Friday, Jun 22 at 9:00 pm
Screening of The Departure with Lana Wilson
With Lana Wilson
“A work of art…a beautiful meditation on the value of life.” – San Francisco Chronicle
We are excited to kick off our Documentary Fundamentals Workshop with a warm welcome for director Lana Wilson presenting a screening of her recent and highly-acclaimed documentary The Departure. Closely following a former punk-turned-Buddhist priest in Japan who specializes in helping those on the brink of suicide find reasons to want to keep moving forward, The Departure has been called “Poetic, profound, and devastating” by The Hollywood Reporter“, and has screened at festivals worldwide including Tribeca Film Festival, HotDocs International Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Camden International Film Festival, and more.
87 min., 2017
“Wilson’s film, a quiet wonder, emphasizes the courage it takes to choose the hard work of living.”
Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice
Ittetsu Nemoto, a former punk-turned-Buddhist-priest in Japan, has made a career out of helping suicidal people find reasons to live. But this work has come increasingly at the cost of his own family and health, as he refuses to draw lines between those he counsels and himself. The Departure captures Nemoto at a crossroads, when his growing self-destructive tendencies lead him to confront the same question his patients ask him: what makes life worth living?
The second documentary by award-winning director Lana Wilson (After Tiller), The Departure is a poetic and deeply moving film that contemplates death as a way of better understanding how we should live.
“It’s not often one can have a genuinely spiritual experience watching a movie. But that’s precisely what’s on offer with The Departure, Lana Wilson’s quietly galvanizing portrait of life, death and the thin places in between. A film that explores life’s toughest and most transcendent moments with tenderness, honesty and care.”
Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
“A work of art. A beautiful meditation on the value of life. By the way, this is a documentary. But after the first few seconds, you won’t even notice.”
David Lewis, The San Francisco Chronicle
Lana Wilson is an Emmy Award-winning and two-time Spirit Award-nominated director, writer, and producer based in New York. Her most recent film, The Departure, premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival to critical acclaim and went on to be nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary. The Departure was called “A work of art” by the San Francisco Chronicle, “Moving…like a haiku” by The New York Times, and “A genuinely spiritual experience” by The Washington Post. The Departure was theatrically released in 30 US cities last fall, starting with a held-over run at New York’s Metrograph, and nationally broadcast on PBS this year. Wilson’s first film, After Tiller (co-directed by Martha Shane), premiered at Sundance in 2013 and went on to win an Emmy Award for Best Documentary. It was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, four Cinema Eye Honors, and the Ridenhour Prize. After Tiller was theatrically released in 50 US cities by Oscilloscope and nationally broadcast on POV. Wilson has also worked as a writer and producer for television. She is a 2018 Women at Sundance Fellow, has been a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute, and holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University.
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DOCUMENTARY FUNDAMENTALS! A nuts-and-bolts professional development series designed for the emerging or intermediate documentary filmmaker, Documentary Fundamentals at UnionDocs is a six-part program taking place over the course of one weekend. Buy a SERIES PASS ($125) or choose to attend individual sessions ($25/each). This program has been an ongoing series at UnionDocs for many years. It developed from our experience with documentarians who needed a better foundation across the board to navigate production and distribution as an independent filmmaker in today’s landscape.
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