2020 MC Film Festival
2020 NAME Multicultural Film Festival DescriptionsACTIVIZED. Producer: Franziska Blome. Director and Producer: Eric Strange. Sky Pond Productions. www.activizedfilm.org. 2020. 36 minutes.
Activized (2019, USA, 36 min.) follows the stories of seven ordinary Americans who, for the first time in their lives, have left their comfort zones and become involved in gun violence prevention, voting rights and immigrants’ rights. Interweaving their personal stories against the backdrop of the causes they fight for, we experience their motivations, successes and failures, their sacrifices, and victories. Above all, we celebrate these inspiring, courageous citizens for embracing one of the most basic of American traditions – dissent. To inquire about educational licensing for ACTIVIZED and/or bring the film to your school, please contact Marga Varea, Impact Producer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.twinseasmedia.com/new-films.
ALWAYS IN SEASON. Producers: Jacquiline Olive and Jessica Devaney. Director: Jacquiline Olive. Good Docs. 2019. www.gooddocs.net. 89 minutes.
Always In Season explores the lingering impact of more than a century of lynching African Americans and connects this form of historic racial terrorism to racial violence today. The film centers on the case of Lennon Lacy, an African American teen who was found hanging from a swing set in Bladenboro, North Carolina, on August 29, 2014. Despite inconsistencies in the case, local officials quickly ruled Lennon’s death a suicide, but his mother, Claudia, believes Lennon was lynched. Determined to find answers about what happened to her son, Claudia moves from paralyzing grief to leading the fight for justice.
AMERICAN MUSLIM. Produced and Directed by Adam Zucker. The Video Project. 2019. www.videoproject.com. 82 minutes.
Five Muslim Americans, each once an immigrant and now a naturalized citizen, are forced to contend with a changing world in the Age of Trump. American Muslim chronicles five diverse Muslims in New York City, telling the stories of an Indonesian Imam in Jamaica, a Bengali small business owner in Ozone Park, a Yemeni activist in Ditmas Park, a Palestinian community organizer in Bay Ridge, and an Algerian mosque director in Sunset Park. Together they create a composite portrait of Muslim life today.
Firmly committed to the U.S., they find their presence here questioned in ways never imagined, and each fights back against the Muslim Ban while continuing to explore a Muslim identity. Across the year and a half period from the President's Inauguration to the Supreme Court's decision on the Ban, Shamsi, Kobir, Debbie, Aber, and Mohamed navigate the constantly evolving reality of being an American Muslim.
CONSIDER ME, INCLUDE ME. Producers: Dr. Bre Evans Santiago and Kimberly Zepeda. Director: Kimberly Zepeda. 2019. 29 minutes. https://youtu.be/iplRA26V3DQ
This film guides educators to address bullying in schools. This film demonstrates some background on bullying, as well as some public documentation. Consider Me, Include Me documents the real-life stories from real-life students who have experienced bullying. The documentary gives insight as to why it happens and what educators can do about it. The individuals in this film have provided their consent. The students, parents, and teachers interviewed, provide their stories and voices to other educators, so that there may be change.
CRIME + PUNISHMENT. Producers: Stephen Maing, Ross Tuttle, Eric Daniel Metzger. Director: Stephen Maing. Good Docs. 2018. www.gooddocs.net. 112 minutes.
Crime + Punishment chronicles the real lives and struggles of a group of black and Latino whistleblower cops and the young minorities they are pressured to arrest and summons in New York City. A highly intimate and cinematic experience with unprecedented access, Crime + Punishment examines the United States' most powerful police department through the brave efforts of a group of active-duty officers and one unforgettable private investigator who risk their careers and safety to bring light to harmful policing practices which have plagued the precincts and streets of New York City for decades.
FIRST VOTE. Producer and Director: Yi Chen. Good Docs. 2020. www.gooddocs.net. 59 minutes.
