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2017 Releases

 

 

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Faces of Harrassment
A film by Paula Sacchetta

FACES OF HARASSMENT is an experiment in storytelling about trauma. When the hashtag #MyFirstHarassment swept across Brazil, it showed not only the widespread experience of sexual harassment, but a widespread hunger to bring it out of the shadows. FACES OF HARASSMENT amplifies this movement, by opening space for women to speak their own truth. The film was shot in a mobile storytelling van, parked in rich and poor neighborhoods alike across São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and open to any woman. The van was a free, autonomous space, where women spoke to the camera directly, no interviewer or other influence present. FACES OF HARASSMENT offers an honest and unflinching look at the scourge of sexual harassment—and at the radical possibilities for dignity and healing that can happen when women are free to speak completely for themselves. More.

footprint

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Footprint: Population, Consumption and Sustainability
A film by Valentina Canavesio

FOOTPRINT takes a dizzying spin around the globe, witnessing population explosions, overconsumption, limited resources, and expert testimony as to what a world straining at its limits can sustain. We spend time with indigenous health workers, activists, and the ordinary people in the Philippines, Mexico, Pakistan and Kenya, who all challenge the idea that our world can continue to support the weight of humanity’s footprint on it. FOOTPRINT offers unprecedented access to the people on the ground who are all in their unique way challenging the status quo and making us rethink what’s really at stake. There are surprising revelations on who are the players standing in the way of solutions and those pushing for it, without losing sight of the array of possible solutions that open up when we take the time to ask this critical question of how many of us there are in the world and what the Earth can sustain if we are to all live a dignified life. More.

 

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Girls' War
A film by Mylène Sauloy

As the forces of ISIS and Assad tear through villages and society in Syria and Northern Iraq, a group of brave and idealistic women are taking up arms against them—and winning inspiring victories. Members of “The Free Women’s Party” come from Paris, Turkish Kurdistan, and other parts of the world. Their dream: To create a Democratic Syria, and a society based on gender equality. Guns in hand, these women are carrying on a movement with roots that run 40 years deep in the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey. GIRL’S WAR honors the legacy of Sakine Cansiz,co-founder of the PKK who was assassinated in Paris in 2013, and reflects on the sacrifices made by all of the women in the movement, who have endured jail, rape, war, and persecution in their quest to liberate their lives and sisters from male dominance. With scenes of solidarity, strength, and love amongst these brave women soldiers, GIRL’S WAR is a surprising story of Middle Eastern feminism on the front lines. More.

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Heather Booth: Changing the World
A film by Lilly Rivlin

Heather Booth is the most influential person you never heard of. The newest film by critically acclaimed filmmaker Lilly Rivlin, HEATHER BOOTH: CHANGING THE WORLD is an urgent response to the recent change in administration. At a time when many are wondering how to make their voices heard, when civil and women's rights are under attack, this empowering documentary is an inspiring look at how social change happens. 

Heather Booth, a renowned organizer and activist, began her remarkable career at the height of the Civil Rights movement. Through her life and work this inspiring film explores many of the most pivotal moments in progressive movements that altered our history over the last fifty years: from her involvement with Fannie Lou Hamer and the Freedom Summer Project, to her founding of the JANE Underground in 1964, to her personal relationships with respected leaders such as Julian Bond and Senator Elizabeth Warren.  More.

 



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Ohero:kon - Under the Husk
A film by Katsitsionni Fox

UNDER THE HUSK follows two Mohawk girls on their journey to become Mohawk women. Friends since childhood, Kaienkwinehtha and Kasennakohe are members of the traditional community of Akwesasne on the U.S./Canada border. Together, they undertake a four-year rite of passage for adolescents, called Oheró:kon, or “under the husk.” The ceremony had been nearly extinct, a casualty of colonialism and intergenerational trauma; revived in the past decade by two traditional leaders, it has since flourished. Filmmaker Katsitsionni Fox has served as a mentor, or “auntie,” to many youth going through the passage rites. In UNDER THE HUSK, Fox shares two girls’ journey through adolescence, as they rise to the tasks of Oheró:kon, learning traditional practices such as basket making and survival skills as well as contemporary teachings about sexual health and drug and alcohol prevention. UNDER THE HUSK is a personal story of a traditional practice challenging young girls spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically, shaping the women they become.


