Festival Program

2018 GLOBAL IMPACT FILM FESTIVAL PROGRAM

Our 4th annual was a great success!


Please read the film descriptions and biographies of the directors of each film for this past year. 


*All GIDC Screenings will take place in the Meeting Room Level of the hotel in Rooms 2 and 3.

 

10:00 AM SESSION 1: DOCUMENTARIES


Living in Chains

Living in Chains is a short documentary film that centers around the banned practice in Indonesia known as pasung. Pasung refers to the practice of physical restraint or confinement upon a person deemed as mentally ill. The documentary presents the standpoints of the traditional healers and the unconventional methods they employ to heal the patients. The film also serves to highlight the stigma and cultural beliefs that perpetuate the practice which still exists in certain parts of the world at this modern day and age.


Humaira developed a passion for documentaries through her course of study at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). She channels her passion for broadcast and filmmaking to tell stories that matter while allowing herself to explore topics that push beyond her comfort zone. She has produced a documentary on foreign workers from Bangladesh who worked in Singapore during the fasting month. The documentary was featured in a Singapore news platform, Berita Harian Singapura, which garnered more than 700k views and 6k shares.


Making Waves: Rebirth of the Golden Rule

In 1958, four Quaker peace activists set sail for the Marshall Islands-- the US nuclear testing zone--to call attention to the devastating effects of the bomb on people and the environment. When the crew was arrested and jailed in Hawaii, public outcry for their release sparked a movement that led to the signing of the Limited Test Ban Treaty in 1963. Sixty years later, Veterans for Peace has restored this historic wooden boat and embarked on a global mission to end the arms race. Shot on board the Golden Rule during a protest of the Navy's Air and Sea show in San Diego Bay, the film features interviews of veterans whose stories illuminate the true costs of warfare.


After editing B-grade horror films for five years, Detroit native James Knight left the industry to walk across the country on the Great Peace March in1986. This transformative experience led him to seek more meaningful work in the documentary field. Since then, he has cut several award-winning documentaries including Cathy Zheutlin's JUST ONE STEP (first prize, Anthropos Film Festival) and directed several of his own acclaimed films such as BALLAD OF FIRE (premiered by American Cinemateque and screened at festivals around the world). Recent films KIND, TRUE, and NECESSARY, WALKING THE TALK, and MAKING WAVES: REBIRTH OF THE GOLDEN RULE highlight the work of peace activists.


Refugee Wave

Meet Gulghutai. She is many things — an Afghan, a Muslim, a mother, an activist, a refugee — and she refuses to be contained. “Flüchtlingswelle (Refugee Wave)” offers an intimate glimpse into the life of Gulghutai, who rejects the media's homogenized narrative of refugee women as helpless victims. Following the saying “the personal is political”, this film serves as a creative vehicle for Gulghutai’s thoughts and experiences since arriving in Germany in 2014, while providing insight into how multiple aspects of her identity intersect to impact the way she experiences displacement, discrimination, and integration as she relentlessly fights for the rights of refugees.


Jane Chow is a director, writer, and producer based in Los Angeles. Born and raised in the ever-changing city of Hong Kong, she is passionate about stories that examine the intersections of different cultures and identities. Jane is currently a Junior at Loyola Marymount University, pursuing a degree in Film & TV Production and Women's & Gender Studies. She aims to create work that fuses these two disciplines, using film as a creative and political tool to amplify the voices of marginalized communities and provoke questions about our changing world.


Capoeira: Play

Capoeira: Play is the second short documentary based on the life of Anthony Santo Domingo (Mentor & Instructor of the Live the Game program). The documentary speaks to Anthony's relationship with one of his mentors and best friend, Mestre Trapo. We see just how much Mestre Trapo has influenced Anthony's teachings and how through Capoeira they both continue to change their students' lives for the better.


Joddy Eric Matthews is an Award Winning Director, Cinematographer and VFX Artist with a wide range of credits, including directing music videos and commercials for USVision, JC Penney Optical, Phillip Morris, Vodaphone, BET, General Motors, Winslow, NWA, The Fugees, Sherwin Williams, and the Television Pilot(s), The Bubble (BET, San Francisco International Film Festival, and many more. 2016 and 2017 has seen him direct several well- received documentaries including Capoeira: Live The Game, which has screened at thirty-seven film festivals in twelve countries. He has collaborated with the Barbershop (starring Ice Cube) story writer Don Scott Jr. and directed an award winning video, The City Agenda, featuring R&B Singer Usher for The YMCA and a Get out the Vote commercial with 21st District Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge. 


13 Reasons to Fly

Sixteen-year-old Belle disrupts society’s mistaken beliefs about individuals with mental illness. She and her peers offer their comeback stories, filled with hope and resilience after facing down despair.


