Thursday, November 1st , 7:00 pm | Opening Night
SKIDROW MARATHON (85min) BEST OF FESTIAL FEATURE
Mark Hayes & Gabrielle Hayes | USA | Doc | Boston Premiere
When a criminal court judge starts a running club on LA’s notorious Skid Row and begins training a motley group of addicts and criminals to run marathons, lives begin to change. Following four runners as they rise from the streets of LA to run marathons around the world, fighting the pull of homelessness and addiction at every turn, their story is one of hope, friendship, and dignity.
Q&A w/Filmmaker & Boston Running Group for the Homeless |
Reception following at ZA Restaurant (VIP Ticket & Festival Pass Holders Invited)
FRIDAY,November 2, 7:00 PM
HILLBILLY (87 min)
Sally Rubin & Ashley York | USA | Doc | New England Premiere
Sine the presidential election, the cultural divide in America has expanded with stereotyping and slurs rampant and finger-pointing and name-calling abounding. hillbilly goes on a personal and political journey into the heart of the Appalachian coalfields, exploring the role of media representation in the creation of the iconic American "hillbilly," and examining the social, cultural, and political underpinnings of this infamous stereotype. Filmed in Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, hillbilly uncovers an unexpected set of artists, poets, activists, queer musicians, "Affrilachian" poets, and intersectional feminists -- all unexpected voices emerging from this historically misunderstood region. hillbilly is a timely and urgent exploration of how we see and think about poverty and rural identity in contemporary America, offering a call for dialogue during this divisive time in U.S. history.
Friday, November 2, 11:02 PM
TREBLINKA (61 min)
Sérgio Tréfaut | Portugal | Exp Doc | U.S.A. Premiere
This hypnotic relating of the past as a train crosses Eastern Europe in the 21st century, Poland, Russia, Ukraine demonstrates a cinematic courage that stiffens one's sinews with fear as well as resolve to never let this happen again. Brilliantly executed with a poetry that extends beneath any conscious subtlety, the camera's continued return to empty carriage seats convinces us that those who are no longer with us should have filled those seats with life, laughter and humanity, yet they are empty but for the two ghosts who bring their death camp horror, once again, to life.
Awards: Italy - Perugia Social Film Festival (Perso Award for Best Feature) | Portugal - Best Portuguese Feature Film
Saturday, November 3, 2:15 PM
MADHATTAN (55 min)
Carolyn Constantine | Australia/USA | Doc | Boston Premiere
A remarkable journey from the remote red dirt of the outback in Australia to the red carpet in New York as milliner Felicity Brown takes her amazing collection of hats and fantastic headpieces to New York for Fashion Week, ready to take on the world, one hat at a time…a celebration of creativity, passion, and overcoming obstacles to follow a dream.
Reception & Gallery Talk immediately following at 13Forest Gallery w/Boston’s own ‘fine milliner’, Marie Galvin and an exhibition of her hat creations
Marie Galvin is an award-winning Irish Milliner based in Boston. In the late 90s, Marie discovered that Boston’s Fort Point Channel was the perfect environment to hone her passion and set out to carve her niche in New England’s largest artist communities. At the time there were no millinery courses offered by schools in the US. Undaunted, Marie instead chose to forge ahead and teach herself the Art of Millinery in her quest to become a true milliner. With the aid old early edition Millinery instructional books and the deconstruction of vintage hats, Marie began an intense program of study, documentation and education. This methodology would afford Marie the old and lost techniques that defined that art of Millinery. Marie felt that like any art form, you must understand the masters in order to hone your own craft. With that Marie found her true calling.
In 2000, Marie landed her first official full-page editorial in the coveted Boston Globe’s Art Section. The following year she was hand selected by Genart along with up and coming designer Zac Posen out of hundreds of applicants to present their debut collections in New York City in front of the New York’s fashion elite. Marie captured the attention of the industry’s top fashion editors and stylist thus launching her NYC fashion career. Its was not long before celebrity stylists where knocking down Marie’s door to dress the heads of their top clients, Alicia Keys, Cher, Claire Danes & Taye Diggs to name a few.
