Doc ‘Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb’ Headed Home

The documentary Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb will be released on digital March 28 and on DVD April 11 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Two literary legends — writer Robert Caro and his longtime editor Robert Gottlieb — have worked together to create some of the greatest non-fiction books in history. Now 86, Caro is determined to complete the final volume of his masterwork, The Years of Lyndon Johnson; Gottlieb, 91, wants to edit it. With humor and insight, this unique double portrait reveals the work habits, peculiarities, and professional joys of these two ferocious intellects as they attempt to finish the final masterstroke in their lives’ work.

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PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel to Bow Carousel for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

This April, the  PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel will launch a special carousel in anticipation of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May.

The PBS programs recognize the historical and cultural contributions of individuals and groups of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to the United States.

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

The titles that will be on the carousel include “Asian Americans,” “American Experience: Mr. Tornado,” “Rising Against Asian Hate: One Day in March,” “American Masters: Tyrus,” “Frontline: Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” “A Tale of Three Chinatowns,” “First Vote,” “Frontline: President Xie,”  “Great Performances: Beethoven in Beijing,” “American Experience: Plague at the Golden Gate” and “Frontline: A Thousand Cuts.”

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Other titles coming to the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel in April include “La Frontera with Pati Jinich” season two on April 3; “The Sun Queen” (“American Experience”) on April 4; “America and the Taliban” season one (“Frontline”) on April 4; “Reel South” volume eight on April 11; “My Grandparents’ War” season two on April 11; “Weather the Future” (“Nova”) on April 12; “Hummingbird Effect” (“Nature”) on April 12; “Picture a Scientist” (“Nova”) on April 15; “Niagara Falls” (“Nature”) on April 19; “Changing Planet” season two on April 19; “Treasure of the Caribbean” on April 26; “Chasing Carbon Zero” (“Nova”) on April 26; and “Bill Nye: Science Guy” on April 26.

FilmRise Acquires Rights to Documentary ‘The Thief Collector’

FilmRise, the New York-based film and television studio and streaming network, has acquired North American distribution rights to the true-crime documentary feature film The Thief Collector.

From Emmy Award-winning director Allison Otto (“The Love Bugs”), the 2022 SXSW Grand Jury-nominated documentary follows the true story of one of the most elaborate art heists of the 20th century, the theft of “Woman-Ochre,” Willem de Kooning’s iconic painting, and the eccentric couple — both schoolteachers — at the center of the heist. It was one of the most audacious and puzzling art thefts of a generation. In 1985, “Woman-Ochre” was brazenly sliced from its frame and stolen off the walls of the University of Arizona Museum of Art, disappearing into the desert. More than 30 years later, in a remote town in New Mexico, the $160 million dollar painting was rediscovered in the unlikeliest of places — the home of an eccentric married couple with a keen eye for great works but a very unconventional method of collecting them.

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The Thief Collector

“We are confident streaming audiences will be drawn to Allison Otto’s new film as it uniquely combines the strong appeal and captivating nature of crime documentaries together with the true story of one of the most audacious art heists in history, making it irresistible,” said Max Einhorn, FilmRise SVP of acquisitions and co-productions, in a statement. “We are also always thrilled to bring premium true crime stories by stellar independent filmmakers to our streaming offerings in the genre so we can reach even broader audiences.” 

The film was also nominated for the Ad Hoc Docs Competition at the 2022 Cleveland International Film Festival.

The trailer is here.

Documentary ‘Refuge’ Heads Home on Digital Rental, Purchase Platforms on March 24

Shout! Studios and Katie Couric Media have announced the March 24 release of Refuge, a documentary feature produced and directed by award-winning filmmakers Erin Bernhardt and Din Blankenship.

The film, about two unlikely friends (a former Klansman and a Syrian Kurd), will be available for digital rental or purchase on platforms such as Prime Video, Redbox On Demand and Vudu.

Refuge follows the story of KKK leader Chris, who started hating Muslims when the planes hit the Twin Towers on 9/11. He is forced to confront this hate when he receives a text from a Muslim refugee named Heval, and ultimately the false promise of hate is revealed.

The film won awards on its festival run, including the Programmers’ Award for Best Documentary Feature at the Virginia Film Festival, the Best Human Spirit Award at the Breckenridge Film Festival, the Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature and the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature from the Vero Beach Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature from the Hill Country Film Festival, and more.

Doc ‘It’s Quieter in the Twilight’ Headed to Theaters and On Demand May 19 From Gravitas Ventures

Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide rights to Weigel Production’s documentary It’s Quieter in the Twilight.

The film, which premiered at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival and is helmed by first time director Billy Miossi, will be distributed theatrically and on demand May 19.

The Voyager mission, launched in 1977,  enthralled the world as the dual man-made spacecrafts blasted off. They have since traveled farther than humankind ever has. The film memorializes the people who guide this spacecraft on its incredible path — engineers from rural South Korea, the Jim Crow South, the U.S./Mexico border and across the globe, who overcame enormous obstacles to pilot two aging spacecraft into the depths of the universe. Together, they battle outmoded technology and dwindling sunlight to pursue unparalleled discovery in the twilight of their own careers and lives.

