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Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds Films Among Spotlight on Documentary Section of NYFF54

Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds Films Among Spotlight on Documentary Section of NYFF54The Film Society of Lincoln Center announces the complete lineup for the Spotlight on Documentary section of the 54th New York Film Festival (September 30-October 16). This year's series of DISPATCHES from the front lines of nonfiction cinema features intimate portraits of artists, firsthand experiences of political upheaval, and much more.

Selections include three documentaries highlighting fascinating performing arts figures: the fearless and often hilarious mother-daughter acting duo Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds in Alexis Bloom & Fisher Stevens's Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds; Wendy Whelan: RESTLESS Creature, which follows the former New York City Ballet prima ballerina as she faces the limitations of her own body; and I Called Him Morgan, an affecting look at the brilliant jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan and the tragically toxic relationship that ended his life.

Returning NYFF filmmakers include Steve James, whose Abacus: Small Enough to Jail concerns the only bank prosecuted after the 2008 financial crisis, and Errol Morris, whose The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography is an intimate look at his longtime friend's 50-plus years as a photographer working in rare large-format 20x24 Polaroid.

Many of the selections in the Spotlight on Documentary section this year challenge historical and political oppression in unique and personal ways, including: Whose Country?, which follows a brave Egyptian policeman whose perspective on his country's turmoil becomes our own; the vivid Patria O Muerte: Cuba, Fatherland or Death, a look at the current state of Cuba through the eyes of a handful of its citizens; Shimon Dotan's The Settlers, a disturbing profile of Israelis living in the West Bank; Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's Hissen Habré, A Chadian Tragedy, which focuses on the victims and survivors of the recently convicted despot; and Raoul Peck's film essay I Am Not Your Negro, a bracing examination of race in America based on and highlighted by the profound words of James Baldwin's final, unfinished manuscript.

Two selections focus on the personal connection between filmmaker and subject. In Uncle Howard, Aaron Brookner's intimate and loving survey of the personal archival footage of his uncle, filmmaker Howard Brookner (whose Burroughs was screened at last year's NYFF), reveals the vibrant life in New York in the 1970s and 1980s. Karl Marx City, from Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker, looks back at Epperlein's East German childhood, and the possibility that her father was a Stasi government informer.

Also featured in THE LINEUP are: The North American premiere of Bill Morrison's haunting look at the town that became the epicenter of the YUKON GOLD rush, Dawson City: Frozen Time, made with long-forgotten archival footage; Sam Pollard's musically and historically rich Two Trains Runnin', about parallel quests, one musical and one political, that both end in Mississippi during the "Freedom Summer" of 1964; and Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya's The Cinema Travellers, in its U.S. premiere, which follows a pair of itinerant projectionists who bring film to rural Central Eastern India.

The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Programming; Florence Almozini, FSLC Associate Director of Programming; Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Artforum and Film Comment; and Gavin Smith, who serves as a consultant.

NYFF previously announced the world premieres of Ava DuVernay's documentary The 13th as the Opening Night selection, Mike Mills's 20th Century Women as Centerpiece, and James Gray'sThe Lost City of Z as Closing Night. The complete Main Slate lineup can be found here, along with the complete programs for Convergence, Projections, Revivals, and Retrospective.

Tickets for the 54th New York Film Festival will go on sale September 11. To learn more about NYFF tickets, including a complete list of on-sale dates, prices, discount options, and our rush and standby policies, click here.

For even more access, VIP passes and subscription packages offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival's biggest events including Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing Nights. VIP passes also provide access to many exciting events, including the invitation-only Opening Night party, "An Evening With..." dinner, Filmmaker Brunch, and VIP Lounge. Benefits vary based on the pass or package type purchased. VIP passes and subscription packages are on sale now. Learn more at

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