Following her NYC fashion successes, Marie captured the attention of British millinery fashion scene. Marie won 1st runner up honors as the The Hat Magazine coveted “Hat Designer of the Year” award. These awards and accolades soon had Marie traveling to New York, London and as far away as Australia to represent her creations.
In recent years, Marie has had the honor of showing her work at the prestigious Peabody Essex Museum for the very successful world tour of the V&A “Hats an Anthology” exhibit. An exhibition that showcased the worlds top milliners both past and present for the public to appreciate. Marie was also chosen as the keynote speaker for the launch of the US leg of of the V&A exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum.
Marie’s inspiration comes from her formative years growing up in Irelands wild and stunning west coast. Each season, Marie employs high end unique fabrics and unusual trims which are delicately engineered and skillfully manipulated into bold and fresh silhouettes that defy gravity. Her one of a kind designs have garnered a large following of dedicated clients and collectors both locally and internationally. Her hats are regularly seen in Buckingham Palace, Royal Ascot enclosure, Kentucky Derby to Boston’s largest fundraising luncheon, the Emerald Necklace Conservancies “Party in the Park”. Marie can be found creating magic on a daily basis in her Boston South End studio.
Saturday, November 3, 6:35 PM
CIRCLE UP (68 min)
Julie Mallozzi | USA | Doc
After the brutal slaying of her teenage son, Janet Connors reaches out to her son’s killer to offer a chance for forgiveness. They team up with a group of mothers of murdered children to help young people in their community break the chain of violence and revenge. Circle Up is a call to action for reframing approaches to crime and punishment through the lens of restorative justice, forgiveness, and accountability.
Awards: Best Documentary Grand Jury Prize |Providence
SUNDAY, November 4, 12:00 PM
THE MOST DANGEROUS YEAR (89 min)
Vlada Knowlton | USA | Doc | Boston Premiere
In 2016, a group of Washington State families with transgender kids joined the fight against the wave of discriminatory anti-transgender legislation sweeping through the nation and into their home state. With the help of a coalition of state lawmakers and civil rights activists, these families embarked on an uncharted journey of fighting to protect and preserve their children's inalienable human rights and freedoms in this present-day civil rights movement.
Sunday November 4, 3:33 PM
MILES IN THE LIFE (96 min)
Shaun Mathis and Jemonique Miller | USA | Doc | East Coast Premiere
Growing up in Brooklyn NY during the height of the crack epidemic, Jabari Hayes started trafficking drugs at the age of 6. With the help of his father, Jabari escaped that life by relocating to St. Louis where he became a track athlete, which landed him a full scholarship to prestigious Morehouse College where he trafficked guns for his cousin across state lines. Upon graduating, Jabari started a limo company and was called upon by the largest drug cartel in the US, the Black Mafia Family, known as BMF to transport large amounts of cocaine and cash nationwide until his capture in 2007.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 5:24 PM | CLOSING NIGHT
ALI’S COMEBACK (71 min)
Art Jones | USA | Doc | BEST FEATURE DOC
Support by Arlington Martin Luther King
The year is 1970. It has been three and a half years since Muhammad Ali was stripped of his title. Convicted of draft evasion, threatened with imprisonment, banned in all 50 states, he is unable to work in the field for which he had no equal. The wide door on his illustrious career seems to be closing. But in Atlanta, Georgia an astute white businessman, a visionary black senator, and a progressive Jewish mayor came together to make it possible for Ali to resume his amazing boxing career.
Panel Discussion following w/Filmmaker and Attorney Jonathan Shapiro
2018 AIFF KICK-OFF
For the First year AIFF is proud to partner with Mosesian Center for the Arts in watertown to present the Award winning film Crows of the Desert - A Hero's Journey through the Armenian GeNocide
AN HOMAGE TO THE ARMENIAN COMMUNITY IN THE GREATER BOSTON AREA
MOSESIAN CENTER FOR THE ARTS, 321 Arsenal St, Watertown, MA 02472
Crows of the Desert – A Hero’s Journey through the Armenian Genocide | 62 min | BOSTON PREMIERE
Marta Houske, Award-winning writer, director/producer| DOC | 2016 | USA
Crows of the Desrt - A Hero’s Journey through the Armenian Genocide, is a documentary based on the Memoirs of Levon Yotnakhparian. It is the incredible true story of one man’s brave struggle to not only stay alive, but to help save his fellow Armenian survivors from near extinction in the 20th Century’s first genocide.
