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Nancy Buirski on Exploring Hidden Stories in the Civil Rights Movement in “The Rape of Recy Taylor”

The Rape of Recy Taylor

Nancy Buirski’s writing, directing, and producing credits include “By Sidney Lumet,” “Afternoon of a Faun,” and the the Oscar shortlisted, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning “The Loving Story.” She founded and ran the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and is the photographer and author of “Earth Angels: Migrant Children in America.”

The Rape of Recy Taylor” made its world premiere at this year’s Venice Film Festival and will make its North American premiere at the New York Film Festival on October 1.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Nb: This is a film about courage and nobility, about standing up for oneself, speaking truth to power, and power verging on evil. It is the story of Recy Taylor, a black woman who accused six white men of rape knowing she’d be putting her life in utter danger. She knew what these men did was wrong, and there was no shame for her as a survivor of their despicable act. In those years, she was not alone. As a teenager, Rosa Parks talked a white man out of raping her, then devoted her life to getting justice for women like Mrs. Taylor. This was years before Parks’ famous bus boycott!

This is a film about women’s crusade to protect their bodies and their dignity — no different from today — and in doing so becoming the very foundation of the Civil Rights Movement. These crimes were and are a form of terrorism, but unlike other highly visible forms of terrorism, white men raping black women was a secret. Considered “unspeakable,” these crimes were not spoken of publicly nor reported. These stories are hidden stories.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Nb: A remarkable book by Danielle L. McGuire, “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance — A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power.” Recy Taylor’s story begins McGuire’s history of these incredible women.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Nb: I want them to remember a brave woman named Recy Taylor, who so many forgot or tried to silence in her lifetime. I’d love us all to give voice to women with such stories, then and now. I want women who have survived these atrocities to feel inspired by Recy Taylor and her courage.

Rape is universal, regardless of color, gender, religion, or nationality. It is a crime and needs to be recognized as such. No one asks a victim of robbery or assault if he or she was drinking.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Nb: Marrying the very personal, dramatic story of Recy Taylor with the epic meaning of it all. The ramifications of Recy Taylor’s “speaking up” are infinite; they continue to reverberate today. How does a filmmaker tell such a searing, emotional story and deliver the broader ideas at the same time?

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Nb: This film is supported by generous funders who believed in Recy’s story, and communicated their belief through equity and grants. We’d not be where we are today if not for co-producer Transform Films, the remarkable Artemis Rising, Amy Tiemann, Mark Trustin, Barbara Dobkin, Matador Content, Lauren Embry, Derrick Harkins, and others.

On the creative end I’m indebted to Dp Rex Miller and Blaire Johnson for their thrilling work in the field, providing me and my editor Anthony Ripoli with b-roll and provocative drone images. This helped me tell this sensitive story without recreations, which felt out of place here.

Our gratitude to Kino Lorber and to Gina Telaroli who helped locate valuable race films, lending the story a biblical resonance.

A shout out to our marvelous producers — no way this happens without Claire Chandler, Beth Hubbard, Susan Margolin, and Vanessa Martino, and advisers Danielle McGuire, Crystal Feimster, Laurens Grant, Susie Ruth Powell, Sam Pollard, and Jacquelyn Serwer.

Thanks to the amazing Cynthia Erivo for her Rosa Parks reading and to Randall Poster for help on the music.

Our deepest gratitude to Recy Taylor and her family, especially Robert Corbitt and the late Alma Daniels.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at the New York Film Festival?

Nb: This is a coming home. I screened my second documentary, “Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq,” at Nyff, but it’s a homecoming in other respects. I grew up in Manhattan and attended this festival over many years, well before I knew I’d make movies. It laid the foundation for my appreciation of cinema — it’s where I discovered Truffaut, Scorsese, Godard, and so many more. I might not be a filmmaker today if not for the New York Film Festival.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Nb: Best advice: Make it personal and don’t read reviews.

Worst advice: Don’t read reviews and don’t spend your own money. One can learn from reviews — good and bad — as long as it’s not too dispiriting and taken too seriously. And one must spend one’s own money — within reason — if only to get started. You must believe enough in yourself to invest in yourself. It is not a matter of pride.

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Nb: Do what you can to help other women and keep making your movies. Don’t make what you think others will like or will get into festivals or will be well reviewed. Make what you believe in. And only look at the good stuff. This is advice I’d give anyone, not just women.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Nb: Really too many to name and too hard to choose. Forgive me.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Nb: I am optimistic. Even if the changes are insincere or politically motivated, there seems to be an effort to hire more women. If the numbers don’t reflect this, the zeitgeist seems to. That’s alright with me, because as more women are visibly making movies the perception will change and it may, just may, start to feel normal.

