Author Archives: wildbluepixel

The Tent Village

(Nilima Abrams with student collaborators, 2016)

Tuesday Nov 14, 2017

6pm

Loft Cinema/Loft Film Festival

Tent Village Trailer 2.5 Min from Nilima Abrams on Vimeo.

India’s roadside tent dwellers, through the eyes of their teenaged children

The Tent Village is a collaborative work between Nilima and four teenagers she worked with in India. After learning basic filmmaking, the students decided to film at roadside hovels where garbage workers and hair-collectors live. The filmmakers’ unique perspectives (being themselves from the community they film) guide the viewer through life in the “tent village”, bringing a compassionate yet unsentimental peek into the lives of people who are often barely seen as people at all.

The Tent Village has been screened at the Alhambra Theatre Festival, the Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA) Film and Media Festival, the Vermont International Film Festival, the Austin Asian American Film Festival, as well as nationally on PBS through the To the Contrary Festival.

THE JOURNEY

(Matthew Cassel, 2016)

Thursday, April 6
7pm
FREE

Loft Cinema

Co-presented by Center for Middle Eastern Studies

»See Episode 1

still from Journey

This six-part documentary follows the treacherous, seventeen-hundred-mile migration of a Syrian refugee who fled the perils of wartime Damascus to build a better life for his family. More than a million people whose lives have been upended by desperation and violence in Syria have made similar journeys, but most of these treks take place in obscurity. Aboud Shalhoub was joined by the filmmaker Matthew Cassel, who documented—and participated in—the perilous migration in 2015. Cassel’s colleague Simon Safieh stayed in Damascus with Aboud’s wife, Christine, and his two children. The series captures Aboud’s long trip to the Netherlands, the family’s attempts to reunite, and the tide of nationalist sentiment sweeping across northern Europe.

The film was originally published by The New Yorker on their website as part of a collaboration with Field of Vision, the visual journalism unit of First Look Media.
Associate Professor Leila Hudson, from the School of Middle East and North African Studies at the University of Arizona, whose current research focuses on the Syrian refugee crisis, will lead a post-screening discussion.

Matthew Cassel’s bio:

Matthew Cassel is an independent multimedia journalist and filmmaker based in Istanbul. He spent five years covering the Arab world with the Al Jazeera network. His 2013 award-winning film for AJE, “Identity and Exile: an American’s struggle with Zionism,” focuses on his personal journey from his hometown Chicago to the Middle East, where he has lived for the past decade. Cassel is co-editor of Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution: Voices from Tunis to Damascus (Penguin, 2013), a collection of essays on the 2011 uprisings by writers from across the Arab world. Cassel speaks fluent Arabic and has spent much of the past two years focusing on the plight of refugees seeking asylum in the EU.

»Interview with Matthew Cassel

»Interview with filmmaker Matthew Cassel re making of The Journey

TICKLING GIANTS

(Sara Taksler, 2016)

Wed March 8, 2017
7:30pm
FREE

Loft Cinema

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.

»Interview with Bassem Youssef in HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

»More info on the film site

Tickling Giants poster

 

WAKING DREAM: Short films on immigration by Theo Rigby

 

Thursday, March 2, 2017
7pm
FREE

Loft Cinema

 

Presented by DocScapes

In Person: Theo Rigby

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.

FINDING OSCAR

(Ryan Suffern, 2016)

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017
6:30pm
FREE

AME Auditorium, U of A

(NE corner of Speedway/Mountain)

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.

»More info on the film site

SOUTHWEST OF SALEM: The Story of the San Antonio Four

(Deborah S. Esquenazi, 2016)

Thursday, Feb 2, 2017
7:30pm
FREE

Loft Cinema

Co-presented by Lesbian Looks
with support from Puertas Abiertas

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

More Reviews:

Rolling Stone: Inside Case Behind Wrongful Conviction Doc ‘Southwest of Salem’

AfterEllen: Guilty of being QWOC: The San Antonio Four on being wrongly accused

New York Magazine: Director Deborah Esquenazi on What Drew Her to a Satanic-Ritual Abuse Trial in Texas

Curve Magazine: San Antonio Four Exonerated

»More info on the film site

The Bad Kids

Tuesday, Nov 1, 2016 – 7:30pm FREE

(Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe, 2016)



Loft Cinema


Presented by DocScapes
http://www.thebadkidsmovie.com/

In Person: Editor Jacob Bricca

At a remote Mojave Desert high school, extraordinary educators believe that empathy and life skills, more than academics, give at-risk students command of their own futures. This coming-of-age story watches education combat the crippling effects of poverty in the lives of these so-called “bad kids.”