World War One was raging in the Middle East, as Britain’s Lawrence of Arabia fought side by side with the Arabs against the Ottoman Empire. Caught up in the chaos, Levon barely escaped with his own life, time and again. Risking extreme peril, he returned to this dangerous realm to lead a small expeditionary group to rescue the scattered, destitute survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Along the way, the rescuers risked their lives countless times, endured unimaginable hardships, and crossed paths with some of the 20th century’s most legendary figures, including Prince Faisal, Lawrence of Arabia, Sarah Aaronsohn and the El-Attraches. The story reveals how people from a variety of different cultures and faiths: Christians, Muslims, Druze and Jews, stepped forward to help the Armenian refugees.
Extraordinarily rare film and photographs as well as recently rediscovered documents have been gathered from archives around the world, to reveal the terror and heroism in this incredible story which took place a century ago in the Syrian desert.
Q&A with Levon Parian and reception following the film screening.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2016, 7:30 PM
2017 ARLINGTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL KICK-OFF…
An Homage to the Serbian Community in Boston
St. Sava Cathedral, 41 Alewife Brook Pkwy, Cambridge
THE PROMISE (74 mins) New England Premiere
Zeljko Mirkovic, Director | France, Belgium and Serbia | 2016 | Documentary
In a remote village in the north of Serbia, once known as a prosperous wine region, something unexpected has happened. A French family has moved into the poor village now nearly deserted. They believe they have found a promised land for growing grapes and winemaking. But they have found only old people in the village, distrusting people, with old habits.
A new challenge awaits them back home in France – how to persuade sommeliers that superior wine can be made in an unknown and problematic region? Is it possible they can awaken hope and breathe a new life into the old village – a rebirth via the grape?
Winner of Best Cultural Documentary Award at Eugene, Oregon International Film Festival, and Best Documentary Award at the Mediterranean Film Festival in Italy. The film is also an official selection of the Queens, New York World Film Festival and has earned Best Cinematography Documentary Feature at the Red Dirt Film Festival in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Q&A with Director Zeljko Mirkovic and wine makers Cyrille Bongiraud and Estelle Germain
Reception following with music, wine, and hors d’oeuvres
Pianist, Joe Hardwick, originally from Ohio, has made Cambridge his home since the 90's. He is the principal of Hardwick Consultants, Inc., an accounting, bookkeeping and management consultant company. Maintaining a passion for the piano since studying as a youth, Mr. Hardwick is now under the tutelage of Kai-Ching Chang, a master pianist at New School of Music in Cambridge. www.hardwickconsultants.com
SPONSORS OF THIS EVENT:
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2017, 7:00 PM | Opening Night
SHADOWGRAM (93 mins)
August Contento, Director | Italy | 2016 | Doc | US PREMIERE
Shadowgram is a film capturing the memory of African-Americans living in the South Side of Chicago, 50 years after the abolition of the ignominious Jim Crow Laws; what has changed? One of the most challenging of African-American neighborhoods in the US, the South Side has a reputation for poverty and crime. Italian Director, Contento says of the city, “Cosmopolitan Chicago with its futuristic architecture and modern gastronomy, is light years away from the South Side, an economic and cultural distance that mirrors an absent of public politic.” As Europe experiences major social changes, Contento looks to the US to explore issues of social integration and equal rights…progress or the lack thereof. The film features a cross-section of people - a psychiatrist, an administrator, a teacher and a hip-hop artist to name a few, who reminisce about their childhood, reflect on the hopes of generations gone by and their influence on current daily life.
Shadowgram was scheduled to be screened at the United Nations meeting of the High Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, March of 2017 in commemoration of the Worldwide Day in Defense of Human Rights. The screening was canceled upon request of the Trump administration.
Shadowgram has received the UNESCO Worldwide Patronage – The Route of Slaves recognition for its intense research on African-American heritage and community and is supported by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights.
