2015 MC Film Fest
INCOGNITO - live performance
Performed by Michael Fosberg www.incognitotheplay.com. 75 minutes.
Incognito is a solo theatrical presentation that is both entertaining and extremely socially relevant.
Michael Fosberg, the writer/performer, portrays over a dozen different characters from his own life. He delves into issues of race, identity, family history, divorce, adoption and finding a father, in this funny and deeply moving one man play.
Michael’s work first came to NAME's attention on film, thus we are including it in the film festival.
For our Silver Anniversary we are honored to have Michael LIVE! Weds. 9/30 at 7:30pm. FREE to the Public.
2015 Film Festival Descriptions
BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez. Directed by Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater and Sabrina Schmidt Gordon.
2015. California Newsreel www.newsreel.org. 50 minute (excerpt)
This film will premiere at the New Orleans Film Festival on October 15. As a special favor to NAME they are allowing our conference participants to get a “sneak peek” of the film before it premieres.
BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez is a new feature documentary offering unprecedented access to the life and work of renowned poet and activist Sonia Sanchez. An essential figure in the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, the documentary reveals how Sanchez has been a continuing presence in American culture for nearly 60 years using her art to confront injustice and to lift up humanist themes. The film examines the artistic and political movements she embraced and influenced. Deemed “a lion in literature’s forest” by Maya Angelou, Sonia Sanchez helped transform the university landscape, advocating for inclusion of African American Studies in curricula. She revolutionized poetry through her usage of street language and a unique performance style and is widely considered to be a foremother of today’s hip hop spoken word movement. The film is rich with readings of her work accompanied by live music. There are lively appearances and commentaries by Sanchez’s contemporaries, Ruby Dee, Amiri Baraka, John Bracey, Jr., Haki Madhubuti and Nikki Giovanni,
as well as the newer voices of Talib Kweli, Ayana Mathis, Jessica Care Moore, Bryonn Bain and Questlove.
The Storytelling Class. Directed by John Paskievich and John Whiteway.
Produced by Sedna Pictures Inc. 2010. www. bullfrogfilms.com. 47 minutes.
Located in Winnipeg's downtown core, Gordon Bell High School is probably the most culturally varied school in the city, with 58 different languages spoken by the student body. Many students are children who have arrived as refugees from various war torn areas of the world. In an effort to build bridges of friendship and belonging across cultures and histories, teacher Marc Kuly initiated an after-school storytelling project whereby the immigrant students would share stories with their Canadian peers. The catalyst for this cross-cultural interaction was the students' reading of A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, a memoir of Beah's horrific time as a child soldier in Sierra Leone's civil war. These voluntary after-school meetings take dramatic turns and reach their climax when Ishmael Beah and professional storyteller Laura Simms travel from New York to work with them. With their help the students learn to listen to each other and find the commonality that so long eluded them.
We Still Live Here. Directed by Anne Makepeace.
Produced by Anne Makepeace Productions, 2011. www.bullfrogfilms.com. 56 minutes.
Celebrated every Thanksgiving as the Indians who saved the Pilgrims from starvation, and then largely forgotten, the Wampanoag Tribes of Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard are now saying loud and clear, and in their Native tongue, "As Nutayuneân," - We Still Live Here. The Wampanoag's ancestors ensured the survival of the English settlers known as the Pilgrims, and lived to regret it. Now a cultural revival is taking place. Spurred on by their celebrated linguist, Jessie Little Doe Baird, recent winner of a MacArthur `genius' award, the Wampanoag are bringing their language home. Like many Native American stories, this one begins with a vision. Years ago, Jessie began having recurring dreams: familiar-looking people from another time speaking in an incomprehensible language. These visions sent her on an odyssey that would uncover hundreds of documents written in Wampanoag, lead her to a Masters in Linguistics at MIT, and result in an unprecedented feat of language reclamation by her people. Jessie's daughter Mae is the first Native speaker of Wampanoag in a century.
A Village Called Versailles. Directed by S. Leo Chiang. 2014. www.newdayfilms.com. 56 minutes.
In a New Orleans neighborhood called Versailles, a tight-knit group of Vietnamese Americans overcame obstacles to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, only to have their homes threatened by a new government-imposed toxic landfill. A VILLAGE CALLED VERSAILLES is the empowering story of how the Versailles people, who have already suffered so much in their lifetime, turn a devastating disaster into a catalyst for change and a chance for a better future. (Meet the Filmmaker? Still waiting to hear from him)
By Invitation Only. Directed by Rebecca Snedeker. 2014. www.newdayfilms.com. 56 minutes.
New Orleans filmmaker Rebecca Snedeker explores the insular world of the elite, white Carnival societies and debutante balls of Mardi Gras. Questioning their racial exclusivity, she takes an unprecedented insider's look at the pageantry and asks: what does it mean to be the queen of the masked men? As she examines her own place in an alluring tradition, Snedeker challenges viewers to reflect on the roles we all play in our lives. (Meet the Filmmaker)
The E Word:A Documentary on the Ebonics Debate.
