Visiting filmmaker Luisa Dantas will present the interactive online platform she has developed to expand upon her documentary film LAND OF OPPORTUNITY, which chronicles the post-Katrina reconstruction of New Orleans. The workshop will focus on the use of interactive web-based media as a form of strategic non-fiction storytelling to raise awareness and engagement on social issues. landofopportunityinteractive.com was produced in conjunction with a spectrum of national and local partners in six cities, and asks the question: what kinds of cities do we want to (re)build in the 21st century?
U of A Media Arts (now Film & Television) alumna Lindsay Utz (BA, 2003) is an award-winning documentary film editor based in Chicago. In addition to QUEST, her other credits include the Oscar-shortlisted BULLY (Tribeca FF 2011), FIRST POSITION (TIFF 2011), BUOY (Ashland FF 2013), IN COUNTRY (Full Frame 2014), two Emmy-nominated FRONTLINE episodes (PBS 2015/2016) and multiple shorts for the New York Times. In 2012, Utz was awarded the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship, named in honor of Errol Morris’s late editor. Her latest project, AMERICAN FACTORY (2019), with Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, swept top festival honors, including the Directing award at Sundance, and now streams on Netflix as the first project acquired by the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions. She teaches Advanced Documentary Editing at Northwestern University’s MFA in Documentary Media program as an adjunct faculty member.
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. In 2017, Yates completed 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.
This workshop, featuring filmmaker Richard Perez, a senior staff member of the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, will focus on collaborating with historians and working with archives and archival footage. Later that evening, Perez will present his 2014 film CESAR’S LAST FAST in a public event at the Screening Room. The film is built around powerful, never-before-seen footage of Cesar Chavez’s 1988 36-day “Fast for Life,” interwoven with the historic events that defined the life mission of America’s most inspiring Latino leader and the struggles confronting today’s farm workers.
Richard Ray Perez is personally connected to the issues presented in CESAR’S LAST FAST… »FULL BIO
The screening of CESAR’S LAST FAST will inaugurate DocScapes, an ongoing documentary screening series presented collaboratively by the Center for Documentary initiative and the Hanson Film Institute. DocScapes events will showcase significant new films and filmmakers, and provide an ongoing venue that brings together students, faculty, local filmmakers, and the wider community.
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.
This workshop, presented by Oscar-nominated filmmaker James Klein, focuses on documentary conceptualization and development, addressing such issues as: how to determine whether a documentary film is an appropriate vehicle for your content; how to develop your material for the screen (e.g., voice, structure, stylistic approaches, collaborators, process); thinking about long-form documentary vs. a series of smaller “modules,” and how such decisions in turn connect to distribution outlets and potential outreach campaigns.
Wed, Nov 20, 2019
UA Gallagher Theater / FREE
In Person: Joining filmmaker Theo Rigby for a post-screening panel discussion will be film participant Marisol, plus students from the UA Immigrant Student Resource Center.
Co-sponsors for the Waking Dream event include the School of Theatre, Film & Television, the Center for Latin American Studies, The Human Rights Practice Program, School of Anthropology, School of Journalism, and the Center for Global and Border Journalism.
The DocScapes Film Series is pleased to host award-winning filmmaker, interactive storyteller and photojournalist Theo Rigby for a campus screening of his series of short documentary films exploring the lives of young, undocumented people, primarily migrants from Latin America, residing in the US with DACA permits.
WAKING DREAM weaves together the stories of six undocumented young people, as they sit in limbo between deportation and a path to citizenship. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) has provided nearly 800,000 undocumented young people a chance to work legally, go to college, start businesses, and pursue the “American Dream.” After DACA is rescinded, WAKING DREAM follows the unfolding fate of six of these young people as they fight for legal status in the U.S., struggle with the deportation of family members, and pursue their dreams in a country that is trying harder and harder to push them out. They know their fate must go one direction and they are fighting for their future in America.
WAKING DREAM cuts beyond politics to reveal the reality of undocumented young people working tenaciously for a brighter future in the U.S.
THU FEB 21, 2019
7pm / FREE
In Person: Heather Courtney and Anayansi Prado
High School seniors Alejandro, Silvia, and Aldo, like most of their friends, are eager to go to college and pursue their education. However, their home state of Georgia not only bans them from attending the top five public universities, but also deems them ineligible for in-state tuition at public colleges due to their immigration status as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients. In response, these three ambitious and dream-filled students divert their passions towards the fight for education in the undocumented community.
As President Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric against immigrants gains momentum, and amid constant threat of losing their DACA status and being deported, The Unafraid follows these inspirational members of the generation of “undocumented, unapologetic and unafraid” young people who are determined to overcome and dismantle oppressive policies and perspectives.
