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Doc Week Returns to Gateway Film Center

Hope Madden Hope Madden Doc Week Returns to Gateway Film CenterStill from City of Ghosts, via IMDb.
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Kids are back on campus, OSU football opens this week—and there’s one more sign that it’s autumn on High Street. Doc Week returns to the Gateway Film Center for its seven-day run from August 31 through September 7.

GFC President and Programmer Chris Hamel has again assembled a series of documentaries covering topics as varied as Highlights Magazine and the Garbage Pail Kids to organized gay sports, with a good number of music docs, historical pieces and citizen journalism filling out the lineup.

Hamel spends the year researching.

“We really pay close attention to the festival circuit all year long in order to narrow the field for our Columbus Documentary Week selections,” Hamel says. “Once we have a good amount of documentaries that we think might be a good fit, we start watching these films in hopes of identifying a great mix of options that can thrill and inspire our audience.”

In finalizing the program, Hamel does work to ensure a balance of topics and tones, but in the end, the best films always win a spot.

“I’m not going to sacrifice quality in the interest of balance, but if the opportunity exists I always want to present as diverse a program as possible each year,” he says. “You’re likely to find every documentary that will be nominated for an Academy Award next year in this week’s lineup.”

Likely Oscar contenders Whose Streets? and No Home Movie rank among those Hamel considers must-sees.

“It’s always hard for me to select specific highlights,” he says. “I think the whole program is so interesting.”

Other program highlights include the kickoff to a new GFC series Canada Now. The documentary Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World is just one of six docs focused on music.

Social activism offers the program its most prevalent theme this year. Like Whose Streets?, films City of Ghosts, Birthright: A War Story, Dolores and The Wrong Light explore the plight and potential for change involved in social activism.

You’ll also find biopics, sports and films about cinema and science in the mix.

Full lineup:

  • 44 Pages
  • Almost Sunrise
  • 30 Years of Garbage: The Garbage Pail Kids Story
  • A Life in Waves
  • Before the Flood
  • Birthright: A War Story
  • City of Ghosts
  • Dawson City: Frozen Time
  • Dolores
  • F(l)ag Football
  • I Am the Blues
  • In Pursuit of Silence
  • My Journey through French Cinema
  • Night School
  • No Home Movie
  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World
  • Sacred
  • Santoalla
  • Score: A Film Music Documentary
  • Sidemen: Long Road to Glory
  • Swim Team
  • Turn It Around: The Story of East Bay Punk
  • Tyrus
  • Unrest
  • Whose Streets?
  • The Wrong Light

Documentary Week runs August 31 to September 7 at Gateway Film Center.
For showtimes, tickets and information, visit gatewayfilmcenter.org

Read more from Hope at MADDWOLF and listen to her podcasts THE SCREENING ROOM and FRIGHT CLUB.


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