First Position ★★★★★

Amazing and insightful doc that tracks an international group of young ballet performers (aged 12-19) as they compete for prizes and scholarships in the prestigious annual Young America Grand Prix competition. This is like the "Spellbound" of Ballet and dance films. Kargman does a great job at engendering trust among her doc subjects to produce revelatory and entertaining details into the blood, sweat and tears that go into producing ballet performers of the highest standard (turns out it really does take a small village to make a lot of these dreams happen).

The cinematography by Nick Higgins (who also recently worked on the Spurlock doc Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope) and the editing work done by Kargman and Kate Amend does a great job at building visual and narrative momentum to stories that I found rich, varied, and ultimately really inspiring. These kids may not be changing the world but it is a marvel to witness the love of the dance and artistic expression that fills the screen. Definitely one of my favorites so far this year :)