Announcing the 2018 Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival Film Line-up!

Tickets on sale to the public Feb. 12
Sebastopol Center for the Arts is proud to announce the program for the 11th Annual Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival. The festival will screen 66 documentaries, including one U.S. premiere and two Academy Award® nominated films. Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival is scheduled for March. 22-25 with screenings taking place at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, and the Rialto Cinemas® in Sebastopol.
Tickets go on sale to SDFF members on February 8, 2018. Tickets go on sale to the public on February 12, 2018. Passes are on sale now at the SDFF website
Full Program Line-up:
69 Minutes of 86 Days
Norway, 2017, 70 minutes
Director: Egil Haskjold Larsen
From the middle of a crowd of Syrian refugees on the move, a 3-year-old Lean slowly emerges. She takes in her surroundings between hundreds of adult trouser legs, aware of the precarious situation in which she and her family find themselves. With childlike wonder she continues her journey. With every step she is closer to her grandfather in Sweden.
A Bastard Child
Sweden, Norway, 2017, 57 minutes
Director: Knutte Wester
USA Premiere “As I child I used to sit in my grandmother’s kitchen and she told me stories about her childhood—stories about growing up unwanted and rejected, stories of an intolerant society.” In an exceptional mix of animation and archive footage, artist Knutte Wester tells the remarkable story of his grandmother, who grew up with the stigma of being illegitimate.
A Name That I Admire
USA, 2017, 6 minutes
Director: Sam Smartt
Danny Slemp runs a dairy farm in a conservative town in rural Virginia. He discusses his views of the 2016 presidential election and casts his presidential ballot for an unlikely candidate.
A Thousand Mothers
Myanmar, 2017, 39 minutes
Director: Kim Shelton
Set in an ancient nunnery above the majestic Irrawaddy River, A Thousand Mothers is an unprecedented look into the lives of Buddhist nuns in Sagaing, Myanmar. Although the choices available to girls and women in Myanmar are quite limited, the film poetically unfolds to reveal the opportunities offered to them at the nunnery, and the deep grace of a life dedicated to service.
All That Passes By Through a Window That Doesn’t Open
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, 2017, 70 minutes
Director: Martin DiCicco
Across the Caucasus, Azerbaijani men labor to build a new railroad, which promises to bring glory to a new generation. Across the closed borders in Armenia, a lonely stationmaster sits idle in an abandoned railroad depot where, for the last twenty years, he awaits the return of the trains.
All the Wild Horses
Mongolia, 2017, 89 minutes
Director: Ivo Marloh
All the Wild Horses follows international riders as they compete in the Mongol Derby in Mongolia, the longest and toughest horse race in the world. In this race across one thousand kilometers of Mongolian steppe the riders are on their own, navigating from horse station to horse station where they change mounts. They battle exhaustion, extreme weather, swollen rivers and wild dogs. One wrong move and they get bucked off, lose their mount and suffer serious injuries. An epic tale of horses and riders.
Almost Heaven
United Kingdom, 2017, 72 minutes
Director: Carol Salter
Far from home, afraid of the dark, and terrified of ghosts, seventeen-year-old Ying Ling is training to become a mortician in one of China’s largest funeral homes. Despite her fears, she learns how to clean and massage the corpses while the grieving families look on.
Among Wolves
Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2016, 87 minutes
Director: Shawn Convey
The Wolves are no ordinary biker club, as is revealed in this gorgeously shot, surprisingly intimate portrait of trauma and survival. Still struggling from the aftermath of the Bosnian War, this multi-ethnic club organizes charity events for their small mountain town and defends the threatened herd of wild horses they first met on the frontline.
Arrested (Again)
Activist and Chair of the board of Greenpeace Inc., Karen Topakian, has been arrested dozens of times for using nonviolent civil disobedience to protest nuclear proliferation, human rights abuses, environmental issues, and war. Karen’s story speaks to the need for Americans, now more than ever, to exercise this important First Amendment right.
