Co-presented by the UA Center for Middle Eastern Studies and UA Main Library
Bassem Youssef faced an unusual choice in 2011: heart surgeon or full-time satirist. The established doctor picked the unexpected path and it would make him one of the most famous men in the Arab world and earn him the nickname “the Jon Stewart of Egypt.”
Charting Youssef’s rise and career as Egypt’s most famous television presenter, Tickling Giants offers a rousing celebration of free speech, showcasing the power of satire to speak for the people and against a repressive government. This story differs from the familiar American success of Stewart and Stephen Colbert: Youssef’s jokes come with serious, dangerous, at times revolutionary consequences. With a precise documentary eye, Daily Show Senior Producer Sara Taksler captures the strength and fragility that color Youssef’s life on and off screen, as well as the courage of the coworkers who stand by him. She celebrates satire as a tool with a greater use than the extraction of a laugh, positioning the genre as both a weapon against fear and an instrument of democracy for those in desperate pursuit of freedom.
Theo Rigby is a director, cinematographer, and interactive storyteller based out of San Francisco. He believes in the power of image and sound to create awareness and dialogue about the world’s most pressing social and political issues.
Rigby’s last project, IMMIGRANT NATION (iNation), is a series of short films about immigration in the U.S. including The CARETAKER, THE MAYOR, and MARATHON, as well as an online storytelling platform, and a series of live storytelling events. iNation has been showcased on the New York Times website, nationally broadcast on PBS, and shown at Ellis Island, the 2014 New York Film Festival, and 2012 Cannes Film Festival. The project received a MacArthur Documentary Film grant, as well as a Tribeca Institute New Media Fund grant. His film, Sin País (Without Country), won a Student Academy Award, has screened in over 30 film festivals, and was nationally broadcast on PBS’ independent documentary showcase POV in 2012.
His current projects include a feature documentary on the contemporary Sanctuary movement, and WAKING DREAM, a series of short documentary films exploring the lives of young, undocumented people in the U.S. who have DACA permits.
Presented by the Center for Border & Global Journalism and the Center for Latin American Studies, co-sponsored by the Center for Documentary
Finding Oscar explores the story of a 1982 massacre in the small Guatemalan town of Dos Erres. The massacre claimed the lives of 200 people — men, women and children — save two small boys who survived only to be stolen and raised by their attackers. The film tells the story of the search for justice by prosecutors and others, which ultimately led to the discovery of the two survivors.
Ryan Suffern, the director of the film, and Scott Greathead, a producer and human rights lawyer, will be on a panel after the film, along with Ana Arana, a journalist and fellow at the Center for Border & Global Journalism, whose work with ProPublica, the non-profit public affairs reporting organization, helped shape the film.
Steven Spielberg is the executive producer, and the film had its first screening at his Shoah Foundation Center in Los Angeles. The documentary is scheduled for theatrical release later this year.
After being wrongfully convicted of gang-raping two little girls during the Satanic Panic witchhunt era of the 80s and 90s, four Latina lesbians fight against mythology, homophobia, and prosecutorial fervor in their struggle for exoneration in this riveting ‘True Crime’ tale.
In 1994, four women were accused, tried and convicted of the heinous sexual assault of two young girls–as one newscaster puts it, “the modern version of the witchcraft trials.” Twenty years later, the four women have maintained their innocence, insisting that the accusations were entirely fabricated, and borned of homophobic prejudice and a late-90s mania about covens, cults and child abuse. A riveting and layered story that explores the web of prejudices in a contentious trial and the interrelated political and personal forces that work to convict those thought guilty, trampling the innocent in the process.
“Has your blood pressure been sufficiently raised by shows like “Making A Murderer” and movies like the “Paradise Lost” trilogy? Buckle up, because we’ve got another unbelievable true crime story that will leave you equal parts fascinated and furious.”
— INDIEWIRE, April 2016