Doc ‘Maybe Next Year’ Coming to DVD and Digital HD Nov. 10 From Virgil

The documentary Maybe Next Year, about Philadelphia football fans, will come out on DVD and digital HD Nov. 10 from Virgil Films.

Since 1776, Philadelphia has existed in the shadows of New York City and Washington D.C. Counted out and overlooked, Philadelphians turned to football as a way to let out their frustrations. After 58 years of coming up short, a Super Bowl title has become Philly’s holy grail. What started out as the most promising year in decades, the 2017 season quickly unraveled with the season ending injury of their MVP quarterback. With the deck stacked against them, an “underdog” city bands together and puts their faith in an unlikely backup.

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From throwing snowballs at Santa Claus to having a jail in their stadium, this fan base has earned their title of “worst in the NFL.” Maybe Next Year peels back the veil and offers an intimate look at the lives of four very different and very dedicated Eagles fans, unified by their commitment to family, unwavering passion, and the common dream of becoming Super Bowl Champions. Eagles fans paint their own portrait of what brotherly love truly means in this comeback sports story.

‘Frontline: The Choice 2020,’ ‘And She Could Be Next’ Among Political Titles Available on PBS Documentaries Prime Channel

PBS Distribution is streaming several political titles on the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel in time for the upcoming Nov. 3 election.

Among the titles available are “Frontline: The Choice 2020,” “American Experience: The Vote,” “And She Could Be Next,” “Ken Burns: The Congress,” “American Experience: The Presidents” and “Frontline: Whose Vote Counts.”

The subscription rate for PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is $3.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

“Frontline: The Choice 2020” offers interwoven investigative biographies of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden and examines the defining moments that shaped Trump and Biden’s lives, their approaches to power, and their visions for America’s future at this pivotal juncture.

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One hundred years after the passage of the 19th Amendment, “American Experience: The Vote” tells the dramatic story of the hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote, a transformative cultural and political movement that resulted in the largest expansion of voting rights in U.S. history. In its final decade, from 1909 to 1920, movement leaders wrestled with contentious questions about the most effective methods for affecting social change, debating the use of militant, even violent tactics, as well as hunger strikes and relentless public protests. The battle also upended previously accepted ideas about the proper role of women in American society and challenged the definitions of citizenship and democracy. Exploring how and why millions of 20th-century Americans mobilized for — and against — women’s suffrage, “The Vote” brings to life the unsung leaders of the movement and the deep controversies over gender roles and race that divided Americans then — and continue to dominate political discourse today.

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“And She Could Be Next” follows a defiant movement of women of color as they transform politics from the ground up. Filmed during the historic 2018 midterm elections, the series follows organizers and candidates (including Rashida Tlaib and Stacey Abrams) as they fight for a truly reflective government, asking whether democracy can be preserved — and made stronger — by those most marginalized.

In “Ken Burns: The Congress,” Burns profiles a durable American institution in his portrait of the U.S. Congress. Narrated by David McCullough, the film uses historic footage and interviews with “insiders” David Broder, Alistair Cooke and Cokie Roberts to detail the first 200 years. The film chronicles careers of notable members and charts the continuing growth of the Capitol building, in readings from diary entries, letters, and famous speeches.

“American Experience: The Presidents,” including JFK, Nixon, George W. Bush, Clinton and George H. W. Bush, includes five programs taking a look at some of America’s most influential presidents of the 20th century. Focusing on the intersection of public and private, character and history, these programs examine pivotal moments in each of the presidencies and how they affected the country. Viewers will look at George W. Bush and his unorthodox road to the presidency; George H. W. Bush and his life and career as the 41st president; Clinton and his meteoric rise in state politics; JFK, with a new perspective on his private life and reevaluation of his time in the Oval Office; and Nixon, with a look at one of American history’s most powerful figures, exploring a fateful mix of strength and weakness that made him president, and then brought him down.

Finally, “Frontline: Whose Vote Counts,” available Oct. 21, investigates allegations of voter fraud and disenfranchisement in the lead-up to the 2020 election.

