Netflix’s awards hopefuls Robert Greene’s “Procession” and Alonso Ruizpalacios’ “A Cop Movie” are heading to Manhattan’s Paris Theater as part of its “New Directions in Documentary” series.
Both hybrid features, which are vying for a spot on this year’s Academy Award doc shortlist, will screen alongside previously celebrated form-bending Netflix docus in the upcoming series beginning Oct. 15.
Since 2019 Netflix has operated the 571-seat venue, which the streaming company uses year-round for exclusive theatrical engagements, premieres, special events, retrospectives, and filmmaker appearances.
Curated by Paris Theater programmer David Schwartz, the five-day public event will highlight and celebrate docus that combine elements of fiction and non-fiction into the fabric of their storytelling.
“ ‘Procession’ and ‘A Cop Movie’ are exciting and inventive movies that heighten the documentary form,” says Schwartz. “They find innovative ways to explore truth through deeply personal and dramatic subjects. Their work transcends the formulaic with rigorous fidelity to vision, creative discipline and originality.”
About six survivors of childhood sexual abuse by Catholic priests, “Procession” was acquired by Netflix after its Telluride premiere in September. In the film, the six survivors come together to direct a drama therapy-inspired experiment designed to collectively work through their trauma. They create fictional scenes based on memories, dreams, and experiences, meant to explore the church rituals, culture and hierarchies that enabled silence around their abuse.
Role playing and blurring the lines between fiction and reality are also integral to Ruizpalacios’ “A Cop Movie.” In the docu, which premiered in competition at the Berlin Film Festival in March, two professional actors undergo a real immersive police training camp to discover what it takes to be a cop in Mexico City.
In addition to “Procession” and “A Cop Movie” nine additional genre-bending Netflix docus are slated to screen, including the Ross Brothers’ “Contemporary Color” (2016), Kirsten Johnson’s “Dick Johnson Is Dead” (2020) and “Cameraperson” (2016); Laura Poitras’ “The Oath” (2010) and Yance Ford’s “Strong Island (2018).
Filmmaker Q&A will follow several of the screenings.
“It’s amazing to be a part of this series and discussion with friends and filmmakers that I’ve admired my entire career,” says Greene. “The lineup is a who’s who of innovative artists and it’s genuinely thrilling. On behalf of my collaborators on ‘Procession,’ we could not be prouder to be part of this conversation on the expanding possibilities of documentary filmmaking.”
On Oct. 16, Greene, Ruizpalacios, Ford, Poitras, Johnson and the Ross Brothers will partake in a private panel discussion moderated by Sundance Film Festival director Tabitha Jackson at the Crosby Hotel.
“A Cop Movie” opens theatrically on Oct. 20 and will begin streaming on Netflix on Nov. 5. “Procession” will have a qualifying run in New York beginning on Nov. 12 and in Los Angeles and San Francisco starting Nov. 19. The doc will bow on Nov. 19 on Netflix.
In addition to Greene and Ruizpalacios’ docus, Netflix is also qualifying Oscar winning director Orlando von Einsiedel’s “Convergence: Courage in a Crisis” for Academy consideration, “Found” by Amanda Lipitz, “Pray Away” by Kristine Stolakis, and “Misha and the Wolves” by Sam Hobkinson. “Convergence: Courage in a Crisis,” about everyday citizens, activists, and volunteers around the world response to challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, will begin streaming on Netflix Oct. 12.
Friday, Oct, 15
7:30 Contemporary Color + Ross brothers Q&A
Saturday, Oct, 16
12 Dick Johnson Is Dead + Kirsten Johnson Q&A
2:30 Procession (116”) + Robert Greene Q&A
5:30 Shirkers (97”)
Sunday, Oct, 17
12 Kate Plays Christine
3 A Cop Movie (107”)
8:30 Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets
Monday, Oct. 18
7:30 The Oath
Tuesday, Oct. 19
5 Bisbee ‘17
7:30 Strong Island with Yance Ford Q&A
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