Public Programs

DocuDayNY09: A Look at Oscar Docs

Feb 22, 2009
12:00 – 6:00 PM ET
New York

The Paley Center for Media and the International Documentary Association (IDA) are pleased to screen the documentary features and short subjects that are nominated for the 81st Annual Academy Awards. These weekend screenings give the Paley Center and IDA members a rare chance to see all the documentary films before the Oscar telecast on Sunday evening, February 22. We thank the nominated directors for making the programs available to us.

Free for Paley Center and IDA Members; included with admission for General Public. Screenings subject to change.

Sunday Screening Schedule (view Saturday schedule)

12:15 pm
Smile Pinki
Director/Producer: Megan Mylan/Principe Productions Inc.
Watch a clip on the IDA website

Pinki is a five-year-old girl in rural India born desperately poor, and with a cleft lip. The simple surgery that can cure her is a distant dream until she meets Pankaj, a social worker traveling village to village gathering patients for a hospital that provides free surgery to thousands each year. Told in a vibrant, vérité style, rich with nuance and complexity, this real-world fairy tale follows its wide-eyed protagonist on a journey from isolation to embrace. (39 minutes)

1:00 pm
The Garden
Director/Producer: Scott Hamilton Kennedy/Black Valley Films

The fourteen-acre community garden at 41st and Alameda in South Central Los Angeles is the largest of its kind in the United States. Started as a form of healing after the devastating L.A. riots in 1992, the South Central Farmers have since created a miracle in one of the country's most blighted neighborhoods. But with bulldozers now poised to level their oasis, the farmers, mostly immigrants from Latin America, must organize and demand answers. (80 minutes)

2:30 pm
The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
Directors: Ellen Kuras, Thavisouk Phrasavath/The American Documentary, P.O.V., The Cinema Guild
Watch a clip on the IDA website

Filmed over the course of 23 years, The Betrayal (Nerakhoon) is an astonishing tale of perseverance—one family's struggle to survive their journey from war-torn Laos to the streets of New York. Eloquent yet devastating, renowned cinematographer Ellen Kuras's directorial debut is a remarkable collaboration with codirector Thavisouk Phrasavath—a documentary that reveals the hidden, human face of war's "collateral damage." (96 minutes)

4:15 pm

Man on Wire
Director: James Marsh/Red Box Films, Wall to Wall, Discovery Films, BBC, UK Film Council, Magnolia Pictures
Watch a clip on the IDA website
Read "Man on Wire, Not Video," a blog posting by curator Ron Simon

On August 7, 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire illegally rigged between the Twin Towers of World Trade Center, then the world's tallest buildings. After nearly an hour dancing on the wire, he was arrested, taken in for psychological evaluation, and brought to jail before he was finally released. Man on Wire brings Petit's extraordinary adventure to life through the testimony of Philippe himself, and some of the coconspirators who helped him create the unique and magnificent spectacle that became known as "the artistic crime of the century." (94 minutes)


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