Panel Discussion – Participants to be announced
10:00 PM – Midnight
After-Party at Bistro Duet Restaurant (VIP Ticket & Festival Pass Holders Invited)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2017, 7:00 PM
A COURTSHIP (71 mins)
Amy Khon, Director | USA | 2015 | Doc | BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
A fascinating documentary that offers a peek into the practice of Christian courtship, wherein a woman hands over the responsibility of finding a husband to her parents and the will of God. Such is the path for Kelly, who after growing up happily in a secular family is prompted to alter the course of her own life after her parents’ divorce. Enter Ron and Dawn Wright, a Christian couple who offer to serve as Kelly’s adopted spiritual-family through the courtship process. Now in her 30s, Kelly lives with the Wrights, relying on them to scout and vet all of her prospective partners, as she vows to save her next kiss for the altar.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2017, 8:30 PM
CHIKA: The Dog in the Ghetto (17 mins)
Sandra Schießl, Director | Germany | 2016 | Animation
In this beautifully animated short film, five-year old Mikasch and his family, along with his dog Chika, face the occupation of Poland.
Jury Prize for Animation Short, Thessaloniki Animation Festival
THE HAPPIEST MAN (55 MINS)
Jasmin Lord Gassmann, Director | Germany | 2017 | Doc
The story of a personal journey, a 24-year old female journalist from Germany to Sydney, Australia, to portrait the 94-year-old Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku, who after more than thirty years of silence speaks to people from all walks of life about his experience. By sharing his life story, he transforms the pain of the past into joy and happiness and teaches especially younger generations how happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2017, 8:30 PM 9:52PM
CHASING TRANE (99 MINS)
John Scheinfeld, Director | USA | 2017 | Doc | BEST OF FESTIVAL
Set against the social, political and cultural landscape of the times, the life and work of legendary jazz musician John Coltrane is THE definitive documentary film about an outside-the-box thinker with extraordinary talent whose boundary-shattering music continues to impact and influence people around the world. Written and directed by critically-acclaimed documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld, the film is produced with the full participation of the Coltrane family and the support of the record labels that collectively own the Coltrane catalog. Scheinfeld brings his strong story-telling skills to the creation of a rich, textured and compelling narrative that takes the audience to unexpected places supported by commentary from Denzel Washington, Carlos Santana, Common, Cornell West, Bill Clinton, and others.
Official selections of TIFF, Telluride, IDFA, DOCNYC.
Saturday, October, 28, 2017, 2:15 PM
EVERYONE KNOWS ELIZABETH MURRAY (60 mins)
Kristi Zea, Director | USA | 2015 | Doc
This tribute to the dynamic artist Elizabeth Murray, an intrinsic figure in New York’s contemporary art landscape from the 1970s until the early 2000s, highlights her struggle to balance personal and family ambition with artistic drive in a male-dominated art world. Stares Meryl Streep, JoAnne Akalatis and Jennifer Bartlett. Kristi Zea is a two-time Oscar-nominated production designer and filmmaker. World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2016.
Q&A/Reception with Kristi Zea, Director
13Forest Gallery, 167 Mass Ave, Accross Capitol Theatre
Saturday, October 28, 3:30 PM
MAINELAND (1HR 30)
Miao Wang, Director | USA | China | 2017 | Doc
Over 370,000 students from mainland China are enrolled in American high schools and universities - six times more than a decade ago - with $11.4 billion contributed to the American economy. Filmed over three years, MAINELAND follows two teenagers - fun-loving Stella and introspective Harry - who are part of this enormous wave of “parachute students” from China’s wealthy elite seeking Western-style education and the promise of a Hollywood-style U.S. high school experience. Through their stories, the film observes China’s place in the contemporary world order and its rise and how that rise is impacted by the West. SXSW Special Jury Award.
Saturday, October 28, 5:10 PM
MAKE ME DANCE (65 mins)
Tatyana Bronstein, Director | USA | 2016 | Doc
Make Me Dance is a documentary that takes an in depth look at one of the most prestigious dance schools in the United States, The Boston Conservatory. World-renowned choreographer, Darrell Grand Moultrie, has chosen to hold residency at the Boston Conservatory to craft his new work, “Winds of Now” for young students. The film documents Moultrie’s choreography and preparation for his piece from conception through rehearsals, culminating in opening night at BoCo Theater.
