Doc News: Herzog, New Academy Membership, Silverdocs, Ryan Dunn

– Werner Herzog‘s next documentary has been retitled from “Death Row” to “Gazing Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life” and has been picked up by ZDF Enterprises for worldwide TV rights and theatrical distribution outside the U.S. and UK. The filmmaker is quoted by Variety as describing the film as “a gaze into the abyss of the human soul,” though more literally it involves interviews with Texan death row inmates, including: “two men convicted of triple murder, another who killed his girlfriend and her two mentally retarded sons, and a woman — one of only 10 on Texas’ death row — charged with abducting a newborn baby and killing the child’s mother.”

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Watch Tim Hetherington’s Short Documentaries “Diary” and “Sleeping Soldiers”

It’s extremely upsetting to hear about the death of Tim Hetherington, photojournalist and co-director of the Oscar-nominated “Restrepo,” as well as cinematographer for “The Devil Came on Horseback.” It was made known via a fellow journalist’s Facebook page that Hetherington and photographer Chris Hondros were killed while covering the conflict in Libya and has since been confirmed.

“Restrepo” was one of the best documentaries of 2010 and its embedded-journalism format certainly shows the kind of danger Hetherington would put himself in for the sake of great cinema and journalism. His bravery was to our benefit and his death is a great loss in that regard, as well as with the obvious and direct tragedy of the situation.

Let’s remember him through his work. First, here’s a short, personal film he made last year about what he does and why he does it, titled “Diary”:

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