Best Documentaries of 2014: Updated with preview for "Last of the Showman"..A Musical Documentary?

Introduction

Another year is almost gone, and it's time to usher in a new one. And, I can't think of a better way to start welcome it than by publishing film previews that are set to be released during the new year that's coming soon.

Sadly, due to personal reasons that was explained in my letter to all my followers, I wasn't able to publish my documentary preview hubs as I promised originally, but I plan on rectifying that this year. Take in mind, this doesn't cover any short documentaries, nor should you be expecting a preview for those either, as I'm only interested in publishing the main genres for movies.

Not saying I wouldn't want to, but sadly when you're the only a one man crew, it's often best not to get overwhelmed by trying to do too much. However, that doesn't mean I wouldn't be open to the idea of changing that later on either.

As some of you may already know, a lot of these previews don't have trailers yet, but I'll be adding them as soon as they become available. Unfortunately, a lot of these same films don't have movie posters either, but I've taken the liberty of adding pics to the ones that don't. The pics I've added, to the ones that don't have a poster yet, match the theme of each movie quite nicely.

For example if one documentary is about baseball, then I just add a picture of a baseball next to it. It's that simple. Take in mind, that the pictures I do add aren't owned by me, but they are licensed for commercial reuse.

Anyway, without further delay, lets start the show.

Bears

Directors:

Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey

Writer(s):

N/A

Cast:

Victoria Naumova

Synopsis:

A look at the life of bears living in Alaska's coastal mountains and shores.

Release Date: April 18, 2014

sub genre: Nature documentary

Unity

Director:

Shaun Monson

Writer:

Shaun Monson

Cast:

Dianna Agron, Malin Akerman, Pamela Anderson, Jennifer Aniston, Kristen Bell, Eve Best, Brandon Boyd, Rose Byrne, Jesse Carmichael, Jessica Chastain, Deepak Chopra, Gregory Colbert, Common, David Copperfield, Marion Cotillard

Synopsis:

What is the ultimate goal of your life? For only one in ten million people, that answer is, "Enlightenment." For all the others, their answer is to be successful, wealthy, powerful, etc. UNITY is a film for all who hunger for a deeper meaning to existence, and a more unified way of living with one another, with all expressions of life. Just imagine a world that didn't rely on opposites (us/them, rich/poor, black/white, gay/straight, human/animal, etc), but rather a world that perceived only wholeness. UNITY presents the notion of a world in which we are all equally valued, even though we are not the same: Human, Animal, Tree.

Release Date: March 1, 2014

sub genre: persuasive documentary

We Are .L.A.: City of Angels

Director:

Reymond Villasenor

Writer(s):

N/A

Cast:

N/A

Synopsis:

Follow actor and creative director Reymond Villasenor, celebrity stylist Rosy Muto, and LA fashion queen Veronica Welch into the electric world and lifestyle as they produce LAs hottest fashion week venue Style Fashion Week.

Release Date: October 7, 2014

sub genre: behind the scenes documentary

The Culture High

Director:

Brett Harvey

Writers:

Brett Harvey, Michael Bobroff

Cast:

Snoop Dogg, Joe Rogan, Ed Burns, DJ Pooh, Wiz Khalifa, Richard Branson, B-Real, Rufus Hound, Howard Marks, Cara Santa Maria, Brian Redban, Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian, Gabor Mate, Graham Hancock

Synopsis:

Scours the deep-seated roots of this morally induced Marijuana campaign and reveal the fascinating path it has taken to get to where it is today.

Release Date: March 20, 2014

sub genre: educational documentary

Sunshine Superman

Director:

Marah Strauch

Writer:

Marah Strauch

Cast:

N/A

Synopsis:

A documentary about BASE jumping, the extreme sport that dates back to the 1970s, when it was invented by engineer-filmmaker Carl Boenish.

Release Date: June 1, 2014

sub genre: sports documentary

Tom's Restaurant- a documentary about everything

Director:

Gian Franco Morini

Writers:

Jesse McDowell, Gian Franco Morini

Cast:

Cornel West, Burton Crane, Jesse McDowell, Josh Gondelman, Jack Moore, Cristopher Olivier, David Sidorsky, Gregorio Sassoli, Ron Long, Bob Rose, Patricia Maldonado, George Yeromonakos, Ramon Berenguer, Mrs. Elfie, Shon Richards

Synopsis:

Documentary about the iconic "Tom's Restaurant" that was featured in the popular comedic sitcom, "Seinfeld."

