Director: Harpreet Kaur
Documentary Feature. This story follows the remarkable journey of filmmaker Harpreet Kaur, who travels from the rural villages of Punjab to the capital of India with children of farmers who have committed suicide. She confronts the government’s highest officials with the hope that they will understand the effects of their policies and avail the opportunity to help these children. This is a story of hope, empowerment and simple dreams, which uncovers the economic, environmental, and political side of the issue and adjusts the lens to focus on the plight of the farmer’s children who are left behind carrying this burden. This film was named Best Documentary at the United Nations Global Wake-Up Film Festival in 2011.
Country: India. Runtime: 60 min
Director: Nancy Ghertner
Documentary Feature. This film follows the lives of five immigrant farmworker women over a 10-year period as they labor in the fields of rural western New York, migrate seasonally to Florida, raise their families, and try to hide from the Bush-era immigration raids that were conducted in response to 9/11. Filmed in New York, Florida, and Mexico, this intimate, bittersweet, feature-length film illuminates a community that is nearly invisible to most Americans, and will change the way you look at our national ‘immigration problem.’
Country: USA. Runtime: 1 hour 33 min
Director: Dennis Trainor, Jr.
Documentary Feature. A year after the birth of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City, writer, director and producer Dennis Trainor, Jr. has made a full-length feature documentary capturing the fervor and passion that spread through the nation in fall 2011, fueled a street revolution and introduced the concept of “the 99%” to define the corporate greed that has crippled the U.S. This film lets the protestors and organizers tell in their own words why they joined the protests and what they hoped to accomplish.
Country: USA. Runtime: 1 hour 15 min
Director: Pia Getty
Documentary Feature. Seen through the work of eight leading artists, Axis of Light is a poignant and absorbing observation of the beauty and mystery of the Middle East, especially today where anger and violence demand center stage in our media and where stereotypes and prejudices distort our view of this region. Through the eyes of these artists, a human face so often overshadowed by conflict and war is revealed.
Region: Middle East. Runtime: 1 hour
Director: Chris Carpenter
Documentary Short. In this film, Dr. Chris Carpenter travels to Goma, a war-ravaged city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to work at the HEAL Africa Hospital. Each day, he cares for the sickest and most desperate children in the world. During his journey, he meets three special patients, each trying to survive in the midst of extreme poverty and violence. Born in Goma follows Isaac, Gisele and Dieume as they work against remarkable odds to regain their health and build brighter futures.
Country: Democratic Republic of Congo. Runtime: 48 min
Director: Evan Abramson
Documentary Short. This film begins with the hardships of the people of Kenya’s Western Province, where safe drinking water is scarce and the wood fuel used to boil water for purification is expensive. These two factors conspire to make waterborne illness a daily reality among the already poor population. Women and girls are especially vulnerable. In this film, we are introduced to a unique solution to this age-old, and worsening, problem. An innovative company has financed the distribution and maintenance of 900,000 water filters in Western Province. The filters help to slow deforestation, as household demand for wood drops. In this way—and in just five weeks—4.5 million people were given the means to purify their water, which in turn unlocks the potential to improve families’ income, education, and health.
Country: Kenya. Runtime: 22 min
Director: Charles Kinnane
Documentary Short. In a time of unprecedented technological achievements and luxuries, close to one billion people still go to sleep hungry; but there’s an organization attempting to change that. This powerful documentary film captures Mary’s Meals’ life-changing work in action throughout Malawi, Kenya, and India and its mission to help millions of children around the world realize their dreams. Follow Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow as we get a glimpse into his simple, yet groundbreaking, approach that is working to lift the developing world out of poverty and give a face to hunger’s deadly numbers.
Countries: India,Kenya,Malawi. Runtime: 31 min
Director: Jon Bougher & Jawad Wahabzada
Documentary Short. This film provides rare access to the war-torn streets of Kabul, Afghanistan, documenting the unfolding tragedy of child labor. Taking you into the lives of four young Afghan children – Omid, Sanabar, Yasmina and Fayaz – this documentary provides first-hand accounts of a generation washing cars, picking garbage, selling food and hammering metal to earn money for their families. Devastated by war and economic difficulties, these children are the breadwinners of their families, creating an uncertain future for the country.
Country: Afghanistan. Runtime: 24 min
Director: Marcelo Bukin
Documentary Feature. This film lyrically portrays five children’s lives submerged in extreme poverty in Nicaragua. Insurmountable hunger, child labor, and violence punctuate their daily struggle for survival. Filmed in verite style with gut-wrenching honesty, humor and joy, this film witnesses the courage and dignity of the human spirit while facing the darkest side of our modern world.
