Silverdocs, the largest documentary festival in the country,
will return to Silver Spring’s AFI
June 18 through 24, and today the organizers released this
year’s lineup. The festival will open and close with music-themed
movies, kicking off with
Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey,
Ramona Diaz’s story about the Filipino singer whose YouTube videos scored him a new gig as the lead singer for
Journey. The closing night film is
Big Easy Express, in which
Emmett Malloy follows
Mumford & Sons,
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and
Old Crow Medicine Show as they travel from California to New Orleans by train, stopping to perform in six cities on the way.
Last year’s festival, which opened with
The Swell Season about
Glen Hansard and
Markéta Irglová, also had a music theme, but this year’s festival goes one further by giving us a film about a local band: ’70s hardcore
Bad Brains. In the succinctly titled
Bad Brains: A Band in DC,
Mandy Stein and
Benjamen Logan explore the group’s 30-year history through interviews, archive footage, and animated sequences, with sound bites from local
notables such as
Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye and
Henry Rollins (read the
Wired review of the movie here).
There are 118 films on the roster this year from 44 countries, with 7 world premieres and 7 more films that have never been
screened in the US. The annual Guggenheim Symposium this year honors
Joe Berlinger and
Bruce Sinofsky, whose films include
Brother’s Keeper, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, and the
Paradise Lost trilogy. Berlinger’s most recent film,
Under African Skies, which follows the making of
Paul Simon’s seminal 1987 album,
Graceland, will also be screened at the festival.
In terms of arts, there are films about two great contemporary artists:
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, and
Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present. Punk is explored in a different context in
The Punk Syndrome, a film about Finnish band
Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, whose members have special needs.
Radio Unnameable looks at the life of
DJ Bob Fass, while
Joe Papp in Five Acts interviews
Olympia Dukakis, and more about the theatrical producer and director.
Beauty Is Embarrassing follows artist
Wayne White, known for his work on
Pee-wee’s Playhouse and award-winning music videos for Peter Gabriel and the Smashing Pumpkins. There are also films by notable directors
Eugene Jarecki (The House I Live In),
Heidi Ewing and
Rachel Grady (Detropia), and
Ross McElwee (Photographic Memory), among others.
Silverdocs will open June 18, with six days of films screenings, panel discussions, master classes, and more. For a full look
at this year’s lineup, visit the festival’s website.