Deadline’s Contenders Film: Documentary awards-season event kicks off Sunday at 8 a.m. PT and promises to open up distant lands and even a distant planet—no passport required.
The terrain covered by the cast and creatives from our 20 participating films astonishes with its variety and range: an enclave of Delhi, India in All That Breathes, a remote section of Paraguay in Eami, and possibly an even more remote outpost of the Brazilian rainforest in Wildcat. Moscow is the ultimate destination of Navalny, the documentary about Russia’s imprisoned and poisoned opposition leader, and Descendant takes us to a neighborhood of Mobile, Alabama settled by survivors of the last slave ship known to have navigated U.S. waters.
About 5,600 miles separate Moscow from Mobile, mere inches apart compared to the far-flung rendezvous point of Good Night Oppy, about NASA’s incredible mission that dispatched two rovers to Mars — a voyage of roughly 35 million miles.
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In a sense, Moonage Daydream ventures to outer space as well, to explore the art and music of David Bowie, the rock star known for inhabiting the guises of Ziggy Stardust and Major Tom.
Contenders Film: Documentary thrums to the sound not only of Bowie, but a contemporary classic in Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song. The beat goes on in The Return of Tanya Tucker: Featuring Brandi Carlile, Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues, and a pop star-actress who bravely shares her mental health struggles in Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me.
The panel lineup boasts some of documentary’s most established talents: Oscar nominees Brett Morgen of Moonage Daydream and Tia Lessin of The Janes (co-directed with Emma Pildes). Multiple Emmy nominee Chris Smith directs Sr., his intimate look at filmmaker Robert Downey Sr. and his relationship with his son, Robert Downey Jr. Oscar and Emmy nominee Reginald Hudlin, whose feature directing career began with the comedy House Party in 1990, turns his lens onto a Hollywood icon in Sidney, his portrait of the late Sidney Poitier.
For all the distance traveled by these films, one of our Contenders strays no further than a balcony overlooking a street in Warsaw, Poland. It’s one of the stunning truths of the documentary artform that compelling experiences can spring from the unlikeliest of places.
Check out today’s schedule and lineup of speakers below, and stick with Deadline all day for our panel coverage, both on the site and on social media channels via the hashtag #DeadlineContenders. And stay tuned for Wednesday, when we launch the event streaming site with the complete panel videos.
Contenders Film: Documentary 2022
8 a.m. PT – Opening remarks
SONY PICTURES CLASSICS
Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song
Dan Geller (Co-Writer/Co-Director/Co-Producer/Co-Editor/Cinematographer)
Dayna Goldfine (Co-Writer/Co-Director/Co-Producer/Co-Editor)
Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb
Lizzie Gottlieb (Director/Producer)
The Return of Tanya Tucker – Featuring Brandi Carlile
Kathlyn Horan (Writer/Director/Producer)
HBO DOCUMENTARY FILMS
All That Breathes
Shaunak Sen (Director/Producer)
38 At The Garden
Frank Chi (Writer/Director)
Emma Pildes (Co-Director/Producer)
Tia Lessin (Co-Director)
Brett Morgen (Writer/Director/Producer/Editor)
Chris Smith (Director/Co-Cinematographer)
Margaret Brown (Director/Co-Producer)
APPLE ORIGINAL FILMS
Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues
Sacha Jenkins (Director/Producer)
Julie Anderson (Producer)
Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me
Alex Keshishian (Co-Writer/Director/Producer)
Reginald Hudlin (Director/EP)
Derik Murray (Producer)
Melissa Lesh (Co-Director/Producer/Co-Editor)
Trevor Beck Frost (Co-Director/Producer)
Good Night Oppy
Ryan White (Co-Writer/Director/Producer)
Blake Neely (Composer)
Mark Mangini (Sound Design/Re-Recording Mixer)
WARNER BROS PICTURES/CNN FILMS/HBO MAX
Daniel Roher (Director)
Maria Pevchikh (Subject)
Christo Grosev (Subject)
The Corridors of Power
Dror Moreh (Director/Producer)
Oron Adar (Co-Editor)
Stephan Krumbiegel (Co-Editor)
Paz Encina (Writer/Director/Producer)
Jordana Berg (Editor)
Paula Eislet (Co-Director/Co-Producer)
Tonya Lewis Lee (Co-Director/Co-Producer)
The Balcony Movie
Paweł Łoziński (Writer/Director/Producer/Editor)
GUEST HOUSE PRODUCTIONS
Betsy Hershey (Co-Director/Producer)
Emma Wall (Co-Director/Producer)