In an age when reality is often stranger than fiction–not to mention the dawn of streaming services–documentaries have become more popular than ever. This weekend, Dallas residents can see intriguing new documentaries on the big screen during the third annual DocuFest.
Presented by Dallas VideoFest, DocuFest runs at Angelika Film Center from October 3 through 6. This year includes screenings of over a dozen documentaries, both features and shorts, over the span of four days.
Bart Weiss, founder of Dallas VideoFest, spends all year going around the country and hand-picking the films he wants to show at the festival.
“I am always looking at work, and always trying to think about how we can bring something special together in Dallas,” says Weiss. “Most of the artistic vision and our approach in terms of programming, that’s what I do.”
About 20 films and shorts made the final cut, from portrait-style pieces about local sports stars, like Now or Never: A Tony Romo Story, to hard-hitting topics like WHITE RIGHT: MEETING THE ENEMY, which covers white supremacy and the race wars within America.
“Documentaries tell us something very different about the world that we are living in,” says Weiss. “For a while, I very much have been interested in the documentary form. But particularly now, when our notion to what is real is questioned constantly when you pay attention to the news and alternative facts.”
By separating documentaries from Dallas VideoFest’s other film festivals, Weiss hopes DocuFest will expose the attendees to stories that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to and leaving them wanting more.
“These are real things that you see in the world, but we don’t always have access to, and portraits of important people we might not know anything about,” says Weiss. “While these films are joyous and fun, they are also about the issues. Attendees should expect to see the world in a different way and be inspired by the possibility of what can people can do.”
Tickets to DocuFest’s screenings can be found on VideoFest’s website for $10 each, or $50 for an all-festival pass. Here is a preview of the films screening this weekend.
- Now or Never: A Tony Romo Story uses Romo and those close to him to tell the story of how he became the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, and why he never let his dreams of success go. October 3, 7 p.m.
- Flannery O’Connor’s writing was brilliant, and in this film filled with never-before-seen archival footage, Flannery viewers get insight on what went into the ground-breaking novels that still inspire artists to this day. October 3, 7 p.m.
- David Bowie retired his short-lived Ziggy Stardust persona in 1973 after preforming one last time at London’s Hammersmith Odeon Theater. Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars documents his final performance. October 3, 9 p.m.
- Shot in 3D, Cunningham 3D portrays the work of famous dancer Merce Cunningham, who broke barriers within the dance community. The film is a combination of archival footage of his work, and modern interpretations of his style. October 4, 7 p.m.
- Focusing on the class-action lawsuits by three former professional cheerleaders, we see football and feminism collide in A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem. October 3, 9:15 p.m.
- Varda by Agnes shows viewers insight on Agnès Varda’s experience as a director, particularly after her Academy Award nominated FACES PLACES. October 4, 9 p.m.
- Capturing his family’s journey of fleeing from the Taliban, Hassan Fazili’s Midnight Traveler shows the danger refugees face. October 4, 7 p.m.
- In American Dharma, Errol Morris interviews Stephen K. Bannon on everything from his background to his current worldview, focusing in on his own view of Bannon’s ideology and what it means for the rest of the world. October 4, 9 p.m.
- Focusing in on the rise in hate crimes, white nationalists, and anti-Muslim propaganda, Deeyah Khan attends the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville to face those with extremist views, and uses WHITE RIGHT: MEETING THE ENEMY to ask what can be done to fix these problems. October 5, 12 p.m.
- Jack Sim may seem like a guy obsessed with toilets, but Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man follows his journey of providing better, safe sanitation to countries that wouldn’t otherwise have it. October 5, 1:15 p.m.
- Ernie & Joe follows two San Antonio police officers as they try to keep people out of jail, and into mental health treatment instead, using 911 calls to redefine the way the system treats those effected by mental illnesses. October 5, 3 p.m.
- Renegade Dreamers focuses on New York’s artistic and political waves, both past and present, while also paying homage to the poets and folksingers that helped start the movement. October 5, 7 p.m.
- In Evening with Chuck Workman, viewers get to meet the mastermind behind many documentary shorts and features. October 5, 8:30 p.m.
- False information led to many Japanese Americans to be incarcerated during World War II. ALTERNATIVE FACTS: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 shows the people and decisions that led to signing to order that had hundreds of thousands of citizens arrested, and the lies used to cover it up. October 6, 12:15 p.m.
- Daily newspapers face extinction in a world powered by social media and the internet, but Alan Berliner knows the power of journalism and the stories and pictures that go along with it. Letter to the Editor follows Berliner’s obsession with newspaper clippings, and the changes that our world has faced as decades has passed. October 6, 2 p.m.
- Following the story of James Blue, a filmmaker most notably known for his documentary “The March” which told the story of the Civil Rights Movement, Citizen Blue shows rare clips and images of the neglected artist and what he accomplished in his lifetime. October 6, 3:45 p.m.
- Beyond the Bolex reveals the epic story of immigrant inventor Jacques Bolsey, who invented the motion picture camera also known as the Bolex. October 6, 5:30 p.m.
- For the first time, four women share their stories as they recall what happened when terrorists stormed the Munich Olympics. After Munich provides an inside look on what happened to each of them following the events; an athlete, a widow and two undercover agents. October 6, 7:15 p.m.
- More than forty years in the making, Tattoo Uprising shows the work of many well-known people in the tattoo world, and how over time, tattoos have taken the world by storm. October 6, 9:00 p.m.