The documentary film, Buzkashi! is a story of three fascinating characters who are at the top of their sport of Buzkashi in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic nestled in the Pamir mountains. Donning their protective equipment – including tank helmets from previous wars – they steer their horses to join the hundreds of others playing on the plateaus of this mountainous country.

The rivalries, alliances politics and intrigues surrounding the sport put ancient values of honor and integrity head-to-head with ego-driven hunger for power and wealth.

The film is screening at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA tomorrow night at 7:30 as part of their Winter/Spring 2013 documentary film series, Compete!, the series celebrates films about winning, losing, and how you play the game.

Buzkashi! is written and directed by Najeeb Mirza. You may watch the trailer, here.

Any Questions? #79

Mar 1, 2013

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel begin a month of March Madness with this week's program, which focuses on documentaries.

Dennis Stock

    James Dean walks down a drizzly street in Manhattan with his coat collar up against the wind and the rain. It’s an iconic image, captured by photographer, Dennis Stock.

Stock’s photographs of movie stars, jazz musicians, hippies, architecture, landscapes, and nature are such a part of the story of America in the 20th century that even if you've never heard his name - you have seen some of his work.

Beyond Iconic is a documentary film about Dennis Stock directed by Hanna Sawka. The film is screening this Sunday at 1:30pm at Upstate Films in Woodstock, NY. Hanna Sawka will be at the screening for a Q&A following, and then musicians Teri Roiger and John Menegon - who scored the film - will perform down the street at Center for Photography Woodstock.

Hanna Sawka joins us to talk about the film.

    Tonight at 7:30 PM in their Club B10, MASS MoCA will screen Brooklyn Castle as part of their Winter/Spring 2013 documentary film series, Compete!, celebrating films about winning, losing, and how you play the game.

Brooklyn Castle is an engaging and heartwarming doc about the championship winning chess team at IS 318 - a below-the-poverty-line public school in Brooklyn. The film focuses on 5 incredible kids and their coaches and teachers as they battle their opponents as well as recessionary budget cuts that threaten all extracurricular activities at their school.

The film won an Audience Award at last year’s South by Southwest Film 2012 Documentary Spotlight and was one of the top 10 Audience Favourites at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

Filmmaker, Katie Dellamaggiore, will do a Q&A via Skype after the screening of Brooklyn Castle tonight at MASS MoCA and she joins us to talk about the film.

Ken Burns' latest PBS series is The Dust Bowl, it chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history, in which the frenzied wheat boom of the "Great Plow-Up," followed by a decade-long drought during the 1930s nearly swept away the breadbasket of the nation.

The release of the documentary, SPLIT: A Deeper Divide couldn't be more timely. The film is a thorough investigation into the partisanship that is paralyzing American politics. Writer, director and producer Kelly Nyks has spent eight years traveling the country to ask questions that go to the heart of why our democracy has become so passionately divided. The U.S. State Department used the film to launch an Election 2012 program that introduces high school students abroad to American democracy and our political process.

The documentary, The Minister's War, tells the story of a Unitarian minister, Waitstill Sharp and his wife Martha who left Wellesley, Massachusetts to help save thousands being persecuted by the Nazis in Eastern Europe during World War II. Who were these American heroes? What drove their willingness to put the well-being of strangers over that of themselves and their family?

El Valador on POV

Sep 26, 2012

Produced by American Documentary Inc. and celebrating its 25th season on PBS; the award-winning POV is the longest running showcase on American television to feature the work of today’s independent documentary filmmakers. Thursday night on PBS, POV presents “El Velador” – The Night Watchman – a film by award winning director, Natalia Almada. El Valador was an official selection of the 2011 canne film festival directors’ fortnight and new directors new films festival.

Celebrating 13-years of innovative filmmakers & filmmaking, the Woodstock Film Festival has unveiled its line-up of nearly 130 films, panels, and events, screening Wednesday October 10th through Sunday October 14th, in Woodstock NY, and neighboring towns of Rhinebeck, Kingston and Rosendale.

The 2012 festival presents a record 62 Premieres consisting of 19 World Premieres, 6 U-S Premieres, 3 North American Premieres, 10 East Coast Premieres and 15 New York Premieres.

The Sharon Springs Harvest Festival takes place this Saturday and Sunday in Sharon Springs, New York. The annual event, run by Beekman 1802, celebrates the magic of small town America with a Harvest Hop, a Harvest Feast, a Farmer’s Market and more!