Fresh off a 39th Mill Valley Film Festival that drew more than 74,000 movie lovers to the CineArtts Sequoia and theaters all over Marin, California Film Institute Executive Director and MVFF founder Mark Fishkin said this week that the organization is launching a documentary film festival in May 201 in an effort “to build an active, involved, fully supportive community around documentary film.”

The festival, dubbed DocLands, is set for May 10-14 at the CinéArts Sequoia in Mill Valley and the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael. Organizers put out a call for entries for traditional and innovative feature length (40 + minutes) and short documentary films. The new festival’s programming team includes Fishkin, director of programming Joni Cooper, senior film programmer Janis Plotkin and MVFF documentary film programmer Kelly Clement. The submission period is from January 6 to March 17 through the Film Freeway submission platform.
“Despite the current challenges to independent filmmaking, it is an exciting time for documentaries — and without question, documentaries are more important now than ever,” Fishkin says. “From capturing the beauty of our fragile planet and its undeniable connection to mankind’s quality of life, to subject matter that has direct impact on the most pressing issues of our time, whether widely known or acknowledged, documentary filmmakers are searching for truth through storytelling. It is an innate need of humans to share stories and filmmakers are expanding the definition of documentary form in ways that are both creative and entertaining.”

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