Art for progress banner.png

By Marina Zogbi
Art for Progress


Documentary lovers, take note! The seventh edition of DOC NYC, America’s largest nonfiction film festival, begins this week, with screenings at Manhattan’s IFC Center, SVA Theatre and Cinepolis Chelsea. The 2016 festival, which runs from Thursday, Nov. 10, to Thursday, Nov. 17, boasts over 250 films and events overall, including 110 feature-length documentaries. Included are 18 world premieres and 19 U.S. premieres, with more than 300 filmmakers and special guests on hand to present and discuss their films. Notable documentarians will be honored at the Visionaries Tribute Awards on Nov. 10, including Jonathan Demme and Stanley Nelson, who are receiving Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Here are just a few highlights out of the many worthwhile films on view during DOC NYC 2016:


Unseen (True Crime)
A sad and deeply unsettling film by Laura Paglin, Unseen recounts the disappearance and murder of 11 African American women in Cleveland’s crack-ridden Mount Pleasant neighborhood at the hands of serial killer Anthony Sowell. Told through first person accounts of victims’ family members and, most chillingly, survivors themselves, the film shows how carelessly violent crime is often investigated in marginalized communities. Though missing persons reports were filed and a few women who managed to escape Sowell’s house of horrors reported their experiences to the police, there was little follow-up. This enabled Sowell, who lived and operated right in the neighborhood, to claim yet more victims until his eventual arrest in 2009. Unseen gives faces, names and lives to these women. (NYC Premiere)

Friday, Nov. 11, 9:45 pm (Cinepolis Chelsea, 260 W. 23rd St.)
Thursday. Nov. 17, 12:30 pm (IFC Center, 323 6th Ave.)
In person: Director Laura Paglin