POV’s series producer Yance Ford interviews Thom Powers, filmmaker, documentary programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival and the founder and curator of the Stranger than Fiction documentary series in New York.
I sat down recently with Thom Powers — filmmaker, documentary programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival and the founder and curator of the immensely popular documentary series Stranger than Fiction, also known as STF. Since 2005, STF has run three 10-week seasons (Spring, Fall and Winter) for an ever increasing audience. Powers and his finely curated series have established Tuesday nights at the IFC Center as the time and place for New York City-based documentary filmmakers and fans to view new and classic work and interact through vibrant Q&A’s and post-screening gatherings, where the conversations continue.
The Fall 2009 season opened this week with Ahead of Time, the directorial debut of cinematographer Bob Richman. Richman has shot a laundry list of fine documentaries including Constantine’s Sword by Oren Jacoby, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, and recently The September Issue by RJ Cutler. The new STF season also features some other great films — check out the calendar on the STF website.
In part one of my interview with Thom, he breaks down the history of STF, his curatorial approach and what it means to bring folks out from behind their computers and into the theater. Stay tuned for part two next week, when we discuss Toronto and some broader issues like distribution and the documentary landscape.