USA, 2017, 33 minutes
Director: Isara Krieger
This film follows three students through an alternative year of school at Beacon Academy. Bridging the gap between 8th and 9th grade, Beacon Academy provides motivated inner-city students with the instruction, encouragement, and guidance they need to apply to some of New England’s top independent boarding high schools.
Bee Nation
Canada, 2017, 81 mins
Director: Lana Šlezić
Bee Nation is a Canadian documentary produced and directed by Lana Šlezić. The film follows the inspirational stories of six students in the first ever First Nations Provincial Spelling Bee in Canada. Through the eyes of students, parents, and educators, we learn of the challenges and opportunities awaiting the First Nations students in Saskatchewan as they strive to make it to the National Championships in Toronto; the highs, the lows, and everything in between.
Bending the Arc
USA, 2017, 102 minutes
Directors: Kief Davidson, Pedro Kos
Not so long ago, the public health establishment declared it was impossible to treat poor people suffering from certain deadly diseases. In the 1980s, a small group of unstoppable health advocates, barely out of their teens, set out to change that. Their revolutionary model of training communities to care for themselves, and treating all people with world-class medicine, has forever changed public health.
Best of Luck with the Wall
USA, 2016, 7 minutes
Director: Josh Begley
A voyage along the US-Mexico border, the proposed route of the border wall, stitched together from 200,000 satellite images taken from Google maps. These pictures are worth more than all the thousands of political words about the Wall.
Bird of Prey
Philippines, 2017, 95 minutes
Director: Eric Liner
The Philippine Eagle is a bird of extremes. The world’s largest and rarest eagle is found only in the Philippines. Fewer than 800 remain today, and the future of these iconic raptors is tied to the fate of the Philippines’ last fragments of old-growth forest. Wildlife cinematographer, Neil Rettig, embarks on the most challenging assignment of his career: to find and film the rarest eagle on the planet. Bird of Prey explores the vanishing world of the Great Philippine Eagle and introduces us to the dedicated Filipinos determined to save it.
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
USA, 2017, 90 minutes
Director: Alexandra Dean
Austrian actress Hedy Lamarr fled an oppressive marriage to create a name for herself as one of Hollywood’s top leading ladies. Behind the glamor and sex appeal was a talented and inquisitive inventor who created a system that is now considered the basis of Bluetooth.The secret technology she creates is groundbreaking and would make a terrific fictional film, but this story happens to be true. Based on a trove of previously unknown interviews, Hedy Lamarr, the screen siren who was called “the most beautiful woman in the world” is reborn as an inventor who helped the war effort.
Sunday, March 25
Rialto Cinemas® #9, 1:45 p.m.
Bones of Contention
Spain, 2017, 75 minutes
Director: Andrea Weiss
Bones of Contention is the first nonfiction feature film to explore the theme of historical memory in Spain with a focus on the repression of lesbians and gays under Franco. Lining the roads of Spain, masked by miles of pine trees, are unmarked graves in which over 120,000 victims of the Franco regime are buried. The film tells the story of the repression of the dictatorship against the backdrop of the powerful words of Garcia Lorca. It begs the question “How does a country excavate a past that is actively suppressed?”
The Cinema Travellers
India, 2016, 96 minutes
Directors: Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya
Cannes prize-winning The Cinema Travellers is a journey with the traveling cinemas of India, which bring the wonder of the movies to faraway villages annually. Seven decades on, as their lorries and cinema projectors crumble and film reels become scarce, their audiences are lured away by slick digital technology. Filmed over five years, The Cinema Travellers accompanies a shrewd exhibitor, a benevolent showman and a maverick projector mechanic who bear a beautiful burden—to keep the last traveling cinemas of the world running.
City of Joy
USA, 2016, 74 minutes
Director: Madeleine Gavin
City of Joy tells the story of the first class of girls at a remarkable center in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Director, Madeleine Gavin, tells of the visionaries who imagined a revolutionary place where women who have suffered horrific rape and abuse learn to lead amidst a war driven by greed, economics, and colonialism. It is the story of the power of the human spirit as we witness our characters’ discovery of hope, even when so much of what was meaningful to them has long been stripped away.
