Academy’s Contemporary Docs Series finale features three films

Jun 04, 2008 by Ian Evans

Phoenix Dance, Rehearsing a Dream and Shut Up & Sing will conclude the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Spring 2008 Contemporary Documentaries series on Wednesday, June 11, at 7 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Admission is free.

Phoenix Dance is the triumphant story of Homer Avila, who after losing a leg to cancer, returns to the stage to perform with Andrea Flores a dance choreographed by the renowned Alonzo King. Through interviews, studio rehearsals and theater performances, Phoenix Dance shows how an imperfect body can become a thing of transcendent beauty. The film was directed and produced by Karina Epperlein.

Rehearsing a Dream, directed and produced by Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon, received an Academy Award® nomination for Documentary Short Subject in 2006. Every year a group of the country’s most gifted 17-year-old performing and visual artists meet to share a week of dreams at the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts’ youngARTS program in Miami. As they learn from mentors like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Vanessa Williams and Michael Tilson Thomas, the passionate young artists exult in the support, encouragement and attention they have earned.

Directed by Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck and produced by Kopple, Peck and David Cassidy, Shut Up & Sing travels with the Dixie Chicks for a three-year period from the peak of their popularity as the top-selling female recording artists of all time, through the now infamous controversy sparked by their lead singer’s anti-Bush comment in 2003. As they endured political attacks and death threats, they continued to live their lives, have children, and of course, make music. Kopple and Peck will be present to answer questions from the audience.

The 26th annual Contemporary Documentaries series is a showcase for feature-length and short documentaries drawn from the 2006 Academy Award nominations, including the winners, as well as other important and innovative films considered by the Academy that year. The filmmakers will be present at screenings whenever possible. The June 11 screenings conclude the 2007—2008 series.

The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. Free parking is available through the entrance on Homewood Avenue (one block north of Fountain Avenue). Doors open at 6 p.m. All seating is unreserved. For additional information, visit or call (310) 247-3600.