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SXSW 2014: must-see documentaries

Manny Pacquiao
Manny PacquiaoCourtesy of Manny Film LLC

This year's SXSW Film Festival features an eclectic mix of documentaries covering topics ranging from sports to abortion and the internet.

Premiering opening night will be the cult documentary "That Guy Dick Miller" about legendary American character actor Dick Miller, who has worked with some of the great directors: Scorsese, Corman, Fuller, Dante, Cameron, Demme and more. Every moviegoer knows his face, but few know his name and even fewer know his story; an aspiring writer turned accidental actor.

Click on the slideshow to see a list of must-see documentaries, including the Manny Pacquiao documentary "Manny" and Aaron Swartz film "The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz."

SXSW Film Festival will run March 7-15.

For more about the festival visit: www.sxsw.com

SOURCE: SXSW

That Guy Dick Miller
That Guy Dick Miller Courtesy of Autumn Rose Productions

That Guy Dick Miller

Dick Miller is the last of the great American character actors. Whether sharing the screen with Nicholson, DeNiro, Schwarzenegger or The Ramones, Dick has been stealing scenes since his screen debut in 1955. He has worked with some of the great directors: Scorsese, Corman, Fuller, Dante, Cameron, Demme and more. Every moviegoer knows his face, but few know his name and even fewer know his story; an aspiring writer turned accidental actor. For the first time, Dick Miller has allowed filmmakers incredible access to his life and home for this funny and unexpected story. Joining him are the directors, producers, co-stars and friends who have helped make him Hollywood's leading "that guy".

Manny
Manny Manny Film LLC

Manny

From abject poverty to becoming a ten time boxing world champion and history’s first boxing congressman, international icon Manny Pacquiao is the definition of a Cinderella story.

In the Philippines, he first entered the ring as a sixteen year old weighing 98 pounds with the goal of earning money to feed his family. Now, almost twenty years later, when he fights, the country of 100 million people comes to a complete standstill to watch.

Today at the height of his career, he is faced with maneuvering an unscrupulous sport and political duties, while still maintaining a personal life. The question now is what bridge is too far for Manny Pacquiao to cross?

*This film is screening as part of SXsports, and will also be open to Interactive badgeholders.

The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz
The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz Courtesy of Luminant Media

The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

The story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. From Swartz's help in the development of RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz's groundbreaking work in political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two year legal nightmare. It was a battle that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26.

Beginning With The End
Beginning With The End Courtesy of BSPFilms

Beginning With The End

"Beginning With the End" is a feature length documentary film that follows the experiences of a culturally diverse group of 16 to 18 year-olds who are given the unusual and extraordinary opportunity to work as trained hospice volunteers. Through their eyes and voices, viewers will witness the life-altering experiences of these young people who are themselves in the throes of many changes and transitions. Through them, we discover the seeds of a compassionate society, and come to appreciate the power of empathic teens.

Vessel
Vessel Courtesy of The 2050 Group

Vessel

Dr. Rebecca Gomperts sails a ship around the world, providing abortions at sea for women with no legal alternative. Her idea begins as flawed spectacle, faced with governmental, religious, and military blockade. But with each roadblock comes a more refined mission, until Rebecca realizes she can use new technologies to bypass law – and train women to give themselves abortions using WHO-researched protocols with pills. From there we witness her create an underground network of emboldened, informed activists who trust women to handle abortion themselves. "Vessel" is Rebecca’s story: one of a woman who hears and answers a calling, and transforms a wildly improbable idea into a global movement.

Print The Legend
Print The Legend Obscured Pictures

Print The Legend

3D printing is changing the world – from printing guns and human organs to dismantling the world’s industrial infrastructure by enabling home manufacturing. It’s “the next Industrial Revolution.”

For the first time in history, the stories of the human beings building an industry have been filmed. The result: "Print the Legend", which follows the people racing to bring 3D printing to your desktop and into your life. For the winners, there are fortunes – and history – to be made.

"Print the Legend" is both the definitive 3D Printing Documentary – capturing a tech in the midst of its “Macintosh Moment” – and a compelling tale about what it takes to live the American Dream in any field.

Born To Fly
Born To Fly Courtesy of Aubin Pictures

Born To Fly

Elizabeth Streb is not just a choreographer; she is an extreme action architect. "Born to Fly" traces the evolution of Streb’s movement philosophy – she pushes herself and her company from the ground, to the wall, to the sky. The film asks: Why is one person’s circus another person’s dance? One dancer’s gorgeous flight another dancer’s stunt work? Why call it art? Why choreograph it? Why have a role in performing it?

How might a film inspire a broad audience, hungry for a more tactile and fierce existence in the world?

*This film is screening as part of SXsports, and will also be open to Interactive badgeholders.

No No: A Dockumentary
No No: A Dockumentary Courtesy of Baseball Iconoclasts, LLC

No No: A Dockumentary

On June 12, 1970, Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 137 years of professional baseball, it's the only no-hitter tossed while the pitcher was tripping on LSD. Dock lived the expression “Black is Beautiful!” and his fearlessness enabled him to become one of the most intimidating pitchers of the 70s and a trailblazer for a new wave of civil rights. After retiring, Dock became as outspoken about his substance abuse issues as he had been about intolerance. He spent decades as a counselor helping other addicts in their recoveries. Through intimate stories and archival footage, "No No: A Dockumentary" brings Dock's vibrant life to light, revealing the man behind the legend.

*This film is screening as part of SXsports, and will also be open to Interactive badgeholders.

The Case Against 8
The Case Against 8 Courtesy of HBO

The Case Against 8

A behind-the-scenes look inside the historic case to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage. The high-profile trial first makes headlines with the unlikely pairing of Ted Olson and David Boies, political foes who last faced off as opposing attorneys in Bush v. Gore. The film also follows the plaintiffs, two gay couples who find their families at the center of the same-sex marriage controversy. Five years in the making, this is the story of how they took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Impossible Light
Impossible Light Courtesy of Mission Rock Pictures

Impossible Light

On March 5th, 2013, San Francisco’s skyline was transformed by an amazing sight: 25,000 LED lights that, for perhaps the first time save the 1989 earthquake, caused people to consider the Bay Bridge instead of her iconic sister. How did this happen? Who was behind the eight-million-dollar installation? How in the world did they pull it off? The story behind the making of THE BAY LIGHTS—a project whose very “impossibility made it possible”—answers these questions, revealing the drama and the daring of artist Leo Villareal and a small team of visionaries who battle seemingly impossible challenges to turn a dream of creating the world’s largest LED light sculpture into a glimmering reality.

PULP
PULP Courtesy of Altitude Films

PULP

"PULP" find fame on the world stage in the 1990’s with anthems including ‘Common People’ and ‘Disco 2000’. 25 years (and 10 million album sales) later, they return to Sheffield for their last UK concert.

Giving a career best performance exclusive to the film, the band share their thoughts on fame, love, mortality - & car maintenance.

Director Florian Habicht ("Love Story") weaves together the band’s personal offerings with dream-like specially-staged tableaux featuring ordinary people recruited on the streets of Sheffield.

"PULP" is a music-film like no other – by turns funny, moving, life-affirming & (occasionally) bewildering.

 Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater
Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater FilmBuff

Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater

A documentary portrait of the friendship between the renowned filmmakers James Benning and Richard Linklater that combines filmed conversations and extensive archival material to explore connections and divergences in their respective approaches to life and cinema.