Pure Nonfiction at IFC Center, the popular documentary series previously known as Stranger Than Fiction, announced its winter season line-up, featuring ten documentaries playing from February 5 to March 26. The season opens with UNITED SKATES (Feb 5), winner of the Tribeca Audience Award, about roller skating in black communities across the United States. The season includes sneak previews of two documentaries fresh from their Sundance premieres: Alex Gibney’s THE INVENTOR: OUT FOR BLOOD IN SILICON VALLEY (Mar 14) about the scandal of the fraudulent billion dollar company Theranos and Alison Klayman’s THE BRINK (Mar 26, closing night of the winter season) about the former Trump strategist Steve Bannon spreading his nationalist ideas in Europe.
Each Pure Nonfiction screening features the filmmakers or other special guests in person. The series, launched at IFC Center in 2005 and hosted by Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen, was formerly known as Stranger Than Fiction. It has a reputation as “a vital outpost for award-winning documentaries” (New York Times). The change in name aligns the series to the Pure Nonfiction podcast, in which Powers interviews documentary filmmakers, now in its fourth year.
“Pure Nonfiction as a screening series at IFC Center shares the same mission as the podcast to illuminate the art of documentary making, so it makes sense for them to share the same name,” said Powers.
The winter season includes a sneak preview of the new series THE CASE AGAINST ADNAN SYED (Feb 26) based on the case made famous by the Serial podcast. Director Amy Berg will present episode one prior to its debut on HBO. Other sneak previews include IT’S A HARD TRUTH, AIN’T IT (Feb 12) about prisoners learning to make films; and ONE NATION UNDER STRESS (Mar 19) with Dr. Sanjay Gupta trying to uncover why American life expectancy is falling.
Classic revivals are a key part of the screening series. The season includes a double bill (Feb 19) with D.A. Pennebaker’s ORIGINAL CAST ALBUM: COMPANY (1970) about a studio recording of the Stephen Sondheim musical; joined with a new parody of the film from the series DOCUMENTARY NOW! titled ORIGINAL CAST ALBUM: CO-OP. Pennebaker will present the films with other colleagues who were part of the original. Other classics include the 20thanniversary of Doug Block’s HOME PAGE (Feb 21) about the emergence of a confessional culture on the internet; THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI (Mar 5) that will memorialize director Bill Siegel who passed away last December; and THAT RHYTHM…THOSE BLUES (Mar 12) in a new restoration of the 1988 film that explored rhythm and blues music in the 1940s and 1950s.
The Pure Nonfiction winter season takes place at the IFC Center every Tuesday night at 7:30 pm for eight weeks, plus special Thursday screenings on Feb 21 and Mar 14. Each event includes a discussion with the filmmakers, followed by a gathering at a nearby bar. Season passes are now on sale for $99 for 10 films. The full season schedule appears below. For more information, visit ifccenter.com/series/purenonfiction
Pure Nonfiction at IFC Center: Winter 2019 Season | 7:30pm Tuesdays at IFC Center, Feb 5 – Mar 26
Each show features a Q&A with the director or other special guests
Feb 5: Opening Night – UNITED SKATES (2018, Q&A w/ dir. Tina Brown & subject Reggie)
Feb 12: IT’S A HARD TRUTH, AIN’T IT (2018, Q&A w/ dir. Madeleine Sackler)
Feb 19: Double bill:
ORIGINAL CAST ALBUM: COMPANY (1970, Q&A w/ dir. D.A. Pennebaker & others)
Feb 21: Thursday special– HOME PAGE – 20thanniv. (1999, Q&A w/ dir. Doug Block & others)
Feb 26: THE CASE AGAINST ADNAN SYED – episode one (2019, Q&A w/ dir. Amy Berg)
Mar 5: THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI (2014, Q&A in memory of dir. Bill Siegel w/ his colleagues)
Mar 12: THAT RHYTHM…THOSE BLUES – newly restored (1988, Q&A w/ dir. George T. Nierenberg)
Mar 14: Thursday Special– THE INVENTOR: OUT FOR BLOOD IN SILICON VALLEY (2019, Q&A w/ dir. Alex Gibney)
Mar 19: ONE NATION UNDER STRESS (2019, Q&A w/ dir. Marc Levin)
Mar 26: Closing Night – THE BRINK (2019, Q&A w/ dir. Alison Klayman)
Tickets for Pure Nonfiction screenings are $17 for the general public and $14 for IFC Center members. A Season Pass covers admission to all 10 evenings and provides free popcorn at all screenings. It is available for $99 ($80 for IFC members).
If you’re in New York, please join us at the IFC Center for the newly rebranded Pure Nonfiction at IFC Center (fka Stranger Than Fiction). The Tuesday night documentary series is hosted by Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen and presents an eclectic mix of documentaries – sneak previews and classics – followed by discussions with the filmmakers and post-show receptions.
