Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Resources for Documentary Releases

I have occasionally been asked how I hear about recent documentaries. I try to be open to a number of sources, but it's worth highlighting a couple of news sources and a few streaming sources:

What Not to Doc. Basil Tsiokos maintains an incomparably complete and amazingly useful blog with documentary release news and festival roundups. This should be a regular read for anyone with a strong interest in documentary. His Twitter feed mirrors the site for those who prefer to access it that way.

POV. The Public Broadcasting System's documentary showcase has a good blog with weekly updates, including links to doc-oriented magazine features and festival news. The site also has regular streaming of documentaries that have broadcast. [Twitter]

Netflix. This is obvious, but I'm surprised how many documentary gems I stumble across on Netflix, both mainstream doc releases and more obscure fare. While the streaming site has given up on its former cinephile offerings in favor of television, its documentary holdings are still strong.

DocAlliance. I've mentioned them often, but this compendium of various doc festivals deserve a plug for providing an excellent streaming service of (mostly European) festival documentaries that otherwise do not see video distribution. Charges are minimal, and each week there are free streams as part of a featured event. [Twitter]

Short of the Week. Shorts are another overlooked niche in the documentary distribution market, and it can be hard to hear of new shorts. As with other film shorts, Short of the Week has a channel dedicated to documentary.

These are not exhaustive, and I've put the emphasis on resources for documentaries accessible to a wide audience rather than ones viewable only at festivals or in major cities. I welcome other tips.

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