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The Revival: Women and the Word
A film by Sekiya Dorsett

THE REVIVAL: WOMEN AND THE WORD chronicles the US tour of a group of Black lesbian poets and musicians, who become present-day stewards of a historical movement to build community among queer women of color. Their journey to strengthen their community is enriched by insightful interviews with leading Black feminist thinkers and historians, including Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Nikki Finney, and Alexis Deveaux. As the group tours the country, the film reveals their aspirations and triumphs, as well as the unique identity challenges they face encompassing gender, race, and sexuality. This is a rarely seen look into a special sisterhood - one where marginalized voices are both heard and respected. More.

 

absense

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A Revolution in Four Seasons
A film by Jessie Deeter
This seminal film tells the story of two women with opposing political views fighting for their different versions of a democratic future for Tunisia, the country that sparked the Arab Spring. Over the course of Tunisia's critical post-revolution years, we follow journalist Emna Ben Jemaa, who envisions a country governed by free speech and without the corruption of the former regime. In contrast, Jawhara Ettis of the Islamist party Ennahda works towards a Tunisia guided by Islamic principles. On a public level, both women must navigate how females are treated in their society, while in their own homes they must make difficult choices to balance their public political roles with marriage and motherhood. Both know the stakes are high. The ever-present threat of Islamic extremists means their fragile political process could break down and all they've worked for could be lost. This timely and insightful documentary traces their paths from public figures in the Arab Spring to opponents in its wake, and the common obstacles they face as outspoken women. More.

2016 Releases

 

 

absense

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Absences (Ausencias)
A film by Tatiana Huezo

ABSENCES, by award winning filmmaker Tatiana Huezo (The Tiniest Place), exposes the ever-intensifying phenomenon of enforced disappearance in Mexico. A boy and his father disappear one morning, snatched off the road by armed men. Left behind, alone with her daughter, Lulu, a victim who refuses to give in, decides to tell the unacceptable story: the unfillable void, the absence of loved ones, the unanswered questions and the suffocating silence. After 5 years, absence has her living in a limbo that gives way to desire, hope and the struggle to find her 9-year old son Brandon and her husband, alive. This hauntingly beautiful short film illuminates the way disappearance affects women, and broadens our awareness on disappearance and its social consequences in Mexico and Central America. More.

 

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Beautiful Sin
A film by Gabriela Quirós

BEAUTIFUL SIN tells a surprising reproductive rights story, one that resonates from Central America to the United States and beyond.

What if you desperately wanted a baby, but your country and religion prohibited you from trying the one medical treatment that could help you?

In 2000, anti-abortion activists, with the help of the Catholic Church and a U.S. group, won a legal case that banned in vitro fertilization (IVF) in Costa Rica and gave the embryo legal rights, making Costa Rica the only country in the world to outlaw the treatment. BEAUTIFUL SIN tells the decade-long story of three couples struggling with infertility who take the Costa Rican government before an international human rights court to demand the right to use IVF. More.



BMW

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  Brave Miss World
A film by Cecilia Peck, Produced by Cecilia PeckInbal B. Lessner & Motty Reif

In October 1998, eighteen-year-old Linor Abargil was stabbed and raped while working as a model in Milan. Weeks later she was crowned Israel’s first Miss World. Over the course of five years, director Cecilia Peck (Shut Up & Sing) follows Abargil, on a mission to confront the trauma of her past, including a hunt for other victims of the man who raped her, preventing his parole. Abargil, a poised, magnetic and supremely empathic advocate travels from Hollywood to rape crisis centers, American college campuses and the townships of South Africa to share her story and inspire others to confront shame and to heal. Emmy nominated BRAVE MISS WORLD is a call for justice and a startlingly honest portrayal of how personal tragedy can be transformed into a global awareness campaign against sexual violence. 
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dont' tell

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Deep Run
A film by Hillevi Loven, Produced by Chris Talbott and Samara Levenstein

Executive produced by Susan Sarandon and shot by first-time filmmaker Hillevi Loven, DEEP RUN is a powerful verité portrait of trans life in rural North Carolina. Exiled by her family and rejected by an ex-partner, 17-year-old Spazz has no one to lean on for support. But when Spazz falls in love again and summons up the courage to become Cole, a strong-willed trans-man, his candid humor and steadfast, all-inclusive Christian beliefs counter the bigotry he experiences daily. More.