Country: Nicaragua. Runtime: 1 hour
Director: Ana Lucia Cuevas
Documentary Feature. In this film we witness a moving, thought-provoking and rare documentary by a Latin American woman, recording her return from exile and into the still dangerous and volatile political environment of contemporary Guatemala. Filmed over the course of four years, writer-‐director Ana Lucia Cuevas discovers the involvement of her own government and foreign Intelligence Services in the abduction, torture and murders of her brother and his young family. ‘The Echo’ is a remarkable story of one family, but provides the starting point and context to understand the tragic events that led, in Guatemala, to their 45,000 ‘disappearances’ amongst civilians and the political opposition to dictatorship. This film depicts those mothers, daughters, sisters … the families of the ‘disappeared,’ whose courage and commitment to justice for their loved ones is deeply moving.
Country: Guatemala. Runtime: 1 hour 35 min
Director: Mathew Charles & Juan Luis Passarelli
Documentary Feature. This film exposes the torture, state-sponsored murder, and kidnappings in Belarus under the presidency of Aleksandr Lukashenko. From the perspective of Irina Bogdanova, sister of imprisoned presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov, the documentary charts the violent crackdown on the country’s opposition following the rigged election of 2010. Irina’s story is a personal and emotional journey. Now she’s doing everything she can to bring down Europe’s Last Dictator. Much of the documentary has been filmed under cover and offers a rare glimpse inside one of the world’s most secretive countries. Narrated by actress and activist Joanna Lumley.
Country: Belarus. Runtime: 55 min
Director: Virginia Bach
Narrative Short. Beaten, humbled, and watched by her husband, Marie wants to run away, but how? In this film, the extreme isolation of domestic violence is exposed in a dramatic and startling way. Pushed to her limits, Marie realizes that she needs to get out and gathers the courage to do so.
Country: France. Runtime: 19 min
Director: Shamim Sarif
Documentary Feature. Palestine and Israel: conflicting narratives and a world of preconceptions. Can we see this world differently? This film takes a new approach to an old conflict inspired by the forward vision of extraordinary women who are changing their own worlds a step at a time – not by overlooking the conflict but by seeing what people can do despite it. Shot on location, the film takes us from the high rise tech buildings of Tel Aviv to the holy sites and bustling markets of Jerusalem, from the cobbled lanes of Bethlehem to the expanding streets of Ramallah, capturing the energy and tension of a world defined by its clashing viewpoints. This film chooses to focus on the future and to encourage the idea that people can have a hand in their own destinies, however unlikely and whatever the odds.
Regions: Israel, Palestine. Runtime: 1 hour, 4 min
Director: Peter Sorcher
Documentary Short. Autism has reached epidemic proportions. In the 1970s, 1 in 10,000 kids was born with autism. Today, the statistic is 1 in 88. This number means that more children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with HIV-AIDS, cancer and diabetes combined. Those with autism remain trapped in their bodies with no way of communicating. When touch-enabled computing was introduced to the world, no one could have anticipated that this technology might help open up a new world of communication, learning and social possibilities for autistic children. Yet it has.
Country: USA. Runtime: 28 min
Director: Helena Appio
Documentary Feature. Kulajo was one of the thoUSA.nds of Kurdish villages targeted by Saddam Hussein during his murderous Anfal campaign in 1988. This documentary allows the people of one small community, mostly women and children, to tell their extraordinary stories. They gave birth in prison, survived a firing squad, and starved in death camps before coming home. This is the first showing of their testimony, uncovered during filming for the Kurdistan Memory Programme.
Country: Iraq. Runtime: 1 hour 20 min
Director: Mary Rose Synek
Documentary Short. The historic slave trade from Africa to the Americas was so widespread and so horrific, it remains difficult to entirely grasp. A new book, “Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade,” aims to turn historic data from the period into a more coherent view, through maps and data. The book uncovers information that may soon have us all reconsidering not only America’s history, but many of our own personal stories. This short film shares excerpts from the atlas and the atlas is discussed by experts in the field.
Regions: Africa, USA. Runtime: 5 min
Director: Dawn Engle
Documentary Feature. This film documents the glory of the ancient Maya civilization, the Spanish conquest in 1519, five hundred years of oppression, and the courageous fight of the Maya to reclaim their voice and determine their own future, in Guatemala and throughout Central America.
Region: Central America. Runtime: 1 hour 8 min
Director: John C. Swanson
Documentary Short. The Holocaust has become such a popular theme in the past few decades that it seems we have heard all there is to know about it. It is a compulsory subject in many high schools and one of the most popular classes at universities. But how do instructors teach the Holocaust? Is there a difference between approaches for different age groups? Are there “right” and “wrong” ways? “Never Again,” a film created by a group of college students and their instructor, poses the questions and offers a number of alternative solutions provided by teachers, students, survivors. Perhaps it is time that we took a closer look at what we really mean when we use the so often repeated phrases about the Holocaust.
