2017 Festival

2017 Festival

Agents of Change

Thursday, April 13, 7:00pm – Opening Night Film

Agents of Change examines the untold story of the racial conditions on college campuses and in the country in the late 1960’s that led to protests on college campuses from SF State to Cornell University. Through the stories of the courageous young men and women at the forefront of these efforts, the film takes viewers to the crossroads of the civil rights, black power, and anti-Vietnam war movements at a pivotal time in America’s history. Today, as the struggle continues with the Black Lives Matter, immigration concerns and concurrent nationwide student-led protests, Agents of Change links the past to the present and the present to the past, revealing how much work remains to be done. The film is co-produced and co-directed by filmmakers Frank Dawson and Abby Ginzberg, both of whom are Cornell alums.  Ironically, Mr. Dawson participated in the takeover at Willard Straight Hall, while Ms. Ginzberg protested in support with other student outside the building.  Yet, the two would not meet until four decades later as both sought to document this historic event on film. With interviews from then-student activists such as actor Danny Glover, Dr. Ramona Tascoe and Roger Alvarado, the film also features a searing, soul-stirring musical score by award-winning composer Patrice Rushen.

Documentary, Directed by Frank Dawson and Abby Ginzberg. 66 minutes.

* Director and special guests present for screening.

 


 

From Flint: Voices of a Poisoned City

Friday, April 14, 7:00pm - Land, Water and Freedom: Short films about resistance.

Flint is a city of 100,000 people, with 41% living below the poverty line and an African-American majority. The city switched in 2014 to water from the polluted Flint River to save money, but the new water supply wasn't properly treated. Lead from aging lines leached into the local water supply, along with coliform bacteria and other contaminants, creating a serious health crisis. Up to 12,000 children may have been exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water. Some residents were also forced to abandon their homes without warning. This film tells the story of the Flint Water Crisis from the perspectives of those who have experienced this tragedy first hand and from activists on the ground working through grass-root organizations to make a difference. While the national news media has been covering this event through the governments point of view, From Flint takes you inside the city to uncover this incident first hand.

Documentary, Directed by Elise Conklin. 25 minutes.

* The filmmaker and an activist from Flint will both be present for a post-screening discussion.

 


 

Water Warriors

 Friday, April 14, 7:00pm - Land, Water and Freedom: Short films about resistance.

Water Warriors is the story of a community’s successful fight to protect their water from the oil and natural gas industry. In 2013, Texas-based SWN Resources arrived in New Brunswick, Canada to explore for natural gas. The region is known for its forestry, farming and fishing industries, which are both commercial and small-scale subsistence operations that rural communities depend on. In response, a multicultural group of unlikely warriors–including members of the Mi’kmaq Elsipogtog First Nation, French-speaking Acadians and white, English-speaking families–set up a series of road blockades, preventing exploration. After months of resistance, their efforts not only halted drilling; they elected a new government and won an indefinite moratorium on fracking in the province.

Documentary, Directed by Michael Premo. 21 minutes.

* Filmmakers present for post-screening discussion.

 


 

Ten Years after Katrina

Friday, April 14, 7:00pm - Land, Water and Freedom: Short films about resistance.

"Resilience," "Recovery" & REALITY

The story of the organizations that make up The Greater New Orleans Organizers Roundtable in the years since Hurricane Katrina.

Documentary, Directed by Jazz Franklin and Ada McMahon. 30 minutes.

* Filmmakers and local activists present for post-screening discussion.

 


 

The Personal Things

Friday, April 14, 9:15pm

Black trans elder and legendary activist Miss Major Griffin-Gracy describes how everyday personal acts fuel her political activism.

Animation, Directed by Reina Gossett. 3 minutes.


 

Free CeCe

Friday, April 14, 9:15pm – Free CeCe!

 

On her way to the store with a group of friends, Chrishaun Reed “CeCe” McDonald was brutally attacked. While defending her life, a man was killed. After a coercive interrogation, CeCe was incarcerated in a men’s prison in Minnesota. An international campaign to free CeCe garnered significant support from media and activists, including actress Laverne Cox. Cox signed on as executive producer of FREE CECE!, committed to exploring the role race, class, and gender played in CeCe’s case. In the end, CeCe emerged not only as a survivor, but also as a leader. Documentarian Jacqueline (Jac) Gares pushed past the everyday narratives of victimhood surrounding the lives of transgender people, to spotlight the way CeCe and other trans people are leading a growing movement fighting for the rights of transgender people everywhere. CeCe's powerful story highlights the groundswell of voices questioning the prison industrial complex and calling for its disassembly.

Documentary, Directed by Jacqueline Gares. 100 minutes.

* Cece McDonald and filmmaker Jacqueline Gares present for discussion.

 


 

To Be Free

Saturday, April 15, 4:00pm

In a tiny after-hours club, Nina Simone finds a way, for one moment, to be free.

Drama, Directed by and starring Adepero Oduye. 12 minutes.


 

Dear Mandela

Saturday, April 15, 4:00pm

 

 

When the South African government promises to 'eradicate the slums' and begins to evict shack dwellers far outside the city, three friends who live in Durban's vast shantytowns refuse to be moved. Dear Mandela follows their journey from their shacks to the highest court in the land as they invoke Nelson Mandela's example and become leaders in a growing social movement. By turns inspiring, devastating and funny, the film offers a new perspective on the role that young people can play in political change and is a fascinating portrait of South Africa coming of age.