Creative Feds
USA, 2017, 15 minutes
Directors: Erica Ginsberg, Leon Gerskovic
Creative Feds is a documentary project which explores federal employees who are as far from the stereotypical “faceless bureaucrats” as you can get. They are government employees by day who also pursue a creative calling by night and weekend. Whether they consider their creative work a hobby or a second career, they don’t see their federal work as a day job. Instead they bring their creative spirit into their federal work, and are equally dedicated to serving their country and their craft.
Crows of the Desert: A Hero’s Journey through the Armenian Genocide
USA, 2016, 60 minutes
Director: Marta Houske
Crows of the Desert is the incredible true story of one man’s brave struggle to stay alive and help save the Armenian people from near extinction in the 20th Century’s first genocide. World War One engulfed the Middle East, as Lawrence of Arabia fought side by side with the Arabs against the Ottomans. In this chaos, our hero Levon risked his life to rescue thousands of scattered, destitute survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Extraordinarily rare film, photographs, and documents, gathered from global archives, reveal the terror and heroism of a century ago in the Syrian desert.
Germany, 2017, 86 minutes
Director: Chico Pereira
Manolo leads a simple life in Southern Spain. He has two loves: his animals, in particular his donkey Gorrión (“Sparrow”), and wandering through nature. Against the advice of his doctor, he decides to plan one long walk in the USA: the historical Trail of Tears. But not without Gorrión. Their epic journey through America is the subject of Director Pereira’s wandering lens.
Eyes of Exodus
Greece, USA, 2016, 28 minutes
Director: Alexandra Liveris
Eyes of Exodus tells a story that repeats every day in the news through the lens of 4 days in Greece. Fleets of vessels carrying Syrian refugees arrive on the shores of a tiny, idyllic Greek island, which provides both an affecting portrait of the refugee experience and an unflinching look at humanity’s varying capacity for empathy. The most isolated Greek island is transformed from a sleepy tourist destination to an outpost for Syrian refugees.
English Subtitles
The Fourth Kingdom
USA, 2017, 15 minutes
Director: Adán Aliaga, Àlex Lora
The Fourth Kingdom is the kingdom of plastics, a recycling redemption center in New York where immigrants and self-identified underdogs spend their days. Scenes of life in the redemption center are juxtaposed against snippets of conversation by the workers and visitors and archival footage, the unusual and engrossing combinations result in a moving and artful film. The Brooklyn film Festival Best Short Doc winner.
Futbolistas 4 Life: Hope. Dreams. Futbol
USA, 2017, 37 minutes
Director: Jun Stinson
Futbolistas 4 Life is about Oakland teens from immigrant families and the healing power of soccer. The film offers an intimate look into the lives of two high schoolers: one is a college hopeful and DACA applicant who’s navigating the reality of his immigration status, and the other in an American citizen who lives in fear that her undocumented parents may be deported. These youth take solace in the game of soccer that lets them, if only for a moment, put their worries on the sidelines.
Friday, March 23
SCA Little Red Hen, 7:00 p.m.
United Kingdom, 2017, 16 minutes
Director: Sean Mullan
Through horses, a man feels an irrepressible duty to move in harmony with his pain. This film explores the infinite momentum of life via an energy never destroyed, only transformed.
Knife Skills
USA, 2017, 40 minutes
Director: Thomas Lennon
Academy Award® nominated Knife Skills follows the launch of an haute cuisine restaurant in Cleveland, staffed by men and women recently released from prison. In this improbable setting, we discover the challenges of men and women finding their way after their release. We come to know three trainees intimately, as well as the restaurant’s founder, who is also dogged by his past. They all have something to prove, and all struggle to launch new lives; an endeavor as pressured and perilous as the ambitious restaurant launch of which they are a part.
