The New Haven Documentary Film Fest, also known as NHDocs, has been around for three years; the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven has been around for 21 years. The International Festival always has a documentary series as part of its events. The two doc series have teamed up to present 11 days of movies, 15 features and 26 shorts from June 2 to 12.
"It's a productive collaboration," said Charles Musser, one of the founders of NHDocs. "It will enable us to draw bigger audiences for filmmakers who come all the way up here."
Arts & Ideas' contribution to NHDocs is a series focusing on the films of Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney, which closes out the film fest from June 10 to 12. Gibney, who grew up in New Haven, will come to the city for panel discussions and Q&As during some of the films in the series, which is called "Revealing Scams, Lies, Trickery and Deceit: The Documentaries of Alex Gibney."
A noteworthy NHDocs screening is the Connecticut premiere of "Midsummer in Newtown," a documentary that had its world premiere at this year's Tribeca Film Festival. The movie takes on the issue of healing through the arts after the Sandy Hook massacre, and features Jimmy Greene and Nelba Marquez-Greene and other Newtown residents.
A block of Newtown-related shorts will have their world premieres at the festival on June 8. These are "#WeAreAllNewtown," about Hartford pastor and gun violence prevention advocate Sam Saylor; "Notes from Dunblane," about Newtown clergyman Bob Weiss and his trip to a gun-scarred community in Scotland; and "Team 26," about Sandy Hook bicyclist Monte Frank.
Here's the full festival lineup. Admission to all events is free except for the Lydia Loveless event. Many events include Q&As with filmmakers. All events are at Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St., New Haven, unless otherwise noted.
June 2: "Midsummer in Newtown." 7 p.m.
June 3: "Be a Man," doc about comedian Ray Harrington. 7 p.m.; "VHS Massacre," a doc about the rise and fall of VHS tapes. 9:15 p.m.; "Skin in the Game: The Raven Riley Story," doc about the porn actress, 11 p.m. Rated NC-17.
June 4: Panel discussion on "guerrilla filmmaking." 11 a.m.; "Mayday" and "Next Question," two films about the Black Panthers in New Haven, 1:30 p.m., Ives branch of the New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm St.; Shorts block, 3:30 p.m., at library; "Miss Sharon Jones!" doc by Oscar winner Barbara Kopple about the R&B singer. 7 p.m.; shorts, with live music. 9 p.m.
June 5: Yale student shorts, noon; East Lyme Middle School student shorts. 2 p.m., Connecticut college and high school student shorts, 2:30 p.m., followed by awards ceremony; "The Champions," doc about disgraced NFL star Michael Vick and his dogs. 7 p.m., benefit for New Haven Animal Shelter.
June 6: "Ireland's Great Hunger and the Irish Diaspora." 7 p.m.; "Letter from Italy, 1944: A New American Oratorio," doc about the creation of a musical. 8 p.m.
June 7: "Who is Lydia Loveless?" 8 p.m., Café Nine, 250 State St., followed by performance by Loveless. Admission is $12.
June 8: Newtown shorts. 7 p.m.
June 9: Work in progress documentaries, 3 p.m.; "Angel of Nanjing," doc about a bridge in China popular with people who want to commit suicide, and a man who patrols the bridge trying to stop them. 7 p.m.; "Radical Hospitality," doc about Myanmar refugees sponsored by Pennsylvania Mennonites, and "His Name is Midnight," a doc about a rodeo horse. 8:30 p.m.
Alex Gibney Series
June 10: "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," Gibney's 2005 doc about malfeasance in the corporate world. 7 p.m.
June 10: "Taxi to the Dark Side," Gibney'd 2007 doc about the American military's use of torture in Afghanistan. Oscar winner for best documentary feature. 9 p.m.
June 11: "Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer," Gibney's 2010 doc about the disgraced New York politician. 12:30 p.m., Whitney. Gibney will be present.
June 11: "The Armstrong Lie," Gibney's 2013 doc about disgraced bicycling champ Lance Armstrong. 3:30 p.m. Gibney will be present.
June 12: "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief," Gibney's 2015 doc about the mysterious cult. 12:30 p.m.
June 12: Panel discussion, "The Documentary Art of Investigation and Revelation" with Gibney and others. 3 p.m.