Q&A with Tatyana Bronstein, Director
Saturday, October 28, 6:45 pm
THE TRANSFER (24 mins)
Michael Grudsky, Director | Israel | 2017 | Nar
Erez, an Israeli commissioned officer, and two other soldiers have been ordered to transfer a prisoner to Megiddo prison. Along the way, they encounter a problem that forces the young officer to surpass himself in order to solve the situation. Official selection of the Cannes Film Festival; awarded Best Short Film Festival in numerous festivals including New Renaissance Film Festival, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
THE SETTLERS (70 mins)
Shimon Dotan, Director | France, Canada, Israel | 2016 | Doc
The origins of the settler phenomenon, which reach back almost half a century, are explored in this documentary along with a look at who the settlers are today and how they impact the Middle East peace process. They are as diverse in their outlooks, origins, ideologies, and socioeconomic backgrounds as Israeli society itself. The story of the settlements in the West Bank is an intriguing, unavoidable feature of modern Israeli life: complex and elusive in its early years, and increasingly wild and tragic as the years go by. Screened at the Sundance Film Festival and nominated for an Ophir (Israeli Academy) Award for Best Documentary
Saturday, October 28, 2017, 8:35 PM
PRIA (20 mins)
Yudho Aditya, Director | Indonesia | 2016 | Nar
A teen living in rural Indonesia struggles between the traditions of his upbringing and his romantic idealization of the freedom of the west.
Nominated for Best Asian Short in Flare London LGBT Film Festival, London, Official Selection in the New Renaissance Film Festival, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Outfest Fusion LGBT People of Color Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA.
Co-presenting with Boston Jewish Film festival
KOSHER LOVE (43 mins)
Evan Beloff, Director | Canada | 2017 | Doc
What happens when a rabbinical matchmaker, a newly married Hasidic couple and a single, religious hip-hop artist explore the precise meaning of True Love? Using levity, animation and downright silliness, KOSHER LOVE looks at the search for true love and bible-instructed marriage in the Orthodox/Hasidic Jewish world as it pushes back against an ever encroaching, wired, secular world and its idea of momentary disposable love.
Sunday, October 29, 2017, 4:40 PM
Co-presenting with the Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP) & SuffolkLaw School Tribal Law Program
And Suffolk Law School Tribal Law Program
TRIBAL JUSTICE (88 mins)
Anne Makepeace, Director | USA | 2017 | Doc
Tribal Justice is about a little known, underreported but effective criminal justice reform movement in America today: the efforts of tribal courts to create alternative justice systems based on their traditions. In California, the state with the largest number of Indian people and tribes, two formidable Native American women are among those leading the way. Abby Abinanti, Chief Judge of the Yurok Tribe on the northwest coast, and Claudette White, Chief Judge of the Quechan Tribe in the southeastern desert, are creating innovative systems that focus on restoring rather than punishing offenders in order to keep tribal members out of prison, prevent children from being taken from their communities, and stop the school-to-prison pipeline that plagues their young people. Awards: Grand Prix Presence Autochtone, Montreal and Directing Award at Cinetopia Film Festival, Ann Arbor/Detroit.
Sunday, October 29, 2017, 6:25 pm
THE MAN WHO WANTED TO CHANGE THE WORLD (60 mins)
Mariëtte Faber, Director | The Netherlands | 2017 | Doc | USA PREMIERE
Peter Westerveld was the inventor of large-scale contour-trenching (digging ditches on contour) in hydrologic corridors. A strategy designed to address the desertification of the planet. First and foremost, however, he was an artist. He thought like an artist and he worked like an artist. His art is imbued with his view on the relationship between man and his environment, in particular between Western man and the African continent. Sprouting from his lifelong fascination for water, Peter applied himself to creating solutions for the ongoing erosion and desertification he personally witnessed. With over 15 years of experience in soil experimentation in Mali, Tanzania and Kenya, Peter began working on his opus magnum, the 'Hydrologic Corridor', in 2008. His drawings and calculations of interventions in the landscape are all part of his 'artwork for the world'. Peter was completely dedicated to his life in the field and his mission to restore ecosystems and reverse climate change. Although his heart belonged to Africa, he worked on plans for Australia, the Arab world and the Americas. He was not just talking about the problem of climate change, he wanted to try to do something about it.