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Don't Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie)
A film by Mikaela Shwer

Since the age of 4, Angy Rivera has lived in the United States with a secret that threatens to upend her life: She is undocumented. Angy arrived with her mother, fleeing violence, poverty, and civil war in their native Colombia. For 20 years they live in the shadows, struggling to stay afloat financially and avoid deportation while battling a complex and inequitable immigration system. "Don’t tell anyone" is a phrase whispered often and branded deeply on the consciousness of all who are undocumented. More.



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Drawing the Tiger
A film by Amy BensonScott Squire and Ramyata Limbu

Shot over seven years, Drawing the Tiger takes a sweeping view of one Nepalese family’s daily struggle to survive off of subsistence farming. Eat, pay their debts, stay alive—that’s their day-to-day reality. But when their bright daughter receives a scholarship to study in Kathmandu, the family’s prospects suddenly improve by leaps and bounds overnight. They rest their hopes and dreams on her narrow shoulders, but will the weight of their expectations crush her? Can she really break the cycle of poverty and redefine their collective destiny? She seems eager to try, promising to return and free her family from their hand-to-mouth existence. But when she doesn’t come home, the family is forced to face their fate. Is their future set in stone or sand; is it solid or ever-shifting? Drawing The Tiger is a powerful portrait of pressure and the price one family pays for their golden opportunity that reminds us of what we can and cannot change. More.


dreamcatcher

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Dreamcatcher
A film by Kim Longinotto

“You got any dreams you wanna catch?” Sundance award winner “Dreamcatcher” takes us into a hidden world of prostitution and sexual trafficking through the eyes of one of its survivors, Brenda Myers-Powell. A former teenage prostitute with a drug habit, Brenda defied the odds to become a powerful advocate for change in her community, and works to help women and young girls break the cycle of sexual abuse and exploitation. DREAMCATCHER lays bare the hidden violence that devastates the lives of these young women, their families and the communities where they live in Chicago and Brenda’s unflinching intervention that turns these desperate lives around. More.


Sundance Film Festival, Directing Award, World Cinema Documentary

DOC NYC, Robert & Anne Drew Award for Documentary Excellence


dreamcatcher

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Feed the Green: Feminist Voices for the Earth
A film by Jane Caputi

FEED THE GREEN: FEMINIST VOICES FOR THE EARTH challenges the cultural imagination surrounding the destruction of the environment and its impact on femicide and genocide. This informative documentary, by Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies professor and scholar Jane Caputi, highlights an active global resistance movement and an alternative imagery communicating resistant green consciousness.

FEED THE GREEN features a variety of feminist thinkers, including ecological and social justice advocates Vandana Shiva, Starhawk and Andrea Smith, ecosexual activists Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens; ecofeminist theorist and disability rights activist Ynestra King, poet Camille Dungy, scholars and bloggers Janell Hobson and Jill Schneiderman and grass roots activist La Loba Loca. Their voices are powerfully juxtaposed with images from popular culture, including advertising, myth, art, and the news, pointing to the ways that an environmentally destructive worldview is embedded in popular discourses, both contemporary and historical. More.

 

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Forgetting Vietnam
A film by Trinh T. Minh-ha, Produced by Jean-Paul Bourdier

One of the myths surrounding the creation of Vietnam involves a fight between two dragons whose intertwined bodies fell into the South China Sea and formed Vietnam’s curving S-shaped coastline. Influential feminist theorist and filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha’s lyrical film essay commemorating the 40th anniversary of the end of the war draws inspiration from ancient legend and from water as a force evoked in every aspect of Vietnamese culture. Minh-ha’s classic Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989) used no original footage shot in the country; in Forgetting Vietnam images of contemporary life unfold as a dialogue between land and water—the elements that form the term "country." Fragments of text and song evoke the echoes and traces of a trauma of international proportions. The encounter between the ancient as related to the solid earth, and the new as related to the liquid changes in a time of rapid globalization, creates a third space of historical and cultural re-memory—what local inhabitants, immigrants and veterans remember of yesterday’s stories to comment on today’s events. More.

