SocDoc Blog

Happenings in the documentary film world and within the School of Visual Arts MFA in Social Documentary Film Community

Tribeca ’15: “Thank You For Playing” to air on ‘POV’

Tribeca ’15: “Thank You For Playing” to air on ‘POV’

3 days ago by Kevin Ritchie (Real Screen)

Thank You For Playing

PBS doc strand ‘POV’ has picked up the U.S. TV rights to Thank You For Playing (pictured) ahead of its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival next month.

Directed by David Osit (Building Babel) and Malika Zouhali-Worrall (Call Me Kuchu) and coproduced by ITVS, the film follows indie video game developer Ryan Green as he creates an adventure game called That Dragon, Cancer about his experiences raising his terminally ill son. The directors examine the empathetic power of art, how technology can help in the grieving process and the wider implications of using video games to document human experiences.

Thank You For Playing will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 17 and the filmmakers will participate in a Tribeca Talks panel on April 18 – the same day the game will be available to play at the festival’s Interactive Playground. Screening times and locations are listed on the festival’s website.

‘POV’ will air the film during its 2016-2017 season. The doc strand’s 28th season kicks off on June 22 with Out In The Night.


Read more:

David Osit is a 2011 graduate of the MFA SocDoc program. 

SocDoc at The Tribeca Film Festival

SocDoc at The Tribeca Film Festival

Bao Nguyen’s (SocDoc ’11) filmLive From NY the new Saturday Night Live doc will open the 2015Tribeca Film Festival in April. Alumni Caleb Heller (cinematographer), Ben Nimkin (sound), David Osit (editor), Natalie Ruiz Tofano (production coordinator) played major roles in the production team. Go SocDoc!More information on the film and the festival. 


 For tickets and more info.

Thank You for Playing co-directed and co-written by David Osit (SocDoc ’11) and Malika Zouhali-Worrall will be featured in the World Documentary Competition. The film follows Ryan and Amy Green who have been working on That Dragon, Cancer, a videogame about their son Joel’s fight against that disease. Following the family through the creation of the game and the day-to-day realities of Joel’s treatment, David Osit and Malika Zouhali-Worrall create a moving testament to the joy and heartbreak of raising a terminally ill child.

Pulitzer Center Film Series at Paley Center: ‘The Abominable Crime’

Pulitzer Center Film Series at Paley Center: ‘The Abominable Crime’

The Abominable Crime, the award-winning documentary on homophobia in Jamaica by director Micah Fink (SocDoc Faculty), kicks off the Pulitzer Center’s film series at New York’s Paley Center for Media on Tuesday, April 21. Free and open to the public, but RSVP requested—please reserve your seat today. Reception follows screening and panel.

Age of Love on the Today Show and NPR

Age of Love on the Today Show and NPR

The Age of Love directed by Steven Loring (’12) follows the humorous and poignant adventures of thirty seniors in Rochester, NY who sign up for a first-of-its-kind speed dating event exclusively for 70- to 90-year-olds.

The film has been making the festival rounds and has had a ton of community screenings. The film was even featured on the Today Show and NPR’s ‘All Things Considered.’

CAAM Fest Screening of Tashi’s Turbine in San Francisco

Directed by Amitabh Joshi (SocDoc ’13) and produced by Erik Spink (SocDoc ’13) this film is an uplifting tale of a small Himalayan Mountain village’s attempt to harness renewable, sustainable energy with the power of the wind.

The film won a Special Jury Mention at the festival. Congrats!

More info about the screening in San Francisco on 3/19 and 3/21.

Two SocDoc Alumni screening at the Rated SR Film Festival

Two alumni have their thesis films in the Rated SR Film Festival next week.

Tuesday 3/17/15
Truth Through a Lens - 92’ – USA – (School of Visual Arts Student) – 2014 (World Premiere)
Directed by Justin Thomas
This stunning feature length debut follows the evolution of Dennis Flores from Brooklyn street kid, subway train tagger to local community organizing legend in the backdrop of recent social issues.

Friday 3/20/15
Love Is the Highest Law - 83’ – USA – (School of Visual Arts student) – 2014 –  (New York Premiere)
Directed by Liliya Anisimova
A unique, firsthand look into three powerful stories connected through the strength of overcoming the stringent same-sex laws both in Russia and the United States and of love triumphing over hardship.

Q & A after the screening

National Listening Tour for Independent Films on PBS

National Listening Tour for Independent Films on PBS

Join us in New York City – the next stop on the National Listening Tour for Independent Films on PBS – on February 23rd, from 2 PM ET to 5 PM ET, along with PBS, POV, ITVS, WNET, Independent Lens and the Indie Caucus. The event will take place at the SVA Theatre in Manhattan. RSVP now »

In keeping with its commitment to independent film and filmmakers, PBS leadership is hosting a series of open forums around the country with independent filmmakers, PBS series producers, and other public media and community partners. At each event, participants are invited to voice their priorities and innovative ideas on how all can work together to strengthen distribution, viewership and community engagement through Independent Lens, POV and all kinds of independent films.

