In 2015, we screened 40 feature and short films centered on human rights around the world. We hosted four free community-focused programs that presented programming on a variety of issues including the changing education system, youth activism in New Orleans, gentrification and more.
Our 2015 Fest celebrated 12 years of PATOIS as a New Orleans platform for international human rights films, performances, workshops and demonstrations. At every event, it was made clear to us that the need for intentional spaces focused on critical discussion, activism and creativity is needed in New Orleans, perhaps now more than ever.
Highlights of this year’s festival included both of our shorts series, one focused on sex workers’ rights and the other on the preservation of indigenous rituals in modern Mexico. Each of these events were met with a full house and engaged audiences. Additionally, the launch of Last Call, a podcast pieced together from oral history interviews of lesbians who have lived in New Orleans since the 1960s and 1970s, combined music, live performance and storytelling in a dynamic presentation of local history. Throughout the festival, we conducted an audience choice awards survey that allowed participants to rate each film.
The 2015 PATOIS Film Festival Audience Choice Award went to BOUND: Africans vs African Americans, directed by Peres Owino.
2015 FILMS AND PROGRAMS
March 11: Festival kickoff party featuring a solo performance by Kiyoko McCrae
THURSDAY: SHE'S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE'S ANGRY
Artfully combining dramatizations, performance and archival imagery, the film recounts the stories of women who fought for their own equality, and in the process created a world-wide revolution.
FRIDAY: BIG CHARITY
From the firsthand accounts of healthcare providers and hospital employees who miraculously withstood the storm inside the hospital, to interviews with key players involved in the closing of Charity and the opening of New Orleans’ newest hospital, Big Charity shares the untold, true story around its closure and sheds new light on the sacrifices made for the sake of progress.
FRIDAY: THE THROWAWAYS
Timely and provocative, The Throwaways is more just than an illumination of marginalized people at their weakest moments; it is a call to action, a story of directly engaging in the fight for justice.
SATURDAY: BAD FRIDAY: RASTAFARI AFTER CORAL GARDENS
BAD FRIDAY focuses on a community of Rastafarians in western Jamaica who annually commemorate the 1963 Coral Gardens “incident,” a moment just after independence when the Jamaican government rounded up, jailed and tortured hundreds of Rastafarians. It chronicles the history of violence in Jamaica through the eyes of its most iconic community, and shows how people use their recollections of past traumas to imagine new possibilities for a collective future.
It chronicles the history of violence in Jamaica through the eyes of its most iconic community, and shows how people use their recollections of past traumas to imagine new possibilities for a collective future.
SATURDAY: GENTRIFICATION AND THE NEW NEW ORLEANS
Bye Bye Bywater is a short film parody of the New Orleans Tourism Board’s promotional video of the “restaurant revolution” in the Bywater.
Changing the Channel was one of the first US films anywhere to look at the concept of gentrification and displacement of the poor in neighborhoods with rich architectural histories.
SATURDAY: THE HAND THAT FEEDS
At a popular bakery café, residents of New York’s Upper East Side get bagels and coffee served with a smile 24 hours a day. But behind the scenes, undocumented immigrant workers face sub-legal wages, dangerous machinery, and abusive managers who will fire them for calling in sick. Mild-mannered sandwich maker Mahoma López has never been interested in politics, but in January 2012, he convinces a small group of his co-workers to fight back.
Risking deportation and the loss of their livelihood, the workers team up with a diverse crew of innovative young organizers and take the unusual step of forming their own independent union, launching themselves on a journey that will test the limits of their resolve.
SATURDAY: BOUND: AFRICANS VS AFRICAN AMERICANS
African versus African Americans (AVAA) is a hard hitting documentary that addresses the little known tension that exists between Africans and African Americans. AVAA uses personal testimonials to expose this rift, then it takes us on a journey through the corridors of African and African American historical experiences as it illuminates the moments that divide and those that bind Africans and African American. AVAA uses personal testimonials to expose this rift, then it takes us on a journey through the corridors of African and African American historical experiences as it illuminates the moments that divide and those that bind Africans and African American.
FOUCAULT AGAINST HIMSELF
Thursday, March 19
From the history of madness, to sexuality and pleasure in classical antiquity, to the law and penal institutions, the breadth of Michel Foucault’s thought was astonishing.
Friday, March 20
A nine-year-old boy's preening obsession with straightening his hair elicits a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother.
THE WANTED 18
Friday, March 20
Through stop-motion animation, drawings and interviews, directors Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan recreate an astonishing true story from the First Palestinian Intifada: the Israeli army’s pursuit of eighteen cows, whose independent milk production on a Palestinian collective farm was declared "a threat to the national security of the state of Israel."
RECOGNIZING INDIGENOUS RITUALS IN MODERN MEXICO
Sunday, March 22
A series of short films curated by Sarah Borealis, featuring intimate glimpses into ancient Mexican traditions.
SONGS FOR ALEXIS
Sunday, March 22
18-year-old Ryan is a talented musician and began his transition from girl to boy 4 years earlier. He is wildly in love with the beautiful and enigmatic 16-year-old Alexis, but her parents’ disapproval of Ryan forces her to choose between her family and an unsafe future with the man she loves.
SUNDAY: KATE BORNSTEIN IS A QUEER AND PLEASANT DANGER
Sam Feder’s playful and meditative portrait on Bornstein, captures rollicking public performances and painful personal revelations as it bears witness to Kate as a trailblazing artist-theorist-activist who inhabits a space between male and female with wit, style and astonishing candor.
SUNDAY: PATOIS PRESENTS: NEW ORLEANS YOUTH FIGHT FOR CHANGE
A group of teenagers decides to get involved and become the Empathy Rangers and fight against the evil ways of Dr. Apathy. A 2-Cent TV production.
Youth-created web series that follows a New Orleans youth, Kevin, through his last summer before college. Produced by the Institute for Women and Ethnic Studies.
SUNDAY: PATOIS PRESENTS: LAST CALL
We present the LAST CALL Podcast, made possible through the stories of people who were active in the New Orleans lesbian community in the 1970s and 80s. LAST CALL Prologue: “Coming Out Stories”, a 20 minute episode, will be accompanied by a multimedia dance performance and followed by a talkback with the creators and contributors.
SUNDAY: PATOIS PRESENTS: #BLACKLIVESMATTER
Special closing night event at PATOIS featuring:
FERGUSON: RACE AND JUSTICE IN THE US:
The US theatrical premiere of a thrilling, powerful, intimate look inside the movement born in Ferguson. Directed by Sweta Vohra.
A story of Stop and Frisk. Directed by Adepero Oduye, star of Pariah and 12 Years A Slave.
ALSO: A conversation about the fight against police violence with the filmmakers and local activists, including organizer against police violence Malcolm Suber, and Al Jazeera filmmaker Sweta Vohra.