DocuWeeks Sets Sights on Oscar

Annual showcase will screen 22 films in Academy qualifying runs

Films about civil rights, fundamentalist religion, pedophilia, poetry competition and high school musical theater are among the entries in DocuWeeks, the International Documentary Association’s annual showcase designed to qualify documentary features and shorts for Academy Award consideration.

The IDA will present 17 feature films and five shorts over the course of three weeks at the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood and the IFC Center in New York City.  Each film will screen daily for a week in both cities to meet the Academy’s eligibility requirements.

BudrusOver the past 12 years, films that qualified via DocuWeeks have received 17 Oscar nominations and seven wins. Recent winners include the feature “Taxi to the Dark Side” and the shorts “Smile Pinki” and “The Blood of Yingzhou District.” 

Last year, the short film nominee “Rabbit a la Berlin” screened at DocuWeeks, as did the IDA documentary short winner “Salt.”

This year’s feature films are “Apaporis,” “Budrus” (photo above) “Colony,” “FAMILY AFFAIR,” “For Once in My Life,” “Freedom Riders,” “HolyWars,” “Louder Than a Bomb,” “MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS,” “Music From the Big House,” “My Perestroika,” “Pushing the Elephant,” “Quest for Honor,” “Steam of Life,” “Summer Pasture,” “This Way of Life” and “Waste Land.”

The short films are “KEEP DANCING,” “Killing in the Name,” “The Labyrinth,” “Mozambique” and “Sun Come Up.”

This has already been a strong year for documentaries, with acclaimed films like “Restrepo,” “Inside Job,” “Waiting for ‘Superman,’” “Countdown to Zero,” “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” “Marwencol” and “Thunder Soul” receiving theatrical releases or screening at festivals.

A full schedule of films, and information about each of them, can be found on the IDA website at at www.documentary.org. Tickets will go on sale on July 16.