Maryanne Galvin is an independent filmmaker as well as a practicing forensic psychologist in Boston, Massachusetts. Her non-fiction films --many with a social justice focus--have won awards at film festivals in the USA and abroad and have been broadcast and distributed widely. Galvin has also written, directed, and produced four educational training videos for mental health and law enforcement professionals. She holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is a licensed and Board Certified psychologist. She also earned the MFA in Creative Writing at Emerson College, Boston. Filmmaker, forensic psychologist, educator, and entrepreneur –  Galvin uses her background in psychology, behavioral science and creative writing to inform her visual storytelling. 


Dovere for Camden

A few citizens band together to breathe life into a decaying city - Camden, New Jersey - by investing their creativity, hearts, souls, and treasure to turn what used to be an abandoned bar into a professional theatre with the hope of it becoming a point of light, a beacon of hope to help heal a neighborhood.


Douglas Clayton’s full time job is the SVP, Talent Management & Learning and Development at SES, the world’s leading provider of satellite services, splitting his time between Princeton location and the Luxembourg headquarters. Douglas’ passion is film and he recently directed his first film a short documentary Dovere for Camden featured in the Global Impact Film Festival and the NJ International Film Festival. Doug has also produced several parodies of mainstream movies such as James Bond, The Godfather, Star Trek and Mission Impossible for SES. Doug earned his doctorate degree (dissertation on film and learning) from the U of Pennsylvania and is an alumnus of the Wharton Business School. Doug conducts ongoing research, has been published, and is a speaker on the topic of how film inspires and enhances learning. 


The Rest of Your Life

The inspiring story of two women showing the difficulties faced by so many women that recently left the prison system and are trying to fit back into society with one goal: to not be only known by their past crimes. The prejudice and adversities to get a second chance led Sharon Richardson to open a catering business that only hires women that left the prison system to work in events. She wants to show that society can and should embrace those women after they have done their time and served the sentences they were given by the crimes they were convicted.

 

10:00 AM SESSION 2: NARRATIVES


America; I Too

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), presents its second short film; "America; I Too", starring Academy Award nominee Barkhad Abdi and featuring the music from Grammy winners Quetzal. Writer and first time 

Director Anike Tourse shares the interconnected stories of three arrested and detained immigrants who navigate the system as they attempt to prevent their deportation. Film is based on real testimonies and experiences. Closed captioning for "America: I Too" is available in Spanish, Korean, and simple Chinese.


Anike Tourse has written for daytime serial "One Life to Live," for sitcom series "Girlfriends" and is the playwright of stage play "No Milk Today" which premiered at the 2015 Wisconsin Fermentation Fest. She has written and produced multilingual videos and public service announcements for the Immigrant Rights Movement. Anike has penned and performed several solo shows touring her productions across the country as well as to the Edinburgh (Scotland) Fringe Festival; the largest international theater festival in the world, on a national Nigerian tour sponsored by the 7-UP Bottling Company and most recently as the key note performance for the 2016 Bates College Student orientation. Anike’s current projects include an animated short film in development called "Frances the Fish" and her directorial debut of the live action short film "America: I Too."


The Follower

A woman is eerily chased by an African-American stranger, down a dark and lonely alley, only to realize the truth is much more harrowing than what she thinks.


Frank & Daniel, a directors duo who separately led in the past films such as Fractured Minds, Crossing Moments, and The Tainted Touch joined forces to create films under PowerTale Films that question and provide deeper insight to problems that people in our modern society face. Daniel was born in Santa Clara, Cuba where he studied theater and became an acting teacher in theater groups. In the US, Daniel pursued photography and then film production in Miami-Dade College. Frank was born in Bogota, Colombia where he also focused in photography and then pursued a career in the US of film production in Ai Miami International University of Art & Design and Full Sail. Both directors have worked through out the years for independent film companies and other commercial entities such as Univision, NBC, Variety, and Machinima.


Recovery One

Recovery One is a dark Sci-Fi thriller, exposing a dystopian world where technological advances in robotics and artificial intelligence, threatens the entire human race. The film unfolds from an evil plot to enslave human innovation and intuition. Recovery One, the first to embody human-cybernetic implants, is tasked to recover key human targets. This alarming and fast-paced film ultimately questions what it means to be human.


Jonathan Roberts is currently a film student at New York University’s Tisch School of The Arts, specializing in directing, cinematography and screenwriting. He’s written, directed, shot and produced over 20 short-length screenplays, including Recovery One, Million by Midnight and Stole My Heart. His education inspires the way he visualizes film and informs his cinematic voice. Studying and collaborating with his fellow students and industry professionals provides an opportunity to get his message out and contribute to the global community.


Moksha

In a post-apocalyptic world, a son is in a dire journey to fulfill his Mother's wishes. He must overcome this toxic environment and some unexpected foes.