On 30 August 2014, Peter Westerveld unexpectedly passed away, but his energy and mission lives on in the many people he continues to inspire to take action.
Climate Summit pre-screenings in Amsterdam and The Hague, Winner Ekotop Film Festival, Bratislava, Slovak Republic and Official Selection of AegeanDocs Film Festival, Greece and Paris Science International Film Festival, Paris, France.
THANK YOU so much to ALL!
As we prepare to enter into the Thanksgiving and Holiday season, the Arlington International Film Festival would like to express our gratitude to all our sponsors, judges, volunteers, organizations, partners, high school students, musician, viewers, followers and indie filmmakers around the world that partner with us to produce this annual festival.
We are grateful to be part of Arlington and the greater Boston community and it is our pleasure to bring cultural, educational and social events to our community. Wishing you all Happy Holidays and...
We look forward to seeing you in 2017!
2016 AIFF PROGRAM
Jiáolián/Coach: (75 min)
Esteban Arguello | Doc | 75 min | 2015 | USA-China
This is the story of 27-year-old Norman de Silva, who overnight was given the head coaching job of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) Foshan Long Lions. Although basketball has been in China for over a hundred years, their professional league is still very young. In an effort to make the CBA games more exciting and to enhance the training and development of local players, the CBA allows each team to contract up to two American players and an American coach. For Norman, China is an opportunity at the job he's always wanted, but as he delves deeper into the lives of his players he sees kids that have been put through exhausting and mundane drills for years to become model athletes. In order to win, Norman has to help his players fall in love with basketball again.
Paper Lanterns (60 min)
Barry Frechette | Director | Doc | 2015 | USA
Q&A w/Filmmaker — with Director Barry Frechette
On August 6, 1945, the atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima. Little known is the fact that among the estimated 140,000 casualties of that day were 12 American prisoners of war held at the Hiroshima Military Police Headquarters since July 28, when they had been shot down during a bombing raid. For decades, many of the families of these 12 Americans were never informed as to the fate of their loved ones. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Mr. Shigeaki Mori, himself a hibakusha (A-bomb survivor), the names of these 12 are now included in the Hiroshima Peace Museum, and the relatives have learned the truth. Paper Lanterns documents the story of Mr. Mori and his dream of reaching out to the relatives of these lost American airmen.
Official selection of the United Nations Association Film Festival and Hiroshima International Film Fes
Clarence (76 min)
Kristin Catalano | Director | Doc | 76 min | 2015 | USA
After 50 years away from academia, 85-year-old WWII Vet, Clarence Garrett, returns to UW-Milwaukee to fulfill his biggest regret–not earning his Bachelor’s Degree. While Clarence’s drive and determination are idealistic, the reality of his age is undeniable. When unforeseen circumstances land him in the hospital, he is forced to abandon his goal of graduation to survive a critical operation.
Official selection of the Rome International Film Festival, Skyline Indie Film Festival, Austin Film Festival and winner of the Best Doc Feature in the Beloit International Film Festival
Imber's Left Hand (62 min)
Richard Kane | Director | Doc | 62 min | 2014 | MA
Q&A w/Richard Kane, Filmmaker, Co-producer Melody Lewis-Kane & Rebecca Nemser, Art Critic - Hosted at 13Forest Gallery - 167 Massachusetts Ave.., Arlington
Imber’s Left Hand is a love story between two artists faced with one’s death and how art and love transform the tragedy into the brightest affirmation of life. Imber’s switch to painting left handed and the black humor with which he dances with his dying is a celebration of life and community. “This beautiful film takes the wind out of you", Boston Globe. “A masterpiece", Maine Telegram.
It has won BEST FILM AUDIENCE AWARD's at Four film festivals: Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Boston Jewish Film Festival, Best Film Audience Award at the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival, Best Documentary Audience Award at the New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival, and Best Film Audience Award at the Hartford Jewish Film Festival (tie).
Najia Beta (50 min)
Arthur Musah, Writer/Director/Producer | Doc | 62 min | 2016|Ghana/Nigeria/USA
Q&A w/Writer/Director Arthur Musah
Arthur Musah is a filmmaker from Ghana and Ukraine. His latest documentary NAIJA BETA premiered in April 2016 at the Pan African International Film Festival in Cannes. Arthur studied filmmaking in the MFA program at the University of Southern California as an Annenberg Fellow, and holds a bachelor’s and a master’s in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Instimintute of Technology (MIT).