 

dreamcatcher

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Girl From God’s Country: The History of Women in Film and Other War Stories
A film by Karen Day

GIRL FROM GOD'S COUNTRY is the untold story of the first female independent filmmaker and action-adventure heroine, Nell Shipman (1892-1970), who left Hollywood to make her films in Idaho. An unadulterated, undiscovered adventure tale of a pioneering woman who rewrote the rules of filmmaking, and, in so doing, paved the way for independent voices–especially prominent female voices in today’s film industry. Her storylines of self-reliant women overcoming physical challenges in the wilderness and often, rescuing the male lead, shattered the predictable cinematic formulas of large studio productions. Featuring rare archival footage by early pioneers, including minority filmmakers, Zora Neale Hurston and Miriam Wong, the first Chinese-American filmmaker in 1914 and present day interviews with Geena Davis and the Director of Women in Film, GIRL FROM GOD’S COUNTRY discuss how gender-inequities that Shipman and her counterparts faced perpetuate in today's film industry. Emblematic of an entire lost generation of female producers and directors in silent film, Nell Shipman’s legacy has remained a buried treasure in film history for nearly 100 years. Required viewing for Women’s and Cinema Studies. More.

Cannes World Cinema Initiative, Best Documentary

 

dreamcatcher

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Great Unsung Women of Computing: The Computers, The Coders and The Future Makers

A 3-part series by Kathy KleimanJon Palfreman and Kate McMahon
In the United States, women are vastly underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) fields, holding under 25% of STEM jobs and a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees. Great Unsung Women of Computing is a series of three remarkable documentary films that show how women revolutionized the computing and Internet technology we use today, inspiring female students to believe that programming careers lie within their grasp. More.


 

lovecov

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Love Between the Covers
A film by Laurie Kahn

Romance fiction outsells all other genres of writing, from crime to science fiction, combined. So why is the genre so often dismissed as frivolous "scribble"? Could it be that it's because the overwhelming majority of writers and readers are women? This funny and inspiring look into a billion dollar industry turns up trailblazers who push the discussion on gender, race, sexuality and diversity at the front lines of the biggest power shift in publishing. More.

Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival



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Men: A Love Story
A film by Mimi Chakarova

After spending nearly a decade as a journalist documenting young women sold as slaves into the sex trade, award winning filmmaker Mimi Chakarova (THE PRICE OF SEX) sets out on a journey across the United States to explore how men feel about women and love. Piecing together a rich tapestry of vignettes, woven from stories shared by men of different races, ages, and socio-economic backgrounds, Chakarova weaves a stunningly honest and unapologetic portrayal of masculinity in America. With a diverse set of subjects from tiny blues bars of the Deep South to hedge funds of Manhattan and from ranchers in New Mexico to farmers in the Midwest, MEN: A LOVE STORY is a poignant and at times unforgettable dark comedy that reveals a deeper multilayered understanding of maleness, sexuality and gender performance in America today. More.

 

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On Beauty
A film by Joanna Rudnick

From Emmy®-nominated IN THE FAMILY filmmaker Joanna Rudnick and Chicago’s Kartemquin Films comes a story about challenging norms and redefining beauty. ON BEAUTY follows fashion photographer Rick Guidotti, who left the fashion world when he grew frustrated with having to work within the restrictive parameters of the industry’s standard of beauty. After a chance encounter with a young woman who had the genetic condition albinism, Rick re-focused his lens on those too often relegated to the shadows to change the way we see and experience beauty. More.