This observational documentary chronicles one extraordinary principal’s mission to realize the potential of these students whom the system has deemed lost causes. The film follows Principal Vonda Viland as she coaches three at-risk teens—a new father who can’t support his family, a young woman grappling with sexual abuse, and an angry young man from an unstable home—through the traumas and obstacles that rob them of their spirit and threaten their goal of a high school diploma.

Winner of a Special Jury Award at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival

»Read review in Variety

»Read review in the Hollywood Reporter

»Read review in Indiewire

Jacob Bricca

Jacob Bricca is an award-winning Tucson-based documentary editor, director, and teacher. He has edited over a dozen feature films including the international theatrical hit Lost In La Mancha, the New Yorker Films theatrical release Con Artist, the Independent Lens Audience Award Winner Jimmy Scott: If You Only Knew and the 2016 Sundance Special Jury Award Winner The Bad Kids. His directorial credits include Indies Under Fire: The Battle for the American Bookstore, which won awards at the Newburyport Documentary Festival and the Santa Cruz Film Festival, Pure, which premiered at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival, and Finding Tatanka which premiered at the 2014 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and is distributed by Passion River Films. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona’s School of Theatre, Film and Television, where he teaches classes on editing and documentary filmmaking. He is currently at work on a book, forthcoming from Focal Press/Routledge in 2017, titled Documentary Editing: Principles and Practice.

Disruption

Thursday, Mar 3, 2016 – 7:30pm FREE

(Pamela Yates, Paco de Onis and Peter Kinoy, 2014)



Loft Cinema


Presented by DocScapes
http://skylight.is/films/disruption/

In Person: Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis

Can 20 million women upend a continent?

A band of Latin American activist economists sets out to change their region, partnering with women marginalized by poverty to challenge accepted notions of how to eradicate inequality. Through this program, the women become empowered economic and political agents in their communities. At the heart of the film are the stories of women who participate in Fundación Capital’s programs, encountering in themselves formerly untapped political and economic energy which propels many into active roles of civic participation.

By a lake in the Peruvian Andes, we meet Cirila Quillahuaman who tells us that the women in her village, once “sleeping beauties,” have now been awakened by the program, and are opening savings accounts and starting small businesses. Cirila has been elected as city councilwoman and is now pressing her local government to expand the pilot program. In the slums of Cartagena, Colombia, we meet Agripina Perea who has been able to build her own business from what she learned and saved in a financial inclusion program. “I don’t know where they got such a great idea to unite women and teach them how to save,” she says, “and through that, to teach them their rights.”


DISRUPTION explores the work of Fundación Capital, (Winners of the 2014 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship), a group of Latin American activist-economists that is pioneering strategies for financial inclusion across the region by aligning policy, market mechanisms, and advances in technology to create programs that place women at the center of the drive for social change.


We want to gently twist capitalist mechanisms, to transform the capitalist system, from individual values to values of solidarity.
– Yves Moury, President of Fundación Capital

Pamela YatesPAMELA YATES
Pamela Yates is a co-founder and currently the Creative Director of Skylight Pictures, a company dedicated to creating feature length documentary films and digital media tools that advance awareness of human rights and the quest for justice by implementing multi-year outreach campaigns designed to engage, educate and activate social change. She was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship for her 2011 film Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, which was used as key forensic evidence in the Ríos Montt genocide conviction in Guatemala. Yates is the Director of the Sundance Special Jury award winning When the Mountains Tremble; the Executive Producer of the Academy Award winning Witness to War, about an American Doctor behind guerrilla lines in El Salvador; and the Director of State of Fear: The Truth About Terrorism, which has been translated into 47 languages and broadcast in 154 countries. Her epic film The Reckoning, about the tumultuous first 6 years of the International Criminal Court was filmed on 4 continents and in 7 languages and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She also directed the development of Granito: Every Memory Matters, an interactive media project that gathered memories and put them into a public online archive to help restore and repair the collective memory of the Guatemalan genocide. Yates is currently working on 500 Years, the third in the Guatemalan trilogy that explores the battle for the national narrative in present-day Guatemala. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, The Writers Guild of America, the Independent Documentary Association, and a Contributing Editor to NACLA: Report on the Americas.