Michael Moore’s ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ Available on Blu-ray Oct. 13 From MVD

Michael Moore’s 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 is available on Blu-ray Oct. 13 from MVD Entertainment Group.

Academy Award winner Michael Moore (2002, Best Documentary, Bowling for Columbine) presents a searing examination of the role played by money and oil in the wake of the tragic events of 9/11. Moore blends captivating and thought-provoking footage with revealing interviews, while balancing it all with his own brand of humor and satire.

Available for the first time on Blu-ray, the film won the Palme d’Or best picture award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

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Special features include the featurette “The Release of Fahrenheit 9/11”; “Montage: The People of Iraq on the Eve of Invasion”; the new scene “Homeland Security, Miami Style”; “Outside Abu Ghraib Prison”; an eyewitness account from Samara, Iraq; an extended interview with Abdul Henderson; Lila Lipscomb at the Washington, D.C.. premiere; Arab-American comedians, their acts and experiences after 9/11; Condoleezza Rice’s 9/11 commission testimony; George W. Bush’s Rose Garden press briefing after 9/11 Commission appearance; and the original theatrical trailer.

‘Van der Valk,’ ‘Flesh and Blood,’ ‘Islands of Wonder’ and Season One of ‘Cobra’ Coming to DVD and Digital in October From PBS

“Masterpiece Mystery! Van der Valk,” “Masterpiece: Flesh and Blood,” Islands of Wonder, and season one of “Cobra” are coming to DVD and digital in October.

Available now is Islands of Wonder, in which viewers journey to three of the most exotic, mysterious and remote islands on Earth: Madagascar, Borneo, and Hawaii. These isolated and iconic tropical islands harbor remarkable wildlife and human castaways found nowhere else on Earth. In a rapidly changing world, these fragile islands are a vital gauge for the health of our planet. Ancient Madagascar is the strangest and oldest island in the world, famed now for its lemurs. Though, over millennia it has given rise to more unique wildlife than any other island, Borneo’s rich coral reefs, lush jungles and mountainous landscapes reveal it is no paradise, and the struggles to survive are the secret to a greater variety of life, from orangutans to sun bears and flying snakes. Hawaii, the most remote island chain in the world, is a wondrous archipelago that has offered sanctuary for all life that have reached its tropical shores. From humpback whales to waterfall-climbing fish, carnivorous caterpillars and even albatross. All these islands are home to an extraordinary wealth of diverse wildlife and stunning, yet seldom seen, natural backdrops.

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Due Oct. 13 is “Masterpiece Mystery!: Van der Valk,” which follows Piet Van der Valk, played by Marc Warren (“Beecham House,” “The Good Wife”), an engaging, unapologetic, and street-smart detective, as he leads his dynamic team in solving a raft of mysterious crimes. Brilliant, but cynical Piet Van der Valk solves these baffling crimes in and around 21st-century Amsterdam, which is more prosperous, cosmopolitan, and crime-prone than ever — at least that’s the way steely-eyed cop Van der Valk sees his murder-infested beat. Van der Valk and his team tackle high profile cases in the worlds of art, politics, addiction, mysticism and fashion.

Coming Oct. 20 is the drama “Masterpiece: Flesh and Blood,” in which the already dysfunctional lives of Helen, Jake, and Natalie are thrown into disarray when their recently widowed mother Vivien (Francesca Annis) declares she’s in love with a new man, retired surgeon Mark (Stephen Rea). Their suspicion of the newcomer triggers events in the siblings’ own complex love lives, which begin to spiral out of control. Next door neighbor Mary (Imelda Staunton) has known the family for years and tries to support them all with wise counsel, but seems powerless to stop the events from escalating. As the mystery unravels, this dark yet deliciously witty thriller explores family dynamics, modern relationships, love, loyalty, and betrayal, while keeping viewers guessing up until the very last moment.

Due Oct. 20 is season one of “Cobra,” an action-packed political drama that follows the British Prime Minister and his emergency committee as they navigate a major crisis and its political and personal fallout. On the brink of a geomagnetic solar storm, a team comprised of Britain’s leading contingency planners and senior politicians assemble under the name COBRA (taken from its meeting place in Whitehall’s Cabinet Office Briefing Room A) to guide the country through turbulent times.