Vick Krishna is self-taught filmmaker, editor. He is also a Meisner trained actor currently in New York. At a young age in Maryland, he started making videos with a camcorder and knew then that he wanted to do this for the rest of his life. In order to please his parents, he went to India to get a degree in Computer Science for three years dedicated to pursue his dreams in film when he returned. He continues this journey making his own films and acting in the indie world of this art.


GANDHI V/S JUSTICE In-Justice We Believe

The story, inspired from true-life events, is of a middle class man, Professor Narayan Gandhi, whose small house in an old building, which stood in an upscale area of Mumbai, has been usurped by an unscrupulous builder. The Professor is forced to go to Court and has to wage a 10 yearlong fight for justice in trial in Mumbai. He wrestles with the Indian Judicial system. 


Having started his career as an Assistant Director in Hindi feature film 'Raja Hindustani', Pratik went on to work on TV commercials for various clients with Mobius and Palette Ad Production Houses and Advertising Agencies in Mumbai. Having had his fill of TVC's he took a sabbatical to rediscover himself and found social issues which plague Indian Society intriguing, one of which he has highlighted and Written and Directed into Gandhi v/s Justice. Pratik with Daisy is currently running Ad Production Cos., Megapixel and Piece of Cake Productions in Mumbai.


Tapferkeit

During the WWII North African campaign, a German sniper of the AfrikaKorps and a U.S. Combat engineer find themselves the sole survivors of a battle. They must reluctantly join forces to escape a marauding band of desert nomads and the unforgiving desolation of the Sahara desert. During their odyssey, the German relates the destruction of his country due to following their corrupt politicians. He regrets not stopping them before it was too late. It's a specter from the past that sadly parallels many aspects of our society today. 


Joseph Quinn was born Jan 1, 1966 in Chicago Illinois. He has worked both in front of and behind the camera on multiple feature films and documentaries. Tapferkeit was his directorial debut.

 

2:00 PM SESSION 3: DOCUMENTARIES


The Color of the Current

In March 2017, the weather phenomenon of El Niño Costero devastated many cities and villages in Peru. This is the story of Erick Valencia, an artist from one of the most affected rural villages in the country. It is a story about his plight to overcome his situation and his relationship to art. 


Marcelo is a 20-year-old Computer Science and Film student at NYU Abu Dhabi. "El Color de la Corriente" is his first ever Film project, and through it he has found an interest in the ways social issues can be portrayed in media. He is also passionate about technology advancements for art creation, particularly in artificial intelligence and machine learning.


Rodrigo is a Film and Philosophy student at New York University Abu Dhabi. He is mainly interested in using film and other arts to portray the rich culture and realities of his country, Peru, as well as the different ways in which people live there and some of the difficulties they face.


Back to the Roots

Nikolai Jochum is farming as it did one hundred years ago - without fertilizers, pesticides and monocultures. The young farmer renounces everything that damages nature and soil, even if it takes a little more work. It's about the principle. One year I accompanied the young farmer with my camera. The result is an entertaining portrait about a self-sufficient person who sees progress in retrogression.


Stefan Haberbosch started to study filmmaking in Germany after watching documentaries from Michael Moore. In this time he realized four documentaries about nutrition and Buddhism. Since 2014 he works as a cutter and production technician for the Austrian broadcaster ORF.


The Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect follows the unique approach of Dream A World Education as professional artists provide arts programs to children in early elementary grades, parents and teachers in some of the poorest areas of Los Angeles. The film highlights the lack of funding, why the arts are so critical to the education of our youth and school communities, and how the benefits of the arts go far beyond what we’ve imagined.


Bunny Hull is a Grammy® Award-winner and first time Director who to comes to film inspired by the need to tell a story about the remarkable impact music and the arts has on the lives of children and adults in impoverished inner city schools.

Best known for songs like Ready For A Miracle, which earned a Dove Award and New Attitude, which earned a Grammy and catapulted Patti LaBelle to the top of the charts, Hull has earned more than 20 gold and platinum albums for her work with industry legends including Michael Jackson, B.B. King and Quincy Jones. Highlights of her career include songs and/or vocals that have appeared on Thriller, the Prince of Egypt, Evan Almighty, The Simpsons, and recent campaigns for Weight Watchers and NBC’s The Good Place. She penned the end-title song for The Ripple Effect, with soulful artist Chris Pierce.


Facing East

Amidst rising tension in an ethnically fueled political conflict in the small country of Macedonia, Lirim, an Albanian Macedonian hopes for peace. He remembers the last crisis in 2001, when as a young boy he fled through the northern mountains of Macedonia, escaping violence in his secluded village. Now 20, Lirim works with current-day refugees as they traverse the same mountains, fleeing destruction and war in their own countries. But as protests become violent amongst a divided and apathetic populace, Macedonia’s future seems destined to repeat itself.


