Weekly Roundup: Awards Report, Sundance and Haunting Slideshow from Iraq

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This week, POV is racking up the awards and getting ready for Sundance. Read on for more news, a smattering of links and a giveaway!

It’s been a great week for POV filmmakers. Three POV filmmakers have been nominated for the DGA Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentaries (Geoffrey Smith for The English Surgeon, Robert Kenner for Food, Inc. and Agnès Varda for The Beaches of Agnes). Read more about the details of the DGA nominations and more acclaim for POV films in a post from earlier this week!

The Judge and the GeneralThis morning we got news that The Judge and the General by Elizabeth Farnsworth and Patricio Lanfranco, which aired on POV in 2008, has won an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for broadcast journalism. The honorees will be presented with duPont Batons at a ceremony on Jan. 21, 2010 at Columbia University. Congratulations to the filmmakers!

The 2010 Sundance Film Festival is just a week away, and as usual, POV will be well represented. Three films premiering at Sundance — Last Train Home by Lixin Fan, My Perestroika by Robin Hessman and The Oath by two-time POV alum Laura Poitras — will have their national broadcast premieres on POV in 2010 and 2011. Learn more about the films from our Sundance press release, and stayed tuned to this blog for more news from Sundance. POV’s director of programming and production, Chris White, and Yance Ford, POV’s series producer, will be attending the festival. They’ll be blogging and tweeting from Park City. (Make sure to receive all their behind-the-scenes tweets by following @povdocs on Twitter.)

POV alums Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, who made The Boys of Baraka (featured on POV in 2006) and Jesus Camp, will also be at Sundance with their new film, 12th and Delaware. The film takes place on a Florida street corner where an abortion clinic sits on one side and a pro-life organization sits on the other. Read an interview with Heidi and Rachel at indieWire, which is providing excellent coverage of the festival in their Sundance ’10 series of interviews.

POV Blog’s own Doc Soup Man, Tom Roston, is dipping his toes into Twitter in 2010! Follow @docsoupman for discussion around topics covered in his column, links to great articles and pithy commentary about all things documentary. Oh, and if you sign up by Monday, you’ll be entered to win DVDs of the two James Cameron docs that inspired the 3D techniques he used in Avatar.

Have you checked out POV’s Regarding War? We launched the site to start conversations between civilians, active soldiers, veterans and their families about the realities of war. Since November, a fantastic group of bloggers have been writing about issues like the challenges of a military marriage, coping with PTSD and how veterans can navigate the civilian job market. Check out their stories and leave a comment letting us know what you think. This week, we launched a photo slideshow featuring the work of photographer Peter van Agtmael: Five Years in Iraq. In the audio commentary to the slideshow, Peter explains that he spent 7 months embedded with the U.S. Army. The photographs here are haunting, as are the stories that the photos — and Peter’s commentary — convey.

Finally, for a fascinating look at Netflix habits, broken down by zipcode, go to this New York Times infographic. It looks at the 50 most rented DVDs in 12 cities around the country. The only two docs on that list? Bill Maher‘s Religulous (which Tom Roston wrote about in 2008) and the Academy Award-winning Man on Wire.

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Ruiyan Xu
Ruiyan Xu
Former POVer Ruiyan Xu worked on developing and producing materials for POV's website. Before coming to POV, she worked in the Interactive and Broadband department at Channel Thirteen/WNET. Ruiyan was born in Shanghai and graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Modern Culture and Media.