The stage, both digital and virtual, is set for the 11th annual DOC NYC Film Festival being held from November 10th-28th. With over 200 films and screening events over the next two weeks, there is sure to be something for everyone at America’s largest documentary film festival. We at Silver Linings Reviews have provided an early list of recommendations below, so that you can get started on your festival screenings as soon as possible. Be sure to check out DOC NYC’s full line up here and don’t forget to purchase your tickets (for either in person or virtual screenings) before they sell out! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe at the bottom of this page to get our latest coverage of the festival beginning tomorrow, November 10th.
Silver Linings’ Recommendations for DOC NYC 2021
USA | 2021 | 94 Min | Jamie Boyle
When a young woman turns to the camera for refuge, she ends up with a firsthand account of what will become the deadliest man-made epidemic in United States history. Filmed over thirty years, Anonymous Sister is director Jamie Boyle’s chronicle of her family’s fall into opioid addiction, providing a poignant and timely study of what it means to experience life in all its beauty and pain.
Denmark | 2021 | 90 Min | Jonas Poher Rasmussen
Flee uses animation to tell the story of Amin Nawabi (a pseudonym), who fled Afghanistan as a boy, relying on human smugglers to reach Denmark. Filmmaker Jonas Poher Rasmussen met Nawabi when they were both in high school. Now in his thirties, Nawabi shares stories about his life’s journey that he’s long kept secret from even his closest friends. He describes the conditions that forced his family to escape and how he came of age as a gay man in northern Europe.
THE GIG IS UP
Canada, France | 2021 | 88 Min | Shannon Walsh
A very human tech doc, The Gig is Up uncovers the real costs of the platform economy through the lives of people working for companies around the world, including Uber, Amazon and Deliveroo.
GRANDPA WAS AN EMPEROR
USA | 2021 | 92 Min | Constance Marks
Breaking the silence of the Royal Family, the great-granddaughter of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia searches for answers about the collapse of her family’s 3000-year dynasty.
USA | 2021 | 85 Min | Alysa Nahmias
While locked-up for six years in federal prison, artist Jesse Krimes secretly creates monumental works of art—including an astonishing 40-foot mural made with prison bed sheets, hair gel, and newspaper. He smuggles out each panel piece-by-piece with the help of fellow artists, only seeing the mural in totality upon coming home. As Jesse’s work captures the art world’s attention, he struggles to adjust to life outside, living with the threat that any misstep will trigger a life sentence.
Denmark, Norway | 2020 | 126 Min | Alysa Nahmias
A real-life undercover thriller about two ordinary men who embark on an outrageously dangerous ten-year mission to penetrate the world’s most secretive and brutal dictatorship: North Korea.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN UGANDA
USA, Uganda | 2021 | 94 Min | Cathryne Czubek & Hugo Perez
In the heart of Wakaliga, Uganda, this outrageous documentary follows two men from opposite sides of the world who come together over a shared love for Chuck Norris. Isaac Nabwana (known as ‘Africa’s Tarantino’) a former brick maker, decides to pick up a camera and start shooting his own ’80s inspired action epics, and Alan Hofmanis, a film nerd from New York who gives up his life in America to join forces with Isaac after seeing a trailer for one of his films online.
USA | 2021 | 92 Min | Max Lowe
Torn delivers a profoundly intimate look at the Lowe-Anker family using never-before-released archival footage of the ill-fated 1999 expedition, early footage of Alex and Anker as young climbers, personal home videos and strikingly candid interviews with the Lowe-Ankers, the film will follow Max in his quest to understand his iconic late father as he explores family’s complex relationships in the wake of his father’s death.
All photographs and synopses are provided by DOC NYC and each film’s distributor/publicist, respectively.