Oscar-winner Morgan Neville directed Won't You Be My Neighbor? slated for theatrical release June 8
Fred Rogers, the Presbyterian minister who purveyed humane and gentle values on public television to more than a generation of American children, would have turned 90 years old Tuesday.
On the occasion of his birthday, Focus Features released the first trailer for the upcoming Morgan Neville documentary about Rogers, titled Won't You Be My Neighbor? The film from the Oscar-winning director of 20 Feet from Stardom will be released in theaters June 8.
An unlikely star... yet it worked.
"A portrait of a man whom we all think we know," Focus Features said of the documentary, "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 film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and played last week at SXSW.
Watch the trailer below:
Related: Morgan Neville on the lasting importance of Fred Rogers: 'It's the kind of voice we're missing in our culture... an empathetic adult'
Greenwich Entertainment acquires theatrical rights to Sasha Waters Freyer's doc on photographer acclaimed as greatest of his time
Director Sasha Waters Freyer is leaving South by Southwest with a filmmaking prize, and a distribution deal.
Greenwich Entertainment will handle theatrical distribution of her documentary Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable, an announcement that came shortly after the film won a special jury prize at SXSW. At the festival's awards ceremony Tuesday night documentary jurors hailed the doc as "Best Feminist Reconsideration of a Male Artist."
Winogrand (1928-1984) won widespread acclaim for street photography that catalogued American life from New York to Texas and Los Angeles. Curator John Szarkowski, director of photography at MoMA in New York, famously termed Winogrand the greatest photographer of his era.
In an interview with Nonfictionfilm.com Freyer said Winogrand elevated the art form beyond photojournalism to a kind of street poetry. But an ill-fated book of photographs published at the height of the women's liberation movement tarnished his reputation. Click below for our conversation with the director.
SXSW: Ricki Lake, Abby Epstein unveil 'Weed the People,' doc on healing power of cannabis for children with cancer
Filmmakers document remarkable transformations in afflicted kids, slam Attorney General Jeff Sessions for anti-pot stance: 'This film could have the power to change a politician's heart and mind'
To describe Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein as excited about their latest documentary would be an underestimate.
"We really feel like we have a gem on our hands and the timing could not be more perfect," Lake enthuses when we meet in the lounge of the Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin. "This movie really does have the opportunity to change things."
The movie is Weed the People, which premiered Sunday at SXSW in the Documentary Feature Competition category. Epstein directed and Lake executive-produced the film which explores the cases of children suffering from cancer whose health improved dramatically through treatment with cannabis oils.
I do think it's a hopeful film. It takes you on a journey -- I think the whole audience is moved to tears multiple times.
Weed the People argues marijuana prohibition is both misguided and inhumane, especially in view of the benefit it may provide to kids for whom chemotherapy has been ineffective or ruinous to their bodies.
"You've got these parents who are looking for everything. They are not getting the results they want from what they're being offered through the standard medical system. And when you start looking for everything cannabis comes up," Epstein tells Nonfictionfilm.com. "We know cannabis kills cancer in the test-tube or represses tumor growth."
Thoroughfare becomes main hub of nightlife during Austin festival
For the 10 days of the SXSW Conference and Festivals, a stretch of 6th Street in Austin is shut down to vehicles (other than police and emergency ones). The roadway, partly cobbled in brick, becomes a massive open-air party drawing crowds of increasing size as the event heads to its climactic weekend.
These are some photos taken over several nights. All images ©Matt Carey
Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable, This One's For The Ladies and My Dead Dad's Porno Tapes also earn recognition
A film about China's burgeoning live streaming market -- where hundreds of millions of people log on to engage in virtual relationships with nymphets and other 'personalities' -- has earned the top documentary prize at SXSW.
People's Republic of Desire directed by Hao Wu won the Grand Jury Award for Documentary Feature at a ceremony Tuesday night at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas.
"This is totally unexpected. Ohmygod," Hao exclaimed as he accepted the award. "Thanks to my subjects who trusted me to tell their stories and thanks for everyone who worked on the film."
I also want to thank my mom who's been nagging me to go back into business and not making films for the past five or six years. But I love you, mom.
Hao also thanked his wife and young children for putting up with his absences over several years while making the film. And he gave a special shootout to another member of his family.
"I also want to thank my mom who's been nagging me to go back into business and not making films for the past five or six years," he joked. "But I love you, mom."
"In a digital universe where live streamers earn as much as $200K a month, can virtual relationships replace real-life human connection?" SXSW wrote in its description of Hao's film. "People's Republic of Desire tells the stories of two such online stars who've risen from isolation to fame and fortune in China. The film takes us on a vérité journey through their live streaming showrooms, which have become virtual gathering places for hundreds of millions - from the super rich who lavish performers with digital gifts, to poor migrant workers who worship them."
Announcing the award Tuesday night, juror April Wolfe declared, "Believe me, I love horror films and this is really terrifying."
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.