Release Date: October 22, 2014

sub genre: historical documentary

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar

Director:

David Douglas

Writer:

Drew Fellman

Cast:

Morgan Freeman, Patricia Wright

Synopsis:

A look at the life of wild lemurs living in Madagascar.

Release Date: April 4, 2014

sub genre: nature documentary

The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin

Director:

Nicholas Mross

Writer:

Nicholas Mross

Cast:

Ben Bledsoe, Kevin O'Leary, Tyler Winklevoss, Cameron Winklevoss, Adam Draper, Ryan Singer, Daniel Mross, Gabriel Sukenik, Stephen Pair, Gavin Andresen, Gonzague Gay-Bouchery, Brian Armstrong, Margaux Avedisian, Mark Karpeles, Jered Kenna

Synopsis:

A computer programmer becomes fascinated with the digital currency Bitcoin, and through his involvement in the Bitcoin community, we learn about the impending global impact of this amazing new technology.

Release Date: January 15, 2014

sub genre: historical documentary

Lakay

Director:

Tirf Alexius

Writers:

Tirf Alexius, Remoh Romeo, Hugh Grady

Cast:

Tirf Alexius, Hugh Grady, Remoh Romeo

Synopsis:

After the 2010 devastating earthquake, two brothers return to Haiti hoping to find their loved ones alive.

Release Date: January 10, 2014

sub genre: dramatic documentary

Fight Spirit Pride

Director:

Garianno Lorenzo

Writer(s):

N/A

Cast:

Mark Hominick, Kevin James, Georges St-Pierre, Sam Stout, Dana White, Shawn Tompkins

Synopsis:

This is a documentary that was shot over the course of six years about MMA, UFC and other organizations. The film focuses on a fighter who is struggling between winning his title back, and being there for his father who is dying of cancer. This documentary is a very raw uncensored microscopic look into the life of a fighter; it has two deaths and two births. It is an extremely moving emotional piece of work!

Release Date: September 4, 2014

sub genre: sports documentary

The Creep Behind the Camera

Director:

Pete Schuermann

Writer:

Pete Schuermann

Cast:

Laurel Harris, Jodi Lynn Thomas, Brian McCulley, Meggie Maddock, Nick Ian Holmes, J.T. Richardson, Audrey Walters, Bianka Ava Azmitia, Josh Phillips, Connor Long, Kristin Keating, Jason Coviello, Andy Hankins, Alicia Berruti, Tom Jankowski

Synopsis:

An exploration of the making of b-movie sci-fi cult classic "The Creeping Terror" and its con-man director Art "A.J." Nelson/Vic Savage.

Release Date: January 25, 2014

sub genre: behind the scenes documentary

The Baseball Bond: Our Real Life Field of Dreams

Director:

Justin Summers

Writer:

Justin Summers

Cast:

Steve Sigler, Justin Summers, Jeff Lowery, Joe Elowitz, Buddy Graves, Jacob Brinegar, Ronny Stegall, Zachary Graves, Eddie Sampson, Anastasia Harman, Chris Sampson, Sean Pate, Melody Frizzell, Christian Nye, Jamie Cronin

Synopsis:

A documentary that chronicles a Baseball team playing in the annual Father & Son World Series and focuses on one man's mission to find a long-lost father before their first game.

Release Date: October 1, 2014

sub genre: sports documentary

Rise of the Freedom Tower: Americas Unsung Hero's

Director:

Kenneth Simmons

Writer(s):

N/A

Cast:

Sean Lennon, Kenneth Simmons, Tiffany L. Baker, Michael Den Dekker, Bobby Valentine, John Sialiano, Maija Di Giorgio, John Mascali, Pamela Kramer, Ken Raffloer, David Longshore, Stephen Nevins, Antonio Vendome, Jose Sanchez, Mary Gmiterek

Synopsis:

This groundbreaking documentary is based on 40 hours of footage captured on 9-11 at Ground Zero. "America's Unsung Heroes" is told through the lens of a uniquely qualified filmmaker-a man who was courageous enough to arrive at the scene immediately after the first attack. It features the uplifting and heart-wrenching stories of the events that took place because of that tragic moment in time. Hear first-hand stories from the men, women and children that showed their courage and strength. This film gives a voice to these unsung heroes. United and driven by a shared sense of humanity and duty, they came that day and in the weeks that followed, and offered whatever they could. These are their stories.