Linnea Langkammer is a filmmaker with a diverse background in photography and neuroscience, creating projects that weave compelling imagery, emotional stories, and moral ambiguities. Her previous short documentaries, Number 32 and Road Elegy, have screened at film festivals worldwide, winning several Best Documentary Awards. Her first trek into film started with the intention to prove Santa’s existence, and although that is no longer her main goal, the desire to explore the unseeable and intangible continues to define her work. She investigates deeply emotional, nuanced, and psychological stories in both documentary and narrative forms.


Chloe

Every family with a special needs child has an amazing story to tell. 'Chloe' takes a closer look at one family's journey through a down syndrome diagnosis and redemption.


Insulin for Life: Real Stories of the Struggle for Access and the Dedicated Individuals Who Help

In many places around the world, people with diabetes have little or no access to the basic medical supplies that sustain life. Travel with Insulin for Life USA as we tell the story of the children and heroic healthcare providers who benefit from the supplies that IFL-USA delivers as well as one young person from the U.S. who decided to provide assistance. From the Gambia to Belize, and New York city to Gainesville, Florida, this film tells the story of a critical need and a pragmatic solution.


Brit Liggett is an entrepreneur and filmmaker from Brooklyn, New York. In 2013, Brit started Show the Good - a company that helps do-gooders tell their stories through film, storytelling and design.. Brit has filmed with nonprofits and social ventures in India, Tanzania, Uganda, Peru, Australia and across the United States for nonprofits small and large. This is her first film.

 

2:00 PM SESSION 4: NARRATIVES


Who Are They

A man drives the streets of Los Angeles trying to come up with a subject to make a film about. After looking a two or three he decides on homelessness. The subject turns out to be a little more involved than he originally thought.


Kokayi Ampah is known for his work on Who Are They, The Shawshank Redemption and Million Dollar Baby.


Five O'Clock Shadow

Five O’clock Shadow is the story of an Indian-American mother who is the victim of racial abuse. Her worst fear rises to the surface and for the first time ever, she asks the question: Do we really belong here?


Sangeeta Agrawal is a first time filmmaker for her project, Five O’clock Shadow. With more than 30 years of experience on stage, and lead roles in several short films, Sangeeta is the recipient of the Best NRI Actress at the Delhi International Film Festival in 2015. Sangeeta moved to the US in 1985. She has lived in the Washington DC area since then.


Sinner

A closeted high school senior must choose between being true to himself or pleasing his religious mother.


Joshua Steven Allred graduated from Columbia College Chicago in May 2017, with his Bachelors in Cinema Art + Science. Sinner is based on his teenage years in Kansas City, Missouri. He currently lives in Austin, Texas.


Pressed Leaves

Syla, a college student, struggles to readjust to everyday life following a mysterious tragedy. Her situation attracts the attention of Dr. Elaine Kalidara, a guest speaker visiting one of her classes. She offers Syla a spot to participate in a clinical study she’s conducting. Eager to escape the emotional burdens of her trauma, Syla desperately consents. Little does she know; however, that the trial consists of some vague and disturbing methods.


Sam Beckham is a 3rd year Entertainment and Media Studies student at the University of Georgia who created Pressed Leaves as an independent study. She wrote the script after experiencing her own trauma, and she touched upon elements of real life for the story.


Living Together

Hidden truths emerge over the course of a night for a couple whose relationship is at its breaking point.


Rob Edward was born in Barrie, Ontario, Canada and Educated in London, England at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts(Honours) in Acting. Living Together is his first short film in which he was writer, director, producer, and star. Upcoming projects include Crossmaglen, a short film about the troubles in Northern Ireland, Directed by Beau Ferris and starring Anya Taylor-Joy & Eoin Macken. 

 

5:00 PM SESSION 5: DOCUMENTARIES


Sankofa Solving X

Sankofa Solving X is about a program that seeks to teach young African American students about their African roots and heritage through DNA testing. Who are they? Where do they come from? This is their story.


Director, Chris Kennedy, is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Animation from Kent State University and has worked in the film industry for the past seven years as a Producer, CG Modeler for MadWerkz Studios in Chicago and Cleveland. He has also served as a Location Sound Recorder on Independent features such as GCUFF 2015 Best Feature #50Fathers and Rachel’s Ninth Inning. Chris has produced multiple documentaries: The Nehemiah Project (2015), Capoeira: Live the Game (2016), Sankofa (2016), Rock Collection (2017) and Capoeira Play (2017). These documentaries have been selected for numerous Official Selections and have been seen at thirty-seven film festivals in twelve countries.


Paglaki Ko "When I Grow Up"

The Philippine drug war has left a number of children broken and scarred, witnessing their loved ones die in front of them or surviving an attack from vigilantes. In such small voices they share their experience and how they cope, creating a bigger noise and call to action on more programs that focus on their mental health.