Documentary, Directed by Dara Kell & Christopher Nizza. 90 minutes.

* Post screening discussion with local housing justice organizers.

 


 

I Just Draw Pictures

Saturday, April 15, 6:30pm

A portrait of Jo Hines, the Baton Rouge artist who painted the mural at Triple S Food Store where Alton Sterling was killed by police officers.

Documentary, Directed by Jillian Hall. 6 Minutes.

* Filmmaker present for screening.

 


 

Off the Sidewalks, into the Streets

Saturday, April 15, 6:30pm


Highlights those involved in the protests last summer in Baton Rouge and asks that their motives not be forgotten.

Documentary, Directed by Zandashé  Brown and Ryan Clarke. 6 minutes.

* Filmmaker present for screening.


 

Whose Streets?

Saturday, April 15, 6:30pm

 

Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. Empowered parents, artists, and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters. As the national guard descends on Ferguson with military grade weaponry, these young community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance. Filmmakers Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis know this story because they are the story. Whose Streets? is a powerful battle cry from a generation fighting, not for their civil rights, but for the right to live.

Documentary, Directed by Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis. 103 Minutes.

* Activists from Ferguson, featured in film, present for post-film discussion, along with local organizers.

 


 

All Governments Lie

Saturday, April 15, 9:30pm

Journalist I.F. Stone famously said "All governments lie," and this belief motivates fearless independent journalists to find the truth. Explore pivotal moments in history when investigative journalists uncovered facts that contradicted official government statements. This film follows independent journalism from I. F. Stone, whose fearless, independent reporting from 1953 to 1971 filled a tiny 4-page newsletter which he wrote, published, and carried to the mailbox every week, to today. The film profiles Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Nermeen Shaikh, Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibi, and others as they expose government lies and corporate deception.

Documentary, Directed by Fred Peabody. 90 minutes.

 


 

When I Saw You

Sunday, April 16, 5:00pm

Jordan, 1967. The world is alive with change: brimming with reawakened energy, new styles, music and an infectious sense of hope. In Jordan, a different kind of change is underway as tens of thousands of refugees pour across the border from Palestine. Having been separated from his father in the chaos of war, Tarek, 11, and his mother Ghaydaa, are amongst this latest wave of refugees. Placed in “temporary” refugee camps made up of tents and prefab houses until they would be able to return, they wait, like the generation before them who arrived in 1948. With difficulties adjusting to life in Harir camp and a longing to be reunited with his father, Tarek searches a way out, and discovers a new hope emerging with the times. Eventually his free spirit and curious nature lead him to a group of people on a journey that will change their lives. When I Saw You (Lamma Shoftak) is the story of people affected by the times around them, in search of something more in their lives. A journey full of adventure, love, humor, and the desire to be free, but most of all this is a story about that moment in a person's life when he wakes up and finds the whole world is open and everything is possible - that moment you feel most alive. It is a journey of the human spirit that knows no borders.

Drama, Directed by Annemarie Jacir. 100 Minutes.

 


 

Soul City

Sunday, April 16, 7:00pm 

Visions of Housing Justice: Films and Discussion on Housing issues, presented by Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative

 

 

Soul City is a documentary short that tells the story of a group of civil rights activists and city slickers who attempt to build a multiracial utopia in the heart of Klan Country, North Carolina in the 1970s. Their pioneering efforts to jumpstart this black-owned, black-built town run up against tenacious enemies that still face idealists and dreamers today--ingrained racism, public skepticism, and unwillingness on the part of the government to think outside the box to solve social problems. As this group of dreamers try to bring together unlikely allies to support black power and economic development, they are forced to balance their soaring idealism with the hostile reality of the times.

Documentary, Directed by Monica Berra, SheRea DelSol, and Gini Richards. 21 minutes.

* Filmmakers present for post-screening discussion.

 


 

Arc of Justice

Sunday, April 16, 7:00pm 

Visions of Housing Justice: Films and Discussion on Housing issues, presented by Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative

 

Arc of Justice traces the remarkable journey of New Communities, Inc. (NCI) in southwest Georgia, a story of racial justice, community organizing, and perseverance in the face of enormous obstacles. NCI was created in 1969 in Albany, Georgia by leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, including Congressman John Lewis, and Charles and Shirley Sherrod, to help secure economic independence for African American families. For 15 years, NCI cooperatively farmed nearly 6,000 acres, the largest tract of land in the United States owned by African Americans at the time, but racist opposition prevented them from implementing plans to build 500 affordable homes as part of their community land trust.

Documentary, Directed by Helen S. Cohen and Mark Lipman. 22 minutes.

 


 

Flooded with you

Sunday, April 16, 7:00pm 

Visions of Housing Justice: Films and Discussion on Housing issues, presented by Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative

 

The inspiring, strong family bond of the Davis family whose homes were flooded and who now live all together in one small apartment.

Documentary, Directed by Evan Kidd. 8 minutes.

* Filmmaker present at screening.

 


 

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