Documentaries by women are leading the line-up this year at the 2016 DOC LA festival with a number of premieres set. Borderline, a film about the personality disorder that often goes undiagnosed which was directed by Rebbie Ratner and executive produced by highly respected documentarian Barbara Kopple will first open the festival, which takes place October 28-30 (and all tickets are free). The Mark Ruffalo narrated (and exec produced) Dear President Obama which reveals the hazards of fracking and how leaving our fossil fuels in the ground and clean energy is the key to our future, is getting its Los Angeles premiere at the festival.
In front of Borderline, a short documentary feature about artist Laurie Lipton entitled Love Bite will run. Lipton lives in Los Angeles but has lived all over the world and employs her own technique of thousands of very fine cross-hatching lines.
An animated documentary from a trio of Japanese women directors Birth Weaving Live will premiere as will Katie Stjernhom’s Edges about a 90-year-old ice skating woman. In addition, they have opened the doors to a student film by Shelby Hadden called Her & Me which was funded by Kickstarter and is about identical twins who lead identical lives.
The Emma Thompson-narrated environmental documentary from Canada To The Ends of the Earth will get its U.S. premiere. In addition, a transgender documentary Just A Normal Fucking Person from Sweden’s Malin Bjorkman-Widell will get is North American premiere.
Documentarians from other countries will also be screened at the festival, including two that will receive their West Coast premieres: Among Wolves about a Bosnian war veteran motorcyclist who guards a herd of wild horses and Bad Dog: A Penitentiary Tale (a humorous short feature).
Two Spanish language environmental shorts will precede the L.A. premiere of the Mexican adventure film The Weekend Sailor on the closing night. The Weekend Sailor is about the unlikely success of a Mexican yacht in the first “crewed sailing race” that went around the globe.
DOC LA is presented by the Parajanov-Vartanov Institute, which was founded by Martiros Vartanov, and named after the late non-conformist masters Sergei Parajanov (who died in 1990) and Mikhail Vartanov (who passed in 2009). Last year, the Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award honored the Grammy-winning rock band System of a Down. In 2014, Martin Scorsese was honored for restoring Parajanov’s masterpiece The Color of Pomegranates (which was funded by George Harrison’s widow Olivia Harrison and The Film Foundation).
Last year’s top directing award went to the Swedish female duo of Viana Mikkelsen & ILva Henrikson for their film In 90 Degrees Heat.