Inshallah Montero has received the Best Director and the Best Film awards at the CINESBI 2012 Film Festival for her thesis film, “Ang Lalaking Parisukat”. Her thesis film, “Ang Lalaking Parisukat” was also one of the winners at the Manhattan International Film Festival 2013 in New York, held by the World Youth Alliance and was screened at the United Nations, New York. The Film Development Council of the Philippines awarded her as one of the Film Ambassadors for 2018. She was also recently included at the Luang Prabang Film Festival Pitching Forum under Tribeca Film Institute last December 2017. She considers herself an eternal student and is driven by life’s wonder.


Let Them In

After President Trump bans people from seven majority Muslim countries from entering the U.S., protestors gather at LAX Airport to demand the release of people being detained there. The protestors must contend with the LAPD, which has ordered the crowd to disperse. As the protestors debate the best course of action, the police take control.


Diego

An undocumented immigrant's fight to keep the American Dream alive after President Trump's decision to rescind the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program.

Kristin Zimney, Annie Franks, Aloha Backenstose, and Angela Rios are seniors at James Madison University, in the school of Media Arts & Design with concentrations in Digital Video and Cinema.


Through My Eyes: Hani's Journey

‘Through My Eyes’ follows the journey of blind Syrian refugee Hani Al Moliya from the camps in Lebanon to Canada. Told through his photos, it is a story of triumph against adversity, set against the backdrop of the Syria crisis.


Zahra Mackaoui is a British/Lebanese documentary filmmaker and producer with over 15 years making documentaries in the Middle East for broadcasters including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, ARTE/ZDF, Al Jazeera. Her experience embraces many different genres, including thematic presenter led series and observational, character led documentaries. For the last four years, she has been covering the Syrian refugee crisis for international broadcasters and UNHCR. She is currently based between Europe and the Middle East.

 

5:00 PM SESSION 6: NARRATIVES


Two Moments in Time

Summer 1970. Three children are unwittingly influenced by a tragic event that took place 60 years earlier.


Australian born Don Percy began shooting films at 10. He graduated from the SWINBURNE FILM AND TELEVISION SCHOOL in 1985, age 20. Soon after came the award-winning comedy short THE SKATEBOARD SAGA and work followed from various Advertising Agencies & Record Companies. In 1999 Don directed the documentary FUNNY BY GEORGE for ABC-TV and distributed on Roadshow DVD. Completed in 2017, the initial motivation behind the short TWO MOMENTS IN TIME was to create a family project. Don currently has several film and television projects in development.


War Has No Eyes

A young Muslim from inner London searches for redemption from his troubled past after being challenged by his prior commitments.


Perry White is a London based writer, director with a desire to tell original and authentic stories that shape our human experience. He finds metaphors for life in many of his daily undertakings.


Disfluency

A narrative case study and in depth look at rape culture and the aftermath.


Laura Holliday is a writer, director, and actor from West Virginia based in Los Angeles. She has created content for Funny or Die, Lifetime and Fullscreen Inc. among others. Her short film "Persephone Goes Home" earned her a Sundance Ignite Fellowship, a competitive fellowship for young, upcoming directors by the Sundance Institute. She is passionate about creating female driven content highlighting women's issues, and working to help create space and opportunities for women in entertainment. She has studied and trained at Idyllwild Arts Academy and Art Center College of Design.


Bebe

A young illegal immigrant crosses the border with a lunchbox full of cash in search of a wealthy American family.


Ryan Zaragoza is a writer/director from El Paso, Texas. His passion is in telling suspenseful dramatic stories that comment on society. He is currently 1 of 3 HBO ACCESS Directing Fellows, and will be directing a pilot presentation for HBO about a small west Texas town struggling to reunite in the aftermath of a mass school shooting.


Leia's Army

A family is torn apart when a teenage girl attends the Women's March in DC without telling her born-again Christian mom.


Born in Sicily and raised in Chicago, Oriana Oppice is an award-winning film and commercial director, writer, producer, and actor. Currently in pre-production for a feature film to be shot in Chicago and Sicily, her work focuses on the extraordinariness of the everyday. She is committed to elevating the visibility of underrepresented talent in front of and behind the camera. Oriana is the Director of Programming for Women in Film Chicago, and holds a B.A. from McGill University in International Relations and an M.A. from the University of Chicago in International Law.

 


SUNDAY- AUGUST 26, 2018

 

11:00 AM SESSION 7: DOCUMENTARIES


Silent No More - Louise Pentz: A Voice for Social Change

No longer willing to remain silent about the injustice she sees, Nova Scotia ceramist Louise Pentz uses her art as a force for social change. Her sculptures give voice to women around the world who are silenced by social, political, religious or family circumstances.


Vandenboer, a filmmaker residing in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, co-produced, directed, filmed and edited the documentary. Co-producer and writer Grace Butland, also of Annapolis Royal, is a writer and artist.


Salone Rights

A short documentary looking at the rights of the communities in Sierra Leone and the challenges they face.


