Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

Finalist at IDA Awards 28/10/10

The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls is a finalist for the Music Documentary at the International Documentary Association Awards. This is very exciting! The ceremony takes place on the 3 December in Los Angeles at the DGA Theater. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Here’s the full press release:

The International Documentary Association Announces Nominees for The 2010 IDA Awards

IDA Members to Select Winners in Feature and Short Categories

LOS ANGELES, October 27, 2010 – The International Documentary Association, one of the leading organizations in the world of documentary film and filmmaking, announced the nominees for the 2010 edition of it’s prestigious IDA Documentary Awards today, with many of the year’s most buzzed about titles and festival favorites making the list. Winners will be feted on December 3rd at the Directors Guild Theater in Los Angeles in a ceremony hosted by award-winning documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock.

“This has been another banner year for documentary films,” said IDA Executive Director Michael Lumpkin, “and that is reflected in our list of nominees. Entries to the Awards increased by nearly 20% this year, and the quality of the films vying for recognition is unprecedented.”

Lumpkin also announced that for the first time two of the awards – for Distinguished Feature and Short Documentary – will be selected by IDA’s members through an innovative process in which members who wish to participate will view all of the nominated films in these categories through a secure, password-protected online system. After viewing all of the films in their entirety, these IDA member judges will cast their votes to determine the winners.

The five films nominated in IDA’s Distinguished Feature category are: EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP, the debut film from the renowned and elusive graffiti artist Banksy; THE OATH, Laura Poitras’ riveting story about two men whose fateful encounter set them on a journey that would lead to Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantanamo, and the U.S. Supreme Court; Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen’s STEAM OF LIFE, a poetic and emotional tour of Finland’s saunas in which men of all walks of life share their touching stories about love, death, birth and friendship; SWEETGRASS, Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor’s cinematic and observational tour-de-force that captures a family and their animals in their final season herding sheep in Montana’s spectacular Absaroka-Beartooth mountain range; and Lucy Walker’s WASTE LAND, which follows artist Vik Muniz on a transformative journey from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho.

The five nominated films in the Distinguished Short category are: THE FENCE, Rory Kennedy’s revealing and often surprising look at the story behind the controversial Southern U.S. Border Barrier; KEEP DANCING, Greg Vander Veer’s endearing portrait of legendary dancers Marge Champion and Donald Saddler; THE LAST CAMPAIGN OF GOVERNOR BOOTH GARDNER, Daniel Junge’s look at Washington’s former governor Booth Gardner as he leads a campaign to legalize assisted suicide in the state while dealing with the devastating effects of Parkinson’s disease; Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s THE LAST TRUCK: THE CLOSING OF A GM PLANT, which views the final months of the plant through the workers’ eyes as they reflect on their work and consider their next steps; and WOMAN REBEL, Kiran Deol’s story of “Silu,” a female soldier with Nepal’s People’s Liberation Army, who eventually becomes a democratically elected government official.


Nominees for the David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award are: LITTLE MOM, directed by Maria Fortiz-Morse; PERRY COUNTY, directed by N’Jeri Eaton and Matt Durning; THE STINKING SHIP, directed by Bagassi Koura; and WHALES OF GOLD, directed by Lucia Duncan. Nominees for the IDA Music Award are:  FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE, directed by Jim Bigham and Mark Moormann; GENIUS WITHIN: THE INNER LIFE OF GLENN GOULD, directed by Peter Raymont and Michele Hozer; THUNDER SOUL, directed by Mark Landsman; THE TOPP TWINS: UNTOUCHABLE GIRLS, directed by Leanne Pooley; and WHEN I RISE, directed by Mat Hames.

Other IDA competition categories include the IDA/HUMANITAS Award, the IDA/ABCNEWS VideoSource Award, for best use of television news footage as an integral component, as well as the IDA/Pare Lorentz Award, presented to the filmmaker whose documentary best represents the activist spirit and lyrical vision of the acclaimed Pare Lorentz.  Winner of these awards, as well as of the IDA Music Award and the David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award, will be announced in late November. For a complete list of nominees, please see the attached.

In addition to competitive awards for the year’s current crop of outstanding documentaries, IDA also acknowledges exemplary creative contributions to the field at large. Jeff Malmberg, director of the one of the year’s most celebrated films, MARWENCOL, will receive the 2010 IDA/Jacqueline Donnet Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award.

As previously announced, this year’s IDA Career Achievement honoree, to be celebrated during December’s event, is legendary and innovative filmmaker Barbara Kopple. Susan Raymond and Alan Raymond, creators of the landmark PBS series AN AMERICAN FAMILY, will receive IDA’s Pioneer Award, and award-winning filmmaker and film professor Mark J. Harris will receive IDA’s Preservation and Scholarship Award.

Eligibility requirements for the Awards were simplified this year and are now based on time of completion of the film or program. The change resulted in an eligibility window of January 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010 for this year’s Awards. The 2011 Awards eligibility window will be July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.

Tickets for the 2010 IDA Documentary Awards are available for purchase now at

If you weren’t in Austin . . . listen here 09/09/10

Listen to the post screening Q&A with the Topp Twins here and it will almost be like you were there!

