Screen Time: Week of December 12, 2022
By Tom White
Screen Time is your curated weekly guide to excellent documentaries and nonfiction programs that you can watch at home.
Well, the juries and the people have spoken. The 38th edition of the IDA Documentary Awards is now part of IDA lore, but you, as IDA Members, can still check out the Member Voting Portal through December 17 at 11:59 p.m. PT to watch the nominees and winners in the Features and Shorts categories, including multi winners All That Breathes (Best Director—Shaunak Sen; Best Editing—Charlotte Munch Bengtsen, Vedant Joshi; Pare Lorentz Award) and Fire of Love (Best Cinematography—Maurice Krafft, Katia Krafft, Pablo Alvarez-Mesa; Best Writing—Sara Dosa, Erin Casper, Jocelyne Chaput, Shane Boris).
And as for the winners in the other categories, we have compiled this list for you of where you can see—and hear—most of them. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees, and to the amazing Awards Competition team at IDA—Kristal Sotomayor, Eddie Hustleby, Arooba Kalique and Camile Creighton—for managing multitudes of entries and jurors alike. Also, a big shoutout to the Events, Development, Marketing and Communication, and Awards Show Production teams for executing a dynamite in-person fete.
Best TV Feature Documentary or Mini-Series:
Fannie Lou Hamer's America: An America ReFramed Special (United States; American Documentary, GBH WORLD Channel, The Bitter Southerner, Black Public Media, PBS; Director: Joy Elaine Davenport; Producers: Hannah Paul, Sharon Wong, Robert Y. Chang; Producer: Carmen L. Vicencio; Producer/Executive Producer: Monica Land; Executive Producers: Selena Lauterer, Leslie Fields-Cruz, Erika Dilday, Chris White, Christopher Hastings)
Director/Editor Joy Elaine Davenport tells the story of the trailblazing civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer through her own words—via audio recordings and archival video footage of her speeches, songs and impassioned pleas for equal rights.
Best Curated Series:
POV (Executive Producers: Erika Dilday, Chris White)
POV has, for the past 35 years, set the tone for what public media looks like—a cinematic manifestation of what democracy looks like. Check out some of this season’s films here.
Best Short-Form Series:
POV Shorts (Producer: Opal H. Bennett | Executive Producers: Erika Dilday, Chris White)
POV Shorts celebrates the best of the short form, as a complement to the exemplary—and IDA Documentary Award-winning—feature series, POV, Catch Season 5 of POV Shorts here.
Best Episodic Series:
Origins of Hip Hop (Executive Producers: Peter Bittenbender, Slane Hatch, Mark Grande, Brad Abramson, Elaine Frontain Bryant)
This series, narrated by Nas, tells the history of this dynamic artform, from its beginnings in the 1970s through its global resonance today, through the renowned artists who led the way. Now streaming on aetv.com
Best Multi-Part Documentary:
We Need to Talk About Cosby ( Director/Executive Producer: W. Kamau Bell; Executive Producers: Katie A. King, Andrew Fried, Sarina Roma, Jordan Wynn, Dane Lillegard, Vinnie Malhotra)
This Showtime series explores the life, work and troubled story of Bill Cosby through a panorama of comics, cultural pundits, journalists, and survivors of his alleged sexual predation.
Best Stand-Alone Audio Documentary:
Documenting a Death by Euthanasia (The New York Times; Host/Reporter: Lynsey Addario; Sound Engineers: Corey Schreppel, Marion Lozano; Producers: Sayre Quevedo, Annie Brown, Wendy Dorr, Mike Benoist)
This episode from The New York Times’ The Daily podcast takes listeners to Belgium, home of some of the world’s most liberal euthanasia laws. Award-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario, who has covered some of the world's most dire humanitarian crises, recounts one woman’s experience in testing out Belgium’s laws.
Best Multi-Part Audio Documentary or Series:
Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s (Canada; Spotify; Host: Connie Walker; Sound Engineers: Emma Munger, Catherine Anderson; Producers: Ellen Frankman, Max Green, Anya Schultz, Chantelle Bellrichard, Betty Ann Adam)
Stolen, available on Spotify, follows investigative journalist Connie Walker as she traces the story of her Indigenous relatives who had suffered tremendous abuse in Canada’s notorious residential school system for Indigenous peoples.
Best Music Documentary:
Louis Armstrong's Black & Blues (United States; Apple TV+; Director/Producer: Sacha Jenkins; Producers: Sara Bernstein, Justin Wilkes, Julie Anderson)
From my report of TIFF 2022: “Sacha Jenkins offers up a deeper appreciation for the great jazz artist Louis Armstrong with his Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues. Rather than a cavalcade of experts, contemporaries, and artistic progeny testifying to his genius—although Jenkins does offer some of that here—the filmmaker accesses a trove of audio recordings that Armstrong made—not of his music, but of his musings about race, racism and his role as an icon in addressing both.” Available on Apple TV+.
ABC News VideoSource Award:
Riotsville, U.S.A. (United States | Magnolia Pictures | Directors: Sierra Pettengill | Producers: Mark Bailey, Sara Archambault, Jamila Wignot)
Riotsville was a secret model town built by the US military in the 1960s to train police to crack down on protests, amid the tumult of the times. The militarization of the police is evident in this extraordinary footage, as free expression and peaceable assembly are not so unalienable rights. Available on Amazon.
Tom White is Editor of Documentary Magazine.