Thomas Dixon has worked across multiple sections of the industry, including a large part of his career in high-end TV-drama and feature film. During a two-year period living in Sierra Leone he directed, producer and edited a series of short-form documentaries, all telling interesting stories about projects and organisations doing impressive work within the fascinating backdrop of West Africa. He is now looking to develop even more ambitious projects to take forward into production.


They Took Them Alive

More than two years after 43 students disappeared from Ayotzinapa in Mexico, their loved ones still seek justice and closure.


Emily Pederson is an independent documentary photographer and filmmaker. Raised in Rhode Island, USA, her work focuses on social movements and struggles for justice, most recently in the context of the Mexican Drug War. Her work has been supported by Field of Vision and published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and El Faro, among others.


Fox2-O

Fox2-O puts an objective lens on the past, present, and future of one of our most important assets in our region- the Fox River. Northeast Wisconsin is home to a winding watershed ranging from Crandon, WI and eventually flowing outward to the Bay of Green Bay. It was really the Fox River that brought people here in the first place, and those were native peoples. They were here to fish, and to use the transportation on the river to get around. It was the river that brought the first settlers here. It was ultimately the river that brought our first industry. This film explores the major contributors to the river's well being and provides solutions for the future. 


Mexico: Looking For Lost Migrants

Ruben Figueroa searches for missing migrants who disappeared on the dangerous journey from Central America to the United States. Once a migrant himself, now he tries to give a face to the vanished thousands of men and women, lost in their search for a better life.


Leo Mattei has been working as a freelance cameraman and reporter for the 10 last years for various news agencies (AP, AFP) and international channels, and also directing his own documentaries. Leo speaks fluent Spanish, English and Hindi/Urdu. He has produced several pieces on migration issue in Mexico, Central America and Middle East. He is now based in Mexico city and has just released a documentary on the disappearing migrants from Central America on their attempt to get across Mexico for French television: "Looking For Lost Migrants".


Alex Gohari used to work as a video reporter for France Televisions (2009-2017), living in Mexico for three years on. Alex speaks fluent Spanish, English and Persian, and already has a great experience in directing and producing too. Alex is also used to contributing to a great number of reports and films shot in Mexico as a fixer, such as the last "The Devil's Avocados”.


 

11:00 AM SESSION 8: NARRATIVES


A Day at Primary School for the Girl with the Curly Hair

The girl with the curly hair is a well known character who has autism. This cartoon shows her having a typical day at primary school and how it compares to her non-autistic classmates. The cartoon creates awareness and understanding of those who might be a bit different and helps people develop empathy. All of the voiceover artists have some connection to autism - either are autistic themselves or have family members who are autistic.


Alis Rowe is an autistic entrepreneur and prolific author from the UK. She operates the social enterprise, The Curly Hair Project, an organisation that helps people on the autistic spectrum and the people around them. A Day At Primary School For The Girl With The Curly Hair is Alis's first experience at filmmaking. She really enjoyed writing and directing the film and there are lots more to come! Find out more about Alis at www.thegirlwiththecurlyhair.co.uk or email alis@thegirlwiththecurlyhair.co.uk


Make America Black Again

Presidential Candidate Lamar Johnson is running for office on the campaign slogan: “Make America Black Again” with an all white campaign staff!


As well as having a number of film & TV projects in development, Leon co-star’s & produces the UMC Channel’s international TV series “40 & Single”. Leon will be producing, directing & starring a comedy pilot “Pope of Ave. B” for his NYC production company, Motion Mob Films. Most recent credits include Bafta Winner Leila Djansi’s films “And Then There Was You” & “Where Children Play," “Cover” directed by Bill Duke and a 2016 National Tour of the hit play “Things Your Man Won’t Do.”


Refuge Island

The world is different now. On a secluded, rural, Australian road, a Hitchhiker picks up a ride. Is everyone who they say they are inside of the vehicle?


Alexander Hagani, 22, just wants to create. During his undergraduate career at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with a team of fellow students and artists, he spent four years directing, writing, and producing his own full-length television series, Boys to Men. In the spring of 2017, studied and lived in Australia for six months to create his first short film, Refuge Island. And this week, he will be immigrating to the UK to begin his two-year, MA Filmmaking program at The London Film School. 


Small Town Hitman

A contract killer thinks he's done his last job but ends up being extorted by the man who hired him to keep killing. Oppressive situation makes the killer consider his own limits and whether he should keep killing while pressured. What will he decide? And how much will it cost him?


Johannes Myllymaki is an independent film director, filmmaker, cinematographer, actor, editor, producer who made his debut as a film director with "Go love yourself" -movie in 2015. Johannes also does short movies, sketches and other video productions for clients and to YouTube and serves as executive producer and creative director on "Olohuonetuotanto" (en. Living room Productions). Now, he has directed four films, "Go love yourself -movie", "Search for Luke - A Star Wars -fan film", "Tutorial” and "Small Town Hitman". “Tutorial” has been recognized in Hollywood and got screened in Down Town Film Festival and North Hollywood Cinefest in Los Angeles. 


