The 2016 New York Film Festival has set the programming for its Spotlight on Documentary section, lining up a roster of titles that encompasses directors Errol Morris and Steve James as well as films focused on performers including Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.
The Morris film, “The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography,” centers on Dorfman’s work with the rare 20×24 Polaroid — the same large-format camera used to capture portraits of the talent that passes through Film Society of Lincoln Center, the organization that presents NYFF every year. James’ “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” looks at the only bank prosecuted in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown.
The slate also encompasses a trio of nonfiction films centered around performing arts figures: Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens’ “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds,” about the mother-daughter duo; “Wendy Whelan: Restless Creature,” Linda Saffire and Adam Schlesinger’s doc about the New York City Ballet dancer; and Kasper Collin’s “I Called Him Morgan,” about jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan.
Other titles on the list include Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s “Hissen Habre, A Chadian Tragedy,” about the victims and survivors of the convicted tyrant, and Sam Pollar’s “Two Trains Runnin’,” about the Freedom Summer in 1964 Mississippi.
Documentaries had already taken a place of prominent in the 2016 NYFF with “The 13th,” the Ava DuVernay documentary that will open the festival. The Spotlight on Documentary section will run during this year’s fest, set for Sept. 30-Oct. 16.
The 2016 New York Film Festival’s full Spotlight on Documentary slate follows.
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Directed by Steve James
The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography
Directed by Errol Morris
Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds
Directed by Alexis Bloom & Fisher Stevens
The Cinema Travellers
Directed by Shirley Abraham & Amit Madheshiya
Dawson City: Frozen Time
Directed by Bill Morrison
Hissen Habré, A Chadian Tragedy
Directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
I Am Not Your Negro
Directed by Raoul Peck
I Called Him Morgan
Directed by Kasper Collin
Karl Marx City
Directed by Petra Epperlein & Michael Tucker
Patria O Muerte: Cuba, Fatherland or Death
Directed by Olatz López Garmendia
Directed by Shimon Dotan
Two Trains Runnin’
Directed by Sam Pollard
Directed by Aaron Brookner
Wendy Whelan: Restless Creature
Directed by Linda Saffire & Adam Schlesinger
Directed by Mohamed Siam