Country: USA. Runtime: 26 min
Director: Brett Williams & Scott Murchie
Documentary Feature. In Burma, Smiler Greely fought against the brutal military government, who attacked, tortured, raped and murdered thoUSA.nds of the country’s ethnic minorities. After spending more than 20 years in the confinement of a refugee camp, Smiler and his family were selected for resettlement in the United States and assigned to live in Buffalo, New York. Nickel City Smiler documents the struggles Smiler’s family and the refugee community encounter on the streets of one of America’s poorest cities. Forced to fight against poverty, violence, and bureaucracy, Smiler battles for the hope and hearts of his people. This film chronicles a refugee’s fight for survival and hope in the American Rust Belt and takes a deeper look into the poverty and bullying refugees endure in the United States.
Country: USA. Runtime: 1 hour 44 min
Director: Jane Anywar Adong
Documentary Short. A Witness Film. Beginning in 1986, Northern Uganda experienced one of the longest-running conflicts on the African continent. The Lord’s Resistance Army conflict resulted in mass internal displacement; subsequent extreme poverty; the abduction of women, men, and children and large-scale acts of rape and other forms of gender-based violence. In 2008, the Government of Uganda initiated the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan for Northern Uganda. However, since its launch and implementation, several of its programs are not reaching the communities in the Greater North they are meant to benefit. Now, in this video, women from the Greater North are calling on the Government of Uganda to uphold its commitments and to provide them with justice, assistance and the ability to rebuild their lives.
Country: Uganda. Runtime: 14 min
Director: Erez Laufer & Miri Laufer
Documentary Feature. Robi Damelin lost her son David to a Palestinian sniper’s gun. This film follows Robi’s quest to launch a dialogue with her son’s killer, and to achieve forgiveness and reconciliation after years of apartheid. It is a poignant, moving journey through South Africa, Israel and Palestine, three lands that have been scorched and burned for generations. Yet only South Africa is now tending to its embers; Israel and Palestine are still ablaze. As we follow Robi on her journey, we can’t help but wonder whether reconciliation will ever really be achieved? Can a person who stole the life of a woman’s child ever truly be forgiven? Is the acceptance of responsibility the path to sincere remorse? Is the dialogue between perpetrators and victims the key to ending this bloody conflict?
Countries: Israel, Palestine, South Africa. Runtime: 1 hour 26 min
Director: Bukeni Waruzi & Lewis-Alexis Mbolinani
Documentary Short. A Witness Film. In 2005, the arrest warrants were issued against Joseph Kony and four other senior Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commanders for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Northern Uganda. Since February 2008, the rebel group has been carrying out attacks in the Southeastern provinces of the Central African Republic. It is estimated that hundreds of women and girls have been abducted and forcibly recruited by the LRA in attacks against the civilian population. In this film, two courageous young women recount their abduction by the LRA and the rapes, sexual violence and beatings they suffered while in captivity, as well as their life following the return to their communities.
Country: Central African Republic. Runtime: 10 min
Director: Bukeni Waruzi
Documentary Short. A Witness Film. This film features women and girls as victims and survivors of rape and sexual in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who have come forward to tell their stories, demanding justice, assistance and the effective implementation of legislation to prevent and address sexual and gender-based violence. Our Voices Matter is a call to action. Since 1996, the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo has experienced war and widespread insecurity. Women and girls are paying a particularly high price in this instability — thoUSA.nds have been subjected to rape and other forms of sexual and gender- based violence committed by all the parties taking part in the hostilities.
Country: Democratic Republic of Congo. Runtime: 26 min
Director: Storm Ashwood
Narrative Short. Paper Planes follows the plight of a young African family struggling to escape the blood shed during a civil war. When his father is killed, 10 year old Alier is caught in the crossfire between African militia and UN forces, all fighting for control over the blood stained desert land.
Region: Africa. Runtime: 15 min
Director: Howard Shack
Documentary Short. This documentary film explores a women’s sense of loss, trepidation and ultimately her courage to leave an abusive marriage. The film interweaves her story with illuminating interviews of experts in the field of domestic abuse. ‘Pearls’ is intended to serve both as a personal narrative that will empower those caught in an abusive relationship as well as an educational film for a wider audience which exposes the severity of the problem of domestic abuse in our society.
Country: USA. Runtime: 18 min
Director: Aaron Dennis
Documentary Feature. A feature-length documentary about the daily struggles and joys of Palestinian olive farmers. When a group of American ultra-marathoners sets out to run 129 miles in 5 days across the West Bank they discover that in replanting uprooted olive trees they are planting hope and building cultural bridges.
