Video Librarian Best Documentaries 2015

Video Librarian‘s Best Documentaries of 2015 list is available here and below.  As new films are added to Mason Libraries’ collection, they will be updated.

Video Librarian is a website and magazine that reviews everything from feature films, to documentaries, to educational and how-to videos.

112 Weddings


Banksy Does New York (also streaming)

Big Men

Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity

Bronx Obama 


Dinosaur 13

Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me

The Green Prince

The Hunting Ground

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

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

Last Days in Vietnam

Life Itself 

Limited Partnership


A Murder in the Park

On Her Own

Particle Fever

Red Army

Remote Area Medical

The Seeds of Time

Sex (Ed): The Movie


ALA Notable Videos for Adults 2016

The American Library Association’s (ALA) 2016 Notable Videos for Adults list is available here and linked to Mason Libraries’ collection below.  The annual list of fifteen videos is recommended for both academic and public library collections.  The films are nominated and selected by librarians.  The non-feature fiction films address new or difficult topics, making them understandable to a general audience, contribute to the solution of a contemporary problem, and/or expands the video medium in a new way (Criteria for Selection of Notable Videos for Adults).


Alive Inside

Call Me Lucky


Freedom Summer

God Loves Uganda

Great Invisible

India’s Daughter

Kill Team

Missing Picture

Punk Singer

Salt of the Earth

The Square

Watchers of the Sky

Web: Connecting Is Just the Beginning

Whole Gritty City

The 124: 88th Academy Award Documentary Features from Submission to Winner

Below are the 124 films submitted for the Oscar for Documentary Feature at the 88th Academy Awards. As new films are added to Mason Libraries’ collection, they will be updated.

*   Indicates film advanced to the shortlist, December 1, 2015.

** Indicates film advanced to Oscar nominee, January 14, 2016.

***Indicates film is Oscar winner, February 28, 2016.


(Dis)Honesty — The Truth about Lies
3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets*
A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story
A Gay Girl in Damascus: The Amina Profile
A Lego Brickumentary
A Murder in the Park
A Sinner in Mecca
Above and Beyond
All Things Must Pass
Ballet 422
Batkid Begins
Becoming Bulletproof
Being Evel
Beltracchi — The Art of Forgery
Best of Enemies*
Bolshoi Babylon
Brand: A Second Coming
Call Me Lucky
Cartel Land**
Censored Voices
Coming Home
Dark Horse
Deli Man
Dior and I
Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll
Drunk, Stoned, Brilliant, Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon
Eating Happiness
Every Last Child
Evidence of Harm
Farewell to Hollywood
Finders Keepers
Frame by Frame
Gardeners of Eden
Godspeed: The Story of Page Jones
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
He Named Me Malala*
Heart of a Dog*
How to Change the World
I Am Chris Farley
In Jackson Heights
In My Father’s House
India’s Daughter
Ingrid Bergman — In Her Own Words
Iraqi Odyssey
Janis: Little Girl Blue
Karski & the Lords of Humanity
Killing Them Safely
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
Lambert & Stamp
Listen to Me Marlon*
Live from New York!
Meet the Patels
Misery Loves Comedy
Monkey Kingdom
My Italian Secret
My Voice, My Life
Of Men and War
One Cut, One Life
Only the Dead See the End of War
Peace Officer
Pink & Blue: Colors of Hereditary Cancer
Prophet’s Prey
Racing Extinction
Ride the Thunder — A Vietnam War Story of Victory & Betrayal
Searching for Home: Coming Back from War
Seeds of Time
Seymour: An Introduction
Something Better to Come
Song from the Forest
Song of Lahore
Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine
Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans
Stray Dog
Sunshine Superman
Sweet Micky for President
Tab Hunter Confidential
Tap World
Thao’s Library
The Armor of Light
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
The Diplomat
The Forecaster
The Hunting Ground*
The Look of Silence**
The Mind of Mark DeFriest
The Outrageous Sophie Tucker
The Pearl Button
The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers
The Resurrection of Jake the Snake
The Russian Woodpecker
The Seven Five
The Tainted Veil
The Touch of an Angel
The True Cost
The Wanted 18
The Wolfpack
Those Who Feel the Fire Burning
TransFatty Lives
Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists
We Are Many
We Come as Friends*
We Were Not Just … Bicycle Thieves. Neorealism
Welcome to Leith
What Happened, Miss Simone?**
What Our Fathers Did: A Nazi Legacy
Where to Invade Next*
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom**

Thousands of DVDs: How Do You Measure, a Year in the Life?

