Oscar-Nominated Documentary ‘Writing With Fire’ Due on DVD April 26

The Indian feature Writing With Fire, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary, will be available on DVD April 26 from Music Box Films.

In the film, reporting from a social environment built to divide based on caste and gender, a fearless group of journalists maintain India’s only women-led news outlet. The women of Khabar Lahariya (“Waves of News”), all from the Dalit (“untouchables”) caste, prepare to transition the newspaper from print to digital even though many of their reporters don’t have access to electricity at home. Armed with smartphones, chief reporter Meera and her team of investigative journalists confront some of India’s biggest issues — exposing the relentless discrimination against women and amplifying the voices of those who suffer from the oppressive caste system.

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The film chronicles the astonishing determination of these local reporters as they empower each other and hold those responsible for injustice to account.

Bonus features include “Firemaking: The Story of Writing With Fire,” a filmmaker Q&A from the DOCNYC premiere, deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer.

Amazon’s Oscar-Nominated Doc ‘Time’ Streaming Free for a Week

The Oscar-nominated Amazon Original documentary Time is streaming for free to audiences globally without needing a Prime subscription.

Starting April 12, the film will be available in front of the Prime Video paywall as well as streaming on YouTube for one week.

Time, from filmmaker Garrett Bradley, will also return to theaters starting April 16 in New York at the Village East, Los Angeles at The Landmark and San Francisco at the Embarcadero.

If Time wins, it would mark the first time ever a Black female director would win an Academy Award for Best Documentary.

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The documentary follows entrepreneur, abolitionist and mother of six boys Fox Rich, who has spent the last two decades campaigning for the release of her husband, Rob G. Rich, who is serving a 60-year sentence for a robbery they both committed in the early ’90s in a moment of desperation. Combining the video diaries Fox has recorded for Rob over the years with intimate glimpses of her present-day life, Bradley paints a portrait of the resilience and radical love necessary to prevail over the endless separations of the country’s prison-industrial complex.

Time cross-cuts footage from the past and present, framing it with a voiceover from Fox and her sons to provide a uniquely intimate perspective into the long-term costs of incarceration: the children who grow up without fathers, and the mothers who are forced to become caregivers and legal experts all at once.

Oscar-Nominated Classic ‘Navajo’ Available on DVD From MVD

Navajo, a 1952 documentary drama nominated for two Academy Awards, is available on DVD from MVD Entertainment Group and Kit Parker Films.

In the film, a Navajo boy stoically endures hardship, hunger and the death of his family. He is taken away to attend a white man boarding school and escapes but is pursued to ancient Navajo caves. In the title role, a 7-year-old Navajo boy, Francis Kee Teller, received a Golden Globe special award even though he had never seen a movie until viewing his own performance.

Filmed at majestic Canyon de Chelly and nominated for Oscars for Best Documentary and Best Cinematography, the film showcases the talent of cinematographer Virgil Miller, who started out in silent pictures and became known primarily for filming travelogues. He had a reputation for keeping cameras rolling in remote locations under adverse weather conditions. The producers needed a cameraman with those qualities and tracked him down at a camera shop where he repaired photographic equipment. At age 64, Miller took on the challenge of working in freezing cold, with only one camera, a tripod and four reflectors, and came away with an Academy Award nomination.

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The working title was The Voice of the Wind, and despite a shoestring $30,000 production budget, a threatened ban by the Indian Service, harsh weather and terrain, infighting between the co-producers, the picture went on to earn critical acclaim.

Bonus features include commentary by Teller; a “Canyon de Chelly” photo-essay by Deborah Lem, Diné; “The Canyon Matters” by Genny Yazzie, Diné; the 1952 national publicity tour with Teller (age 8); and “Our Navajo Neighbors” 1952 documentary.