Doc NYC Turns 10: How the Festival Benefited From the Rising Popularity of Documentaries

When Doc NYC started a decade ago, documentary film was still seen as something of a novelty.

In the ensuing years, non-fiction movies have exploded in popularity with hits such as “Rbg,” “Free Solo,” “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” and “Apollo 11” helping to fuel more interest in the genre.“We never could have anticipated the change,” says Thom Powers, the festival’s co-founder and artistic director.

“Fifteen years ago you would not propose to a date that you go and see a documentary film, but now I think you would come off as an impressive date to suggest it.”Powers points to several factors for the turnaround.

In particular, he credits streaming services such as Netflix with helping to get audiences more comfortable with watching documentaries and with making non-fiction films more readily available.“It used to be that if you heard about a documentary film, it would

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