Release Date: December 1, 2014

sub genre: dramatic historical documentary

Honor Diaries

Director:

Micah Smith

Writer:

Alex Traiman

Cast:

Raheel Raza

Synopsis:

Honor Diaries features nine courageous women's rights advocates with roots in Muslim-majority societies. These women, who have witnessed firsthand the hardships women endure, are profiled in their efforts to effect change, both in their communities and beyond. Freedom of movement, the right to education, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation are some of the systematic abuses explored in depth. The film gives a platform to exclusively female voice and seeks to expose the paralyzing political correctness that prevents many from identifying, understanding and addressing this international human rights disaster. More than a movie, Honor Diaries is a movement meant to inspire viewers to learn more about issues facing women in Muslim-majority societies, and to act for change.

Release Date: March 8, 2014

sub genre: educational documentary

Source

I Am You

Director:

Kevin Mukherji

Writer(s):

N/A

Cast:

Harold Ramis, Forest Whitaker, Erick Avari, Jimmy Carter, Jim Clemente, Kevin Mukherji, Maneka Gandhi, Qumaru Nisa, Wayne Pacelle, Debashish Banerji, Aaron Kipnis, Madeline Bernstein

Synopsis:

In Peace We Trust. This documentary shows us how animal rights and human rights & the environment are all related. And the diverse effects that they have on each other and the planet. We are all inter-connected and part of the whole, so why would we want to hurt another living being that is a part of us? I Am You. Narrated by Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker and featuring Jimmy Carter, Maneka Gandhi and Harold Ramis among others.

Release Date: December 12, 2014

sub genre: historical documentary

Anatomy of a Film

Director:

David Spodak

Writer:

David Spodak

Cast:

Kirk Douglas, David Spodak, Richard Anderson, James B. Harris

Synopsis:

Anatomy of a Film delivers a detailed analysis of Kubrick's Paths of Glory. Commentary by Kirk Douglas, producer Jim Harris and actor Richard Anderson. The result is an enjoyable appreciation for the craft and art of filmmaking.

Release Date: September 9, 2014

sub genre: biographical behind the scenes documentary

Source

Mad as Hell: Rise of the Young Turks

Director:

Andrew Napier

Writer(s):

N/A

Cast:

Al Gore, Ben Mankiewicz, Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian, Michael Shure, Wesley Clark, Dylan Ratigan, Jesus Godoy, Steve Oh, Jill Pike, Jayar Jackson, David Koller, Tom Hanc, Lucas Lilieholm

Synopsis:

The story of Cenk Uygur, who created The Young Turks, a show he started in his living room which has since become the largest online talk show in the world. The show follows Cenk, who is now hosting a national television show on MSNBC, while still running The Young Turks online.

Release Date: July 1, 2014

sub genre: biographical documentary

Actor? A Documentary

Director:

David Rich

Writer:

David Rich

Cast:

Edward Asner, Robert Loggia, Doris Roberts, Dee Wallace, Alan Thicke, Terry Moore, Randolph Mantooth, Wolfgang Bodison, Anna Paris, Helen McCready, Paul Weber, Fern Champion, Amy Macnow, Annie Schwartz, Ruben Angelo

Synopsis:

We take a look at what it means to be an actor, what it takes to be an actor and ways to make it as an actor. We do this through the use of interviews across the country with striving actors as well as actors who have "made" it.

Release Date: January 17, 2014

sub genre: educational documentary

Finding Thin

Director:

Barry Roskin Blake

Writers:

Barry Roskin Blake, Robert Johnson

Cast:

Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper, Barry Roskin Blake, Mehmet Oz, George Wallace, Carlease Burke, Tony Horton, Mike Huckabee, Michael Roizen

Synopsis:

One man's race against time, in order to save himself from a ticking time bomb called... obesity.