Paco de OnísPACO DE ONIS
Paco de Onís is the Executive Director at Skylight Pictures. Most recently, he produced Disruption, about women’s economic empowerment in Colombia, Peru and Brazil. In 2011 he produced Granito: How to Nail a Dictator (world premiere at Sundance 2011), a documentary detective story focused on the role of filmic and archival documentation in the prosecution of a genocide case against Guatemalan generals, and launched Granito: Every Memory Matters, a companion mixed media project developed to restore the collective memory of the Guatemalan genocide.  One year after the release of Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, the dictator of the title was charged with genocide and put on trial in Guatemala. Paco also served as the producer on The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court (world premiere Sundance 2009), a documentary accompanied by IJCentral, an interactive audience engagement initiative promoting global rule of law, developed at the BAVC Producerʼs Institute in 2008. Prior to that, he produced State of Fear, a Skylight Pictures film about Peruʼs 20-year “war on terror” based on the findings of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Prior to his work at Skylight he produced documentaries for PBS (“On Our Own Terms” with Bill Moyers), National Geographic (“Secrets from the Grave”), and a range of other programs.

Land of Opportunity

Thu, Nov 5, 2015, 7pm

THE LOFT
3233 E. Speedway Blvd
FREE

(Luisa Dantas, 2010, USA)

In Person: Luisa Dantas

Through the eyes of urban planners, community organizers, displaced youth, immigrant workers, and public housing residents, this verité-style documentary reveals how the story of New Orleans is the story of urban America: how democratic processes can fail us, how economic crisis can pull the rug out from under us, and how (im)migration can prove to be a complicated bargain. As cities all over the world struggle to recover from disaster, whether economic, natural, or man-made, the lessons of post-Katrina New Orleans have only become more urgent.

“LAND OF OPPORTUNITY is an important part of the New Orleans story. It gets down and dirty with the people on the ground. Five years in the making, Luisa’s film gives voice to everyday people working hard to rebuild their city and their lives. Anyone who cares about the future of cities in this country should see this movie!”
Spike Lee, Filmmaker, “When the Levees Broke”

Luisa Dantas, Filmmaker of Land of Opportunity

Luisa Dantas, Filmmaker of Land of Opportunity

Brazilian-American filmmaker Luisa Dantas has worked on a wide array of documentary and fiction projects at the intersection of storytelling and social justice. Her most recent work, Land of Opportunity, chronicles the reconstruction of New Orleans through the eyes of those on the frontlines and asks the question: what kinds of cities do we want to (re)build in the 21st century? The transmedia project includes an award-winning feature film and groundbreaking interactive web platform produced in conjunction with a spectrum of national and local partners in six cities. Luisa also co-produced the acclaimed documentary, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, and directed and produced the web-series Voices From the Gulf for ColorofChange. She teaches screenwriting and documentary filmmaking at Tulane University. Luisa received her B.A. in English and Latin American studies from Brown University and an M.F.A in Film from Columbia University.

Dreamcatcher

Tue, Sep 22, 2015, 7pm

THE LOFT
3233 E. Speedway Blvd
FREE

(Kim Longinotto, 2015, UK)

In Person:
Producer Lisa Stevens
Protagonist Brenda Myers-Powell

Brenda is on a mission to disrupt the cycle of neglect, violence, and exploitation endured by girls and women in inner-city Chicago. On any given day, she’s performing interventions with at-risk teenagers, female prisoners, and prostitutes on street corners. She uses unconditional love, non-judgmental support, practical help—whatever it takes for them to change their own lives. But the most powerful weapon in Brenda’s healing arsenal is the raw honesty she can offer because she’s been where they are. For 25 years, she survived as a drug-addicted prostitute, even recruiting innocents into the “lifestyle” and abandoning her own children.

Using unobtrusive verité camera work that inhabits Brenda’s miraculous perspective, master director Kim Longinotto follows intimate stories along Brenda’s path. Child molestation, physical abuse, poverty, and silence are among the common denominators of their dire situations. Like a shining star in the darkness, Brenda appears, doing a dance and upending the paradigm: “Hold the rest of the world accountable for what’s been done to you … It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.”

