Reprinted from IndieWire by Anne Thompson on August 10, 2018.
Every year for 13 years, Thom Powers leads his TIFF documentary programmers through an enormous number of submissions (over 1,000 for 2018) to cull their final selection (27, five more than 2017).
This year, more of them are for sale than ever before, including new work from indie auteurs Werner Herzog and Errol Morris, at a time when not many narrative films are luring buyers. “I count at least 13 documentaries for sale represented by significant players,” said Powers, who also programs influential November festival DOC NYC. “Coming off this year’s summer of blockbuster documentaries, a lot of people are coming with their checkbooks.”
While many expect those summer hits Won’t You Be My Neighbor, RBG, and Three Identical Strangers to land three Oscar nomination slots, there are at least three high-profile Oscar contenders playing TIFF — possibly several more — along with many movies about women, global politics, and advancing technology. Something overtly political could hit a nerve before the midterm elections, or something stunningly visual. …