All screenings held at the IFC Center:
The Academy Awards® have noimated 5 films for best documentary feature. Host Thom Powers has sat down with 3 directors whose films have been nominated. Listen to the interviews and view the full list below:
Icarus (Dir. Bryan Fogel)
Last Men in Aleppo (Dir. Firas Fayyad)
Detroit native Thom Powers, host of the indispensable Pure Nonfiction podcast and celebrated documentary programmer of the Toronto International Film Festival, will bring a stellar lineup of documentary filmmakers to the stage of the DFT for a one-night-only, live event, never to be repeated. Filmmakers Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA, Miss Sharon Jones!), Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself), Nelson George (A Ballerina’s Tale) and others will share clips and behind the scenes stories of their favorite documentaries, and discuss the challenges and joys of non-fiction cinema with the audience. Co-presented by the Freep Film Festival.
The Detroit Film Theatre is supported by your tri county millage investment. General admission is free for residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.
7:00 PM | Sat, Oct 7
$9.50 general admission; $7.50 seniors, students, DIA Members
Detroit Film Theatre
5200 Woodward Ave
Detroit , MI 48202
Check out Thom Powers at two Pure Nonfiction panels! Both panels are free to attend.
When: Saturday, April 29 @ 1:00 pm
Where: Cinema505 (505 Bloomfield Ave. Montclair NJ)
Montclair-based documentary photographer Ed Kashi and filmmaker Julie Winokur (Talking Eyes Media) are married with two children, but their work frequently puts them on the road. Last year, Kashi wrote an essay called “The Unspoken Consequences of a Photojournalist’s Life,” published in Time, that candidly explores the personal pressures of constant travel. In this conversation, Pure Nonfiction podcast host Thom Powers interviews Kashi and Winokur about balancing work and family.
When: Sunday, May 7 @ 12:15 pm
Where: Cinema505 (505 Bloomfield Ave. Montclair NJ)
Chicago-based filmmaker Steve James has an extraordinary documentary career that includes “Hoop Dreams” about high school basketball players; “The Interrupters” about former gang members dedicated to ending street violence; “Life Itself” about film critic Roger Ebert”; and his latest film playing at MFF, “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” about the family behind a Chinatown bank defending themselves against prosecution. Pure Nonfiction podcast host interviews James about his career.
DOC NYC burst upon the scene in 2010 with an inaugural event that was hailed as “ambitious” (New York Times) and “selective but eclectic” (Village Voice). By 2014, DOC NYC had become America’s largest documentary film festival and voted by MovieMaker magazine as one of the “top five coolest documentary film festivals in the world”. Based at the West Village’s IFC Center, Chelsea’s SVA Theater and Bow Tie Chelsea Cinema, the eight-day festival showcases new achievements in documentary film along with panels and conversations. It also seeks to make connections that happen “only in New York.”
In 2018, the festival showcased 300+ films & events, presented by 300+ filmmakers & special guests. Past guests include Hillary Clinton, Wim Wenders, Eric Clapton, Lucas Hedges, John Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Jim Carrey, Al Sharpton, Susan Sarandon, Martin Scorsese, Big Bird, Sarah Polley, Jared Leto, Steve Madden, Noam Chomsky, Ricki Lake, Michael Moore, Michel Gondry, Omar Epps, Errol Morris, Oliver Stone, Jonathan Franzen, Kathleen Hanna, Spandau Ballet, Greil Marcus, Grace Lee Boggs, Bela Fleck, Nat Hentoff, Chuck Workman, and The Mekons. Audience attendees have included Harry Belafonte, Rosario Dawson, Fred Armisen, Jim Jarmusch, Michael Stipe, Martha Stewart, Katie Couric, Russell Simmons, Darren Aronofsky, Cornel West, Naomi Watts, among others.
Save the date for our 10th anniversary from November 6 - 15, 2019.
Azmaish: A Journey Through the Subcontinent - Sabiha Sumar
BOOM FOR REAL The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat - Sara Driver
Cocaine Prison - Voileta Ayala
Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars - Lili Fini Zanuck
Ex Libris - The New York Public Library - Frederick Wiseman
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami - Sophie Fiennes
Jane - Brett Morgen
Jim & Andy: the Great Beyond - the story of Jim Carrey & Andy Kaufman with a very special, contractually obligated mention of Tony Clifton - Chris Smith
Living Proof - Matt Embry
Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle - Gustavo Salmerón
Love Means Zero - Jason Kohn
Makala - Emmanuel Gras
Of Sheep and Men - Karim Sayad
One of Us - Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady
Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me - Sam Pollard
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood - Matt Tyrnauer
Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart - Tracy Heather Strain
Silas - Anjali Nayar, Hawa Essuman
Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! - Morgan Spurlock
The Carter Effect - Sean Menard
The China Hustle - Jed Rothstein
The Final Year - Greg Barker
The Gospel According to André - Kate Novack
The Judge - Erika Cohn
The Legend of the Ugly King - Hüseyin Tabak
The Other Side of Everything - Mila Turajlic
There is a House Here - Alan Zweig