Steve James picks this year's IDFA "Top 10"

Europe's most prestigious documentary film festival, IDFA, will honor veteran Kartemquin producer/director Steve James with a full retrospective this year, including the Dutch premiere of his award-winning new film The Interrupters.

 

Steve James will also present his 'Documentary Top 10' at the festival, which runs from November 16-27 in Amsterdam. Steve's selections include two films with Kartemquin connections: Golub: Late Works Are The Catastrophes (2004), directed by Kartemquin co-founders Gordon Quinn & Jerry Blumenthal; and Oscar-winning The Times of Harvey Milk (1984), directed by Robert Epstein and produced by 1970's Kartemquin collective member Richard Schmiechen.

 

Here's Steve's full Documentary top 10 (links are to IDFA site):

28 Up (Michael Apted, UK, 1984)
American Movie (Chris Smith, USA, 1999)
Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson (Barbara Kopple, USA, 1993)
Golub: Late Works Are the Catastrophes (Jerry Blumenthal & Gordon Quinn, USA, 2004)
Grey Gardens (Albert Maysles & David Maysles, USA, 1976)
Le joli mai (Chris Marker, France, 1963)
Our Trip to Africa (Peter Kubelka, Austria, 1967)
The Staircase (Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, France, 2004)
The Times of Harvey Milk (Robert Epstein, USA, 1984)
Tongues Untied (Marlon Riggs, USA, 1989)

 

As well as showcasing these films, Steve will also attend screenings of his films Stevie (2002 winner of the Joris Ivens Award - the IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary), Hoop Dreams, At The Death House Door (which Steve showed at IDFA in 2008 and on which he gave a masterclass), No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson and the entire seven hours of The New Americans!

 

IDFA's website states:

 

"Steve James’ work often deals with people on the margins of American society, trying to realise their dreams in the face of an often intractable reality. His style is characterised by his great social and personal commitment to his characters, whom he often follows for long periods of time.


James is one of the producers at authoritative production house Kartemquin Films, which makes critical documentaries about American society on the basis of ordinary people’s stories, and this year celebrates its 45th anniversary."

Related films: 
On February 13, 1993, 17-year-old Bethel High School basketball star Allen Iverson entered a Hampton, Virginia bowling alley with several classmates. It was supposed to be an ordinary evening, but it became a night that defined Iverson's young life.
First exhibited at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the audience award for best documentary, Kartemquin's Hoop Dreams is the remarkable true story of two American dreamers; an intimate reflection of contemporary American inner-city culture, following two ordinary young men on the courts of the game they love.
Four years in the lives of a diverse group of contemporary immigrants and refugees as they journey to start new lives in America.
In 1995, filmmaker Steve James returns to Pomona, a beautiful rural hamlet in Southern Illinois to reconnect with Stevie Fielding, for whom James once served as an advocate Big Brother.
At the Death House Door follows the remarkable career journey of Carroll Pickett, who served 15 years as the death house chaplain to the infamous "Walls" prison unit in Huntsville, Texas.
Kartemquin Films completes its chronicle of the work and times of the American artist, Leon Golub, taking us from searing images of interrogations and torture to the ironies and dark humor of old-age.