Top picks for Melbourne Documentary Film Festival 2019

Recently, the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival released their schedule of screenings for the 2019 event. Here are some titles that we’re looking forward to:

 

The Candidate

The Candidate is a feature length observational documentary that follows Greens candidate Alex Bhathal over the final three weeks of her campaign to win a seat in the Australian Federal parliament. In this, her sixth attempt, and with a 1% margin between her and victory, she and her team have good reason to believe that history is finally on their side. But this is no ordinary campaign…

17 Blocks

Using two decades of intimate home video, the story of the Sanford family, whose struggles with addiction and gun violence eventually lead to a journey of love, loss, and acceptance.

The Queens

Part documentary classic ‘Paris is Burning’, part current FX hit drama ‘Pose’, part reality show phenom ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ and part traditional beauty pageant like Miss America, ‘The Queens’ explores the transgender subculture of competitive female impersonation. Along the way, this feature-length documentary delves into the rich history of Chicago’s iconic female illusion show lounge, The Baton (entering its 50th year in 2019 at the same location), and the club’s legendary offspring, the Miss Continental beauty pageant (an annual competition that has drawn transgender contestants from around the globe since 1980). The entertainers immersed in this fascinating close-knit community share the highs and lows of their lives as they compete for the coveted crown.

Dark Money

DARK MONEY, a political thriller, examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials. The film takes viewers to Montana—a frontline in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide—to follow an intrepid local journalist working to expose the real-life impacts of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Through this gripping story, DARK MONEY uncovers the shocking and vital truth of how American elections are bought and sold. This Sundance award-winning documentary is directed/produced by Kimberly Reed (PRODIGAL SONS) and produced by Katy Chevigny (E-TEAM).

F*ck You All the Uwe Boll Story

Honing his craft as an indie filmmaker in Germany in the early 90s, Uwe Boll never could have imagined the life that would lay itself out in front of him. He has experienced a storied career that has led to such highs as working with Oscar-winning actors and making films with 60 million dollar budgets, and has reached such lows as having actors publicly disparage their films with Boll and online petitions for him to stop making films reaching hundreds of thousands of signatures. None of this stopped Uwe from continuing to put out movie after movie, totaling 32 feature films before retiring and opening a successful high end restaurant. Already a cult legend, Uwe Boll will be remembered forever in the film world. Some will remember him as a modern-day Ed Wood, who made films so bad, they’re good. Others will remember him as the prolific filmmaker who came from a small town in Germany and never compromised his integrity while he created his own path in Hollywood.

OUT on the Streets

When your family rejects you, where do you sleep? How do you survive? For the estimated 40% of homeless youth in America who identify as LGBTQ, embracing their true identity often meant that they must also struggle to live on the streets. Jason and Luis, two young gay men in Chicago, face this reality head-on in their personal journeys to self-acceptance.

Woodstock At Fifty

With the approaching 50th anniversary of Woodstock, we are presenting a special cut of the multi-award winning documentary A Venue for the End of the World, featuring extended interviews with original Woodstock performers, crew and high-profile commentators. This very special event will feature a live Q&A with famed Woodstock announcer & lighting designer Chip Monck.

Singled Out

Singled [Out] tells the story of five educated women in four corners of the world: Jules in Melbourne, Manu in Barcelona, Shu and Yang in Shanghai, and Melek in Istambul -they all travel solo in a world where pairing up is the norm. Together with the voices of some well-known experts in the areas of sociology, law and demography, the film unveils modern love in the era of choice, and is a journey to the heart of being a single woman today.

Defending a Monster

“Sam, could you do me a favor?” Thus begins a story that has now become part of America’s true crime hall of fame. It is a gory, grotesque tale befitting a Stephen King novel. It is also a David and Goliath saga—the story of a young lawyer fresh from the Public Defender’s Office whose first client in private practice turns out to be the worst serial killer in our nation’s history.

Art Never Sleeps

Art Never Sleeps. Francis Ford Coppola lives by those words. This documentary is the story of the adventure Francis and his team embarked on with an old friend and the film students from Oklahoma City Community College. Together and against all odds, they achieved Francis’ long-held dream of live-streaming a movie and gave birth to a new frontier in cinematic art. Live Cinema.

J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs and the Church of the Sub Genius

The Church of the SubGenius has been called “the most aggressively preposterous theology the world has ever known!” But what is the Church? Filmmaker Sandy K. Boone explores the underground movement that has galvanized the imaginative, the artistic, the nerdy, even the deranged – to examine the simmering dystopia in their culture, and do absolutely nothing about it – except, maybe, poke fun at it all.

 

For more on the 2019 MDFF festival, head over to their website.

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