Cindy Widner from the Austin Chronicle also has written an article based on an interview she did:

It’s possible you think you are not interested in a documentary about yodeling Kiwi lesbian twins. You would, in that case, be very, very wrong. “Sometimes, you’ve got to take a gamble on something,” says Jools Topp on the phone from her ranch on New Zealand’s north island. “If you’ve got ‘lesbian singing duo from New Zealand that’s political,’ you might think, ‘Wow, that’s not something I’d want to see.’ Then again, if you go, you might be pleasantly surprised, and sometimes that’s the best thing.” Read the rest of the article here.

Topp Twins in Austin . . . well kind of! 02/09/10

So The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls is opening the Austin Gay & Lesbian Film Festival on the 7th September and although Lynda and Jools will be hanging out in Queenstown (NZ) at the time  . . . the wonders of technology are going to port them live to the Austin cinema for a post screening Q&A via Lynda’s laptop!

If you are in Austin make sure you get your ticket and if you know someone in Austin tell them to!

Win at OUTFEST 2010! 19/07/10

The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls has won the Special Programming Award for Freedom at the Outfest Film Festival in Los Angeles which is sponsored by ONEHOPE Wine.

Thank you LA!

Read the reviews:
L.A.’s Outfest Screens “The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls” | Queer Sighted | Kurt Reighley
Outfest Reviews: Topp Twins | SheWired | Rebekah Allen
Reverend’s Previews: Outfest 2010 celebrates LGBT diversity | Movie Dearest | Rev. Chris Carpenter

Frameline Audience Award 29/06/10

The Topp Twins at the Castro | Credit: Steven Underhill

The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls has won the Audience Award for Documentary at the Frameline Film Festival Awards in San Francisco.

The audience in the beautiful Castro Theatre cheered and stomped at the film’s screening which we were told was a good sign…and a good sign it turned out to be! If you weren’t there you can pretend you were in the audience by reliving it through this video of Jools & Lynda singing Untouchable Girls!

Lynda & Jools at Frameline34 | Credit: Frameline Film Festival

Leanne Pooley, Lynda, Jennifer Morris, Jools & Arani Cuthbert | Credit: Ana Grillo

Lynda & Jools on stage at Frameline | Credit: Ana Grillo

The Frameline Audience | Credit: Ana Grillo

Read the reviews from Frameline:

Something for everyone at Frameline34 Film Fest | San Francisco Chronicle | David Wiegand
Love stories, politics, yodeling and more: Frameline34 short takes | San Francisco Bay Guardian | Cheryl Eddy

Topp Twins in the BIG Apple 21/06/10

Pics and videos now in!

The Topp Twins attended the screening at NewFest in New York where they won Best Documentary. TVNZ’s Close Up team were there to catch up with them. Watch the video and see the photos below:

Lynda & Jools Topp at NewFest Film Festival | Credit: NewFest

Lynda & Jools perform at NewFest Film Festival | Credit: NewFest

Lynda & Jools perform at NewFest Film Festival | Credit: NewFest

Lynda & Jools perform at the NewFest Film Festival | Credit: NewFest

Jools performing at NewFest Film Festival | Credit: NewFest

The NewFest crowd up on their feet! | Credit: NewFest

Alley on the Topp Twins 18/06/10

Why does it take really cool things forever to be on U.S. radars? We’ve certainly been missing the boat by not recognizing the amazing comedic and musical genius of lesbian New Zealanders the Topp Twins. Hopefully the release of their new documentary, Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls will remedy that as it tours the states at upcoming festivals including The Newfest in NYC on June 10, the Provincetown Film Festival in Massachusetts on the 17 and 18, and the Frameline San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival on the 20.

Read the full article written by Alley Hector at

Topps at the GLAAD Awards 15/06/10

On the 5 June 2010 the Topp Twins and Arani Cuthbert attended the GLAAD Awards as The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls was a finalist for Outstanding Documentary. The film did not go onto win (the Award was won by the documentary Ask Not) but the Topp Twins got to meet and pose with Jai Rodriguez of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame!

Lynda & Jools Topp at the GLAAD Awards | Credit: Diva Films

Lynda & Jools talk with Jai Rodriguez | Credit: Diva Films

Lynda, Jools and Jai Rodriguez at the GLAAD Awards | Credit: Diva Films

Best of SIFF 2010 14/06/10

We blogged about screening in Seattle a few weeks ago but the film has just been awarded the Lena Sharpe Award for Persistence of Vision.

Fledgling filmmaker, co-founder of Seattle’s original Festival of Films by Women Directors, and former KCTS staffer Lena Sharpe was working on a film in Washington State when her plane crashed, tragically killing everyone aboard. In tribute to her efforts in bringing the work of women filmmakers to prominence locally, this special award is given to the film by a woman director that receives very high votes from the public in the balloting for the Golden Space Needle Audience Awards.

The film was also the First Runner Up for the Best Documentary Golden Space Needle Award.

The film will screen one more time at the SIFF Best of Fest Weekend:
19 June 2010 | 11.00am | SIFF Cinema

Thank you SIFF!

Jury prize at Newfest Film Festival, New York 13/06/10

The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls has won the jury prize for Best Documentary at the Newfest Film Festival in New York. Woohoo!

Fellow New York based Kiwi Gemma Gracewood has written a wonderful account of the Newfest screening on her blog.

“I just bloody love the Topp Twins. I love their honesty, their swift quips and their, well, what’s the opposite of subersive humour? Because their dirtiest secret is that they’re not subversive. They are, and always have been, front and centre in their beliefs, causes and intention.” (Gemma Gracewood, Too Much Personality)