The Top 10+ Moments at DOC10 (in chronological order):
1) When BB King’s daughter, Shirley King, a cancer survivor, showed up for the Chicago premiere of MISS SHARON JONES! and Barbara Kopple invited her to sing a song. She brought the house down with a rousing edition of “Let the Good Times Roll.” Thanks to Melody Gilbert for capturing the moment.
2) When we found out that Ewan McNicol and Anna Sandilands’s beautiful arty doc UNCERTAIN was completely sold out. Worried all week that it might not draw an audience, we actually had to turn people away.
3) When colossal documentary minds Paula Froehle (CMP), Justin Nagan (P.O.V.), David Cassidy (Cabin Creek Films), Gordon Quinn (Kartemquin) and Hussain Currimbhoy (Sundance) all gathered together to discuss the state of doc impact and the industry.
4) When Dr. Lucianne M. Walkowicz, an Astronomer at the Adler Planetarium, University of Chicago professor and artist Jason Salavon, and Dr. Kristian Hammond, Professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University, spoke after Werner Herzog’s LO AND BEHOLD: REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD, putting the film into context and telling the audience that we haven’t seen anything yet in terms of game-changing technologies.
5) When SONITA director Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami, via Skype, talked about her relationship with Sonita and told us about how the film may not be seen in Iran because her hair wasn’t always covered, as she smiled and slipped her fingers freely through her red-dyed hair.
6) When we ventured for the first time into the virtual reality of “acoustic sound” and blindness with the NOTES ON BLINDNESS V.R. headsets.
7) When speaking with David Shapiro, director of MISSING PEOPLE, not only about the meaningful symbolism contained within certain shots of his film, but also talking about the other docs he saw by his colleagues while in for the fest. After seeing IN TRANSIT, for example, he went outside, and just walked and walked and walked, needing to process the experience.
8) When after IN TRANSIT, “teacher and preacher” Calvin Morris, who appears in the film, spoke sensitively with tears welling up in his eyes, about the humanity of train travel, channeling the true spirit of Al Maysles’s mission.
9) When the ampersand comes up at the end of AUDRIE & DAISY (you have to see it to understand), feeling that welling up of pain, emotion and empathy that even director Jon Shenk admitted he experiences still after seeing the movie a hundred times.
10) When Nanfu Wang, director of HOOLIGAN SPARROW, spoke about the harrowing plight of the innocent children of Chinese activists, and the fund she started to support them here.
10+) When Princess Shaw, of PRESENTING PRINCESS SHAW, sang about Chicago…