The Aspen Institute Announces Summer Documentary Series in Partnership with Aspen Film

June 17, 2010

Contact: Dana Gioia
Director, Harman-Eisner Program in the Arts
The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, June 17, 2010 — The Aspen Institute and Aspen Film have created a new partnership to bring a selection of world-class film experiences to Aspen this summer. NEW VIEWS: Premiere Documentaries, a series highlighting critically acclaimed documentaries and filmmaker conversations, will launch July 8, 2010, at the Aspen Ideas Festival and continue Monday evenings from July 19 through August 9. All films will be shown at 8 pm at Paepcke Auditorium. Tickets are $16 per show and go on sale to the public June 28. Tickets to this event can be purchased online at or by calling Aspen Show Tickets at 970-920-5770 or in person at the Wheeler Opera House. If available, tickets will also be sold at the door starting 30 minutes before show time.

NEW VIEWS: Premiere Documentaries is made possible by generous donations from Evelyn and Leonard Lauder and Jane and Michael Eisner.

The recent renaissance in documentary filmmaking is having a major impact on American public discourse regarding the arts, politics, and society. To further explore this connection, NEW VIEWS: Premiere Documentaries presents five new documentaries focusing on music, the visual arts, photography, and more. Not yet available to the general public, these inspiring, thought-provoking films have won acclaim and awards on the international film festival circuit.

Each screening will be followed by a conversation with the director or a relevant special guest that will be moderated by Laura Thielen, artistic director of Aspen Film, and poet Dana Gioia, former chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts and current director of the Aspen Institute’s Harman-Eisner Program in the Arts.

“It’s exciting to collaborate with the Aspen Institute on this new series, which will celebrate the documentary form and highlight films that currently can’t be seen outside the festival circuit,” says Thielen. “Documentaries have played a major role in much of Aspen Film’s programming over the years. A key component of this series will be the post-screening discussions with the documentary filmmakers, who are increasingly at the forefront of big-screen storytelling.”

“This new series significantly expands the arts programming at the Aspen Institute, ” says Gioia.  “New Views combines the local premieres of important documentaries with the rare opportunity to hear the director or producer discuss the making of the film.  I am particularly delighted that so many of these films examine the world of the arts and culture in provocative ways.”

NEW VIEWS: Premiere Documentaries Line-up 

July 8: The Furious Force of Rhymes, directed by Joshua Atesh Litle, looks at hip-hop as transnational protest music. The viewer will encounter characters as diverse as Israeli Jews, marginalized French Arabs, East German skinhead, and West African feminists, all of whom share a common musical language. This is an advance viewing of this exciting work-in-progress.

July 19: Bill Cunningham New York, a film by Richard Press and Philip Gefter, chronicles the work of New York Times Style section columnist and photographer Bill Cunningham,

July 26: Waste Land, directed by Lucy Walker, follows celebrated Brazilian artist Vik Muniz on his journey to a most unusual studio site; Rio de Janeiro and Jardim Gramacho, one of the largest garbage dumps in the world.

August 2: The Woodmans, directed by C. Scott Willis, is an intimate portrait of a family whose guiding ethos was making art — all the time.

August 9: Freakonomics, produced by Chad Troutwine, is a lively screen adaptation of economist Steven D. Levitt and author Stephen J. Dubner’s bestseller, as an omnibus of powerhouse directors tackles provocative material for a singular cinematic experience.

About Aspen Film…
Established in 1979, Aspen Film is one of Colorado’s most active film arts organizations, presenting more than 200 programs and featuring dozens of guest speakers throughout the year. Internationally recognized, Aspen Film organizes a major film event in every season, along with an extensive education program:  Aspen Filmfest, Academy Screenings, Aspen Shortsfest and Film Educates.  Our mission is to enlighten, enrich, educate, and entertain through film. Aspen Film stimulates thought, encourages dialogue, and broadens understanding of our world and ourselves through the diverse spectrum of ideas presented by filmmakers worldwide.


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