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Advancing and Advocating for Social Justice & Equity

                                NAME 2023 MC Film Festival Selections

54 Miles To Home. Director: Claire Haughey. Producer Phillip Howard and Michelle Formen. Southern Exposure Films. 2021. 25 min.
In 1965 three Black farming families risked their lives by providing refuge to the thousands of voting rights marchers on the historic five day, 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery. Nearly 60 years later, The Halls, Steeles and Gardners share for the first time what their parents and grandparents sacrificed and how their families’ legacies and this historic land can be preserved for generations to come. Their stories help unveil the rural and agricultural roots of the civil rights movement, while asking the seemingly timeless American question: how do you fight for what you know is right when the majority is against you?
80 Years Later. Director: Celine Parrenas Shimizu.  Women Make Movies. 2022. 50 minutes.
Through multigenerational conversations with survivors and their descendants, this film explores the racial inheritance of Japanese American family incarceration during World War II. The film follows two cousins, Kiyo and Robert, respectively a teenager and child living in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1942 when Executive Order 9066 – which forcibly imprisoned 120,000 Japanese Americans in World War II – was signed. Eighty years later, the cousins continue to grapple with the meaning of their incarceration and its impact on their lives, ancestors, and descendants.
American Justice on Trial. Directors: Andrew Abrahams and Herb Ferette. Producers: Lise Pearlman and Andrew Abrahams. Good Doc. 2022 40 min.
This is the forgotten story of the death penalty case that put racism on trial in a U.S. courtroom in the fall of 1968. Huey P. Newton, Black Panther Party co-founder, was accused of killing a white policeman and wounding another after a predawn car stop in Oakland. Newton himself suffered a near-fatal wound. As the trial neared its end, J. Edgar Hoover branded the Black Panthers the greatest internal threat to American security. Earlier that year, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy rocked a nation already bitterly divided over the Vietnam War. As the jury deliberated Newton’s fate, America was a tinderbox waiting to explode. At his trial, Newton and his maverick defense team defended the Panthers as a response to 400 years of racism and accused the policemen of racial profiling, insisting Newton had only acted in self-defense. Their unprecedented challenges to structural racism in the jury selection process were revolutionary and risky. But Newton’s defense team redefined a “jury of one’s peers.”
Blurring the Color Line. Director: Crystal Kwok. Executive Producers: Lisa Ling, Daniel Wu, W.Kamau Bell. Producer: Gustin Smith.  Good Docs. 2022. 53 minutes.
What did it mean to be Chinese in Black spaces during segregation? Follow this personal journey of discovery, as the filmmaker digs into the ways her grandmother’s family navigated life as grocery store owners in the black neighborhood of Augusta, Georgia. Her film is a personal family story told alongside memories from the larger Chinese and Black communities in Georgia, which opens up uncomfortable but necessary conversations around anti-Black racism and the deeply rooted structure of white power and Chinese patriarchy. Which fountain did the Chinese drink from? Where did they sit on the bus? An important entrance into all of our connected histories which many of us never knew or dared speak about.
Fannie Lou Hamer’s America. Directed by Joy Davenport. Produced by Monica Land. Women Make Movies. 2022. 60 minutes.
Fannie Lou Hamer was a leader in the civil rights movement, founder of the Freedom Democratic Party in Mississippi, and the organizer of Freedom Summer, a volunteer-based campaign launched in the summer of 1964 in order to register as many Black voters in Mississippi as possible. This documentary is a portrait of a civil rights activist and the injustices in America that made her work essential. Through public speeches, personal interviews, and powerful songs of the fearless Mississippi sharecropper-turned-human-rights-activist, Fannie Lou Hamer’s America explores and celebrates the lesser-known life of one of the Civil Rights Movement’s greatest leaders.
Elder Voices. Produced and Directed by David Goodman. Bullfrog Films. 2020. 49 minutes.
This film is a meditation about the destructiveness of hatred and the power of love, as told by Japanese-Americans, European Jews and conscientious objectors (COs) who came of age during the perilous times of the Great Depression and WWII. For each of these individuals the challenges they confronted proved even more daunting either because of what they believed or simply who they were. Residing together in a retirement community, they continue to live the values and principles of tolerance and mutual respect that were forged in their youth-- when they were confronted with anti-Semitism, internment camps, and bigotry. It questions what historical lessons can young people learn from their elders. Those watching will become immersed in a diverse and culturally enriching experience.