The Kodachrome Elegies
USA, 2017, 11 minutes
Director: Jay Rosenblatt
Kodachrome was a filmstock noted for its rich tones and vibrant colors. The Kodachrome Elegies is a short experimental documentary that evokes the bygone era of Kodachrome’s pinnacle. Filmmaker, Jay Rosenblatt, unwinds big and small stories from the archival Kodachrome material, creating a personal narrative against the background of the musical soundtrack. While it is a paean to this lost filmstock, the film suggests the end of an era and the loss of innocence.
La Pesca
Canada, 2017, 22 minutes
Directors: Pablo Alvarez Mesa, Fernando López Escrivá
On Colombia’s Caribbean coast, it’s a workday like any other for the men of a fishing family. The filmmakers capture the small details of their work, with all its repetitive but exact motions. Games of dominoes, conversations, cooking, and even song fill the long waits that punctuate the fishermen’s days. La Pesca is a poetic view of men’s everyday lives, observing them closely on land before following them on an underwater sensory immersion, where their bodies and nets dance ballet. In this short, the passage of time becomes as important as the fishing it portrays.
The Last Animals
USA, 2017, 92 minutes
Director: Kate Brooks
The Last Animals is about an extraordinary group of people who go to great lengths to save the planet’s last animals. This documentary follows the conservationists, scientists, and activists battling poachers and trafficking syndicates to protect elephants and rhinos from extinction. The Last Animals follows the struggle on Africa’s front lines, behind the scenes in Asian markets, and here, the U.S. The film takes an intense look at the global response to this slaughter and the measures to genetically rescue the Northern White Rhinos from the edge of extinction.
Letters From Baghdad
USA, 2016, 94 minutes
Directors: Zeva Oelbaum , Sabine Krayenbühl
Letters from Baghdad tells the extraordinary story of Gertrude Bell, the most powerful woman in the British Empire in her day. Even more influential than her friend Lawrence of Arabia, Bell shaped the destiny of Iraq after World War I in ways that still reverberate today. Using stunning, never-seen-before footage of the region, the film chronicles her extraordinary journey into both the uncharted Arabian desert and the inner sanctum of British colonial power.
Life in Strides
USA, 2017, 18 minutes
Director: Patrick Foust
Jake, a young man with autism, has become a champion in therapeutic horseback riding. Jake’s mother Joanne has been by his side throughout his riding career, helping her son stay calm on his horse. Now, Jake is put to the test as he enters his first non-therapeutic riding competition, where the event is beyond Joanne’s control and Jake must compete as an equal with other riders.
Albania, 2017, 53 minutes
Directors: Suela Bako, Yllka Gjollesha
Light portrays the life and work of well-known Albanian photographer Gjon Mili. The film focuses on his innovative and pioneering techniques in photography. It documents the making his famous photograph: Stop-Action Photograph Drop of Water as it Falls and Splashes.
Germany, Finland, India, 2016, 71 minutes
Director: Rahul Jain
Director Rahul Jain portrays the rhythm of life and work in a gigantic textile factory in India. Moving through the corridors of the enormous structure, the camera takes the viewer to a place of dehumanizing physical labor, highlighting the huge divide between first world and developing countries. Since the 1960s, India has undergone unregulated industrialization, exemplified by its numerous textile factories.
The Memoir
USA, 2017, 18 minutes
Director: Adrienne von Wolffersdorff
The Memoir is a documentary about the filmmaker’s grandma, Ceil, a 96-year-old woman who is in the process of writing her memoir. Grandma Ceil grew up on a cattle ranch in Northern California and at this moment in her life she is reminiscing about her childhood as she struggles to complete her book in the face of encroaching old age. The filmmaker explores Grandma Ceil’s past, as well as her creative process, in an effort to understand what inspires Grandma Ceil to stay motivated.
My Mother Is Pink
Denmark, 2017, 75 minutes
Director: Cecilie Debell
When Malou Gabriella sets off with her son, Michael, in her bright pink campervan it’s to heal their relationship. Clubbing their way across the country, the two exchange memories and Malou explains why she could not have been there for the young Michael. A deeply unusual and highly surprising family story.
English Subtitles
Saturday, March 24
SCA Brent Auditorium, 11:30 a.m.
Negative Space
France, 2017, 6 minutes
Directors: Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
Academy Award® nominated, Negative Space tells the bittersweet story of a relationship between a father and his son, Sam. Always leaving on business trips, the father connects with Sam by teaching him how to pack a suitcase efficiently. Sam says “Some guys bond with their dads shooting hoops or talking about Chevrolets. We did it over luggage. The funeral was terrible—my Dad laid out in that big carton and me thinking, Look at all that wasted space.”
No Vacancy
USA, 2017, 17 minutes
Director: Abhi Singh
No Vacancy explores the struggles of San Francisco artists as they contend with exorbitant rent prices, developers looking to convert art spaces into luxury condos and a city that isn’t paying attention to them. All the artists in the film face the prospect of being priced out of San Francisco in the near future. These artists are the cultural fabric of a city that doesn’t have room for them anymore.
USA, 2016, 80 minutes
Director: Penny Lane
Nuts! is a feature length documentary about Dr. John Romulus Brinkley, an eccentric genius who built an empire in Depression-era America with a goat testicle impotence cure and a million watt radio station. Using animated reenactments, interviews, archival footage, and a hilariously unreliable narrator, Nuts!  traces Brinkley’s rise from poverty and obscurity to the heights of celebrity, wealth, and influence in Depression-era America.
One October
USA, 2017, 68 minutes
Director: Rachel Shuman
One October is a lyrical, loving portrait of New York City and its people in October 2008. On the eve of Obama’s historic election and an unprecedented economic crisis, we follow Clay Pigeon, an intrepid radio host, as he takes to the streets and delves into the preoccupations of everyday New Yorkers facing the promise and uncertainty of change. The film celebrates the resiliency of the human spirit and the beauty that lies in the rich cultural tapestry of a dynamic metropolis.
Phil’s Camino
USA, 2017, 28 minutes
Director: Annie O’Neil
Phil has stage 4 cancer but dreams of walking the 500-mile-long spiritual pilgrimage known as the Camino de Santiago in Spain. He does the next best thing: he builds a Camino behind his house and traces his route along a map of Spain. Phil gets a clean scan and his doctors grant him permission to miss one chemo treatment. He flies to Spain and walks the actual Camino de Santiago. Along the way he realizes his true pilgrimage is the one he travels within.
Pink or Blue
Canada, 2012, 3 minutes
Director: Jake Dypka
Pink or Blue is a collaboration project based around the theme of gender. Commissioned to open the Saatchi showcase in Cannes it used 3D technology to allow the viewer to switch between two different versions of the film depending which set of glasses they view it through. Although it will be screened at SDFF in 2D, the film remains a poetic narrative punctuated by a series of gender based images. Pink or Blue is a clever experiment in social commentary.
Saturday, March 24
SCA Brent Auditorium, 11:30 a.m.
Purge This Land
USA, 2017, 80 minutes
Director: Lee Anne Schmitt
Purge This Land is an essay film centered around the legacy of the radical abolitionist John Brown. The title is taken from John Brown’s letter of 1859: “I…am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.” Purge This Land uses the image and legacy of John Brown to contemplate the culpability of White America in the ongoing disenfranchisement of Black America.
Rebels on Pointe
USA, 2017, 90 minutes
Director: Bobbi Jo Hart
Rebels on Pointe is a cinéma vérité documentary film celebrating Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo; the all male, drag ballet company founded on the heels of New York’s Stonewall riots. The company has a cult following around the world. The film combines behind-the-scenes access, intimate character-driven personal stories, and amazing performances shot around the world. Rebels on Pointe reveals that a ballerina is not merely a woman dancing, but an act of revolution in a tutu.
