Sundance at DocuWeeks

Join Sundance Institute in congratulating six Sundance-supported feature documentaries premiering at Docuweeks beginning this Friday in New York and next Friday in Los Angeles. The 15th Annual DocuWeeks is hosted by the International Documentary Association and is designed to qualify films for Academy Awards consideration and showcase the best in documentary film to a public audience. Each film receives a full week of screenings starting  August 12 - September 1 in New York at the IFC Center and August 19 - September 8 in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Sunset 5.

This year’s lineup includes three Sundance Institute Documentary Film Grant recipients and three 2011 Sundance Film Festival Official Selections including: Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega’s Better This World, Marina Goldovskaya’s A Bitter Taste of Freedom, Rachel Libert and Tony Hardmon’s Semper Fi: Always Faithful, Constance Marks’ Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, Danfung Dennis’ Hell and Back Again, and Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s Miss Representation. Come and enjoy these films projected on the big screen.

Click here for the full list of screening times in New York and Los Angeles, and purchase tickets online here.

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey

Director/ Producer: Constance Marks
Meet Kevin Clash, the man behind the furry red monster named Elmo. As an average teenager growing up in Baltimore in the 1970s, Kevin had very different aspirations than his classmates—he wanted to be a puppeteer. Combining amazing archival footage with material from the present day, filmmaker Constance Marks explores his story in vivid detail, chronicling the meteoric rise of Jim Henson’s Muppets in the process.

Better This World

Directors/Producers/Writers: Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega
Two childhood friends from Midland, Texas, set out to prove the strength of their political convictions to themselves and their mentor: a revolutionary activist turned FBI informant.

A Bitter Taste of Freedom 

Director/Writer: Marina Goldovskaya
An investigative journalist for Moscow's liberal Novaya Gazeta, Anna Politkovskaya was often the only spokesperson for innocent victims of Russian authorities. At age 48 she was assassinated for simply doing her job. Shot within a period of 20 years, this film creates an incredible story of a woman who consciously gave her life for her convictions.

Hell and Back Again 

Director: Danfung Dennis
Embedded in Echo Company in Afghanistan, filmmaker Danfung Dennis reveals the devastating impact a Taliban machine-gun bullet has on the life of 25-year-old Sergeant Nathan Harris. Hell and Back Again evolves from being a war exposé to becoming a story of one man’s personal apocalypse.

Miss Representation 

Director/Producer/Writer: Jennifer Siebel Newsom
Miss Representation uncovers a glaring reality we live with every day, but fail to see. It's clear the mainstream media objectifies women, but what most people don't realize is the magnitude of that phenomenon and the way objectification gets internalized—a symbolic annihilation of self-worth—and impedes girls and women from realizing their full potential.

Semper Fi: Always Faithful 

Photo by Hope Hall.

Directors/Producers: Rachel Libert, Tony Hardmon
Two retired Marines lead the fight for justice for U.S. soldiers exposed to dangerous toxic chemicals while stationed at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina.

Lead photo: