So when MVFF organizers at the California Film Institute made the leap in 2017 to launch the inaugural Doclands, a noncompetitive, five-day documentary festival, it did so with plenty of momentum, and that event is gspreading its wings in its second year. The 2nd Annual Doclands runs from May 3-6 and its lineup spans 43 films from 10 countries, with the first DocLands Honors award presentation to award-winning filmmaker and photographer Louie Psihoyos (The Cove, Racing Extinction, The Game Changers), over 50 filmmakers in attendance, and an interactive industry forum geared towards invigorating the business and art of nonfiction filmmaking. All screenings are at the CineArts Sequoia in Mill Valley and the Rafael Film Center in San Rafael.
Here are some of the highlights:
ANOTE’S ARK – California Premiere
Thursday, May 3 | 7pm | Smith Rafael Film Center
Former president of Kiribati and film subject Anote Tong joins director Martthieu Rytz for the Festival’s Opening Night film Anote’s Ark. Climate change is no abstraction to the people of Kiribati, a series of low-lying atolls in the central Pacific Ocean that are being swallowed by the rising sea. Photographer-ethnologist Matthieu Rytz’s exquisitely shot film portrays the slow, dignified demise of an entire culture—soon to be global refugees. Rytz and Tong will take part in an on-stage conversation and audience Q&A following the screening.
16 BARS – World Premiere
Saturday, May 5 | 6:30pm | Smith Rafael Film Center
In Sam Bathrick’s transformative film, Todd “Speech” Thomas of hip-hop group Arrested Development is involved with a unique rehabilitation program in Richmond, Virginia, helping prisoners write and record their own songs. The filmmaker lovingly follows four inmates battling cycles of incarceration and addiction. Through superbly produced recording sessions, the men reach out from behind bars to bring their poignant stories to life through music. Bathrick will be joined on-stage by film subjects Todd “Speech” Thomas of hip-hop group Arrested Development (Tennessee, Mr. Wendell), Teddy Kane and Loretta Simmons-Jackson following the premiere of 16 Bars for an on-stage Q&A and special performance featuring Speech and Kane. MORE INFO.
DocLands Honors Award – Louie Psihoyos
Friday, May 4 | 6:30pm | CinéArts Sequoia
Presented to a filmmakerin recognition of exceptional storytelling within the documentary genre, an artist whose films resonate universally, emphasizing our common humanity – no matter the subject. The inaugural DocLands Honors Award is presented to iconic photographer and award-winning filmmaker Louie Psihoyos (The Cove, Racing Extinction, The Game Changers) for his dogged determination and tenacity in exposing wrongs and expanding awareness. We also show our appreciation for his astounding efforts in outreach, bringing some of our most pressing environmental and social issues to a worldwide audience.
Preceded by Spark Plug Cowboys (dirs. S. Kramer Herzog, L. Marcel)