Revisiting the Dubhs Ridge
Germany, 2017, 25 minutes
Directors: Howard Steen, Guus Floor
Two lifelong adventurers embark on a sailing voyage to the Isle of Skye on the West Coast of Scotland. They resolve to revisit the Dubhs Ridge, a classic mountaineering route which they climbed back in their youth. Although Roger has multiple sclerosis, they have years of experience overcoming challenges in the mountains and on the high seas. However, they are not quite prepared for the difficulty which awaits them. As their dreams collide with reality they need help to make the trip a success.
Right Between Your Ears
USA, 2016, 63 minutes
Director: Sheila Marshall
Many people have a strong sense that their views are right and couldn’t possibly be wrong. So how do we come to hold an unshakable conviction and why is it hard to consider that we could be mistaken? This film follows the lives of of four everyday people who became convinced of their teacher’s belief that the world would end soon. We follow them as they abandon their lives and prepare for the end.The follow up interviews alone are worth the price of admission.
The Rock
Iran, 2017, 26 minutes
Director: Hamid Jafari
In the south of Iran, a woman goes to the mountain every day with her sledgehammer and crowbar, breaks rocks, and sells them to support her family. Filmed without narration or dialogue, this short film is a powerful and poetic story of a woman’s life.
School Life
Ireland, Spain, 2016, 99 minutes
Directors: Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane
This observational documentary follows a year in the lives of two inspirational teachers at Headfort, the only primary boarding school in Ireland. Housed in an 18th century estate, school life embraces tradition and modernity. For John, rock music is just another subject alongside Maths, Scripture and Latin. For his wife Amanda, the key to connecting with children is the book. For nearly half a century these two have shaped thousands of minds, but now the unthinkable looms: what would retirement mean? What will keep them young if they leave?
USA, 2017, 6 minutes
Director: Chris Filippone
In the shadow of the global metal trade, a metal scrapper hunts the streets of Oakland searching for his day’s keep. This is a wordless diary of a day in the life of a lone recycler.
Shooting War
Canada, 2016, 24 minutes
Director: Aeyliya Husain
When the Americans declared war on Iraq in 2003, Franco Pagetti was there with his camera poised and ready to document the war as he saw it. He was one of two photographers working for TIME Magazine (2003-2008) during a war that lasted far longer than predicted. Photographs from each major conflict have told stories that reveal a truth about war not printed in the headlines. What are the stories from the Iraq War? What truths will these images reveal?
The Stairs
USA, 2017, 95 minutes
Director: Hugh Gibson
After surviving decades of street life, three social workers help their community, while struggling with past demons. Filmed over five years, The Stairs movingly defies preconceptions about drug use and sex work, revealing a surprising world that is often misunderstood.
Sununú: The Revolution of Love
United Kingdom, 2017, 25 minutes
Director: Olivia Crellin
Trans Dad Fernando Machado became an international news sensation when he announced he was pregnant with his trans girlfriend Diane Rodriguez in Ecuador last year. This film is an intimate and touching portrayal of a couple coming to grips with parenthood while they challenge complex ideas of gender roles. With exclusive access to the new family in its earliest days, we see how this remarkable duo balance parenting with a career in activism.
Scotland, 2017, 11 minutes
Director: Thomas Hogben
Every crooked lateral incisor or overzealous premolar tells a story. Teeth explores the relationship we have with these dental companions and how they impact our lives.
Norway, 2016, 14 minutes
Director: Halvor Nitteberg
Thea is a 12 year old who likes to play football and to be with her friends. So why does she want to grow up to be an air ambulance pilot? Although Thea has a serious and dramatic type of epilepsy, she is able to share her thoughts with us about the things that she enjoys in her life. We follow Thea through her long hospital stay and subsequent homecoming to her brothers and friends. Her creativity blossoms in the hospital where she creates a special gift.
Three Red Sweaters
USA, 2016, 8 minutes
Director: Martha Gregory
A filmmaker explores memory and the way that we use technology to record our lives; sometimes at the expense of being present for them. She uses her grandfather’s 16mm home videos as her medium. This journey into family archives employs a very personal story to examine how memory is captured as a moment in time, and breathes new life into what was once thought lost forever.