Full Frame Film Festival – Winner, Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights
NY Human Rights Watch Film Festival – Closing Night Film
FRI NOV 2, 2018
6pm / FREE
Center for Creative Photography
In Person: PJ Raval
When Jennifer Laude, a Filipina trans woman, is brutally murdered by a U.S. Marine, three women intimately invested in the case–an activist attorney (Virgie Suarez), a transgender journalist (Meredith Talusan) and Jennifer’s mother (Julita “Nanay” Laude) –galvanize a political uprising, pursuing justice and taking on hardened histories of U.S. imperialism.
A modern David and Goliath story, CALL HER GANDA fuses personal tragedy, human rights activism and the little-known history, and complex aftermath, of U.S. imperial rule in the Philippines, forging a visually daring and profoundly humanistic geopolitical investigative exposé.
“Heartbreaking and inspirational”
“Unflinching and eye-opening”
“CALL HER GANDA takes audiences through a gripping roller coaster of emotions…”
»Read full review at POV Magazine
Thursday Mar 29, 2018
In Person: QUEST Editor Lindsay Utz
Filmed with vérité intimacy for nearly a decade, QUEST is the moving portrait of the Rainey family living in North Philadelphia. Beginning at the dawn of the Obama presidency, Christopher “Quest” Rainey, and his wife, Christine’a “Ma Quest” raise a family while nurturing a community of hip hop artists in their basement home music studio. It’s a safe space where all are welcome, but this creative sanctuary can’t always shield them from the strife that grips their neighborhood.
Epic in scope, QUEST is a vivid illumination of race and class in America, and a testament to love, healing and hope.
“QUEST is as smoothly fashioned and confidently edited as much of Barbara Kopple’s work. Credit QUEST editor Lindsay Utz, who was also responsible for the expert assembly of BULLY, the teen bullying doc.”
“Editor Lindsay Utz‘s crisp cuts and tonal blends magnify our inside peek at this remarkable family.”
“Beautifully carving out a film that feels at once narratively firm and organically shaped from over 300 hours of footage across the years, Olshelfski and editor Lindsay Utz happily save room for the small stuff: the fleeting pleasures of braiding hair and shooting hoops, along with everyday arguments over finances and child-rearing, particularly as P.J.’s emerging adult identity challenges her parents’ expectations.”
Tuesday Nov 14, 2017
Loft Cinema/Loft Film Festival
India’s roadside tent dwellers, through the eyes of their teenaged children
The Tent Village is a participatory project Nilima created in collaboration with four Indian teenagers. 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.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Co-presented by Center for Middle Eastern Studies
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 Skype discussion with filmmaker Matthew Cassel.
Wed March 8, 2017
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.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
In Person: Theo Rigby
Presented by DocScapes
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.
Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017
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.
Thursday, Feb 2, 2017
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
Tuesday, Nov 1, 2016 – 7:30pm FREE
Presented by DocScapes
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
Thursday, Mar 3, 2016 – 7:30pm FREE
Presented by DocScapes
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
Thu, Nov 5, 2015, 7pm
3233 E. Speedway Blvd
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
Tue, Sep 22, 2015, 7pm
3233 E. Speedway Blvd
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”
“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.
Wed, Apr 1, 2015, 7pm
The Screening Room
127 E. Congress / FREE
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”
“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.”
“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…
IN PERSON: Sande Zeig (Producer/Director)
Fri, Mar 6, 2015, 7pm
The Bisbee Royale
94 Main Street, Bisbee, AZ
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)
Tue, Feb 17, 2015, 6:30pm
The Screening Room
127 E. Congress
$5 / FREE for UA students with Catcard
Advance tickets available at The Screening Room
Cesar’s Last Fast, co-directed and produced by Richard Ray Perez and Lorena Parlee, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The documentary explores the private sacrifice and spiritual conviction behind Cesar Chavez’s struggle for the humane treatment of America’s farm workers, and the impact of his legacy on today’s generation of organizers fighting for farm worker rights.
Cesar’s Last Fast centers on the events of 1988, when Chavez began his “Fast for Life,” a 36-day water-only hunger strike, to draw attention to the horrific effects of unfettered pesticide use on farm workers, their families, and their communities. The film is built around powerful, never-before-seen footage of this fast, interwoven with the historic events that defined the life mission of America’s most inspiring Latino leader and the struggles confronting today’s farm workers. Culled from hundreds of hours of footage, rarely heard interviews of Cesar himself, as well as testimonies of the people closest to Chavez, Cesar’s Last Fast illuminates the story of one man’s commitment and dedication to social justice and uncovers an overlooked chapter in the story of civil rights in America.
“Touching, insightful, and extremely well crafted, Richard Ray Perez‘s work shows above all an admiration for a man whose life wasn’t entirely his but of his people.” Carlos Aguilar, Indiewire