Icarus Films

Icarus Films

Since 1978, Icarus Films has been a leading distributor of documentary films in North America. Led by longtime president Jonathan Miller, we work with independent producers worldwide to release 30-50 new films a year, and represent a collection of well over 1,000 titles.

Each year we release six to eight feature documentaries to theatrical audiences. We've recently released films including the Brazilian documentary In the Intense Now, the Serbian documentary The Other Side of Everything and, as a co-release with KimStim, the fiction feature film from Indonesia, Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts.

In 2012, Icarus Films acquired The dGenerate Films Collection, the leading source for contemporary, independent films from mainland China. Our recent releases from this collection including Wang Bing's 'Til Madness Do Us Part, Bitter Money and the forthcoming co-release with Grashopper Film, Dead Souls.

We are also proud to have partnered with Bullfrog Films and established Docuseek, which offers a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service focused on meeting the needs of colleges and universities for online access to essential documentary content. Currently Docuseek has over 1400 titles available, of which 550 come from the Icarus Films collection.

After 40 years in business, Icarus Films is proud to be active in traditional and new media, and to work with new talent as well as “old masters.” We value meeting the needs of activists, educators, and service providers, as well as challenging audiences, and programmers, with original creative works.

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Icarus Films
  • Dark Star: H. R. Giger's World

    Directed by Belinda Sallin • Documentary • 2014 • 95 minutes

    Surrealist artist H. R. Giger (1940–2014) terrified audiences with his Oscar-winning monsters in Ridley Scott's ALIEN. Sci-fi, horror, music, album covers, tattoos and fetish art have been influenced by his dark, intricate paintings an...

  • Dear Dr. Spencer

    Directed by Danielle Renfrew & Beth Seltzer • Documentary • With Lili Taylor • 1998 • 25 minutes

    From the early 1920s until his death in 1969, Dr. Robert Douglas Spencer practiced medicine in a small town in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania. Dr. Spencer treated colds, set fractures, an...

  • Decasia

    Directed by Bill Morrison • Documentary • 2002 • 67 minutes

    Often compared to Stan Brakhage, Bill Morrison created DECASIA entirely with decaying, old found footage, melded to the music of Bang on a Can's Michael Gordon, performed by the 55 piece basel sinfonietta. The result is a delirium of de...

  • Disco and Atomic War

    Directed by Jaak Kilmi • Documentary • 2009 • 80 minutes

    Winner of the Best Documentary prize at the Warsaw International Film Festival, this witty, charming, and provocative film recounts how in the mid 1980's, the nation of Estonia still lay firmly in the grip of the Soviet Union, and the repr...

  • Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival

    Directed by Fabrizio Terranova • Documentary • With Donna Haraway • 2017 • 81 minutes

    Feminist thinker and historian of science Donna Haraway is best known as the author of two revolutionary works: the essay "A Cyborg Manifesto" and the book Primate Visions. Both set out to upend well-establishe...

  • Double Life, a Short History of Sex in the USSR

    Directed by Ināra Kolmane • Documentary • 2017 • 52 minutes

    The October Revolution ushered in an era of sexual freedom and liberation from bourgeois conventions. Satisfying sexual needs had to be "as simple as drinking a glass of water," according to feminist Alexandra Kollontai who was at the f...

  • Down There

    Directed by Chantal Akerman • Documentary • 2006 • 78 minutes

    According to director Chantal Akerman, she never planned to make a film in Israel. She was convinced that neutrality does not exist and that her subjectivity would get in her way. She was sure she would only be able to reflect on 'the...

  • Downtown Dream

    Directed by Aaron Matthews • Documentary • 2013 • 45 minutes

    For decades, small town life in the United States has been quietly eroding. But there are overlooked stories amidst the talk of America's economic decline: the stories of individual men and women in the 'Rust Belt' community in Lewisto...

  • Dreaming of a Tree House

    Directed by Beate Lendt • Documentary • 2011 • 85 minutes

    DREAMING OF A TREE HOUSE is a film about the pioneering community-building project of the world-famous architect Frei Otto in Berlin, called the Okohaus-an experimental, ecological, customized housing project in the city center.

    Includi...

  • Dreams Rewired

    Directed by Manu Luksch, Martin Reinhart and Thomas Tode • Documentary • With Tilda Swinton • 2015 • 85 minutes

    Tilda Swinton's hypnotic voiceover and a treasure trove of rare archival footage culled from hundreds of films from the 1880s through the 1930s-much of it previously unseen-combine to ...

