Film Festival Today

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Steve James’ Top Ten

Written by: FFT Webmaster | November 10th, 2011

Following in the tradition of previous guest programmers Werner Herzog, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Ulrich Seidl and Pirjo Honkasalo, this year’s IDFA: International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam has selected award-winning American documentarian Steve James to program his own personal Top Ten documentary series of films that have influenced him personally and professionally. James, who broke through in 1994 with the multi-award-winning sports documentary HOOP DREAMS, has been a prolific presence on the documentary scene, with other universally praised projects including STEVIE (2002, winner of the Joris Ivens Award at IDFA), the series THE NEW AMERICANS (2003) and AT THE DEATH HOUSE DOOR (2008). Alongside his Top Ten picks, IDFA will also be screening a retrospective of James’ work, as well as his latest film THE INTERRUPTERS. The film follows a number of former gang members in Chicago, who have set up a program to put an end to violence among young black Americans.

For his Top Ten program, James has selected a mix of superb American and European films from the past five decades. The American films in the series include: AMERICAN MOVIE (Chris Smith, 1999), FALLEN CHAMP: THE UNTOLD STORY OF MIKE TYSON (Barbara Kopple, 1993), GOLUB: LATE WORKS ARE THE CATASTROPHES (Jerry Blumental and Gordon Quinn, 2004), GREY GARDENS (Albert and David Maysles, 1976), THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK (Robert Epstein, 1984) and TONGUES UNTIED (Marlon Riggs, 1989). European films in the series include such landmark documentaries as 28 UP (Michael Apted, UK, 1984), LE JOLI MAI (Chris Marker, France, 1963), OUR TRIP TO AFRICA (Peter Kubelka, Austria, 1967), and THE STAIRCASE (Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, France, 2004). IDFA runs from November 16 to 27. For more information, visit:

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