Nancy Buirski on Exploring Hidden Stories in the Civil Rights Movement in “The Rape of Recy Taylor” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

134 Semi-Finalists for Best Documentary Feature

Whoopsy. I forgot to share this list... Herewith the films that could be up for Best Documentary Feature this year. We'll get a finalist of 15 at some point next month followed by 5 nominees in January "until we crown A Winnah!" If we've reviewed the titles, you'll notice their pretty color which you can then click on to read about them. The magic of the internet. You can also see the animated and documentary Oscar charts here.

The 134 Semi-Finalists

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Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq, Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case, Algorithms, Alive Inside, All You Need Is Love, Altina, America: Imagine the World without Her, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, Anita, Antarctica: A Year on Ice, Art and Craft, Awake: The Life of Yogananda, The Barefoot Artist, The Battered Bastards of Baseball, Before You Know It, Bitter Honey, Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity, Botso The Teacher from Tbilisi,
See full article at FilmExperience »

134 Documentaries Compete For Oscar

One hundred thirty-four features have been submitted for consideration in the Documentary Feature category for the 87th Academy Awards. A shortlist of 15 films will be announced in December.

The submitted features, listed in alphabetical order, are:

Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq

Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case

“Algorithms”

Alive Inside

“All You Need Is Love”

“Altina”

America: Imagine the World without Her

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

“Anita”

Antarctica: A Year on Ice

“Art and Craft”

“Awake: The Life of Yogananda”

“The Barefoot Artist”

The Battered Bastards of Baseball

Before You Know It

“Bitter Honey”

Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity

“Botso The Teacher from Tbilisi”

Captivated The Trials of Pamela Smart

The Case against 8

“Cesar’s Last Fast”

Citizen Koch

“CitizenFour”

Code Black

Concerning Violence

The Culture High

“Cyber-Seniors”

“DamNation”

Dancing in Jaffa

Death Metal Angola

“The Decent One”

Dinosaur 13

“Do You Know What My Name Is?
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

AMPAS receives 134 doc submissions

  • ScreenDaily
AMPAS receives 134 doc submissions
Citizenfour, Life Itself, Red Army, Warsaw Uprising among long-list contenters for the 87th Academy Awards.

The Salt Of The Earth, Happy Valley, Jodorowsky’s Dune, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, Food Chains and Point And Shoot are also named.

The submitted features, listed in alphabetical order, are:

20,000 Days On Earth

Afternoon Of A Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq

Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case

Algorithms

Alive Inside

All You Need Is Love

Altina

America: Imagine The World Without Her

American Revolutionary: The Evolution Of Grace Lee Boggs

Anita

Antarctica: A Year On Ice

Art And Craft

Awake: The Life Of Yogananda

The Barefoot Artist

The Battered Bastards Of Baseball

Before You Know It

Bitter Honey

Born To Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity

Botso The Teacher From Tbilisi

Captivated The Trials Of Pamela Smart

The Case Against 8

Cesar’s Last Fast

Citizen Koch

Citizenfour

Code Black

Concerning Violence

The Culture High

Cyber-Seniors

Damnation

Dancing In Jaffa

Death Metal Angola

The
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Oscars: 134 Pics Vie For Best Feature Documentary

Oscars: 134 Pics Vie For Best Feature Documentary
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released its list of 134 film vying for the Best Feature Documentary Oscar at the 87th Annual Academy Awards in February. A number of the nonfic hopefuls have yet to get their required Los Angeles and New York qualifying releases. Those that don’t will be cut from the contention. A shortlist of 15 films will be announced in December. Oscar noms will be revealed January 15, and ABC will broadcast Hollywood’s Big Night live on February 22 from the Dolby Theatre.

Here are the docu feature submissions:

Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq

Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case

Algorithms

Alive Inside

All You Need Is Love

Altina

America: Imagine the World without Her

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

Anita

Antarctica: A Year on Ice

Art and Craft

Awake: The Life of Yogananda

The Barefoot Artist

The Battered Bastards of Baseball
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

More than 100 Documentary Features Up for the 87th Academy Awards

One hundred thirty-four features have been submitted for consideration in the Documentary Feature category for the 87th Academy Awards®. Several of the films have not yet had their required Los Angeles and New York qualifying releases. Submitted features must fulfill the theatrical release requirements and comply with all of the category's other qualifying rules in order to advance in the voting process. A shortlist of 15 films will be announced in December. Films submitted in the Documentary Feature category also may qualify for Academy Awards in other categories, including Best Picture, provided they meet the requirements for those categories. The 87th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 15, 2015, at 5:30 a.m. Pt in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The Oscars® will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Movies This Week: June 6-12, 2014