Following the stories of four politically engaged voters during the 2018 midterm elections, First Vote crafts an insightful look at Asian Americans' diverse experiences at the polls. Taking her camera on the road, Filmmaker Yi Chen introduces us to a diverse cross section of politically engaged Chinese Americans: an avid Trump supporter in Ohio; a Democratic podcaster whose views have alienated his wife’s conservative friends; a gun-toting, Tea Party-favorite in North Carolina; and a progressive University of North Carolina professor. Speaking with distinct political voices, they share the common goal of seeing Asian Americans take their rightful place in American political life.
PROFILED. Directed and produced by Kathleen Foster. Women Make Moves. United States. email@example.com. 2016. 52 minutes.
Profiled knots 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. Profiled bears witness to the racist violence that remains an everyday reality for Black and Latin people in this country.
PUSHOUT. Produced and directed by Monique W. Morris and Jacoba Atlas. The Video Project. 2019. www.videoproject.com. 79 minutes.
Inspired by the groundbreaking book of the same name by Monique W. Morris, Ed.D, Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, takes a deep dive into the lives of Black girls and the practices, cultural beliefs and policies that disrupts one of the most important factors in their lives – education.
REFRAMING FAMILY ENGAGEMENT USING BLACK EPISTEMOLOGY: PERSPECTIVES FROM BLACK FAMILIES. Producers Natalie McKinney and Beverly Cross. Director and Co-Producer Lakethen Mason. 60 minutes.
All across America, schools and school districts almost universally believe that family engagement is a priority. In fact, they often cite the lack of family engagement as reasons for their educational failures. Some struggle with how to assure their approaches are racially and culturally responsive, particularly in communities that serve Black families and children. This film depicts a documentary-in-progress on designing a new paradigm on family engagement based on the perspectives of Black families and on Black epistemology. The story starts with a team—non-profit organization executive director, CDC executive director, scholars, school board member, charter school founder, faith leader, and school district family and community engagement manager--listening to the community’s perspectives on what family engagement should be like. These voices led to a framework that centers Black values, knowledge, and family practices to inform creative engagement approaches. The result is family engagement redefined as Family Centered Schools with the theme of Boa Me Na Me Mmoa Wo, which translates to “Help Me and Let me Help You.” The new components of family engagement evolved are: Akoma--The Heart; Eban--Love, Safety, and Security; Aya--Endurance and resourcefulness; Nkonsonkonson-- Unity and human relations and Sankofa--Learn from the Past. Each of these components of the framework for family engagement move far beyond the old performance expectations to show up when asked, participate in parent-teacher conferences, and follow homework guides. Hear actual implementation experiences from several schools as they bring these new ideas to life with their families. (This film is a documentary in process. This is not the final version)
SUPPRESSED: THE FIGHT TO VOTE. Produced and Directed by Robert Greenwald. 2018. Brave New Films. www.bravenewfilms.org. 35 minutes.
Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, weaves together personal stories from voters across the state of Georgia to paint an undeniable picture of voter suppression in the 2018 midterm election where Stacey Abrams fought to become the first Black female governor in the U.S. The issues Georgians faced included polling place closures, voter purges, missing absentee ballots, extreme wait times and a host of voter ID issues – all of which disproportionately prevented many students and people of color from casting their ballots.
THEY SAY I’M YOUR TEACHER. Directors Lucy Massie Phenix and Catherine Murphy. 9 minutes. 2020. Documentary
Bernice Robinson, a Black beautician from South Carolina, was the first teacher in the Citizenship Education Schools that taught literacy in order to pass voter registration requirements in the South during the mid-1950s and 1960s. She taught adults to read and write as part of Citizenship, understanding that registering to vote and engaging people in the issues that affect their lives was a key step toward changing the system. This helped to set the stage for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
UNSETTLED. Producer: Jen Giloman. Director and Producer: Tom Shepard. Good Doc. 2019. www.gooddocs.net. 81 minutes.
