This week, we catch up on news about two upcoming POV broadcasts, take a look at post-Sundance documentary acquisitions and spotlight upcoming events in New York City.
The two Oscar-nominated POV films, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, and Food, Inc., have been in the news quite a bit this week! Daniel Ellsberg told The New York Times Carpetbagger column that he’s excited to head to the Oscars this year. He also shares some of his favorite recent films (we were surprised to hear that Mr. Ellsberg liked the indie romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer!), and explains why he didn’t like Up in the Air with George Clooney. Did you know that James Spader played Daniel Ellsberg in a 2003 TV movie called The Pentagon Papers? Ellsberg himself said that Spader “did a good job” in the Boston Globe!
Meanwhile, on Beliefnet, Ellsberg talked about why he was considered so dangerous by the Nixon administration and who his own personal heroes are. The film will air on POV later this year, and it’s opening theatrically around the country. Visit the Most Dangerous Man website to find out if it’s opening near you.
Meanwhile, the issues raised by Food, Inc. — where our food comes from; healthy eating and obesity in America; the nutritional content of school lunches and more — continue to be prominent in the news. This week, Michelle Obama announced her initiative, the “Let’s Move” campaign, which is designed to eliminate childhood obesity. The website for “Let’s Move” focuses on making healthy choices for food at home and in schools, making healthy food affordable and accessible to all, and encouraging kids to be physically active and fit. The Obama administration is also aiming to push junk food out of school cafeterias. Meanwhile, Michael Pollan, a featured expert in Food, Inc., was on Democracy Now! to talk about the film and about his new book, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. In an extensive interview, Pollan talks about what the rules for eating should be, food safety issues, his recommendations to Congress on the Child Nutrition Act and much more. Food, Inc. airs on POV on April 21st.
News about deals for Sundance docs continue to trickle in. Amir Bar-Lev’s documentary,The Tillman Story, was acquired by the Weinstein Company. The Oprah Winfrey Network acquired Family Affair by Chico David Colvard. IFC acquired Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern‘s Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. And Relativity took the rights to Catfish by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman.
Mark your calendars! In New York City, MoMA will be holding a few doc-related events in the coming months. Its 9th annual international non-fiction film festival will screen 20 feature docs, and 23 mid- to short-length docs. The festival runs from February 17 to March 3. MoMA will also be screening seminal doc filmmaker Frederic Wiseman’s works throughout 2010.
Finally, set your DVRs* for tonight. Two-time POV alum Eric Daniel Metzgar (The Chances of the World Changing, Life. Support. Music.) will be on NOW with David Brancaccio tonight to talk about his new film, Reporter, which is about New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.
* Or just watch it online!