She Survivor

Anne Walters, an introverted college student with a hidden passion for poetry cannot bring herself to read aloud at a Poetry Slam. Only after a traumatic experience takes place in her life, is she able to overcome


Lovers

LOVERS is a fictional short film which could just as well be fact. It is a dramatic love story and a mystery set in the City of Angels (Los Angeles). Will a serial killer strike again? Will law enforcement arrest the killer in time? Will love be the bond that protects a possible victim? Is race relevant in the way crimes are solved? All these questions will be addressed during scenes filled with beauty, intrigue, and love. Music meets fashion meets drama.


Nell is a native Texan. She attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston and then graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Nell became a company member at Celebration Theatre and, eventually, their Director of Development from 2011 to 2012. In 2015, Nell became a producer on the film, Upended, directed by Tessa Blake and starring Amy Landecker. Nell is directing two stage productions; All Shook Up, at the Morgan Wixson Theatre.

 

3:00 PM SESSION 9: DOCUMENTARIES


Tyranny of Distance

Fifteen years of civil war in Liberia has resulted in one of the world’s worst doctor shortages and cut off the country’s rural poor from basic healthcare. Community health workers trained and equipped by the non-profit Last Mile Health are working to deliver lifesaving health services to the 1.2 million Liberians living far from care in the country’s remote communities.


Gabriel Diamond is the staff filmmaker for the Skoll Foundation where he documents the work of visionaries and social entrepreneurs. A short documentary/music video he co-directed called “Rise” features a concept he birthed called a “Vulnerable Rally” and has over 1.2 million views online. In 2010 he completed “Less,” a feature narrative film about a man who chose to be homeless on the streets of San Francisco; “Less” won Honorable Mention at Dances with Films and is available on Amazon Prime. In his work he strives to promote empathy, magic between strangers, and inspiring ideas. See more at outsidefilms.com.


T(HE)Y

T(HE)Y was created with the idea of identity in mind. Dakota Nieves and Indiana Baker explore their experiences growing up as transgender high school students in New York City. We wanted their stories to be told through their own voices in the hopes that it would encourage others to look beyond appearances and go beyond their own assumptions.


VAGILANT

VAGILANT expresses one woman’s journey to discover and amplify her unique voice and captures a moment in our history that sparked the next wave of female empowerment. Ultimately, we hope our film inspires those who watch it to find their unique voices, connect with each other and continue on with our collective fight for a more empathetic and equal society.


Mari Meyer is a filmmaker, journalist, writer and actor. She co-wrote, produced and starred in the narrative short film The Soothing System, which reimagines an Edgar Allan Poe story with female leads. She was the lead producer on A Whole New World, a music video project directed by Maya Eshet (Netflix' To The Bone, Syfy's Nightflyers). As writer, she has over 10 years of experience in news, art and entertainment journalism, both in the Netherlands in the U.S. Mari holds a BA in Journalism and completed the 3 Year Conservatory program at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York. She is currently writing and developing a narrative digital series about street musicians in New York.


Shelbyville Says NO! 

On October 28, 2017 in Shelbyville, Tennessee, 150 Nazis, Klansmen, and white supremacists held a rally to build support for their hateful ideology. But 750 loud and enthusiastic counter-protesters were waiting to let them know in no uncertain terms that they were NOT welcome in Shelbyville. Directed, photographed and edited by award-winning Nashville-based filmmaker, David Earnhardt, this powerful short film shows what happens when a large group of committed citizens band together to say NO to hate. 


David Earnhardt is an Emmy award-winning producer/director and former broadcast executive with 41 years of experience as a filmmaker and television professional. He has produced and directed a wide range of productions through the years and worked at some of the top television stations in the country, before starting a filmmaking business nearly 25 years ago in partnership with Patricia Earnhardt.


Little Fiel

Artist Fiel dos Santos grew up during the 16-year-long civil war in his home country of Mozambique. The only one of his family to never have shot a gun, today he makes art out of guns to commemorate the lives lost.

     

The Toucan

As old age and death approach, four folk musicians must bid farewell to a lifestyle once defined by the rural Mexican landscape that surrounds them.

Cameron G. Quevedo is an award-winning filmmaker currently based in Philadelphia, PA. His work explores themes of cultural decay, social erosion, man’s relationship to the land, and the individual’s search for meaning, relevance, and a sense of personal legacy. Cameron holds an MFA in Film Production from the University of Texas at Austin and teaches courses in film production & theory at Villanova University.


Unbroken Paradise

A refugee of the Syrian Civil War flees to France, hoping to reconstruct his life after the war and become a professional architect.


