his salad niçoise.
Ten-year-old Kaylie Hegwood and her brother Tyler, 12, are hungry - very hungry. Not because they just finished a game of soccer or forgot to eat breakfast. Kaylie and Tyler are hungry because most of the time their mom cannot afford to buy them food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
n a single week recently,I apologized 47 times. I was actually sorry 12 of those times (I forgot to hold the door for a stranger, and I cursed, more than once, in front of my 4-year-old). The rest of my "I'm sorry"s?
ADWEEK + UW ALUMNI
In 2002, Gillian Laub '97 made what would be the first of many trips to Mount Vernon, Georgia, to photograph the lives of teenagers in the South. What she discovered was an idyllic yet racially divided town struggling to confront longstanding issues of race and inequality.
Badgers who work behind the scenes to create and produce must-see content reflect on how they got their start, what it's like to work in the business, and what they're binge-watching. In the age of peak TV, more is more. We can watch our favorite shows anywhere, anytime, and on any number of devices.
If you think that Anders Holm is everywhere these days, you're right. A combination of hard work and a few lucky breaks has put the writer-actor in the spotlight. Anders Holm '03 was in New Orleans when he got a call from his manager about a job opportunity.
In addition to green-lighting nonfiction fare featuring personalities such as Anthony Bourdain and Morgan Spurlock, CNN's new boss Jeff Zucker has kept in place CNN Films, new documentary production and acquisition division, which was announced last October-a month before his hire was announced.
Working with accomplished female filmmakers, Libby Geist explores the outcomes of Title IX. Although she doesn't take off from a starting line, dominate in a boxing ring, or nail a triple lutz, make no mistake: Libby Geist '02 is a competitor.
Addie Morfoot is a writer and freelance journalist covering the film industry for the last eleven years. Her work appears in Variety, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Documentary Magazine and Adweek. Her personal essays have been published in Marie Claire, Salon, Cosmopolitan.com, Brain, Child, The LA Times and The New York Press. Originally from Connecticut, Addie began her writing career at Variety's headquarters in Los Angeles before...
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