Awesome Documentaries

Last Stop for Lost Property

Last Stop for Lost Property

New York City’s public transit system carries millions of passengers each day, so it’s bound to have its share of items left behind on its seats and platforms. Vicente Cueto’s documentary short film tells the story of lost items and their owners, as told by Sonny Drayton of NYC’s Subways and Buses Lost & Found department.

ICE COLD: The World of Hip-Hop Jewelry

ICE COLD: The World of Hip-Hop Jewelry

(PG-13: Language) Migos takes us inside the fascinating and cut-throat business of making and selling hip-hop jewelry. In this episode, we meet colorful industry personalities like “The King of Bling” Johnny Dang, Ben Baller, Icebox, Eliantte, Joe Avianne, and Greg “Flawless” Yuna. Catch all of the episodes here. (Thanks Rob!)

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Get Back (Trailer)

Get Back (Trailer)

Compiled from rare and restored footage of The Beatles captured in 1969, director Peter Jackson provides an intimate and fascinating portrait of John, Paul, George, and Ringo at work in the studio on Let It Be. The three-part documentary premieres from 11.25 to 11.27.2021 on Disney+.

The King’s Castle of Iron

The King’s Castle of Iron

Santos “Frenchie” Ramos opened his Williamsburg, Brooklyn gym in 1976, and continued to work tirelessly for more than 43 years to keep his dream alive. This short documentary by Mark Cersosimo and Aissa Claveria paints an endearing portrait of the Brooklyn legend and the mark he left on his community.

A Portrait of the Mountain

A Portrait of the Mountain

Known to many as The Mountain on Game of Thrones, Hafþór Björnsson spent more than a decade as a Strongman. But since becoming The World’s Strongest Man, he is reshaping his career and his body to become a professional boxer. Pete Banks’ short documentary explores what motivates the mighty Hafþór.

Everything Is a Remix (2021): Part 1

Everything Is a Remix (2021): Part 1

Filmmaker Kirby Ferguson reboots his 2011 documentary series on remixing, sampling, and borrowing. With the advent of social media platforms like TikTok and improvements in streaming media, it was time for an update of the concept in the context of today’s technologies.

How to Make a Netflix Documentary About Anything

How to Make a Netflix Documentary About Anything

From cooking to crime, Netflix is filled with intriguing documentaries about all kinds of subjects. Paul E.T. shows how you can easily make a Netflix-style documentary about any subject with just a few basic photography tools, some stock footage, and basic editing skills.

Vinyl Nation (Trailer)

Vinyl Nation (Trailer)

Vinyl album sales in the US have increased every year since 2007, but what’s behind the record resurgence? The documentary Vinyl Nation explores the diverse demographics of today’s record fans, how record stores connect a passionate community, and the still-fervent debate of whether vinyl does sound best.

The History of Disney’s Handwich

The History of Disney’s Handwich

For as many things that Disney has succeeded at, they’ve had their fair share of failures too. Kevin of Defunctland takes a look at one such flop, a one-handed sandwich that was basically a savory waffle cone, “The Handwich.” He then flips from Documentarian Mode to Chef Mode to replicate the cone-shaped sandwich.

Blueprint

Blueprint

Bicycle component maker Shimano takes us to the woods of Cumberland, BC for a look at how a new mountain biking trail comes together. Chris Snodgrass of the Ridgeline Crew explains the art of building a trail by hand, their efforts captured brilliantly by directors Scott Bell and Mark Matthews.

Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James (Trailer)

Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James (Trailer)

Rick James was a true original. He defied expectations and blasted out some incredible funk and disco music. But his talents and showmanship were offset by a cycle of addiction and abusive behavior. Showtime goes inside the world of the real Super Freak through performance footage, interviews, and more. Premieres 9.3.2021.

Making French Butter

Making French Butter

Butter is one of those food staples that we often take for granted. But at Le Beurre Bordier, every pat of the creamy dairy product is a handmade work of art. Food Insider introduces us to this French shop dedicated to preserving 19th-century techniques, including the use of a spinning wooden wheel to knead the butter.

VAL (Trailer)

VAL (Trailer)

Val Kilmer has played roles from The Doors’ Jim Morrison to Batman to Top Gun’s Iceman. He’s created and performed music for soundtracks, and written and directed films. This energetic documentary takes us on a wild ride through Val’s 40+ year career and the challenges he’s faced. On Amazon Prime 8.6.2021.

