The 13th edition of Documentary Fortnight 2014: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media reflects on the new areas of documentary filmmaking. Running 14 – 28 February, the event examines the ever-evolving relationship between contemporary art and nonfiction practices. The selection for this year’s festival is particularly outstanding and includes more than 20 screenings of features, shorts, and installations from all over the world. Every film is a New York premiere and many will be introduced by the filmmakers themselves.
This year’s programme features three noted video installations shown at the 55th Venice Biennale: Duncan Campbell’s It for Others (2013), Sharon Hayes’s Ricerche: three (2013), and Akram Zaatari’s Letter to a Refusing Pilot (2013), all presented in single-channel versions. On 14 February the event opens with A Mãe e O Mar (The Mother and the Sea) (2013) by Gonçalo Tocha. The visually stunning work depicts a stunning portrait of the aging inhabitants of Vila Cha, Portugal, where Tocha uncovered a link to the mythical stories of seafaring women that were said to exist in the coastal villages of Portugal.
For the closing night, Thomas Allen Harris’ Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People (2013) will be screened. The exhaustively researched film reveals how African American photography since the 1840s has played a major role in shaping the identity and aspirations of African Americans from slavery to the present day. Both of the films selected for the opening and closing nights represent the important role documentary plays in uncovering hidden narratives and histories.
Documentary Fortnight 2014: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media, 24- 28 February, MoMA, 11 West 53 Street, NY 10019.