The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will kick off its 30th annual “Contemporary Documentaries” screening series with last year’s Oscar®-winning feature, “Inside Job,” and “Casino Jack and the United States of Money” on Wednesday, September 21, at 7 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Admission to all screenings in the series is free.
Directed by Charles Ferguson, who produced the film with Audrey Marrs, “Inside Job” traces the financial practices that laid the groundwork for the global economic crisis in an examination that places blame in the hands of many who are still in power. Predatory lending, credit default swaps and financial deregulation are subjected to close scrutiny and criticism in a primer on the situation that affected the lives of millions.
“Casino Jack and the United States of Money,” a portrait of disgraced Washington super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, confirms the adage that truth is indeed stranger than fiction. A tale of international intrigue with Indian casinos, Russian spies, Chinese sweatshops and a mob-style killing in Miami, this is a story of the way money corrupts our political process. The film was directed by Alex Gibney and produced by Gibney, Alison Ellwood and Zena Barakat.
The 30th annual “Contemporary Documentaries” series is a showcase for feature-length and short documentaries drawn from the 2010 Academy Award® nominations, including the winners, as well as other important and innovative films considered by the Academy that year.
Charles Ferguson’s “Inside Job” functions as a primer on the theftocracy that brought the world to the brink of financial collapse. “With a didactic sense rare in this age, Charles Ferguson cuts through the financial sectors flimflamming gibberish to expose the wholesale institutionalized greed of Wall Street and the International Banking community, whose white collar racketeering seem a crime against humanity as well. Interviewing key insiders, politicians and journalists Ferguson’s autopsy of the global financial crisis or 2008 should be required viewing.”
Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath extraordinary film “Enemies of the People”. “Cambodian investigative reporter Thet Sambeth and Brit documentarian Ron Lemkin staggering documentary looks guilt and forgiveness in the face. Sambeth spent a decade wooing Nuon Chea (Brother No. 2), chief ideologue and second in command (under Pol Pot) in the bloody Kymer Rouge Regime, eventually coaxing him to confess on camera to the war crimes. Only then does he reveal to his fatherly “friend” that he was ultimately responsible for the death Sambeth’s family on the killing fields…. This quietly astonishing film puts the document back in documentary, rewarding Sambeth’s meticulous research and heroic patience with a response that will be felt in Cambodia for years.”
Part One of this two-part series runs through December. The screening schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, September 21
Directed by Charles Ferguson
Produced by Ferguson, Audrey Marrs
Academy Award winner: Documentary Feature
“Casino Jack and the United States of Money”
Directed by Alex Gibney
Produced by Gibney, Alison Ellwood, Zena Barakat
Wednesday, October 5
“Sun Come Up”
Directed by Jennifer Redfearn
Produced by Redfearn, Tim Metzger
Academy Award nominee: Documentary Short Subject
Directed by Lucy Walker
Produced by Angus Aynsley, Hank Levine
Academy Award nominee: Documentary Feature
Wednesday, October 19:
“Strangers No More”
Directed and produced by Karen Goodman, Kirk Simon
Academy Award winner: Documentary Short Subject
Directed by Shlomi Eldar
Produced by Ehud Bleiberg, Yoav Ze’evi
Wednesday, November 2
Directed and produced by Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger
Academy Award nominee: Documentary Feature
“The Tillman Story”
Directed by Amir Bar-Lev
Produced by John Battsek
Wednesday, November 9
Directed and produced by Cynthia Wade
“Enemies of the People”
Directed and produced by Rob Lemkin, Thet Sambath
Wednesday, November 30
“The Lottery”: Directed by Madeleine Sackler
Produced by Blake Ashman-Kipervaser, James Lawler, Sackler
“Waiting for ‘Superman’”
Directed by Davis Guggenheim
Produced by Lesley Chilcott
Wednesday, December 7 – At the California Science Center IMAX Theater
Directed and produced by Toni Myers
All films, with the exception of “Hubble 3d” ,will screen at the Linwood Dunn Theater at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., except for the IMAX presentation on December 7. Doors open at 6 p.m. All seating is unreserved. The filmmakers will be present at screenings whenever possible.
The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. Free parking is available through the entrance on Homewood Avenue (one block north of Fountain Avenue). For additional information, visit www.oscars.org or call (310) 247-3600.