Documentary Fortnight: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media
February 16–28, 2012
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019
DOCUMENTARY FORTNIGHT BRINGS AN INTERNATIONAL SELECTION OF 27 FILMS TO THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART IN FEBRUARY
Festival includes a retrospective dedicated to Paper Tiger Television, Modern Mondays featuring a discussion with Phil Collins, a special “Field Guide” to the interactive documentary, and offsite events at Light Industry and Nitehawk Cinema.
Established in 2001, Documentary Fortnight 2012: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media, presents recent feature-length and short documentary films examining the relationship between contemporary art and nonfiction practices during its annual two-week showcase each February. The majority of films in the festival are premieres, and filmmakers will be present at most screenings. The festival opens on February 16 with Jim Hubbard’s United in Anger: A History of ACT UP (2012), the first feature-length documentary to explore ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) from a historical perspective, and The Tiniest Place (2011), Tatiana Huezo Sanchez’s account of the village of Cinquera in El Salvador where the surviving residents restore the village and their lives after the brutal Civil War of 1980–1992.
International selections include: Without Gorky (2011), a tragic portrait of the life of Abstract Expressionist Arshile Gorky by his granddaughter Cosima Spender; experimental filmmaker Naomi Uman’s Ukrainian Time Machine: Kalendar (2008) and Ukrainian Time Machine: Video Diary 2-1-2006 to the Present (2011); The Average of the Average (2011), Denmark’s first 3D documentary by Michael Madsen, which examines mundane moments in the life of the town of Middlefart; and Austrian filmmaker Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s Abendland (2010), a critical exploration of the nature of technology, shot in 10 countries over 14 months. Among other highlights are Wu Tsang’s portrait of the LGBT-friendly, Latin bar Silver Platter, Wildness (2012), which has its world premiere on February 22; Roddy Bogawa’s Taken By Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis (2011), which tells the story behind iconic rock album covers, including works by Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Genesis; and Matt McCormick’s lyrical documentary The Great Northwest (2011), which recreates a 1958 roadtrip by four Seattle women.
Documentary Fortnight 2012 also presents a series of special events, including “A Field Guide to the Interactive Documentary” on February 18, one with former New York Times senior multimedia producer Zach Wise, and another with Ingrid Kopp, New Media Consultant at the Tribeca Film Institute, and Lauren Cornell, Executive Director, Rhizome, and Adjunct Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. For a Modern Mondays discussion on February 27, Phil Collins presents a selection of his works, including how to make a refugee (1999), use! value! exchange! (2010) and marxism today (prologue) (2010). Paper Tiger Television: Thirty Years of Alternative Media showcases the work of nonprofit, all-volunteer video collective Paper Tiger Television (PTTV) with a presentation of design for a radical new media created in partnership with The New School’s Vera List Center for Art and Politics, and two screening events on February 24 and 25.
Off-site events include a screening of director D.A. Pennebaker’s Elizabeth and Mary (1965)—a portrait of twin girls, one partially sighted, one blind—at Light Industry in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, on February 21, and the festival’s closing on February 28 at Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with the U.S. premiere of Željka Suková’s Marija’s Own (2011), about a wild dinner party a granddaughter and her two cousins throw for her deceased grandmother, and Grandma Lo-Fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigríður Níelsdóttir (2011), about a 70 year-old Danish/Icelandic woman who creates music using an electronic keyboard and kitchen utensils.
This exhibition is organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film. The Selection Committee consists of Sally Berger; Chi-hui Yang, independent curator; and Sam Green, documentary filmmaker. Special thanks to our collaborating partners: Ambulante, Cinema Tropical, Light Industry, Nitehawk Cinema, The Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York, the Norwegian Film Institute, and True/False Film Festival.