Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 1 hr 26 min
Directed by: Monique N. Matthews

America’s medical inequities has turned giving birth into a battlefield for too many Black women and their babies. BIRTHING JUSTICE flips that narrative, centering the expertise and lived experiences of Black women and their advocates as they fix a broken system and transform the future, one birth at a time.


Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 1hr 9 min
Directed by: Elliot V. Kotek

The Hidden Power of Purpose," narrated by Debbie Allen, bridges inspiring stories of individuals who have found purpose in their lives with the insights of leading scientists whose work affirms that living with purpose improves health and longevity.


Program 6: Female Gaze

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 18 minutes
Directed by: Joe Brewster

BLACK GIRLS PLAY: THE STORY OF HAND GAMES takes a historical look at the significant effect that Black girls have had on popular culture and Black musical aesthetics. Tracing back centuries, through an examination of African Culture, the film takes a deep dive into the use of hand games and other artistic communications to combat cultural language that was forbidden. The cultural aesthetics of hand games have permeated modern American culture and Black girls are often left uncredited for the impact that they have left on society. PLAY looks to examine this often forgotten world.


Program 1b: LA Stories

Genre: Documentary, Drama
Running Time: 12 min 24 sec
Directed by: Mischa Meyer

IN THE SHADOWS OF PALMS is an intimate portrait of three lives on the outskirts of Los Angeles. A father, mother and son each tell their individual stories of struggle in the concrete jungle, and the creative ways they find hope in this cinematic documentary.


Program 3: Queer it Up!

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 13 minutes
Directed by: Iranmehr Salimi

Zainab is a successful girl who supports her family financially, but considers herself a boy in spirit, and now she has decided to undergo gender transition, but in addition to her family's opposition and the society's inappropriate view of this issue, she has more difficulties There is something more important to come. she, who played in the country's national volleyball team for a while and is now in the Bartar league, if she does this, she will be removed from professional volleyball forever due to her short stature compared to men, and not only will she lose her professional future, but also her livelihood and her family who are under her care will be in trouble.


Program Special Shorts: Latin Film Series

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 15 min
Directed by: Alessandro Gentile

RAZÓN DE SER: LUIS C. GARZA is a documentary that chronicles the story of this rare Chicano photographer who uniquely documented activist movements on both coasts, and internationally, during the 1960s and 1970s. Perhaps best known recently for his work in co-curating the blockbuster LA RAZA exhibition at The Autry as part of The Getty's Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, Garza's work spans from the Chicano civil rights movement in Southern California to New York where he captured scenes of his South Bronx neighborhood, demonstrations on women's rights, and rallies by the Young Lords Party who sought to empower Puerto Ricans and other colonized people. It also includes his 1971 travels to Eastern Europe for the World Peace Conference where, as a young Chicano student, he met renowned Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. Currently, 80-year-old Garza is seeking an institution to properly archive his nearly 8,000 film negatives of his life's work.


Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 1 hr 5 min
Directed by: Deborah Attoinese

WOMEN IN FIRE, they rappel out of helicopters into burning hell to protect our forests, our wildlife, our future. But who protects them? This is the story of Abby Bolt, a former Rodeo Queen and single mom who climbed the ranks to Battalion Chief of an elite team of firefighters for the U.S. Forest Service. In 2012, this incredibly brave 22-year-veteran was sexually assaulted and raped by a fellow firefighter. But the assault didn’t stop there. She subsequently filed a police report and found she was now a pariah within her own ranks. Unsupported. Unappreciated. And unsafe. WOMEN IN FIRE is the story of this one woman's battle against a monolithic foe. It begins to reveal the drastic dysfunction and gender discrimination that exists within the U.S. Forest Service, an organization whose firefighting members must rely on teamwork, support, and unconditional dependability to survive. To females in the U.S. Forest Service, the fight doesn’t end with the fire.


Program 1b: LA Stories

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 34 min
Directed by: Yael Bridge, Yoni Golijov

In the second largest school district in the United States, 98% of teachers vote to authorize a strike. Watch as one of the largest educator strikes in modern U.S. history unfolds in real-time, highlighting the stories and leadership of some of the women who led it, from union leaders to classroom teachers. From strike vote to contract vote, WHEN WE FIGHT goes behind the picket lines, documenting how and why teachers strike.


Program 4: Dystopia Now

Genre: Documentary, Drama
Running Time: 15 min
Directed by: Karni Arieli, Saul Freed

A natural history fantasy film, following the dramatic life cycle of the wild salmon in human form. Narrated by Marianne Faithfull. A BFI short film by Karni and Saul.


