NY Film Fest 2021: Buzzy Docus

Tim Robbins’ Prison Acting Workshop Film Set for NYFF

Tim Robbins’ film about prison inmates participating in an acting workshop is among the highlights of the New York Film Fest’s documentary lineup.


A film examining the life and death of conservative power broker Roy Cohn, Bully. Coward. Victim., directed by Ivy Meeropol, will have its world premiere at the NYFF, while Robbins’ 45 Seconds of Laughter will get a U.S. premiere.

Other films set to screen in the Spotlight on Documentary section include works from Nick Broomfield and Nanni Moretti.

There’s also a portrait of dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham in Alla Kovgan’s Cunningham 3D and Ric Burns’ Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, which examines the private life of the writer and neurologist.

Broomfield explores his relationship with his factory worker-turned-photographer father Maurice in My Father and Me.

Moretti explores the little-known story of the Italian Embassy’s efforts to save and relocate citizens targeted by Augusto Pinochet’s fascist regime in Santiago, Italia.

The section will also screen Nicholas Ma’s short doc about his father, world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Suite No. 1, Prelude;

Lynn Novick’s College Behind Bars, a four-part look at incarcerated students in New York; D.W. Young’s The Booksellers, about the city’s book world past and present, with insights from Fran Lebowitz, Susan Orlean, Gay Talese and others.

Tania Cypriano’s Born to Be follows transgender patients undergoing surgery at Mount Sinai;

Sergei Loznitsa’s found-footage film State Funeral, with previously unseen archival images from the days after Joseph Stalin’s death.