Upcoming Documentaries Releasing in 2016
As documentaries are a frequently overlooked category when it comes to the most anticipated films, it’s useful to compile a list of real life-focused movies. While it’s true that many on the list could be some of the best documentaries of 2016 they could also be some of the best movies in general.
This is a difficult list to put together because, while 2016 may feature a number of top documentary releases, many are yet to have a specific release date assigned to them due to their seemingly never-ending Kickstarter campaigns and reliance on festival success. That being said, there are a few notable releases lined-up, particularly the music documentary SCORE and sports film Heavyweight, which focuses on a family of professional fighters.
Heavyweight – Release Date: January 2016 (day is undetermined)
This meditative documentary features of family of fighters, honing in on the training of Fabricio Werdum; a Brazilian mixed martial artist who dreams of becoming the heavyweight champion of the world. The documentary follows his extensive training as he travels across the world to participate in the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Director Rob Watt focuses on the family’s passion for Fabricio and shows how they band together to push him to the top of his game. Heavyweight is the documentary and feature film debut of filmmaker Rob Watt.
The Student Body – Release Date: February 23rd 2016
The Student Body is a self-made documentary by student journalist Bailey Webber who was inspired to help a sixth-grader protest against ‘Fat Letters’ sent out by her school. The letters in question were created by schools to warn students whose BMI does not fall within the ‘acceptable’ range that they are at risk of health problems. Webber and the young girl take the issue to the government with the hope of not only fighting against fat shaming but also the many different types of bullying and abuse from the school system. Webber also addresses the issues surrounding obesity in school children.
SCORE: A Film Music Documentary – Release Date: March 11th 2016
The movie is primarily concerned with the creative process that takes place during the creation of film scores. Not only does it cover some of the most famous pieces of music in cinema history, the documentary also delves deep into the modern day process, looking at how it has changed over the years and all of the human and technical elements involved. The movie assesses how and why certain pieces of music have become popular and looks at the talent required to be able to make a film score that ends up being preserved in history as one of the all-time greats.
Dark Horse – Release Date: May 6th 2016
Taking place in a former Welsh mining village, Dark Horse tells the story of a group of friends from a working men’s club who decide to breed a racehorse and train it for competitive events. The documentary depicts the men’s successes with the young horse, who they obtain when he is just a foal and train into a full grown champion. After the horse suffers a critical accident, the men are responsible for nursing it back to health and taking him back to the track to start training from scratch. Dark Horse uses a mixture of archive footage and re-enactment to tell its inspiring story.
Dragged – Release Date: May 30th 2016
Dragged is a new take on drag queen culture, focusing on drag queens at various stages in their career. The film features a mixture of old and new drag queens as director Christopher Birk interviews some of those who have been around since the Stonewall riots in the late 1960s. Birk looks at the work that goes into being a drag queen and how society’s perceptions have changed towards the practice over the years. Times may have changed but drag queen culture still has its traditions and the documentary explores how the art has shifted and moulded yet also remained consistent.