DOCUMENTARY / dok-yuh-men-tuh-ree / Adjective. Movies, Television. based on or re-creating an actual event, era, lifestory, etc., that purports to be factually accurate and contains no fictional elements.
How often do we equate “documentary” with “truth,” and is that a valid demand or an unfair restriction on the filmmaker? Director Penny Lane takes us on a raucous journey through tales of mermaids, conspiracy theories, quack doctors, and her own recent “mostly-true” film, NUTS! (Sundance 2016) to explore why we believe what documentaries tell us, and the common creative liberties most documentary filmmakers won’t admit to having taken in order to tell a good story. Through various documentary excerpts, including an exclusive preview of both NUTS!, and the unique Notes on NUTS!, an appendix of footnotes on the film, Lane examines the perceived epistemic authority of archival materials, and other tropes of the documentary form, as well as the ethics inherent in the process of nonfiction storytelling.
“Lane is the answer to [the] question: who’s the great documentarian of this generation?” – The Verge
“Will surely cement [Lane’s] status as one of the most fascinating documentarians around.” – Paper Magazine
About the filmmaker:
Penny Lane’s film NUTS! premiered at Sundance 2016, where it won a special jury award for editing. She was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2012. Her debut feature-length documentary, Our Nixon, world premiered at Rotterdam, had its North American premiere at SXSW, won the Ken Burns Award for “Best of the Festival” at Ann Arbor, and was selected as the Closing Night Film at New Directors/New Films. The film is currently in wide distribution, and has aired on CNN, ARTE and television outlets worldwide. Her second feature-length documentary, NUTS!, world-premiered in competition at Sundance in January 2016 where it won a Special Jury Prize for Editing. She has been awarded grants from Creative Capital, Cinereach, TFI Documentary Fund, Jerome Foundation, LEF Foundation, NYSCA, Experimental Television Center, IFP and Puffin Foundation. She was named “Most Badass!” At the Iowa City Documentary Film Festival in 2009. Penny is currently a professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Colgate University, where she lives in a very old house and shows movies in her barn when she is not working on new films. And yes, Penny Lane is her real name.
About the moderator:
Malika Zouhali-Worrall is an award-winning director, producer and editor of British/Moroccan origin. She is one of the directors of the documentary film Call Me Kuchu, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2012, where it won the Teddy Award for Best Documentary and the Cinema Fairbindet Prize. It has since screened at more than 150 film festivals, and was theatrically released in North America and Europe to critical acclaim. Malika’s second film, Thank You For Playing, directed and produced in partnership with David Osit, is an ITVS/POV co-production and premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. Malika is a Chaz & Roger Ebert Directing Fellow and an alumnus of the Film Independent Documentary Lab, the Tribeca All Access program, the Firelight Producers Lab, and the Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. In 2012, Filmmaker Magazine named Malika one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Malika is a graduate of Cambridge University, and holds an M.A. in International Affairs from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), where she studied with a full scholarship from the Entente Cordiale Scholarship Scheme. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, journalist Andy Greenberg.