2013 Film Guide

2013 Film Guide


After the Storm: A New Beginning for Egypt’s Economy

Director: Thomas Hasel

Documentary Feature: When the Egyptian people took to the streets in early 2011 to demand the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak, they were not only protesting against an authoritarian ruler but also against Egypt’s economic misery, corruption, and unemployment rate. How has Egypt’s economy developed since Mubarak’s fall?  This film follows a German-Arab team of reporters looking for these answers.

Country: Egypt, Germany
Runtime: 42 min


Beyond Forgiving

Director: Imad Karam

Documentary Short: Beyond Forgiving is a documentary film which depicts the journey of two South Africans to bring healing and reconciliation to their country. Ginn Fourie and Letlapa Mphalele form an unlikely pair: a black atheist man and a white Christian woman. One has suffered directly from actions of the other, but both have been victims — and risen beyond their pain. What brings them together is a profound story of tragedy and hope.

Country: United Kingdom, South Africa
Runtime: 28 min


Children of the Peacock

Director: Travis Andrade

Documentary Short: This film reveals where human rights and democracy are today in Burma through portraits of Burmese Freedom Fighters who survived the brutal crackdowns of 1988 and 2007, in addition to their subsequent incarcerations. These Burmese heroes will comment on how these events have impacted present day life in Burma and what they believe the future may hold for Burma’s so-called democracy. Fueled by the passion and sacrifice exemplified by earlier generations, the young activists of today continue the struggle for freedom and basic human rights.

Country: Burma
Runtime: 32 min


‘Comfort Women’ One Last Cry

Director: Taeyeul Park

Documentary Feature: This film addresses one of the 20th century’s largest cases of human trafficking by highlighting the issue of “Comfort Women” or girls forced into sex slavery by the Japanese Army during World War II. This grave violation of human rights affected and continues to affect women all across Asia and Europe. The film begins in South Korea and moves on to meet victims in Wuhan, China, Shanghai, the Philippines and Australia.

Country: South Korea
Runtime: 52 min


Daughters of the Niger Delta

Director: IIse van Lamoen

Documentary Feature: This film is an intimate portrait of three everyday heroines who manage to make ends meet against all odds. As their personal stories unfold, we come to see that the widely ignored environmental pollution in their backyard is not the only human rights violation affecting their lives. It highlights the strength and resilience of ordinary women who have to overcome injustices that we rarely hear about in the news. Women may be the best captains to navigate the Niger Delta out of its troubled waters – if only they are given the chance.

Country: Nigeria
Runtime: 55 min


Europe Trap

Director: Anna Giralt Gris

Documentary Short: Europe Trap is a film depicting the true struggle of a refugee. In this film, the director follows Zakereh, who fled war in Afghanistan with her son many years ago. During their journey Zakereh was separated from her son. Now 55-year old Zakereh is facing multicultural shock as she tries to find her place in a new world, all while maintaining the hope that she will one day reunite with her son.

Country: Afghanistan, Greece, Spain
Runtime: 45 min


Flying Paper

Director: Nitin Sawhney

Documentary Feature: Flying Paper is the uplifting story of Palestinian children in Gaza on a quest to shatter the Guinness World Record for the most kites ever flown. It showcases the creative resilience of these children making and flying kites against all odds. The film has been co-produced with young Palestinians in Gaza trained by the filmmakers through a youth media program called Voices beyond Walls.

Country: United States, Palestine
Runtime: 1 hour 11 min


Genesee Lights

Director: Hamilton College

Documentary Short: Genesee Nights examines the relationship between Bosnian refugees and the city of Utica through interviews, personal narratives, and cultural events.  A collaborative effort of students and teachers, our film explores how refugees revitalize the societies they become part of and specifically how Bosnians have transformed Utica over the past 20 years.

Country: United States
Runtime: 10 min


Girl Rising

Director:   Academy Award Nominee Richard Robbins

Documentary Feature: A groundbreaking film which tells the stories of 9 extraordinary girls from 9 countries, written by 9 celebrated writers and narrated by 9 renowned actresses. Girl Rising showcases the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world. Narrators include Alicia Keyes, Meryl Streep, Salma Hayek, Cate Blanchett, and Liam Neeson.

Country: Various
Runtime: 101 min


It’s Better To Jump

Directors: Patrick Stewart, Gina Angelone, & Mouna Stewart

Documentary Feature: In northern Israel there is a centuries-old seawall surrounding the ancient port of Akka. Young people dare to stand atop a 40 foot, one-meter thick block structure that extends from the sea wall and risk their fate by jumping into the roiling sea. This perilous tradition has continued for generations, and has become a rite of passage for the children of Akka. This film weaves together a magical story of an historic place, its people, and the hopes they hold beyond all limitation to make giant leaps of faith in life.

Country: Israel
Runtime: 1 hour 13 min


Life Changing Moments

Director: Sherry Thomas

Documentary Short: This film follows director and surgeon Dr. Sherry Thomas as she travels to Africa to provide free surgery and medical care to dozens of impoverished African women suffering with fistula. This inspiring documentary also contrasts the experience of providing health care in Africa with her medical practice in the USA.

Country: Uganda
Runtime: 18 min


Life, Liberty & Resilience

Director: Steffan Tubbs

Documentary Short: This film tells the story of a courageous African-American man who, despite growing up during a time of segregation and racial injustice, did everything in his power to overcome his racial oppression. Joe LaNier, a WWII veteran and grandson of a slave, recounts his segregated roots and his U.S. Navy service on Iwo Jima. Through this journey, Joe is able to overcome life’s hurdles and lead an amazing, loving and forgiving life.