Apple TV+ Orders Docuseries ‘The Supermodels’

Apple TV+ has ordered “The Supermodels,” a docuseries that will feature interviews with Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington, who will revisit their iconic modeling careers and the ’90s fashion scene.

From Imagine Documentaries, the project will be directed and executive produced by two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple (American Dream; Shut Up and Sing; Harlan County, USA) and executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, along with Campbell, Crawford, Evangelista and Turlington.

“The Supermodels” travels back to the 1980s, when four women from different corners of the world united in New York. Their prestige was so extraordinary that it enabled the four to supersede the brands they showcased, making the names Naomi, Cindy, Linda and Christy as prominent as the designers who styled them. Today, the four supermodels remain on the frontlines of culture through activism, philanthropy and business prowess. As the fashion industry continues to redefine itself — and women’s roles within it — this is the story of power and how four women came together to claim it, paving the way for those to follow.

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The docuseries, which is produced under Apple’s exclusive first-look agreement with Imagine Documentaries, will also be executive produced by Sara Bernstein and Justin Wilkes.

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Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, as well as at tv.apple.com, for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. The Apple TV app will be available on Sony and Vizio smart TVs later this year. For a limited time, customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch can get one year of Apple TV+ for free. This special offer is good for three months after the first activation of the eligible device. For more information, visit apple.com/tvpr.

The Social Dilemma

STREAMING REVIEW:

Netflix;
Documentary;
Not rated.

If you’ve got a kid constantly glued to their phone (which is just about every kid), this documentary may be very frightening.

The Social Dilemma, much like another Netflix doc The Great Hack (nominated for an Emmy), explores the insidious nature of social media — and how it may be controlling us. While The Great Hack looked at election manipulation, The Social Dilemma examines how algorithms are attempting to control our minute-by-minute attention — all in order to serve advertisers looking to attract eyeballs — with dangerous consequences.

Through interviews with former employees of the big tech companies and dramatic scenarios, the documentary lays out the case that social media, in its conquest to capture our attention (much like a drug), is manipulating our actions and our very perception of the world around us. To monopolize viewers’ attention, algorithms serve up a warped world that is only designed to do just that — keep us engaged. The content that it delivers is inconsequential to the impersonal algorithm (dramatically portrayed by actor Vincent Kartheiser, who many may remember from “Mad Men”), which doesn’t care how violent, slanted or downright untrue that content is. In fact, the more incendiary or untruthful, the more engaging that content is. All the algorithm (Kartheiser) cares about is how long it can keep a subject’s attention.

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The fictional sections of this hybrid doc — in which actors portray the effects of social media — work to dramatize digital control, but not always to a great effect. Some of the scenarios seem a bit overdrawn. Still, the actors help illustrate the real-world implications of social media, and in the case of Kartheiser (playing the algorithm trying to get the actors’ attention), personify the intentions of an abstract concept that many may find hard to understand.

Indeed, it is control that the algorithm wants — control of our time. And, in taking that control, the algorithm pushes our thinking and actions in directions that they might not have gone otherwise.

One of the most shocking moments in the documentary is when a tech exec — who admits to being addicted to social media — says he won’t let his children have screen time.

If social media is so dangerous that its creators won’t let their own children use it, why should we?

Docs ‘Pizza, A Love Story’ and ‘Seniors: A Dogumentary’ Due on DVD Sept. 29 From MVD

Two documentaries, Pizza, A Love Story and Seniors: A Dogumentary, are coming out on DVD and VOD Sept. 29 from MVD Entertainment Group and What Were We Thinking Films.

Pizza, A Love Story explores three pizza places in New Haven, Conn., Sally’s, Pepe’s and Modern. They are not only a cornerstone of New Haven’s Italian-American heritage but also the establishments that set the bar for this immediately recognizable comfort food.

Filmmaker Gorman Bechard tells the story of the evolution of this modern day food staple from the landing of Italian immigrants on our shores to the rusted wheels of Frank Pepe’s bread cart, taking a journey from old world Italy into present-day New Haven.