Watch highlights from San Francisco, the first stop on the tour last month. The Indie Caucus and Kartemquin Films will host a third stop in Chicago in March, date TBD.


SocDoc Alumni Screen @ Big Sky 2015

Steven Loring (’12) and Sam Carroll (’12) have films in the 2015 Big Sky Documentary Festival in Missoula Montana this February. The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival has become one of the most well respected documentary festivals in the US and is the largest cinema event in Montana.

Steven Loring will screen his SocDoc thesis film The Age of Love.

Sam Carroll will screen his SocDoc thesis film Bedevil (World Premiere).

More information about this festival.

Spring 2015 Guest Lecture Series

Michael Levine – The Cruise – editor

Mona Eldaief – Rafel Solar Mama – director

Sam Green – filmmaker

Freeway: A Crack in The System
– Stranger Than Fiction – at IFC

Lacy Schwartz – Little White Lie – director

Johanna Hamilton – 1971 – director/producer

Bernardo Ruiz – filmmaker

Rebels of a Neon God – Flaherty NYC at Anthology Film Archive

Jesse Moss – The Overnighters – director

Carter Little – Music Supervisor

4/7/15 – TBA

Abigail Disney – Executive Producer

4/21/15 - TBA

4/28/15 – End of Semester Screenings

SocDoc Alums and Faculty screen at DOC NYC Nov 13-20th

NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE  Olga Lvoff’s film is a sensitive examination of family, memory and mortality. Under the watchful eyes of her dutiful daughter Sonia, Regina recalls the Yiddish and French songs of her youth through music therapy sessions following a stroke. But the 93-year-old Holocaust survivor is starting to succumb to dementia. Fearful that their family’s tumultuous history, unspoken for decades, will vanish with Regina, Sonia sets out to recapture their shared experiences.   The director was nominated for a Student Academy Awards in 2014. Screening with Academy Award-nominated director Lucy Walker’s The Lion’s Mouth Opens. A young woman is [...]


12:15 PM, Sun Nov 16 | IFC Center

WORLD PREMIERE Volunteering in Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake, Victoria Campbell encounters Gaston, a charming voodoo priest who shows leadership during the emergency, and later manages to open a small, much-needed medical clinic with the support of a foreign funder. He becomes a local hero, a symbol of ingenuity in defiance of the failure of conventional relief efforts. Over three years, he also becomes the filmmaker’s close friend—until an unexpected development causes Victoria to re-examine her entire experience in Haiti. Filmmaker is expected to be in person for both screenings.


9:30 PM, Fri Nov 14 | Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas
10:45 AM, Thu Nov 20 | IFC Center

Boys will be boys. While a father takes advantage of North Dakota’s oil boom, his son is left to his own devices in Solitary Plains (USA, 10 min., J. Christian Jensen). In For the Love of Dogs (USA, 26 min., Tim O’Donnell), Asperger’s Syndrome has enabled Cory to connect to fellow dog-show attendees. Basement Metal (USA, 10 min., Ronnie Bhardwaj) presents a behind-the- scenes look at the middle-school-aged members of a heavy metal band. A twelve-year-old filmmaker follows in the footsteps of Michael Moore to explore New York City school weather closings in Anatomy of a Snow Day (USA, 41 [...]


11:45 AM, Sat Nov 15 | SVA Theatre

Views through the photographic lens. A collective of visually impaired New York photographers express their creativity in BlindSight (USA, 16 min., Bob Sacha), while a former fashion photographer celebrates unconventionally beautiful subjects in On Beauty (USA, 30 min., Joanna Rudnick). Becoming Billy Name (USA, 13 min., Alexa Karolinski) profiles the life of the reclusive man who documented Warhol’s Factory in photos for over a decade. Award-winning photojournalist Sebastiano regularly risks his life—and the stability of his relationship—to become Embedded (USA, 31 min., Madeleine Pryor) in combat zones for weeks at a time.


12:00 PM, Sat Nov 15 | IFC Center

NYC PREMIERE An unprecedented speed-dating event for seniors serves as the backdrop for this alternately poignant and funny look at love among the 70+ set. Thirty brave souls register—widows and widowers, longtime divorcees and the lovelorn—each willing to endure an anxiety-inducing, but mercifully brief, series of setups in their search for companionship in their golden years. Candidly confronting feelings of insecurity, loneliness and anticipation, Steven Loring’s film demonstrates the universality of love and desire, regardless of age.


2:15 PM, Sat Nov 15 | SVA Theatre

Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman’s breathtaking film chronicles the dangerous but life- affirming work performed by the Human Rights Watch Emergency Team, or E-Team, a compelling group of intrepid investigators willing to enter hostile territories to document crimes against humanity that might otherwise go unreported. Allowing outside filmmakers to follow them for the first time, unforgettable E-Team members travel to war zones in Syria and Libya in harrowing, visceral scenes that demonstrate the threats they face in their determined efforts to put an end to dictatorial impunity. Courtesy of Netflix.   The Directors are expected to be person for the [...]


4:45 PM, Tue Nov 18 | Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas

Join our mailing list

Keep up with the School of Visual Arts MFA Social documentary program by joining our mailing list.

The code you provided does not match. Please try again.