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Virtual GlobeDocs Film Festival to stream over 30 movies

A still from "Coded Bias," the festival's opening film.GlobeDocs Film Festival

Running low on streaming picks? Now there’s a solution, courtesy of the GlobeDocs Film Festival.

The annual event is going virtual for its sixth run next month with 12 days of nonfiction programming. Slated for Oct. 1-12, the festival will feature 18 full-length films and 17 shorts — all of which can be viewed through Eventive, a virtual cinema streaming platform, from the comfort of your couch. The festival is curated by Lisa Viola, GlobeDocs’s director of programming, and more than half of this year’s films are directed or co-directed by women.

Continuing a tradition, many of the showings will be followed by discussions with filmmakers and guests, moderated by noted journalists. Some talks will be hosted and streamed live via Zoom.


“Six years after launching, GlobeDocs has grown into a renowned documentary film festival supporting filmmakers and partnering with other organizations to continue to shine a light on documentaries,” said Linda Henry, Boston Globe managing director and executive director of the film festival. “We value the importance of truth and engagement in this moment and proudly celebrate the work of these skilled artists.”

Here are some GlobeDocs standout selections you can look forward to:

The festival opens with “Coded Bias,” a 90-minute dive into MIT media researcher Joy Buolamwini and her journey to eradicate the flaws in facial recognition. Directed by Shalini Kantayya, the movie follows Buolamwini as she discovers software does not accurately recognize dark-skinned faces. The film continues as she pushes US legislation that governs against bias in algorithms.

The event’s centerpiece, “9to5: The Story of a Movement,” is the work of Academy Award-winning filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar. In it, the team tells the tale of Boston women who came together in the 1970s to create change in their workplaces. What were they fighting for? Better pay, advancement opportunities, and an end of sexual harassment, among other things. The film includes interviews with the movement’s founders, as well as actress Jane Fonda, who starred in the movie adaptation of the same name.


The festival concludes with distinguished documentarian and Boston native Frederick Wiseman. Clocking in at 272 minutes, “City Hall” studies every aspect of Boston city government from sanitation to fire, veteran affairs, elder support, and more. Mayor Marty Walsh and his administration also appear in the film.

Other full-length picks include a selection on Truman Capote (“The Capote Tapes”), another on the nation’s emergency rooms (“In Case of Emergency”), and an exploration of the cultivated meat industry (“Meat the Future”).

Shorter selections run for five to 38 minutes. Take a little time to learn about the World Robot Olympiad (“Me and My Robot”), a South Boston family and their locksmith shop (“Lockshop”), an incident with Johnny Carson and toilet paper (“The Great Toilet Paper Scare”), Treacher Collins Syndrome (“Chin Up”), and the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. fire in 1999 (“Worcester 6″).

Viewers may purchase an All Access pass for $75 or an individual film ticket at Follow @GlobeDocs on Twitter for more information.

Diti Kohli can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @ditikohli_

Diti Kohli can be reached at her @ditikohli_.