“Intensely moving…a real-world version of movie-star magnetism”
Variety

“Astonishing in its intimacy and wrenching in its emotional rawness”
– Anthony Kaufman, IndieWire

Interviews with filmmaker Kim Longinotto:

Director Kim Longinotto received the Directing Award, Documentary for Dreamcatcher at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Longinotto is one of the pre-eminent documentary filmmakers working today, renowned for creating extraordinary human portraits and tackling controversial topics with sensitivity and compassion. Her films have won international acclaim and dozens of premiere awards at festivals worldwide, including the World Cinema Jury Prize in Documentary at Sundance, a Peabody award, the Cannes Prix Art et Essai Award, the Amnesty International DOEN Award, a BAFTA and Jury prizes at both the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and Sheffield Doc/Fest.

Producer Lisa Stevens has produced several landmark documentary series for National Geographic Channel: Outlaw Bikers, Underworld Cities and Drugs, Incorporated. She recently produced Crackhouse USA for Channel 4 and MSNBC, with Academy Award winning (Man on Wire) producer, Jonathan Hewes of Wall to Wall Media and BAFTA award winning director, Anthony Wonke. Lisa founded her own production Company, Green Acres Films Ltd. in 2009. Dreamcatcher came about after years of nurturing a relationship with the main subjects of the film.

The Homestretch

Wed, Apr 1, 2015, 7pm

The Screening Room
127 E. Congress / FREE

Anne de Mare and Kirstin Kelly, 2014, USA
Co-presented by Lesbian Looks with support from the UA McClelland Institute for Children, Youth & Families, Primavera Foundation and Our Family Services.

The Homestretch follows three homeless teens as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future. Each of these smart, ambitious teenagers – Roque, Kasey and Anthony – will surprise, inspire, and challenge audiences to rethink stereotypes of homelessness as they work to complete their education while facing the trauma of being alone and abandoned at an early age. As their stories unfold, the film connects us deeply with larger issues of poverty, race, juvenile justice, immigration, foster care, and LGBTQ rights.

A powerful, original perspective on what it means to be young, homeless and building a future in America today.

“Profoundly moving… An honest and intellectually challenging look at the underbelly of American poverty and privilege, which succeeds in growing viewer empathy without ever becoming preachy or forceful with its message”
—Anchorage Press

“What is most special about The Homestretch is that it puts a voice, a face, a family and a community to the national crisis of youth homelessness. It humanizes the over one million homeless youth in our nation.”
—Hollywood Progress

“The devastation of watching these kids is realizing how much they have to give. Their lives are as valuable as mine, or yours, yet due to circumstances, they are given little-to-zero agency over the outcome. Our society operates on money, education, privilege equating access, whereas Roque, Kasey and Anthony are fighting for something as basic as wanting or needing shelter, a place to call theirs.”
—FARIHA ROISIN, INDIEWIRE
»Read complete review at Indiewire…

homestretch

Learn more at http://www.homestretchdoc.com/

Apache 8

Fri, Mar 6, 2015, 7pm

The Bisbee Royale
94 Main Street, Bisbee, AZ

Admission $7

apache-8
U.S.A. 2011, 57 mins
Produced and Directed by Sande Zeig
Executive Produced by Heather Rae
Produced by Dolly Hall and Victoria Westover

This documentary tells the story of an all-women wildland firefighter crew from the White Mountain Apache Tribe, who have been fighting fires in Arizona and throughout the U.S., for over 30 years. The film delves into the challenging lives of these Native firefighters. Four extraordinary women from different generations of the Apache 8 crew share their personal narratives with humor and tenderness. They speak of hardship and loss, family and community, and pride in being a firefighter from Fort Apache. APACHE 8 weaves together a compelling tale of these remarkable firefighters, revealed for the first time. Apache 8 was funded in part by National Geographic All Roads Film Project, Native American Public Television (Vision MakerMedia) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It is distributed by Woman Make Movies. Apache 8 was premiered at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Film and Video Festival.

“You never knew what you were going to face. You were with a bunch of women that could handle anything.”  – Katy Aday (White Mountain Apache Tribe)

IN PERSON: Sande Zeig (Producer/Director) Sande Zeig is a writer, director, producer and film distributor. Her short film, Central Park, premiered at Sundance in 1994. She went on to direct a feature, The Girl, based on a short story by renowned French writer Monique Wittig that premiered at the Toronto and Berlin Film Festivals in 2001. Her documentary Soul Masters: Dr. Guo & Dr. Sha, was released in April 2008, by Beyond Words Distribution. Zeig is president of Artistic License Films, a film distribution company that has distributed more than one hundred films including films by Ismail Merchant, Michel Negroponte, Jim Stark, Kore-eda Hirakazu, DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus. She is head of the Media Department for Institute of Soul Healing and Enlightenment.