Program 4: Dystopia Now

Genre: Documentary, Drama
Running Time: 18 min
Directed by: Anthony Ing

Prolific background actor Jill Goldston takes centre stage in this unique portrait. Constructed entirely from Jill’s performances – captured fleetingly in everything from Mr. Bean to The Elephant Man – the film is a lyrical journey through popular culture, and a haunting study of a life lived out of focus. Based on interviews with Jill Goldston. Produced by Loop and supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. Official Selection Berlin International Film Festival 2023.


Program 4: Dystopia Now

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 9 min
Directed by: Chris Larson

In the film STILLNESS OF LABOR, Chris Larson replicates 12 full-scale rooms using objects extracted from an abandoned garment factory in Tennessee to mirror the environment of the laborers. When labor was outsourced in 1998, the rural community was left without work in a town centered around industry. Larson recreates the architecture of the factory as a study of the anthropogenic imprint humans leave behind in spaces of heavy repetition.


Program 2: Midnight Sessions

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 14 min
Directed by: Alina Manolache

What is it like to navigate our world as an artificially intelligent robot? What is there to learn about homo sapiens in order to become as 'human' as possible? Three pairs of robots take us through their learning process. They track, analyse and draw information by watching people in different life situations. But their algorithmic vision comes in contrast with a meditative, rather poetic dialogue in which they deconstruct and reassemble the definition of humanity as we know it.


Program 6: Female Gaze

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 19 min
Directed by: Morgane Frund

An amateur filmmaker who has filmed bears for years, contacts a film school looking for someone to edit his images into a film. A student comes forward. But when she digitises his archive, she discovers that the recordings are not only of bears. A discussion ensues about the power of a gaze and its voyeuristic violence.


Program 5: Life, Unscripted

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 12 min
Directed by: Erika Houle

Dust to Light is a 12 minute documentary about what is really going on under the surface when we are cleaning. The film listens as four Zen practitioners reflect on the transformative process of cleaning when it is approached as a meditation rather than burdensome chore.


Program Special Shorts: New Western Cinema Series

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 24 min
Directed by: Guillermo Casarin

Guillermo Casarín, an aspiring young filmmaker, came to the United States from Mexico to pursue his dreams of becoming a film director. Now, he is on the verge of graduating from one of the best film schools in the world, but after experiencing racism in the country and film industry, he finds himself questioning his place in Hollywood. Through compelling interviews--such as Academy Award-winning directors Phil Lord, Lee Unkrich, and Guillermo Del Toro, and Melissa Fumero from the Golden Globe-winning show "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"--and archival footage, Bad Hombrewood reveals the dark side of Hollywood’s history and the challenges Latinx filmmakers face while trying to succeed in the entertainment industry.


Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 1 hr 17 min
Directed by: Marc Levin

IT'S BASIC looks at several Basic Income pilot programs launched in the US that test the effects of giving everyday people an extra $500 to $1,000 monthly, with no strings attached. The film presents an unbiased account of the benefits, criticisms, and outcomes of giving money to people in need. It explores a simple idea: Can unconditional cash payments be the most effective way to stem poverty in America? This concept has been up for discussion many times throughout history and we highlight recent events that explain why it is happening now. Multi-award-winning Director Marc Levin is at the helm, with commentary by Michael Tubbs, and interviews with program recipients and participating mayors across the country, the real-life challenges of trying to get by are at the heart of the film.


Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 56 min
Directed by: Josh Nesmith, Matt Boman

Method Sampling is the principle used by an Oakland, CA globetrotting orchestra which fuses hip-hop and classical music to magical effect. JooWan Kim, its Korean born composer, believes that any paradigm shifting change only happens by sampling and reframing differences and sparking innovation. To test his hypothesis, he meets a disabled choreographer who revolutionized modern dance, a self-taught Black mycologist who wrote the first books on Cordyceps cultivation, and a tiny house builder with a shipbuilding background who looks at houses as inverted boats. In addition, he meets the Italian Critical Theorist, Fabio Vighi, to explore how Method Sampling may allow society to overcome the challenges it faces today.


Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 1 hr 30 min
Directed by: Maxim Pozdorovkin

This startling animated documentary addresses an insidious, centuries-old conspiracy theory that continues to rear its ugly head today: the idea that Jews have a secret international plot to control the world. Filmmaker Maxim Pozdorovkin ("Our New President") and a host of talented voice actors including Mayim Bialik, Liev Schreiber, Jason Alexander, and Ben Shenkman connects the dots of hate and fear to walk us through almost 250 years of anti-Semitic ideology, focusing on how times of uncertainty give rise to anxieties in marginalized populations.

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