A brand new film festival begins in New York City tonight specifically focused on documentary storytelling. It's called DOC NYC and it's partly the brainchild of Thom Powers, programmer of the increasingly impressive documentary sections of the Toronto International Film Festival and host of the awesome weekly doc series Stranger Than Fiction at Manhattan's IFC Center. Happening now through November 9, the inaugural event will screen around twenty new non-fiction films in and out of competition, as well as select retrospective titles by Werner Herzog and Errol Morris, both of whose latest works are showcased with gala screenings. Veteran documentarian and film historian Kevin Brownlow, who will receive an honorary Academy Award this fall, is also being celebrated through screenings of his work.
DOC NYC will present a number of world premieres, including Thom Zimny's new Bruce Springsteen concert film 'Darkness at the Edge of Town,' the recently Gotham Award-nominated 'Kati with an i' and most of the entries competing in the fest's Metropolis section, which spotlights documentaries set in and/or about New York City. I will be representing Moviefone as a juror for the other, broader DOC NYC competition, called Viewfinder, so I can't say too much about the titles in that section (except maybe that they include highly acclaimed and award-winning docs like 'Armadillo' and 'Windfall'). But I have seen nearly all of the Metropolis films and some of the other selections and can recommend seven personal highlights after the jump.