Written, Directed and Produced by Jonathan Gayles. 2014. www.films.com. 55 minutes.
This documentary critically considers the Ebonics Resolution as well as the myriad influences on the public debate (or lack thereof) that erupted as a result of the Resolution. Through the use of archival footage and interviews with scholars, policymakers and, most importantly, those directly involved with the Resolution, the documentary pursues a coherent and comprehensive engagement of Ebonics. (Meet the Filmmaker
Brown Bread, The Story of an Adoptive Family.
Directed by Sarah Gross. 2014. www.brownbreadthefilm.com. 87 minutes.
In the hills of Northern California, an unusual family gathers for their reunion. As they join hands around the table, their colorful mix of races looks like the American dream of integration. It started with a vision. The grandparents recall how in the 1970’s they began to adopt. Scenes from the week-long reunion are inter cut with images from their adult children's daily lives. A professor at Stanford, a manual day laborer, an entrepreneur in debt, ... these portraits show radical differences in class and identity. Their ability to laugh and to love across boundaries of social and racial division made this family possible. But their differences still drive them apart. A personal documentary about what it means to grow up in an adoptive family.
Playing With Fire: Women Actors of Afghanistan.
Directed by Anneta Papathanassiou. 2014. www.wmm.com. 50 minutes
In Afghanistan, women deciding to be actors make a dangerous choice. Banned under Taliban rule (1994-2001), Afghan theater is experiencing a comeback with many women at the forefront. But with powerful forces of Islamic fundamentalism, a resurgent Taliban, and patriarchal traditions in play, actresses often face the harshest criticism and are even sometimes viewed as prostitutes. Socially ostracized, and pressured to abandon their careers, they receive beatings and death threats for them and their family. Some are forced to flee the country and some are even killed.
PLAYING WITH FIRE introduces us to six courageous Afghan women
who share their passions for acting, dreams, and difficult realities
India’s Daughter. Directed by Leslee Udwin. 2015. www.wmm.com. 62 minutes.
INDIA’S DAUGHTER is the powerful story of the 2012, brutal gang rape on a Delhi bus of a 23 year old medical student, who later died from her injuries. In 2012, it made international headlines and ignited protests by women in India and around the world. This month India’s government banned the film while the BBC moved their planned broadcast up by days and ignited a new controversy. BAFTA winning filmmaker Leslee Udwin, herself a victim of rape, went to India inspired by the protests against sexual assault. With an all Indian crew, Udwin got exclusive, first time on camera interviews with the rapists and defense attorney, none of whom express remorse. The defense attorney goes even further, stating that “immodest” women deserve what happens to them. An impassioned plea for change, INDIA’S DAUGHTER pays tribute to a remarkable and inspiring young woman and explores the compelling human stories behind the incident and the political ramifications throughout India. But beyond India, the film lays bare the way in which societies and their patriarchal values have spawned such acts of violence globally.
Feminism Inshallah: A History of Arab Feminism.
Directed by Ben Mahmoud. 2014. www.wmm.com 52 minutes.
The struggle for Muslim women’s emancipation is often portrayed stereotypically as a showdown between Western and Islamic values, but Arab feminism has existed for more than a century. This groundbreaking documentary recounts Arab feminism’s largely unknown story, from its taboo-shattering birth in Egypt by feminist pioneers up through viral Internet campaigns by today’s tech-savvy young activists during the Arab Spring. Moving from Tunisia to Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, filmmaker and author Feriel Ben Mahmoud tracks the progress of Arab women in their long march to assert their full rights and achieve empowerment. Featuring previously unreleased archival footage and exclusive multigenerational interviews, FEMINISM INSHALLAH is an indispensable resource for Women’s Studies, Global Feminism, Middle East and Islamic Studies.
Old South. Directed by Danielle Beverly. 2015. www.wmm.com. 54 minutes.
OLD SOUTH, through a quiet unfolding story, provides a window into the underlying dynamics of race relations that influence so many American communities. In Athens, Georgia, a college fraternity traditionally known to fly the confederate flag moves to a historically black neighborhood and establishes their presence by staging an antebellum style parade. What starts with a neighborhood struggle over cultural legacies in the South, the opening of a community garden becomes a grounds for understanding, as well as a physical and emotional space for healing, offering a sense of possibility and hope for the future.
Selma, The Bridge to the Ballot. Southern Poverty Law Center.
Produced and Directed by Bill Brummel. Assoc. Producers: Lynn Stevenson and Juan Carlos Velasco.