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Footsteps

Footsteps

This short documentary takes us inside of Footsteps Studio, a unique post-production studio in the countryside of Ontario, Canada, where a group of talented foley artists spends their days creating sound effects for movies, TV, and video games. We love how every room in the house has been wired for recording sound.

Welcome to Wrexham

Welcome to Wrexham

Actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have teamed up to purchase a football club in Wales. In order to greet the local fans, they hired a translator to relay their messages in their native tongue – and it doesn’t go as expected. Keep an eye on FX for their documentary series about the team and their involvement.

Flamethrower.

Flamethrower.

Ahoy is back with another of their great, deadpan videos about weaponry. This time, they provide a in-depth look at the fiery death-dealers known as flamethrowers, and their appearances in video games, movies, TV, and real-life combat. We had no idea flamethrower tanks were a thing.

Life in Color with David Attenborough

Life in Color with David Attenborough

Famed nature show host David Attenborough returns with a three-part series about how color plays a role in the biology and evolution of animals. Colors can be used for camouflage, to scare off predators, or to help win mates. The series used specially-developed cameras in order to reveal what other animals see from their perspective. On Netflix now.

Tiny Tim: King for a Day (Trailer)

Tiny Tim: King for a Day (Trailer)

“Weird Al” Yankovic narrates this film about the enigmatic and entertaining showman known as Tiny Tim. Known by most for his falsetto voice and ambiguous appearance, Tim brought joy to millions with his ukulele and Tip Toe Through the Tulips, but also helped pave the way for other performers who refused to be pidgeonholed.

Nathan Barnatt: The Man You’ve Seen But Never Heard of

Nathan Barnatt: The Man You’ve Seen But Never Heard of

We’ve been featuring Nathan Barnatt on The Awesomer for over a decade. Inside a Mind digs into the story of the multi-talented actor who has been entertaining us for years with his dance moves, comedy, commercials, and filmmaking. Along the way, Nathan talks about the ups and downs of being “internet famous.”

The Great Junk Food Inventor

The Great Junk Food Inventor

Did you know that the same person gave us Cool Whip, Pop Rocks, Tang, and Jell-O? Food scientist William A. Mitchell worked at General Foods for more than 30 years, leaving a legacy of iconic manufactured food products that are still enjoyed by junk food connoisseurs today. Great Big Story tells his tale.

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The Mystery of the Flaming Skier

The Mystery of the Flaming Skier

The opening credits from Malcolm in the Middle featured a number of memorable images, accompanied by a great They Might Be Giants tune. For a brief moment, we see a man performing a ski jump while completely ablaze. Kid Leaves Stoop digs into the mystery behind this burning man, and who he really was.

What Happened to Crow 64?

What Happened to Crow 64?

The Nintendo 64 is known for games like Super Mario 64 and Star Fox 64. But there was another potentially big N64 title that never came out. In this short film from Adam Butcher, he takes a look back at Catastrophe Crow!, a highly-anticipated game that vanished along with its creator under strange circumstances. Or did it?

The Sparks Brothers: First Look

The Sparks Brothers: First Look

Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Baby Driver) directed this documentary about musicians Ron and Russel Mael, aka Sparks. The enigmatic and criminally underappreciated duo has been defying conventions since the 1970s and continues to make compelling music today. It’s tentatively scheduled for release 10.2021.

The Lady and the Dale (Trailer)

The Lady and the Dale (Trailer)

In the 1970s, Liz Carmichael tried to go up against the big-three automakers with her own car company. The three-wheeled, two-seater Dale was marketed as something revolutionary, but as HBO’s documentary explores, Liz was a master of smoke and mirrors, and eventually went down in a blaze of controversy. Drops 1.31.21.

History of Swear Words (Trailer)

History of Swear Words (Trailer)

(PG-13: Language) Nicolas Cage hosts this six-part documentary series about the origins of expletives. Along the way, Nic drops an 8-second F-bomb, and you might learn a thing or two about the importance of swear words in our vocabulary. Coming to Netflix 1.5.2021.

Death to 2020 (Trailer)

Death to 2020 (Trailer)

(PG-13: Language) Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Grant, Lisa Kudrow, Kumail Nanjiani, and Tracy Ullman head up the cast of this documentary special to send off the worst year most of us have experienced. It’s from the creators of Black Mirror, so we expect the comedy to be especially dark. Coming to Netflix 12.27.2020.

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