 

ovary

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  Ovarian Psycos
A film by Joanna Sokolowski and Kate Trumbull-LaValle

Riding at night through streets deemed dangerous in Eastside Los Angeles, the Ovarian Psycos use their bicycles to confront the violence in their lives. At the helm of the crew is founder Xela de la X, a single mother and poet M.C. dedicated to recruiting an unapologetic, misfit crew of women of color. The film intimately chronicles Xela as she struggles to strike a balance between her activism and nine year old daughter Yoli; street artist Andi who is estranged from her family and journeys to become a leader within the crew; and bright eyed recruit Evie, who despite poverty, and the concerns of her protective Salvadoran mother, discovers a newfound confidence. More. 
     

bowen

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The Passionate Pursuits of Angela Bowen
A film by Jennifer Abod

An inspiring film by award winning documentary filmmaker Jennifer Abod, PhD (The Edge of Each Other’s Battles: The Vision of Audre Lorde). 

The Passionate Pursuits provides a window into the life of Angela Bowen who grew up in inner city Boston during the Jim Crow era, and went on to become a classical ballerina, a legendary dance teacher, a black lesbian feminist activist organizer, writer and professor. More.

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People Are the Sky
A film by Dai Sil Kim-Gibson

Director Dai Sil Kim-Gibson (MOTHERLAND CUBA KOREA USA) is the first Korean American filmmaker to be given official permission by the North Korean government to film inside its borders. In PEOPLE ARE THE SKY, Kim-Gibson’s eighth and most personal film, the filmmaker makes a pilgrimage to her place of birth in North Korea for the first time in nearly 70 years, to explore if it is still home.  More.


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Portraits of a Search
A film by Alicia Calderón

More than 20,000 people disappeared in Mexico during the horrifically violent war on drugs waged by former President Calderon. With each missing person, a family is left behind in a desperate search to get answers from a government that is suspiciously ambivalent. Putting a human face on the most harrowing of statistics, director Alicia Calderon courageously captures the stories of three mothers - Natividad, Guadalupe, and Margarita - as they search for their children who have gone missing. With their lives now completely devoted to seeking out the truth, they pursue any avenue possible, in the face of an indifferent government which considers their loved ones to be "collateral casualties" of the drug war. More.

Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival

 

profiled

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  PROFILED
A film by Kathleen Foster

PROFILED knits the stories of mothers of Black and Latin youth murdered by the NYPD into a powerful indictment of racial profiling and police brutality, and places them within a historical context of the roots of racism in the U.S. Some of the victims—Eric Garner, Michael Brown—are now familiar the world over. Others, like Shantel Davis and Kimani Gray, are remembered mostly by family and friends in their New York neighborhoods. 
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The Room of Bones (El Cuarto de los Huesos)

A film by Marcela Zamora Chamorro
Across Mexico and Central America, the last twenty years have been plagued by a meteoric and troubling rise in desaparecidos, or missing persons. Mass murder has become all too common, and the identity of the perpetrators remains unknown as the relationship between governments, gangs, and other criminal organizations is shrouded in mystery. As civil and legal systems have failed to thoroughly investigate the crisis, families of victims are left to seek closure and justice on their own. In THE ROOM OF BONES, El Salvadoran filmmaker Marcela Zamora follows a group of forensic anthropologists in her home country tasked with the noble but gruesome work of unearthing human remains and matching them with names of desaparecidos. The result is a harrowing portrait of a region in crisis. More.

 

samediff

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The Same Difference
A film by Nneka Onuorah

THE SAME DIFFERENCE is a compelling documentary about lesbians who discriminate against other lesbians based on gender roles. Director Nneka Onuorah takes an in-depth look at the internalized hetero-normative gender roles that have become all too familiar within the African American lesbian and bisexual community. Onuorah shows how these behaviors reproduce the homophobic oppression and masculine privilege of the straight world, while looking for solutions in compelling discussions with community members. Self-identified studs—and the women who love them—discuss hypocrisy in terms of gender roles, performative expectations, and the silent disciplining that occurs between community members. This film features many queer celebrities, including actress Felicia “Snoop” Pearson from the critically acclaimed HBO drama The Wire, and Lea DeLaria from Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black, living daily with opinions about how identity should be portrayed. Onuroah’s engaging documentary shines a light on the relationships and experiences within the queer black female community, intersecting race, gender and sexuality. Required viewing for Women’s, Gender and Queer Studies. More.