Regions: Palestinian Territories. Runtime: 1 hour 10 min
Director: Joel Sandvos
Documentary Short. The Pink Room follows the journey of young girls in the turbulent world of sex slavery in Cambodia, which at times seems unfathomable. This is the story of redemption, ordinary people who become unlikely heroes, Cambodians rising up with compassion to take back their country, and a town’s process of rebuilding from the inside out. In a world where it is estimated that there are over one million children held captive and sexually abused, a flower blooms in the heart of Cambodia. The Pink Room shows passionate determination in attacking the complex issue of human trafficking with an even more complex and diverse response of rescue, restoration, reintegration and prevention.
Country: Cambodia. Runtime: 45 min
Director: Robert L. Camina
Documentary Feature. This film recounts the events surrounding the widely publicized and controversial raid of a Fort Worth, Texas gay bar in 2009. Following a sordid aftermath, Fort Worth would become a leader in LGBT equality. However, that journey was not smooth or without controversies. Witness history unfold as this film documents that journey from the perspective of eyewitnesses, activists, and politicians who helped change the city. Narrated by television icon and Emmy nominated actress, Meredith Baxter.
Country: USA. Runtime: 1 hour 43 min
Director: Tatiana McCabe
Documentary Short. This documentary explores the issue of cataract blindness in Bangladesh. The director’s interest in socially conscious filmmaking comes to life through her writing, cinematography and playful animations, which clearly explain her findings. This film will educate viewers about what cataracts are, why they are so problematic in developing countries, and what steps, which if taken, can help eradicate cataract blindness in the future.
Country: Bangladesh. Runtime: 13 min
Director: Ana Nogueira
Documentary Feature. This film takes a close look at the apartheid comparison often used to describe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There are many lessons to draw from the South African experience relevant to conflicts all over the world. This film is as much a historical document of the rise and fall of apartheid, as it is a film about why many Palestinians feel they are living in an apartheid system today, and why an increasing number of people around the world agree with them.
Regions: South Africa, Israel, Palestine, USA. Runtime: 1 hour 35 min
Director: Shawn Small
Documentary Short. This film shot in 2010, follows a day in the life of a child profoundly affected by her community’s lack of access to clean water. Jina Teji, a brilliant twelve-year-old girl from Hai Village outside of Yei, Sudan is the primary caretaker of five younger siblings and a sickly grandmother. Three times a day, Jina made a two-mile circuit to the local water source, a tepid, green hole filled with gray water. The groundwater hollow is the primary source of water for 3000 villagers. Jina’s daily treks to the water hole dominated her life. Recently, Water is Basic drilled Hai’s first well, which made a profound difference in the life of a child. This film tells a story about the strength, joy and resilience of the people of South Sudan, seen through the eyes of a young girl.
Country: Sudan. Runtime: 19 min
Director: Stefanie Trambow
Documentary Short. This film portrays the ongoing exploitation of children in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields. Despite the fact that Uzbekistan has signed various ILO conventions banning forced child labor, this practice continues. This short documentary film gives insight into the interworking of the cotton industry and the reasons as to why child labor is still employed in spite of international efforts and awareness.
Country: Uzbekistan. Runtime: 12 min
Director: Sean Solowiej & Kelly Matheson
Documentary Short. A Witness Film. Jaime Lynn Butler is an 11-year old Navajo Artist from Northern Arizona. Follow her story as she tells about the ways climate change is affecting her and her family, and her fight to be heard. The making of this film was sponsored by Our Children’s Trust, an Oregon-based nonprofit organization. Its purpose is to protect earth’s natural systems for current and future generations and to empower and support youth as they stand up for their lawful inheritance: a healthy planet.
Country: USA. Runtime: 7 min
Producer: Barbara Goldberg
Documentary Short. Wells Bring Hope is documentary about the project that is committed to drilling wells to bring safe water and good sanitation to rural villages in Niger, West Africa, the second poorest country in the world where contaminated water kills innocent victims, most often infants and young children. The burden of getting water falls upon women and girls who walk back-breaking miles every day to find water. The result? Girls don’t go to school and women have no time to work productively to generate income.
Regions: West Africa. Runtime: 14 min
A WITNESS Film
Documentary Short. A Witness Film. This documentary explores “the life” through the eyes of one of child prostitution’s many victims. Experts and legislators weigh in on what is being done to ensure that prostituted children are not treated as criminals. This heart-wrenching documentary provides an informative look at the hidden world of commercial sexual exploitation of children and what government, law enforcement, and non-profit organizations are doing to combat it.
Country: USA. Runtime: 22 min