Country: United States
Runtime: 44 min


No Strangers

Director: Steven Kochones

Documentary Short: This film celebrates the wonder of world culture and reveals the plight of indigenous people through the images and commentary of acclaimed photographers, anthropologists, and ethnographers. The film examines antiquated notions of the so-called ‘other,’ encouraging viewers to consider all traditions, languages and people in a new, enlightened context. The role of photography is highlighted as a valuable tool in bringing attention to cultures in remote, and often forgotten, areas of our planet.

Country:  United States, Various
Runtime: 27 min


Orphans of the Genocide

Director: Bared Maronian

Documentary Feature: Orphans of the Genocide is an emotional visual journey through never-before-seen footage and discovered memoirs of orphans who lived through the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The documentary follows Maurice Missak Kelechian whose research findings unveil the site of an Armenian orphanage located at the present day Antoura College near Beirut, Lebanon where 1,000 Armenian Genocide Orphans had lived. Additionally the documentary includes interviews with numerous public figures including British journalist Robert Fisk and Armenian-American Dr. Jack Kevorkian among others.

Country: Armenia
Runtime: 1 hour 30 min


Our Daily Bread

Director: Dale Lindquist

Documentary Short: In spite of living in one of the richest cities in the world, one in five New York City residents relies on emergency food services each year. One out of four is a child. This film documents the work of three of the largest emergency food programs in the city. Through the compelling voices of the program directors, volunteers, and those being served, you’ll see how a simple act of charity evolves into some of the most unique and innovative programs that feed over one million New Yorkers annually.

Country: United States
Runtime: 47 min


Prisoner Number A26188: Henia Bryer

Director: Lisa Bryer

Documentary Short: The German invasion of Poland in 1939 ended the happy childhood of Henia Bryer who was sent with her family to four concentration camps. During her family’s captivity, her father, brother, and sister all died. Remarkably, Bryer survived going on to witness the birth of Israel before making a new life for herself in South Africa.

Country: United Kingdom, Poland
Runtime: 40 min


Refuge: Caring for Survivors of Torture

Director: Ben Achtenberg

Documentary Feature: Immigration defines the history of America. From the country’s founding until today, many of those who have arrived at our borders have come to escape political, religious, ethnic, racial, and gender persecution. It is estimated that between a half-million and a million immigrants now living in the United States are survivors of torture, abuse and rape in their home countries. This film tells their stories, and profiles the dedicated staff of four programs that provide health care, mental health, and rehabilitation services to torture survivors.

Country: United States
Runtime: 57 min


Right There

Director: Florence Buchanan

Documentary Short: Filmed on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, this short film brings a group of children that attended PS 234, an elementary school 3 blocks from the World Trade Center, back to their classroom. The film tells the stories of a few children that were in PS 234 on September 11th as they return to remember that tragic day.

Country: United States
Runtime: 16 min


A Russian Fairytale

Director: Nicolas Doldinger, Jake Mobbs

Documentary Feature: This film follows a gang of young adults living on the streets of Perm, Russia. They are the generation of children who ended homeless as a result of the breakdown of the Soviet Union. Now, on the brink of adulthood, they have created their own kind of society in order to survive. But will this manufactured “family unit” sustain the harsh realities of drug use, abuse, and contradicting morality within their own personalities? Or will it face the same moral dilemmas that the USSR faced at the time of its collapse?

Country: Russia
Runtime: 1 hour 12 min


There is No Place for You Here

Director: Elliott Balsley, Ravi Lloyd, Sam Price-Waldman, Haley Quartarone, Ruby Stocking

Documentary Short: This film uncovers illegal child labor in the gold mines of Ghana. Daniel Sekyere, a 15-year-old Ghanaian boy, tries to escape the life-threatening gold mining industry so that he may continue school and become a pastor. As Daniel considers his options for survival, he seeks refuge from a local radio host and NGO, “The Social Support Foundation.”

Country: Ghana
Runtime: 15 min


Undressing Israel: Gay Men in the Promised Land

Director: Michael Lucas

Documentary Short: In his debut, filmmaker Michael Lucas examines a side of Israel that is too often overlooked: its thriving gay community. Undressing Israel features interviews with a diverse range of local men, including a gay member of Israel’s parliament, a trainer who served openly in the army, a young Arab-Israeli journalist, and a pair of fathers raising their children. Lucas also visits Tel Aviv’s vibrant nightlife scene and a same-sex wedding in this guided tour to a country that emerged as a pioneer for gay integration and equality.

Country: Israel
Runtime: 46 min


Utica Is….

Director: MVCC Gear Up

Documentary Short: GEAR UP students entering 9th grade are on a quest to discover the identity of their community. Over 40 languages are spoken within the Utica City School District, yet the students have little understanding of where those voices come from, and many of the refugee students remain silent about their experiences. What started as a simple question, “What is the difference between a refugee and an immigrant?” has turned into an ongoing project where our students work to understand and to give voice to Utica’s unspoken. We invite you in on the process of our work-in-progress.

Country: United States
Runtime: 10 min


Welcome Nowhere

Director: Kate Ryan

Documentary Feature: Narrated by Academy Award-nominee Ethan Hawke, this film tells the true story of a community of Roma people (commonly known as Gypsies) who live in old train boxcars in Sofia, Bulgaria. Without running water or electricity, many suffer from living conditions that the UN has repeatedly described as “unacceptable,” “inhumane,” and “deplorable.”  Their children are often refused access to medical care, sent to segregated schools, and turned away from shopping or eating in public places. Yet who are these people, and why do we know so little about them?

Country: Bulgaria
Runtime: 1 hour 20 min