Michael Moore is using his film festival, the Traverse City Film Festival to be exact, to challenge the issue of sexism in the film industry. How? By making every official selection, all 32 of them, films directed or co-directed by women. And what’s the name of the one programmed sidebar at the festival? How about, “Men Make Movies - The Struggle Continues.” Moore spoke to Indiewire on the topic, “Every film in our Official Selection (US), fiction and nonfiction, is directed or co-directed by a woman . . . And they’re all incredible movies. As an expression of tokenism usually reserved for women, I am bringing five films by American men in a sidebar called, ‘Men Make Movies —The Struggle Continues.'” The initiative is freaking fantastic for the continuing recognition of females in the industry as well as the sidebar being a hilarious stab at the establishment and high profiling of male filmmakers. However, it does signal a sad state of affairs when things like this can be seen as gimmicks, news-worthy stories that should actually be something expected and accepted. That being said, this is an amazing push for films that may otherwise be overlooked or only seen as fulfilling circumstantial programming measures. Hopefully this festival initiative will become a beacon and inspiration for many festivals to come! Read more on Moore’s lady-filled festival here!

Jodorowsky thinks that all money should be transformed into poetry. So that is what he is doing with his Kickstarter project for his latest film. Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, who returned to the spotlight last year with "The Dance of Reality," has turned to Kickstarter to raise $350,000 to fund his latest project, "Poetic Money." No matter how much you pledge, Jodorowsky will exchange it for his brand new "Poetic Money" and send it back to you. Of course, this money can't be spent on any material goods -- only on the poetry of the universe, as the campaign makes clear. Read more

Trailer of Must-See: Meru

Why is it a "Must See"? Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi's documentary won the U.S. Audience Award for Documentary at Sundance thanks to its exhilarating first-person account of three mountain climbers who set out to conquer the most treacherous and dangerous mountain peak in the world. Aptly named the "Shark's Fin," the peak of Mt. Meru has served as an obsession and unattainable goal for renowned alpinists Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk. After their failed attempt to reach the top of Meru in 2008, the three climbers returned to their respective homes, defeated and still tempted to conquer Shark's Fin. In 2011, Anker convinced his two fellow climbers to attempt the deathly journey once more. "Meru" thus serves as the culmination and documentation of their death-defying and extraordinary second attempt.

Through archival footage and voiceover interviews, a quartet of 2015 music docs are reevaluating the way viewers understand their respective artists and engage with their celebrated music. n what is shaping up to be a welcoming trend in the biopic documentary genre, "Amy" joins three other music documentaries this year which take a similarly engaging approach to understanding its flawed icons. Completed by Alex Gibney's "Sinatra," Brett Morgen's "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck" and Liz Garbus' "What Happened, Miss Simone?," this quartet of music documentaries is forcing viewers to reevaluate the way they understand their respective artists and engage with their celebrated music. Read more

The eighties: A magical time filled with mainstream cinema that championed such off-the-wall ideas as the possibility that skateboarding could help fight crime, that high school-aged kids are worthy of the epic adventure treatment and even that aliens are our friends (or, at the very least, relatable beings that relish the opportunity to chow down on classic junk food). That era might be over, but it hasn't been forgotten, especially at Brooklyn's own BAMcinématek, which is kicking off a massive new screening series -- appropriately called "Indie '80s" -- that seeks to "[spotlight] the independent films of the neglected decade between the golden age of 70's New Hollywood and the indie boom of the 90s."  Read more

We’re just about midway through 2015, and that means taking stock of the cinematic year so far. In terms of feature films, it’s been a stellar year, with everything from “Inside Out” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” to “The Duke Of Burgundy” and “L’il Quinquin” making it one of the strongest first six months of a moviegoing calendar that we can remember  with a plethora of equally excellent movies having cropped up at festivals. But to focus on the fiction arena would be to miss whole swaths of great cinema, because the documentaries of the first half of 2015 have been excellent. Here's Indiewire's top picks for the 2015 so far. 

Here's Why This Filmmaker Risked His Life To Make A Film

The award-winning documentary Saving Mes Aynak was a hit at IDFA 2014 and Full Frame 2015, but more than just a documentary it's also harnessing an activist campaign to save this ancient site.

READ MORE: The Best Documentary Filmmaking Advice from Full Frame Documentary Festival

The film follows archaeologist Qadir Temori as he races against time to save this 5,000-year-old Buddhist archeological site in Afghanistan from imminent demolition. It's endangered not only by religious fundamentalists, but by a Chinese mining company chasing corporate profits.

In traveling to the region on his own many times, "Saving Mes Aynak" director Brent E. Huffman risked his life at the hands of landlines and Taliban fighters. 

"It felt like my duty, my obligation, to tell this story and to spread the story about the imminent destruction of this incredible site," said Huffman in a video on Indiegogo. Read Full Story

Archiving documentary footage and films may not be a sexy issue, but in this digital age, it's an increasingly critical one. To help call attention to it, the IDA and DOC NYC are hosting a two-day Documentary Preservation Summit, which began March 31 and continues on April 1.

The speakers at the summit include Academy Award winning directors D.A. Pennebaker ("Monterey Pop," "The War Room") and Barbara Kopple ("Harlan County USA," "American Dream"); producer-director Warrington Hudlin, the founder of the Black Filmmaker Foundation; Margaret Bodde, the executive director of The Film Foundation, and Sandra Schulberg, the head of the IndieCollect film documentation and preservation campaign. More HERE