Most folks coming to a university have a goal in mind, and most of those goals are attainable. Finish a class. Finish a degree program. Earn a diploma, find out your life’s passion, find out what isn’t your life’s passion, make some friends for the moment or friends for life. Some of these goals take years to finish; some take a mere semester or less.

For myself, however, I’ve got a different goal in mind entirely, and it’s something I know I’ve failed at before I’ve even properly started. My own Everest is located at what is ostensibly GMU’s social hub: enter the main floor of the JC, make your way back past the information desk, enter the glass double-doors of the Gateway Library, wave hello to the friendly staff at the front desk and find the hidden two-sided staircase just behind them, climb the staircase and walk as far back left as you can go, and there, by the large windows spanning one large part of the wall with their magnificent view of the south side of campus, you’ll get a view of another kind of marvelous thing entirely: the GMU Media collection. Walk towards those taupe-colored carrels and black cabinets, slide open the shelves, and there they are: the DVDs.

My aim is to watch every single one of them.

The GMU library system has everything.  Documentaries, foreign flicks, comedies both high-brow and low.  Movies that were in the theaters for over a month; movies that should have been in theaters for over a month.  Oscar contenders and Razzie award-winners.  TV shows both old and new; the complete Twilight Zone; almost all of Alfred Hitchcock’s oeuvre; Game of Thrones alongside Columbo.

I suppose, given time, that anything is possible. There are very few things which I am absolutely sure of, but my view on the following is unshakable: no matter how long my time at GMU lasts, I will never, ever, finish watching every DVD housed at Mason’s libraries. I also recognize that I am part of the problem. In the few moments that I haven’t found what I’m looking for, the Mason Libraries staff have found a way to order it for me. You see the dilemma? How can I possibly finish every movie when I continue to request additions to the collection?

Because of Mason’s Library system, I was able to see Fill the Void, an incredible film that follows a Hasidic Jewish woman and her family, which had a limited run in theaters in VA and DC and which was therefore difficult to view otherwise.  The Hollow Crown, BBC’s stunning rendition of Shakespeare’s Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V, which did not air in the US until a year after the UK, was immediately available to me through the Gateway Library. Le Quattro Volte, a stunning Italian treatise on life’s immutable cycles, was a movie I just happened to stumble upon while thumbing through the collection, and yet it had such a profound effect on me that to call it a life-changing film would not be an overstatement.

I’m not alone in feeling that the ultimate aim of education is to open doors to new worlds. No matter your field of interest – whether you are a writer, an artist, a scientist or an engineer – there’s a high probability that during your time at Mason, you will stumble upon a thought or an idea that introduces you to an entirely new realm that you’d never considered before, just as I came upon that movie amid hundreds of others. Mason’s library system ensures that the number of new worlds you discover are truly limitless – all you have to do is make your way up that back staircase in the Gateway Library, walk over to the DVD carrels, and open yourself to the universes contained therein.

Priyanka Champaneri is a staff member with the Office of the University Registrar and a frequent library patron. The last movie she saw was Mistress America.

Note: The title is taken from the lyrics of the musical Rent.  – LJ

New listserv for fans of the Dancing TV 1994 series

The listserv is for educators, librarians, and colleagues in related fields who are interested in the 1994 TV series, Dancing, directed by Rhoda Grauer.  Topics for discussion may include the series unavailability on DVD and about the series in general. Educational and scholarly topics for research encouraged.

Subscription directions are below.  If you need more info, please contact the list owner, Laura Jenemann.

And if you haven’t signed the Dancing petition yet, find out more here.


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Film Festival/Festival de Cine: New Films from Latin America and Spain Spring 2015 Semester

George Mason University Libraries is one of the sponsors of the Film Festival/Festival de Cine!

This Spanish and Latin American film festival features films organized around two related questions: first, how do these Spanish language films reveal new knowledge concerning  the lived social and cultural histories of multilingual groups within larger national and transnational contexts; and second, how does the art of these films provide viewers with a critical eye on the connections between language and power, such as the relationship between “national” languages and hegemonic culture and the link of linguistic difference with popular culture “from below.”

All films subtitled. 


Festival de Cine begins Monday, 2 February, 7:20 pm, Research I, Room 163, with 7 Cajas (7 Boxes, directed by Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori, Paraguay, 2011).

 For information see event site or contact Professors Lisa Rabin or Esperanza Roman-Mendoza.


This is the blog for Media Services in the University Libraries at George Mason University.

Media Services Contacts

Laura Jenemann
Media Services/Film Studies Librarian

Denise Klasen-Lopez
Circulation/Media Assistant