Created to highlight the growing impact and popularity of documentaries in our world today, Sundance’s Documentary Premieres presents eight moving new films about big subjects or by master filmmakers that showcase the power of the form.
Each of the documentaries chosen below by the Sundance Institute is a world premiere and we will no doubt see them return to many other festivals throughout the year. However, they are not in the running for an award at the festival. The films which are, and documentaries from other sections of the festival that were announced earlier, can be found here.
With the release of the list, John Cooper, director of the Sundance Film Festival, commented: “The fact that most of the premieres have been produced completely independently further underscores the resourcefulness and tenacity of filmmakers in this climate. That drive and entrepreneurial spirit has pushed narrative and documentary filmmakers alike to create rich stories which will entertain and inspire audiences at the festival and in the year to come.”
Documentary Premieres (out-of-competition):
About Face /U.S.A. (Director: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders) — An exploration of beauty and aging through the stories of the original supermodels. Participants including Isabella Rossellini, Christie Brinkley, Beverly Johnson, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Paulina Porizkova, Jerry Hall and Christy Turlington weigh in on the fashion industry and how they reassess and redefine their own sense of beauty as their careers progress.
Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap / United Kingdom (Director: Ice-T, Co-Director: Andy Baybutt) — Through conversations with Rap’s most influential artists – among them Chuck D, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, MC Lyte, Mos Def, and Kanye West – Ice-T explores the roots and history of Rap and reveals the creative process behind this now dominant art form.
The D Word: Understanding Dyslexia / U.S.A. (Director: James Redford) — While following a Dyslexic high school senior struggling to achieve his dream of getting into a competitive college, The D Word exposes myths about Dyslexia and reveals cutting edge research to elucidate this widely misunderstood condition.
Ethel / U.S.A. (Director: Rory Kennedy) — This intimate, surprising portrait of Ethel Kennedy provides an insider’s view of a political dynasty, including Ethel’s life with Robert F. Kennedy and the years following his death when she raised their eleven children on her own.
A Fierce Green Fire / U.S.A. (Director: Mark Kitchell) — A definitive history of one of the most important movements of the 20th century, A Fierce Green Fire chronicles the environmental movement’s fascinating evolution from the 1960s to the present.
Bones Brigade: An Autobiography / U.S.A. (Director: Stacy Peralta) — When six teenage boys came together as a skateboarding team in the 1980s, they reinvented not only their chosen sport but themselves too – as they evolved from insecure outsiders to the most influential athletes in the field.
Untitled Paul Simon Project / U.S.A. (Director: Joe Berlinger) — Paul Simon returns to South Africa to explore the incredible journey of his historic Graceland album, including the political backlash he sparked for allegedly breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa, designed to end Apartheid.
West of Memphis /U.S.A. (Director: Amy Berg) — Three teenage boys are incarcerated for the murders of three 8-year-old boys inWest Memphis,Arkansas. 19 years later, new evidence calls into question the convictions and raises issues of judicial, prosecutorial and jury misconduct – showing that the first casualty of a corrupt justice system is the truth.