Unsettled is a feature documentary that traces the untold stories of LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers who have fled intense persecution in Africa and the Middle East and are trying to resettle in the United States. Having escaped Islamic terrorist death threats in Syria, beatings by a homophobic father, and a nation devastated by war, Subhi finds his voice as a leader for refugee rights in the U.S. Lesbian couple Cheyenne and Mari flee brutal harassment in their native Angola to face uncertain asylum through the American immigration courts while pursuing their dreams of becoming musicians. Junior, a gender non-conforming gay man from the Congo, struggles to create a livelihood and secure basic housing while exploring a more fluid gender identity.
VOTE BY MAIL. Brave New Films. 2020. www.bravenewfilms.org.
The military, NASA, elected officials and ordinary citizens have been voting by mail for decades. Voting should be safe and secure for everyone during a pandemic. No one should have to choose between their health and their right to vote.
VOTE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. Brave New Films. 2020. www.bravenewfilms.org.
These are two short films dealing with the current political situation.
Police Riots: Protests over the murder of George Floyd are sweeping the country. These protests are peaceful. These protests are what makes America great. But what are they met with? Tear gas, rubber bullets, press freedom violations, and bibles used as props. Trump has declared war on the people. Trump has incited violence.
Indivisible - The 2020 election is around the corner. Let's remember this: REAL leaders take responsibility. Trump has failed our country and his failures have led to the deaths of thousands. Trump has lied about the coronavirus. He's spread disinformation about the coronavirus and he's tried to slow down coronavirus testing to protect his fragile ego. With the 2020 election coming up, let's remember that our votes are a matter of life and death.
WHAT ARE YOU? Produced and Directed by Richard B. Pierre. The Video Project. 2019. www.videoproject.com. 20 minutes.
In this revealing documentary, eleven people with a range of backgrounds discuss what it is like being of mixed racial heritage within the context of North America. Each of the participants presents their unique outlook on growing up mixed and the challenges they've faced in their lives.
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE NOW? Producers: Sarah Feinbloom and Alex Regalado. Director: Sarah Feinbloom. Good Docs. 2019. www.gooddocs.net. 68 minutes.
What happens to your spiritual and religious beliefs over time? Seventeen years after the 2002 documentary What Do You Believe? in which six diverse American teenagers shared their spiritual struggles and aspirations, we revisit them to reveal how their beliefs have changed. In this new “before and after” film What Do You Believe Now? a Catholic, Pagan, Jew, Muslim, Lakota, and Buddhist offer their deeply personal faith journeys, life challenges, and evolving ideas about higher powers, life purpose, the nature of suffering, religious intolerance and death.
WHILE I BREATHE, I HOPE. Producers: Lauren Franklin, Diane Robertson, Xuan Yu. Director and Producer: Emily Harrold. Good Docs. 2018. www.gooddocs.net. 53 minutes and 72 minutes.
What does it mean to be young, Black, and a Democrat in the American South? While I Breathe, I Hope follows South Carolina politician Bakari Sellers as he runs to become the first African American candidate elected statewide in over a century. The film begins by following Sellers as he makes his 2014 bid for Lieutenant Governor, through the Charleston Shootings, and during the removal of the Confederate flag in 2015. Through his experiences, this timely film offers audiences a window into the legacy of race in politics in the United States today.
WITHOUT A WHISPER. Producers: Katja Esson and Katsitsionni Fox. Director: Katsitsionni Fox. Women Make Movies. 2020. www.wmm.com. 27 minutes.
Without A Whisper - Konnon:Kwe uncovers the hidden history of the profound influence Indigenous women had on the beginnings of the women’s rights movement in the United States. Before the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls in 1848, European colonial women lacked even the most basic rights, while Haudenosaunee women had a potent political and spiritual voice and authority in all aspects of their lives. The contact that the early suffragists had with Haudenosaunee women in New York state shaped their thinking and had a vital impact on their struggle for equality that is taken for granted today.