Pizza, A Love Story is not just a tale of three restaurants but of three families. Extras include commentary from director Gorman Bechard and co-producers Dean Falcone and Colin M. Caplan; Lyle Lovett on Pepe’s Pizzeria; Michael Bolton on Wooster Street; Making Pizza with Modern’s Bill Pustari; “Italian American culture in New Haven”; “Urban Renewal in New Haven”; “Hy Katz Explains the Pizza Boy Song”; “There Can Be No Favorites”; Q&A with director Gorman Bechard and co-producers Dean Falcone and Colin M. Caplan on opening night in New Haven; the original opening; and original trailers.

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Seniors: A Dogumentary is a portrayal of the vitality of senior dogs and features Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary, the celebrated forever-foster home-based sanctuary in Mount Juliet, Tenn., and Chaser the Border Collie, known as the smartest dog in the world.

Their stories are brought together through the lens of famed photographer Jane Sobel Klonsky. Klonsky is the author of the book Unconditional: Older Dogs, Deeper Love. She specializes in capturing the cherished relationship between senior dogs and their owners.

The film follows Zina and Michael Goodin, the Old Friends founders, as they relocate into their current facilities, and introduces viewers to Leo, a social media phenom who became the most popular dog in the sanctuary’s history. Viewers also meet Dr. John W. Pilley Jr. and his beloved Chaser. Not only had Chaser learned the names of over 1,000 toys, she could also differentiate between nouns and verbs, understand full sentences, and mimic Dr. Pilley’s actions after just observing them once. Director Bechard also made A Dog Named Gucci (winner of the 2015 ASPCA Media Excellence Award).

Extras include a Q&A at the world premiere in Nashville; watching the total solar eclipse at Old Friends Senior Dogs Sanctuary; “Jane photographs Leo and Friends”; “Michael’s Thoughts on Senior Dogs”; “More about Leo”; “Springsteen vs. the Paper Towel Roll”; Jane’s photographs of the dogs at Old Friends Senior Dogs Sanctuary; behind-the-scenes photographs; director’s commentary; and trailers.

Doc ‘Stripped: Los Angeles’ Available for Digital Sale and Rental on Mill Creek’s MovieSpree, Amazon

The documentary feature Stripped: Los Angeles, which profiles the lives and experiences of top exotic and private dancers in Los Angeles, is available for digital sale and rental on Mill Creek Entertainment’s movieSpree transactional VOD service and on Amazon Instant Video.

The stereotype-shattering exposé provides an all-access pass into the lives and experiences of five talented and multi-faceted women. Hailing from the Valley to the Coast, Della, Nikki, Bama, Sizi and Erica are not afraid to share their struggles with embracing their sexuality around this historically taboo profession. From the main stage through the digital age, their raw ambition drives them to be among the top dancers in the city of Los Angeles.

The film is also slated to premiere on Starz on Oct. 5 at 9 p.m. ET.

“These are voices that need to be heard and stories deserving to be told,” filmmaker Marc Ostrick said in a statement. “Whether it’s entrepreneurial or escapism, these women are in control of their bodies and their livelihood and the intent of this feature is to de-stigmatize what it means to be an exotic dancer.”

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Ostrick is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker with more than 25 years of producing, directing and writing achievements. His recent environmental TV documentary work is part of Discovery Channel’s international “Shark Week” franchise and has also worked with Imax production company MacGillivray Freeman Films.

Election Doc ‘Win, Lose, or Draw Straws’ Due on Digital Oct. 13 From Virgil

The documentary Win, Lose, or Draw Straws will come out on Digital HD Oct. 13 from Virgil Films.

The feature exposes one particular oddity of the U.S election system, the increasing existence of and wildly varied ways of determining elections that end in perfect ties. Told by the people who experienced the emotional highs and lows of a political campaign that was determined by a random game of chance and exposing the way random luck affects our lives from local races all the way to the White House, the film travels the country to uncover the most peculiar election tiebreakers in American history, while exposing the backroom dealing and insider trading of local politics.