  • El Sicario, Room 164

    Directed by Gianfranco Rosi and Charles Bowden • Documentary • 2011 • 84 minutes

    The term sicario goes back to Roman Palestine, where a Jewish sect, the Sicarii, used concealed daggers (sicae) in their murders of Romans and their supporters. In modern language, a sicario is a professional killer...

  • El Velador

    Directed by Natalia Almada • Documentary • 2011 • 72 minutes

    Martin, the night watchman, arrives with the setting sun in his rumbling blue Chevrolet. The cemetery mascots, EI Negro y La Negra, chase his truck down the road and greet him with wagging tails. The sound of construction fades away as...

  • Electric Signs

    Directed by Alice Arnold • Documentary • 2012 • 58 minutes

    New screen-based sign systems are putting TV-style advertising into the public domain in cities around the globe. These electronic signs are re-shaping urban environments and re-defining areas of public space by intensifying the commerci...

  • Eternity Has No Door of Escape

    Directed by Arthur Borgnis • Documentary • 2017 • 80 minutes

    "Outsider art" challenges established historical categories and transcends artistic movements. A translation of the French term art brut, a phrase coined by the painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet in the aftermath of World War II, this ...

  • Everything Must Fall

    Directed by Rehad Desai • Documentary • 2018 • 85 minutes

    Can a diverse group of college kids find common ground with their school’s faculty and janitorial staff to bring the school administration to its knees? Can they banish a nation’s crippling student debt, guarantee workers benefits and liv...

  • Family Business

    Directed by Tom Cohen • Documentary • 1982 • 90 minutes

    Part of the acclaimed Middletown series.

    Howie Snyder is an archetype: a retired Marine colonel in his mid 40s, he is an American entrepreneur struggling to make his business succeed.

    Howie's Shakey's Pizza franchise in Muncie, Indiana em...

  • Far from Vietnam

    Directed by Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch, Chris Marker, and Alain Resnais • Documentary • 1967 • 115 minutes

    Initiated and edited by Chris Marker, FAR FROM VIETNAM is an epic 1967 collaboration between cinema greats Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, William Klein, Clau...

  • Fate of a Salesman

    Directed by Ben Crosbie and Tessa Moran • Documentary • 2013 • 27 minutes

    Fate of a Salesman is an intimate portrait of a way of life on the verge of disappearing. In its 60th year of business, Men's Fashion Center in Washington, DC has come to represent identity, legacy and redemption for sales...

  • Finally Got the News

    Directed by Stewart Bird, Rene Lichtman and Peter Gessner • Documentary • 1970 • 55 minutes

    FINALLY GOT THE NEWS is a forceful, unique documentary that reveals the activities of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers inside and outside the auto factories of Detroit. Through interviews with th...

  • Fold Crumple Crush: The Art of El Anatsui

    Directed by Susan Vogel • Documentary • 2011 • 53 minutes

    Filmed over three years in Venice, Nsukka, and the United States, this is a powerful portrait of Africa's most widely acclaimed contemporary artist El Anatsui. FOLD CRUMPLE CRUSH: THE ART OF EL ANATSUI gives an insider's view of the artis...

  • Food Design

    Directed by Martin Hablesreiter and Sonja Stummerer • Documentary • 2009 • 52 minutes

    The sound of sausage: When a bite produces a distinct crunch, they taste particularly good. Fish sticks, on the other hand, don't make such great noises, but they can be arranged nicely in the pan. And is it me...

  • For the Best and for the Onion!

    Directed by Elhadj Magori Sani • Documentary • 2008 • 52 minutes

    "I am singing about onion farming, bringing both suffering and joy." So sings an onion farmer as he works his field Galmi, in Niger. Beside him stands Yaro, a fellow farmer who knows all too well the hope and sorrow his livelihood ...

  • Forever

    Directed by Heddy Honigmann • Documentary • 2006 • 95 minutes

    Through a leisurely tour of the world-famous Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, the final resting place for legendary writers, composers, painters and other artists from around the world, FOREVER provides an unusually poignant, emotiona...

  • Forgotten World

    Directed by Terri Ella • Documentary • 2015 • 52 minutes

    Snaking north through eastern South Africa, the Mpumalanga Escarpment is dotted by mysterious stone structures-stone-lined roads, terraces, and the nested circular patterns-left behind by a now-vanished civilization.

    FORGOTTEN WORLD featu...