“The world should know these unsung explorers and  the essential role they’ve played in humanity’s most ambitious adventure,” Miossi said in a statement.

The project features members of NASA’s Voyager Flight Team, Todd Barber, Jefferson Hall, Sun Matsumoto, Enrique Medina, Fernando Peralta and Chris Jones, and includes project manager Suzanne Dodd and Ed Stone, Voyager’s long-standing Project scientist.

At its launch in March 2022, as part of the feature documentary competition at SXSW, the film helped build the wave of current documentaries popularizing feats of exploration in space. It’s Quieter in the Twilight celebrates the celestial journey of the aging Voyager spacecrafts as they timelessly transcend earthly boundaries and inspire human potential.

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The film was produced by Matt Reynolds and Executive Produced by Alissa Shapiro.

“We are thrilled to partner with Gravitas Ventures to bring Voyager’s cosmic adventure and yet uniquely human tale of their guardian angels to audiences everywhere,” Shapiro, executive producer at Weigel Productions, said in a statement.

“Gravitas is excited for audiences to experience It’s Quieter in the Twilight in theaters and on VOD this spring, and beyond,” Bill Guentzler, senior director of acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures, said in a statement. “We believe those who see the film will connect to this group of extremely passionate people who have dedicated their lives to oversee this unimaginable voyage and because of their passion, allow the human race to explore farther than ever thought possible.”

Doc ‘Being Mary Tyler Moore’ Headed to HBO, HBO Max in May

The HBO original documentary film Being Mary Tyler Moore, directed by Emmy winning filmmaker James Adolphus (“Soul of a Nation”) and produced by Lena Waithe (A Thousand and One), Debra Martin Chase (Harriet) and Ben Selkow (HBO’s “Q: Into The Storm”), debuts this May on HBO and HBO Max.
With unprecedented access to Mary Tyler Moore’s vast archive, the documentary chronicles the screen icon whose storied career spanned 60 years. Weaving Moore’s personal narrative with the beats of her professional accomplishments, the film highlights her groundbreaking roles and the indelible impact she had on generations of women who came after her.
Moore’s career broke boundaries in different eras, most notably in her comedic roles as Laura Petrie in the ’60s sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and as single career woman Mary Richards on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in the ’70s, both of which put her at the forefront of female representation on television and cemented her as a role model for independent working women. Acknowledging that much of herself was woven into her sunny characters, she nevertheless struggled behind the scenes, dealing privately with immeasurable tragedy in her personal life, some of which was echoed in her portrayal of a grieving mother in the 1980 film Ordinary People, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. In the last 35 years of her life, Moore went through a transformative period of self-discovery, moving to New York City, finding true love, and going on to become an impactful global advocate for diabetes research.

Being Mary Tyler Moore documents the life of a complex artist who shifted the dynamics of how women were portrayed on television, had far-reaching influence on the business through her own production company, and helped affect great change through her work as International Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).  

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Lending their voices to the film are family members, colleagues and those whose lives Mary Tyler Moore impacted including directors Rob Reiner, Michael Lindsay-Hogg and Jim Burrows; actors Ed Asner, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lena Waithe, Phylicia Rashad, Bernadette Peters and Joel Grey; writers and producers Allan Burns, James L. Brooks, Norman Lear, Debra Martin Chase, Treva Silverman, Susan Silver, and Moore’s husband, Dr. S. Robert Levine.

Doc Series ‘The Center Seat: 55 Years of Star Trek’ Due on DVD April 25 From Mill Creek

Mill Creek Entertainment will release a documentary series on the Academy and Emmy Award-winning TV series “Star Trek” — “The Center Seat: 55 Years of Star Trek” — on DVD April 25. 

Directed by Brian Volk-Weiss (“The Movies That Made Us,” “The Toys That Made Us,” “Behind the Attraction”), “The Center Seat: 55 Years of Star Trek” is an 11-episode series from the Nacelle Company taking viewers on an in-depth journey behind the scenes of one of the greatest landmark franchises of all time — “Star Trek.” 

Honoring the show’s 55th anniversary, the four-disc set features interviews with cast, crew and experts, exploring pivotal moments in the franchise’s history from its inception at Lucille Ball’s production company Desilu to the recent film and television spinoffs. 

Long-time cast member Gates McFadden narrates “Star Trek’s” deep history while actors of the franchise provide insight into their experiences on set, chronicling the rare and fascinating details of how the show began and its journey to becoming one of the most-loved and storied series of all time. 

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The collector’s edition includes more than three-and-a-half hours of never-before-seen-on-TV bonus interviews with “Star Trek” legends Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols and Kirstie Alley talking about their characters and experiences in the franchise.

Oscar-Nominated Doc ‘All the Beauty and the Bloodshed’ Headed to HBO, HBO Max March 19, Digital Feb. 28

The Oscar-nominated HBO documentary film All the Beauty and the Bloodshed debuts March 19 on HBO and on HBO Max.