Tribal Justice
USA, 2017, 87 minutes
Director: Anne A Makepeace
Two strong Native American women, both chief judges in their tribe’s courts, strive to reduce incarceration rates and heal their people by restoring rather than punishing offenders, modeling restorative justice in action. Tribal Justice follows the cases and lives of local tribe members as they pass through state and tribal courts.
True Conviction
USA, 2017, 84 minutes
Director: Jamie Meltzer
Christopher Scott was released from prison after serving 13 years for a murder he didn’t commit.This sounds like a nightmare, but it’s not uncommon. At his exoneree support group meeting, Chris presents his idea that exonerees could become detectives, investigate the cases of other wrongfully convicted prisoners, and prove their innocence. True Conviction follows Chris and his team as they work to realize this dream of becoming detectives.
Austria, 2017, 80 minutes
Director: Stefan Wolner
Martin Habacher from Austria is not even supposed to still be alive. The doctors predicted an early death for him shortly after his birth. Martin was born with brittle bone disease—yet his physical fragility ultimately made him a stronger personality than one might expect at first glance. Today, Martin, the smallest YouTuber in Austria, vehemently and humorously advocates for tolerance and the breaking down of barriers, both in his everyday life and in our minds. An uplifting view of a life well lived despite handicaps.
USA, 2017, 97 minutes
Director: Jennifer Brea
Jennifer Brea is an active Harvard PhD student about to marry the love of her life when suddenly her body starts failing her. Hoping to shed light on her strange symptoms, Jennifer grabs a camera and films the darkest moments as they unfold before her eyes, The camera follows as she is derailed by M.E. (commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), a mysterious illness some still believe is “all in your head.”
USA, 2017, 70 minutes
Director: Erin Heidenreich
In the Taliban controlled area of Waziristan, where sports for women are decried as un-Islamic, and girls rarely leave their houses, young Maria Toorpakai defies the rules by disguising herself as a boy, so she can play sports freely. As she becomes a rising star, however, her true identity is revealed, bringing constant death threats on her and her family. Undeterred, they continue to rebel for their freedom.
Violin Making: One Man’s Journey
USA, 2017, 11 minutes
Director: Chip Curry
In this film, we enter the shop of Andrew Carruthers to experience the craft and art of violin making. As his new instruments are played by a violinist in the San Francisco Symphony and a bluegrass fiddle player, we see that violin construction itself becomes a performance. Carruthers details how he uses Japanese philosophy in his quest to honor the violin making of the old masters, and at the same time honors his own creativity.
Voices Beyond the Wall
USA, 2017, 88 minutes
Director: Brad Coley
Spencer Reece, an award winning American poet and Episcopal priest, comes to live and teach poetry for a year at Our Little Roses, the only girls’ orphanage in Honduras. The poems that emerge reveal wisdom far beyond the authors’ years. The girls’ poetry, and their reflections on the process of writing it, operates both as the emotional spine of the movie and an inspiration for its mosaic structure.
The Washing Society
USA, 2018, 44 minutes
Directors: Lynne Sachs, Lizzie Olesker
When you drop off a bag of dirty laundry, who’s doing the washing and folding? The Washing Society brings us into New York City laundromats and the experiences of the people who work there. We observe these disappearing neighborhood spaces and the continual, intimate labor that happens there. The juxtaposition of narrative and documentary elements in The Washing Society creates a dream-like yet very real portrayal of a day in the life of a laundry worker, both past and present.
Water Town
USA, 2017, 24 minutes
Director: Maya Craig
Water Town follows the current and former mayors of Weed, California on their quest to win the spring water back from the corporations they believe are stealing it from them only to sell it to Crystal Geyser. Offbeat humor sets the tone for a David and Goliath battle, highlighting the absurdities of wealth inequity and challenging the viewer to consider whether water is a right or a commodity.
Water Warriors
USA, Canada, 2017