sonita

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Sonita
A film by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami

Two-time Sundance Film Festival award winner SONITA tells the inspiring story of Sonita Alizadeh, an 18-year-old Afghan refugee in Iran, who thinks of Michael Jackson and Rihanna as her spiritual parents and dreams of becoming a big-name rapper. For the time being, her only fans are the other teenage girls in a Tehran shelter. And her family has a very different future planned for her: as a bride she's worth $9,000. Iranian director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami (GOING UP THE STAIRS) poignantly shifts from observer to participant altering expectations, as Sonita's story unfolds in this personal and joyful portrait. An intimate portrait of creativity and womanhood, SONITA highlights the rarely seen intricacies and shifting contrasts of Iranian society through the lens of an artist who is defining the next generation. More.

Sundance Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize – World Documentary and Audience Award – World Documentary

 

southern rites

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Southern Rites
A film by Gillian Laub

Broadcast nationally on HBO, SOUTHERN RITES is a powerful portrayal of how perceptions and politics have divided two towns in southeast Georgia along racial lines for years. In 2009, The New York Times Magazine published filmmaker and acclaimed photographer Gillian Laub’s controversial images of Montgomery County High School’s racially segregated proms. A media furor ensued and under extreme pressure, the Georgian town was forced to finally integrate the proms in 2010. Laub returned camera in hand to document the changes, only to stumble upon a series of events far more indicative of race relations in the Deep South: old wounds are reopened following the murder of an unarmed young black man by an elderly white town patriarch. Against the backdrop of an historic campaign to elect its first African-American sheriff, the case divides locals along well-worn racial lines and threatens to drag the town back to darker days. More.

 

unafraid

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  Too Black to be French
A film by Isabelle Boni-Claverie

In this documentary film, Isabelle Boni-Claverie explores the role of race and the persistence of racism in France, as well as the impact of the French colonial past. Through an exploration of her personal family history, and interviews with historians and academics, TOO BLACK TO BE FRENCH peels back the layers of race relations in supposedly institutionally colorblind France. More.

unafraid

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Unafraid: Voices From the Crime Victims Treatment Center
A film by Karin Venegas

A deeply personal documentary, UNAFRAID gives voice to four, diverse rape survivors and takes a historic look back at the pioneering treatment center where they now receive counseling. In her directorial debut, Karin Venegas highlights the work of two unsung feminist heroes in the movement for victims’ rights at the height of 1970s feminism and the Women’s Movement. From breaking victims’ silence to the revolutionary invention of the rape kit, this powerful film intimately explores the impact of rape and the capacity of ordinary individuals to effect change. More.

Trenton Film Festival, Best Documentary Short Award




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Voices of Muslim Women from the US South
A film by Maha Marouan and Rachel Raimist

When one thinks of the American Deep South, the image of veiled Muslim students strolling the University of Alabama campus is the last thing that comes to mind. VOICES OF MUSLIM WOMEN FROM THE US SOUTH is a documentary that explores the Muslim culture through the lens of five University of Alabama Muslim students. The film tackles how Muslim women carve a space for self-expression in the Deep South and how they negotiate their identities in a predominantly Christian society that often has unflattering views about Islam and Muslims. Through interviews with students and faculty at Alabama, this film examines representations and issues of agency by asking: How do Muslim female students carve a space in a culture that thinks of Muslims as terrorists and Muslim women as backward? More.

 




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Wilhemina's War
A film by June Cross

In much of America, progress in HIV/AIDS treatment suggests the worst is behind us, but every year 50,000 Americans are still diagnosed with the virus that causes AIDS. Astonishingly, it’s one of the leading causes of death of African American women. And nearly half of the Americans with HIV live in the South, where the AIDS epidemic has taken root in rural communities. WILHEMINA’S WAR is an intimate, personal narrative that tells the story of one family’s struggle with HIV over the course of five years. Despite facing institutional and personal obstacles every step of the way, 62-year-old Wilhemina Dixon works tirelessly to combat the stigma and care for her daughter and granddaughter, both HIV-positive. More.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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