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Along the way viewers meet colorful characters who have participated in, worked on, and voted or not voted in real elections that ended in perfect ties. They meet the woman who lost a bowl-drawing in Virginia that shifted the power of government and nearly installed a new governor. The documentary also delves into the Mississippi house election that swung the supermajority control after being reversed three times. It also investigates the coin flips between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Iowa caucus.

Coupled with historical context from the presidential campaign of 1800 to the 2000 Bush-Gore debacle in Florida, and the 2016 Iowa and Nevada caucus coin flips and high-card draws, the documentary explores important themes such as why people want to seek office in the first place and the cultural perceptions of luck, destiny and America itself.

Win, Lose, or Draw Straws from Virgil Films on Vimeo.

 

Amazon Doc ‘All In: The Fight for Democracy’ Available Free Sept. 22

In support of National Voter Registration Day Sept. 22, Prime Video will stream the Amazon Original movie All In: The Fight for Democracy featuring Stacey Abrams to audiences globally, without needing a Prime membership.

The voting rights documentary will be in front of the Prime Video paywall for 24 hours. The film will also be available on Twitch, YouTube and Twitter.

Also on Sept. 22 Twitter and Twitch will host watch parties. The Twitter watch party will be hosted by Stacey Abrams and Lin-Manuel Miranda starting at 4 p.m. PT at https://twitter.com/i/events/1305586144692727809, and the Twitch livestream will be hosted by social influencer Neeko on http://www.twitch.tv/neeko at 11 a.m. PT.

All In: The Fight for Democracy will stream at no cost for 24 hours on Prime Video at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FRSNBLL, and at https://youtu.be/6h1-Ctbi8SM on YouTube.

In anticipation of the 2020 presidential election, All In: The Fight for Democracy examines the often overlooked, yet insidious issue of voter suppression in the United States. The film interweaves personal experiences with current activism and historical insight to expose a problem that has corrupted our democracy from the very beginning. With the perspective and expertise of Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, the documentary offers an insider’s look into laws and barriers to voting that most people don’t even know are threats to their basic rights as citizens of the United States.

“Voting is fundamental for our country and democracy, and should be accessible and available to Americans everywhere,” Abrams said in a statement. “All In: The Fight for Democracy will be accessible on multiple platforms in support of voter awareness and registration for all Americans.”

As previously announced, the filmmakers with support from foundations, private funders and Amazon Studios launched #AllInForVoting, a non-partisan social impact campaign aimed at educating and registering first-time voters, mobilizing communities to turn out to vote and training citizens to know their rights and report voter suppression. As part of the impact campaign, the 50 State Ambassador initiative brought together a team of influential actors, artists, musicians, athletes and newsmakers to use their platforms to educate voters and mobilize participation in the upcoming national and regional elections. The Ambassadors include Taraji P. Henson, Connie Britton, Tyler Blackburn, Zooey Deschanel, Don Cheadle, Gabrielle Union, Seth MacFarlane, Padma Lakshmi, Melissa Ethridge, Zach LaVine, Viola Davis and Janelle Monáe.

The impact campaign is in partnership with Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight Action and other leading civic engagement organizations including: Advancement Project, Alliance for Youth Action, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, All Voting Is Local, Black Voters Matter, BLOC, Campus Voter Project, Community Change, Election Protection, Equality NC, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, GenEquality, HeadCount, Higher Heights for America, Indivisible, Jewish Women International, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, League of Women Voters and National Organization for Women (NOW), LUCHA, Movement Voter Project, National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), New Virginia Majority, People for the American Way, Rock the Vote, Spread the Vote, Southern Poverty Law Center, Voto Latino Foundation and When We All Vote. Users are encouraged to join the movement by posting with “#AllInForVoting.” More information on activations and programming can be found at AllInForVoting.com.

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All In: The Fight for Democracy is directed by Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker Liz Garbus and Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker Lisa Cortés, and produced by Garbus, Cortés, Academy Award-winning producer Dan Cogan and Abrams. Amazon Studios acquired worldwide rights to All In: The Fight for Democracy from production company Story Syndicate.