Before filmmaking, Juan David Romero worked as Communications Officer at AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) doing writing, animation, photography, and video editing/production in Washington D.C. He has worked on-the-ground and remotely with various refugee-aid organizations as an acting volunteer and videographer at refugee camps in the island of Chios in Greece and in Lyon, France. On his free time he also contributes his skills to the U.N. Presently, Romero resides in Athens, Greece. You can learn more about him and his films at www.juandavid.org.

 

3:00 PM SESSION 10: DOCUMENTARIES


DC Hero Aniekan Udofia

The film depicts the art and murals around DC of the artist, Aniekan Udofia.


Brian Billak is a filmmaker, cinematographer, editor, and woodworker living in Washington D.C.


Grassroots

Grassroots follows Guy Webb and his friends, unlikely heroes on a quest to bring a genuine climate change solution to the world.


Originally from Holland, Frank moved to Australia in 2015. He left behind a career in television, embarking on a farming adventure, only to have it lead him back to the medium to tell one of the most important stories he has come across to date.


$15 Kicks

In 2006, former NBA star Stephon Marbury endorsed a revolutionary low-cost sneaker called the Starbury. $15 Kicks revisits the Starbury sneaker‰Ûªs altruistic mission and media frenzy. The film will highlight proponents and skeptics of the brand‰Ûªs humble gross margin and its tumultuous discontinuation in 2009. In a world ruled by multi-million-dollar sneaker endorsements, could a rising NBA basketball star and growing discount retailer successfully sell the $15 kicks?


Jenn Shaw is a southern born filmmaker raised in the beautiful bluegrass of Lexington, Kentucky. Since graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, she has been able to establish roots as a creative writer, producer, and director with a captivating vision for digital, film, and television.


The Quare In There

In this short documentary film, Black and queer are paralleled sites of creative activism. Taking place in Oakland, CA, where the city is as much as a character as the participants themselves, the value of complexity and self-definition are the nexus for social transformation.


Taryn Lee Crenshaw is a documentarian, educator, and photographer. Born and raised in San Jose, California, she received a Master of Arts degree in Social Documentation from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Women’s Studies with a concentration in Visual Documentation from Spelman College. Taryn sees documentary film and photography as vehicles for exploration, analysis, and celebration. Creatively implementing oral history narratives, her work speaks to the strength of the human spirit, while inspiring connection and invoking conversation around self and societal reflection.


Second Assault

When Jillian was 18 years old, she was raped in her college dorm room. Twelve years later Second Assault follows her on the journey to confront this incident and in particular, her anger toward the police officer that deemed the assault consensual. This film explores the trauma of reporting sexual violence, and the second assault that survivors often experience when they are not believed. 


Amy Rosner has been editing, writing, and directing documentaries for the past 7 years. She edited and wrote the 2017 Oscar shortlisted documentary, The Other Side of Home, as well as the Emmy award-winning documentary series, Wonder Women. She has worked on a wide variety of documentary films and series in both linear and VR, as well as had films play in top festivals around the world.


Jillian Corsie is an experienced and accomplished documentary director and editor. Her debut feature documentary, Trichster, sold out screenings at it’s premiere at the Soho International Film Festival, and helped her win her Best Young Filmmaker in 2015. She has worked in New York and Los Angeles at a variety of boutique post-production shops for the past 6 years.


Resilience at the Roots

Resilience at the Roots follows a community in El Salvador who, after fleeing government repression and spending a decade in exile, returned to their country to rebuild their lives in the coastal lowland areas surrounding the Bay of Jiquilisco. But their challenges were not over: in 1998 Hurricane Mitch hit, and other severe storms followed, washing away homes, destroying crops, and burying the community in rising waters. They recognized that these storms were linked to climate change and loss of protective mangrove forests, and so began to organize. Today, the movement they started has succeeded in creating a network of vibrant, democratic communities that protect and restore their natural resources and ecosystems, and has grown into one of the most successful global organizing models working for climate justice. 


Jake Ratner is a filmmaker and photographer based in New York City who works in partnership with directly affected communities to produce films and create media to support and promote social justice.


Climate Heroine

A disaster-preparedness worker fights for climate justice at the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference in Germany after Typhoon Haiyan devastates her community in the Philippines.


Colton Kugler is a junior Film & Television Production and Entrepreneurship double major at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. Heralding from Denver, Colorado, Colton uncovered his passion and kickstarted his filmmaking career in high school while making a feature-length fan film of The Hunger Games. Since then Colton has worked on various short films, music videos and commercials, and shot short documentaries in India, Cambodia and Denmark. His latest film, "Climate Heroine," was a partnership with humanitarian agency CARE, and shot while studying abroad in Germany in 2017. After graduating in 2020 Colton hopes to serve in the Peace Corps before returning to Los Angeles, London or Vancouver to work in film, television and public advocacy.