Austin Film Society continues their "Rebel Rebel" film series this weekend with a rare 35mm screening of Getting Straight at the Marchesa. This 1970 film from Richard Rush stars Elliott Gould as a Vietnam vet who attempts to go back to college amid the countercultural revolution. Also starring Candice Bergen and shot by legendary cinemtographer Laszlo Kovacs (Easy Rider, Paper Moon), it's playing tonight and again on Sunday afternoon. Doc Nights is booked for Wednesday evening and will be spotlighting the story of a young ballerina who was diagnosed with polio at 27. Read more about Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq in our preview post here. On Thursday evening, you can view Stanley Kubrick's Paths Of Glory as part of this month's Essential Cinema series about World War I. 

The Paramount Summer Classic Film Series has a wide variety of flicks to choose from this week. Saturday and Sunday at the Paramount,
See full article at Slackerwood »

Afs Doc Nights Preview: Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq

Perhaps, as I was, you are unfamiliar with the name Tanaquil Le Clercq. This skilled dancer, a principal with the New York City Ballet struck with polio at the age of 27, is the focus of Afternoon of a Faun. The documentary about the ballerina's life comes from Nancy Buirski (The Loving Story), and is the Austin Film Society Doc Nights selection for June.

Tanaquil, known to her friends as "Tanny," started dancing at a young age and impressed choreographers such as George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.  A friend says, "Her body created inspiration for choreographers." She would form strong relationships with those two -- going on to marry Balanchine in 1952 and having a decades-long intense friendship with Robbins. Correspondence between Tanny and Robbins is read during Afternoon of a Faun, showing her dark humor and glimpses of her character, as well as the deep affection felt between them.

Along with these letters,
See full article at Slackerwood »

Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil le Clercq Movie Review

Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil le Clercq Movie Review
Title: Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil le Clercq Director: Nancy Buirski A documentary on one of the more enchanting and tragic figures of the world of ballet, “Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil le Clercq” affirms the talent of its subject, but frustratingly fails to establish enough of a cleanly delineated backdrop or emotional throughline to connect to a general audience. The frustrating result is a hopelessly insular work. Directed by Nancy Buirski, “Afternoon of a Faun” centers around Tanaquil le Clercq, or “Tanny,” the only daughter of a French intellectual and his somewhat overbearing American wife. At 12 years of age, she won a scholarship to the American School of Ballet, [ Read More ]

The post Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil le Clercq Movie Review appeared first on Shockya.com.
See full article at ShockYa »

Faun, Train find Us homes

  • ScreenDaily
In a pair of unrelated North American distribution deals, Kino Lorber has picked up Afternoon Of A Faun: Tanaquil le Clercq, while monterey media has boarded Girl On The Train.

Nancy Buirski directed Afternoon Of A Faun: Tanaquil le Clercq (pictured), a documentary about the celebrated Us ballet star Tanaquil Le Clercq. American Masters (PBS) controls Us broadcast rights.

Le Clercq was renowned as the most iconic dancer of her time before she was paralysed by polio at the age of 27.

The documentary screened at the 51st New York Film Festival and will launch in New York on February 5 2014. Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber brokered the deal with Rj Millard of Obscured Pictures and Krysanne Katsoolis of Cactus Three on behalf of the film-makers.

Larry Brand’s Girl On The Train stars Henry Ian Cusick, Nicki Aycox and Stephen Lang in the story of a documentary maker’s unexpectedly mysterious journey.

Monterey plans a
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Nyff unveils extra films

  • ScreenDaily
The Film Society Of Lincoln Center has added programming to the New York Film Festival (Nyff) that includes documentaries and restored works.

The programmes feature a spotlight on three documentary sections – Applied Sciences, Motion Portraits and How Democracy Works Now.

Motion Portraits will focus on cinematic portraiture and includes Nancy Buirski‘s Afternoon Of A Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq and Nadav Schirman’s In The Dark Room.

Applied Science features three films, each built around obsessive projects: Ben Lewis’s Google And The World Brain (pictured), Mark Levinson’s Particle Fever and Teller’s Tim’s Vermeer.

How Democracy Works Now is a series of films by the filmmaking team of Michael Camerini and Shari Robertson who have trained their cameras on immigration reform.

The Revivals section will feature among others Martin Scorsese’s The Age Of Innocence and Arthur Ripley’s The Chase.

The Nyff runs from Sept 27-Oct 13.
See full article at ScreenDaily »

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