Generations of Pulse. Producers/Directors: Tamera Moore and Dallin Mello. U.C. Berkley. 2022. 12 minutes.  (as of November 2023 this film is not available for purchase.)
As Florida politicians pass a bill that places queer youth in danger, the need to protect the LGBTQ community is ever present for Brandon Wolf, a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, and Andrea Drayton, the mother of one of the victims.
Never Too Young. Director: Angela Guzman. This film is not currently for sale but can be viewed for no charge at: 2023 .47 min.
Ethnic Studies has existed in higher education for more than fifty years. In high school, critical education researchers have recognized Ethnic Studies as vital to improving attendance, lowering suspension rates, and boosting GPAs for BIPOC students. This has given rise to the recent K-12 Ethnic Studies model curriculum adoption by the State Board of Education, and the signing of Assembly Bill 101, making California the first state to require an Ethnic Studies semester-long course in high school to graduate. Regrettably, Ethnic Studies continues to be mostly limited to higher education and grades 9-12 in public schools despite research documenting young children’s ability to analyze a racialized society. This documentary examines the existence, impact, and sustainability of Ethnic Studies in elementary school as explained by K-20 educators.
Other Side of the Wall. Directed by Michelle Plascencia. New Day Films. 2017. 68 minutes.
The relationship between Ale and Rocío faces a big change when their mother is unjustly imprisoned and they naturally become parents of their little brothers. First, all in good disposition and humor until their situation as illegal immigrants in Mexico is confronted with unexpected emotions and gender roles, discrimination, immigration systems and inability to enjoy their youth let alone access to education. Eventually the communication between siblings begins to fail and they learn to believe in each other to find hope on the other side of the wall that threatens to separate them.
Rwanda. Directed by Andre Versaille. Producer: Fabienne Servon-Schreiber. Cineteve. 2019. 52 Minutes.
Their names are Julien, Jean, Ange, Serge, François, or Assumpta. Ranging in age from 16 to 25, they belong to the new Rwandan generation, the one that was born into a legacy of genocide. They have grown up with guilt or wounds from crimes that are not their own. Their uncompromising testimonies unveil their fears, questions, and fierce determination to understand. With rare sincerity, this documentary reveals remarkable points of view, those of a country’s youth trying to rise from the ashes of a genocidal past. 
Tested. Directed and Produced by Curtis Chin. www. 2015. 90 minutes.
The gap in opportunities for different races in America remains extreme. Nowhere is this more evident than our nation’s top public schools. In New York City where Blacks and Latinos make up 70% of the city’s school-aged population, they represent less than 5% of the city’s most elite public high schools. Asian Americans make up as much as 73%. This documentary follows a dozen racially and socio-economically diverse 8th graders as they fight for a seat at one of these schools. Their only way in: to ace a single standardized test. Tested includes the voices of educational experts as Pedro Noguero and Diane Ravitch as it explores such issues as access to a high quality public education, affirmative action and the model minority myth.
Vincent Who? Directed by Tony Lam. Produced by Curtis Chin. 2009. 40 minutes.
In 1982, at the height of anti-Japanese sentiments arising from massive layoffs in the auto industry, a Chinese-American named Vincent Chin was murdered in Detroit by two white autoworkers. Chin’s killers, however, got off with a $3,000 fine and 3 years probation, but no jail time. Outraged by this injustice, Asian Americans around the country united for the first time across ethnic and socio-economic lines to form a pan-Asian identity and civil rights movement. Among its significant outcomes, the movement led to the historic broadening of federal civil rights protection to include all people in America, regardless of immigrant status or ethnicity. The film explores this important legacy through interviews with the key players at the time as well as a whole new generation of activists whose lives were impacted by Vincent Chin.
Winn. Directed by Erica Tanamachi and Joseph East. Women Make Movies. 2022. 17 minutes.
This powerful, short documentary exposes the horrifying experience that incarcerated pregnant women endure and documents Pamela Winn's mission to end shackling and ultimately prison birth.
You Will Be Swedish, My Daughter. Director: Claire Billet. Producer: Juliette Guigon. Andana Films. 2018. 58 minutes.
A Syrian refugee couple, Ahmad and Jihane, tell the story of their exile to Sweden to their youngest daughter, Sally. They recount their journey as migrants being smuggled across borders, evoke memories of their beloved Syria, and talk of the violence which is present at all times. Ahmad and Jihane then compare their differing points of view. What will they remember? What will they tell their children about the past? Between their unspoken thoughts and obsessions, the future identity of the family is being constructed.