The film will be available to rent or own digitally beginning Feb. 28.
From Participant, Neon and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras (HBO and Participant’s Citizenfour), the film is an interconnected story about internationally renowned artist and activist Nan Goldin told through her slideshows, interviews, photography, archival family snapshots and rare footage of her personal fight to hold the Sackler family accountable for the opioid overdose crisis.
The critically acclaimed film premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in the main competition, where it became the second documentary ever to win the Golden Lion for best film. It was the only film to play at Venice, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and New York Film Festival in 2022. The film was only the second documentary to be selected as the centerpiece for New York Film Festival.
The political film interweaves Goldin’s past and present, from the actions of Prescription Addiction Intervention Now (P.A.I.N.) at renowned art institutions to Goldin’s photography of her friends and peers through her epic “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency,” and her legendary 1989 NEA-censored AIDS exhibition “Witnesses: Against Our Vanishing.” 

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In these works, Goldin captures her friendships with beauty and raw tenderness. These friendships, and the legacy of her late sister Barbara Holly Goldin, anchor all of Goldin’s art and are integral to the film. Goldin’s early experiences in suburbia and the effect of toxic families led to her ongoing resistance against a society that oppresses the most stigmatized.
The film follows P.A.I.N., a group Goldin founded to shame museums into rejecting Sackler money, destigmatize addiction, and promote harm reduction. Inspired by Act Up, the group orchestrated protests to expose the Sacklers and the crimes of their Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin.
The film garnered top film critic awards including Best Documentary from the New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and National Society of Film Critics. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed has also been nominated for the BAFTA, Independent Spirit, ACE Eddie, and DGA awards.

Doc ‘Kubrick by Kubrick’ Available Digitally March 21 From Level 33

Level 33 Entertainment will release the documentary Kubrick by Kubrick via digital sellthrough and VOD platforms starting March 21.

Directed by Gregory Monro (Sean Connery vs James Bond) and produced by Martin Laurent (Mahatma Gandhi: Beyond the Myth) and Jérémy Zelnick (The Vanished President, Brad Pitt: More Than a Pretty Face), Kubrick by Kubrick is a rare journey into the life and films of the legendary director Stanley Kubrick, featuring a trove of unearthed interview recordings from the master himself. Twenty-one years after his death, fans of the 2001: A Space Odyssey director and cinema genius can hear his thoughtful takes on his craft and the paradoxes of human nature in a documentary built upon four wide-ranging audio interviews with French critic Michel Ciment with the support of the Stanley Kubrick Film Archive.

The documentary also includes interviews and archival footage with Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Vincent D’Onofrio, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, and many more award-winning stars.

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Screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, the film won the Rockie Award for Arts & Culture at the BANFF World Media Festival/Rockie Awards, Best Use of Footage in an Arts Production at the FOCAL International Awards; and the award for Emmy Arts Programming at the International Emmy Awards. It was nominated for a Gold Hugo for Best Documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival.


This Week’s MPN Podcast: DCU Projects; Interview With ‘Children of the Mist’ Director; Netflix’s Sharing Crackdown


On this week’s episode of the Media Play News podcast, hosts Charles Parkman and Charlie Showley dissect the James Gunn video he released on behalf of DC Studios, detailing their upcoming slate of TV shows and movies. Charles, ever the comic book nerd, has a ton of insight into just about every one of the properties announced by Gunn, and Charlie’s ears perk up at a couple of them even after getting turned off by the endless parade of Marvel movies rolling through theaters. In short, James Gunn’s vision for DC movies is to preserve the directorial voice of each one of the properties’ leads, which the hosts believe will make them stand out from Marvel. What Marvel movies suffer from is constraining all their movies into the same homogenous look, which really makes creativity suffer, so this plan of DC’s is certainly promising.

Charlie interviews Ha Le Diem, director of Film Movement’s documentary Children of the Mist, which has won awards for its unfiltered look into the childhood experience of a girl in northern Vietnam and the tradition of bridal kidnapping among its Hmong ethnic group. Charlie digs into Diem’s perspectives while filming the documentary, which was done over the course of multiple years, and how she tried to strike a balance between remaining a documentarian behind the camera and making sure the subject of her film remained safe. In the film, the protagonist of the film is herself subject to near-kidnapping, which is an extremely raw scene and difficult to watch. Charlie gives Children of the Mist a strong recommendation.

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Wrapping up the show is a follow-up on Netflix’s plan to crack down on password sharing: after announcing their plans to their U.S.-based users, online backlash caused Netflix to retract the plan and claim it was posted “in error.” Charlie and Charles think that, despite the backlash, it remains a positive sign for Netflix as 38% of survey respondents who access Netflix for free via password sharing would consider signing up, and 40% of respondents would consider a cheaper ad-supported tier. Since Netflix is planning to roll out such an ad-supported plan this year, it’s probable this tantrum over password sharing enforcement will be a short-lived phenomenon.