2005’s bumper crop of 48 docs includes TV airings, theatrical releases, premieres

Chicago’s film industry reflected the national trend with a burgeoning documentary scene in 2005.

The Chicago International Documentary Festival continued to grow in scale, prominence and audience in its third year. Kartemquin continued unabated as a national leader in social documentaries, and acclaimed documentarians like Steve James and Tod Lending premiered new work.

This non-comprehensive list of 48 hourlong or feature-length documentaries includes at least five with broadcast premieres, two in national theatrical release, and at least 15 more films that had local or world premieres, and at least 24 more that were in production.

Aimee’s Crossing
Oscar nominee Tod Lending (“Legacy”) wrapped production in June on this study of Illinois teen Aimee Myers’ journey through the juvenile justice system as she contends with a history of sexual abuse, addiction and bipolar disorder. www.nomadicpix.com

Bad Girls Behind Bars
Sharon Zurek of Black Cat Productions screened her campy compilation of vintage women’s prison films in the Reeling: Chicago Lesbian and Gay Film Festival Nov. 10, and at lesbian and gay festivals in New York, Austin, Indianapolis and Washington, D.C. www.blackcatfilm.net

The Bears: Out of Hibernation
D.P. Carlson of Film Foetus documents the reunion of King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew’s rock quartet, featuring a concert at Martyr’s. “The Bears: Out of Hibernation” debuted Oct. 9 at the Gene Siskel Film Center and screened Nov. 26 at Martyr’s.