Release Date: March 7, 2014

sub genre: biographical documentary

Innocence Lost: The Charlotte Hansen Story

Director:

Jared Richardson

Writer(s):

N/A

Cast:

Chalet Lizette Brannan, Hannah Edwards, Charlotte Hansen, Jared Law, Andy MacDonald, S.C. Marshall, Greg McArthur, Phillip McDonald, Jared Richardson, Paula Stinson, Sharon Zahne

Synopsis:

A documentary about a young girl who was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and brutally beaten by her father's friend. This terrible act took place 10 years ago, just two months after Elizabeth Smart was taken. It was the worst child kidnapping, sexual assault and attempted homicide in Utah's history. Hear this young woman's story in her own words, recounting the hardships she has overcome. Learn about her dreams of college and the hope of having a family of her own someday. Hear how this tragic, compelling story has been overlooked by the media for the last ten years Come and meet this remarkable, courageous young woman; an inspiration to all that meet her.

Release Date: January 31, 2014

sub genre: dramatic documentary reenactment

Innate

Director:

James Oreste

Writer:

James Oreste

Cast:

Joshua Lee Ayers, Zeshen Wu, Anthony DeNaro, Saul Ochoa

Synopsis:

Bboying is defined by the dictionary as another word for break dancing. This documentary is presented to teach those unfamiliar with this dancing artform, and educate them on it's culture, and help them gain a better appreciation for it's artform.

Release Date: October 12, 2014

sub genre: educational documentary

Boardwalk Hempire: The Rise and Fall of the Medical Kush Beach Club

Director:

N/A

Writer:

Casey Casseday

Cast:

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Elijah Wood, Stephen Baldwin, Tommy Chong, Flea, Montel Williams, Rob Van Dam, Geraldo Rivera, Chris Master, Sean Kush

Synopsis:

The Medical Kush Beach Club was the first and last medical marijuana store ever allowed in Venice Beach, California. This is the five year history of the Medical Marijuana Dispensary scene in Los Angeles. Shot on Venice Beach before, during and after Proposition 19.

Release Date: April 20, 2014

sub genre: biographical documentary

Kids-R

Directors:

Mike Dudko, Olga Rudnieva

Writer:

Mike Dudko

Cast:

Paul Ehrlich, Elton John, David Furnish, James Chau, Bill Roedy, Mary Beth Feindt, Francesca Polini, Janet M. Currie, Christopher Traumer, Mike Dudko, Olga Rudnieva, David Nish, Jennifer Rossi, Stella Gilgur-Cook, Samantha Walker

Synopsis:

Having personally witnessed Sir Elton John's failed attempt to adopt a child, a young couple questions themselves if they are ready for kids and whether everyone should match a certain criteria to be either biological or adoptive parents. The search for the answer pushes them into an entire journey through Nepal, Ukraine, China, the United Kingdom and the USA where they face corruption of the adoption system and have to stand against billions of dollars behind it... They meeting people who managed to adopt and those who failed because of their skin color, weight, or habits... In the middle of their investigation, they reveal that the right to have kids can be easily taken away from people even in most civilized countries... no votes needed, the regulations are already in action! Should we just accept these regulations or should fight against them?

Release Date: May 10, 2014

sub genre: educational documentary

Source

The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened?

Director:

Jon Schnepp

Writer:

Jon Schnepp

Cast:

Nicolas Cage, Kevin Smith, Wesley Strick, Jon Schnepp, Grant Morrison, Steve Johnson, Eric Powell, Pete von Sholly, Brom, Kerry Gammill, Liam Sharp

Synopsis:

In depth behind the scenes documentary on the Tim Burton "Superman" movie that almost was, and why it died during production.

Release Date: August 1, 2014

sub genre: behind the scenes documentary

Last of the Showmen

Director:

Paul Becker

Writer:

Paul Becker

Cast:

Shirley MacLaine, Liza Minnelli, LeVar Burton, David Foster, Usher Raymond, Kenny Ortega, Louis Gossett Jr., Debbie Allen, Ann Reinking, Ben Vereen, Glynn Turman, David Copperfield, Chita Rivera, Nigel Lythgoe, Cornel West

Synopsis:

This docu-musical follows the amazing life of the song and dance legend Ben Vereen, through music, interviews, told through his one man show.

Release Date: December 31, 2014

sub genre: biographical musical documentary

© 2013 Steven Escareno

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