2015 www.splcenter.org. 40 Minutes
Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot is the true story of the forgotten heroes in the fight for voting rights—the courageous students and teachers of Selma, Alabama, who stood up against injustice despite facing intimidation, arrests and violence. By organizing and marching bravely, these change-makers achieved one of the most significant victories of the civil rights era. The sacrifices of those who fought so hard for equality should never be forgotten. In the 2012 presidential election, more than 90 million eligible voters did not go to the polls. In the 18–24 age group, only six out 10 voted. And, in 2014, voter turnout dropped to a 72-year low. This 40-minute film, narrated by Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, is a crucial reminder that each of us has the ability to bring about powerful social change and will help inspire young people and communities across the nation
to exercise their right to participate in our democracy. (Meet the Filmmaker)
Starting Over Again: The Immigrant Experience in Boise, Idaho.
Directed by Fabio Caramaschi. Co producers: Claudia Peralta and Fulvio S. Orsitto. 2014.
The film highlights the triumphs and tribulations of the refugee community in the City of Trees. Boise State students collected data for the film produced by award-winning filmmaker Fabio Caramaschi. (Meet the Filmmaker)
Children of the Civil Rights. Directed by Julia Clifford. 2015. 50 minutes.
No one knew that a group of Oklahoma City kids were heroes; not even the kids themselves.
For six years between 1958 and 1964, a group of children went into restaurants and asked for service.
It never got violent; it never made national news; but together, they turned around every restaurant except one before the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Fifty years later, CHILDREN OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS Documentary Film shares their six year odyssey to freedom. (Meet the Filmmaker)
The MLK Street Project. Directed by Nigel D. Greaves and Charneice Fox Richardson. Produced by Nigel D. Greaves. 2015. www.mlkstreetsproject.com. 45 minutes.
Birthed out of a Chris Rock joke making fun of the violence often found on streets named for non violent activist, Martin Luther King, this documentary follows 13 high school students from 5 different high schools in the Washington D.C. area as they travel cross country to observe and record, first hand, the condition of America’s MLK streets. Narrated by Rain Pryor, the film keeps the comedy to cultural commentary connerction alive as it looks critically at the street naming phenomenon of King’s legacy and the effects of gentrification on the streets he once marched through. For a generation which has heard the I Have a Dream speech like a broken record, the film serves as a radical remix. (Meet the Filmmaker)
Once Upon a Time. Produced and Directed by James Rulenbeck.
2014. California Newsreel. www.newsreel.org. 32 minutes.
The extraordinary but widely forgotten story of a time when childcare for all wasn't just a fairy tale has been brilliantly told in this film. In the decades since, the evidence documenting high-quality child care as a critical ingredient in determining whether young children, their families and, indeed, the nation are to flourish has grown ever stronger. Once Upon a Time will inspire us to act so that childcare and preschool for all, finally back on the national agenda, will at long-last become a reality.”
Wounded Places: Confronting Childhood PTSD in America’s Shell Shocked Cities.
Produced and Directed by Llew Smith. 2014. California Newsreel www.newsreel.org. 42 minutes.
PTSD isn’t only about combat vets and survivors of natural disasters. Too many of our children, especially children of color living in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, show the effects of unrelenting structural racism, street violence, domestic instability and other adversities. And their symptoms look a lot like post-traumatic stress disorder. Except for many there is no ‘post'.
Wounded Places travels to Philadelphia and Oakland where a long history of disinvestment and racial social exclusion have ravaged entire neighborhoods and exposed children to multiple adverse childhood experiences (or ACEs). We meet families and some remarkable young people who have been traumatized not just by shootings, but fear, uncertainty and a sense of futurelessness.
An Ordinary Hero: The True Story of Joan Trumpauer Mulholland.
Directed by Loki Mulholland. 2013. www.anordinaryhero.com. 90 minutes.
“An Ordinary Hero” is the amazing true story of one woman’s courage to help change the world. By the time she was 19 years old, legendary Civil Rights Activists, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland participated in over three dozen sit-ins and protests she was put on death row in Mississippi’s notorious Parchman Penitentiary with other Freedom Riders. She was involved in one of the most famous and violent sit-ins of the Movement at the Jackson Woolworth lunch counter and helped plan and organize the March on Washington.
For her actions she was disowned by her family, attacked, shot at, cursed at, and hunted down by the Klan for execution. Her path has crossed with some of the biggest names in the Civil Rights Movement: Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, Robert F. Kennedy, John Lewis, Diane Nash, John Salter, and Harry Belafonte, to name a few. In addition, she has met such luminaries of that period like Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Marlon Brando, Jesse Owens and Jackie Robinson
Body and Soul. Directed by Matthieu Bron. 2011. http://bodyandsoulmozambique.com. 54 minutes.
Victória, Mariana and Vasco are three young Mozambicans with physical disabilities, living in the townships of Maputo, Mozambique’s capital city. Victória transmits the self-esteem she received from her education to other physically disabled women by organizing a fashion show; Mariana uses her social energy to create helpful friendships and overcome the urban architectonical barriers and Vasco does business, repairing shoes in the informal sector. Their daily lives reveal their physical, psychological and emotional challenges.
The film explores how they look at themselves and others and raises universal questions about self-acceptance
and how to find one’s place in society.