Dreaming of shaking up education in Nigeria, a team of Nigerian and Nigerian-American MIT students heads home one summer to teach technology to high-schoolers through a competitive robotics camp in Lagos. As they seek to contribute to a new and better Nigeria, their ideals are tested by reality.master’s in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
EAST L.A INTERCHANGE (56 min) AIFF Jury Award for the "Best of Festival"
Betsy Kalin | Director | Doc | 2016 | East Coast Premiere
Q&A w/Betsy Kalin, Filmmaker & Ruby Gomez, Associate Producer
East L.A Interchange tells the story of working-class, immigrant Boyle Heights, the oldest neighborhood in East Los Angeles. Targeted by government policies, real estate laws, and California planners, this quintessential immigrant neighborhood survived racially restrictive housing covenants, Japanese-American Internment, Federal redlining policies, lack of political representation, and the building of the largest and busiest freeway interchange system in the nation, the East L.A Interchange. The documentary explores how the freeways - a symbol of Los Angeles ingrained in America's popular imagination - impact Boyle Heights' residents: literally, as an environmental hazard and structural blockade and figuratively, as a conversational interchange about why the future of their beloved community should matter to all of us. The history of Boyle Heights is an example of the promise - and peril - of American progress.
Awards: Winner of Award of Excellent Indie Fest Film Awards; Best Feature New Urbanism Film Festival: 1er Place Jury Award Frozen River Film Festival; Best Doc Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival.
The Time of the Luthiers (25 min) AIFF Jury Award for the "Best Short Doc"
Jorge Guerrero | Director | Doc | 2016 | Spain |USA Premiere
For over a century Felipe Conde's family has been handcrafting Spanish guitars. From his small workshop in downtown Madrid, theirs has become one of the most prestigious brands, having among its clientele outstanding players such as Paco de Lucia and Al Di Meola, Leonardo Cohen, and Lenny Kravitz. Felipe's 20-years-old children, Maria and Felipe Junior, are now the fourth generation of their family to join the legacy business. Their father bequeathed to them all the secrets of the Luthiers trade, paramount of which is the importance of patience and perseverance, two qualities lacking nowadays.
Between Ala and Me (and Everyone Else) (60 min)
Kyoko Yokomad | Writer/Director | Doc | 2014 | Canada
The film explores the challenges of fourth Canadian Muslin women making decisions either to start or stop wearing hijab, unveiling how the hijab carries many diverse meanings and messages, and its intricate and complex effects on Muslin women, their families and communities, and the larger multicultural society.
Mystic Jungfraujoch (4 min)
Markus Eichenberger | Director | Doc |2015 | Switzerland | New England Premiere
Markus Eichenberger received permission to stay at the Jungfraujoch station high in the Swiss Alps, usually off limits to tourists, and recorded a time-lapse view from the top of Europe shot over 48 hours. Breathtaking.
Awards: Best Cinematography (Documentary) Award at Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival; Official Selection at the Vienna International Film Festival and the Madrid International Film Festival.
2015 AIFF PROGRAM
INEZ: A Challenging Woman (33 min)
Trevor Birney & Eimhear O'Neill | Directors | Ireland | 2014 | Documentary
Through archival footage, an interview with Inez McCormack herself, and contributions from friends and colleagues such as Hillary Clinton, Mary Robinson and President Michael D. Higgins, this award-winning film explores the life of a remarkable woman who began her career as a civil rights activist in Northern Ireland in 1968 and continued as a passionate and effective advocate of social justice until her death in 2013.
THE VOW (40 min)
Cameron Zohoori | Director | USA | 2014 | Documentary
An in-depth look at the story of one remarkable young man, with the hope of gently provoking interesting questions about youth, family, immigration, race, and other topics important to the health of communities around the country and the world.
FLYING PAPER (82 min)
Nitin Sawhney & Roger Hill | Directors | USA/Palestine | 2014 | Documentary
An uplifting story of resilient Palestinian youth in the Gaza Strip on a quest to shatter the Guinness World Record for the most kites ever flown. Since summer 2010, the directors began working with a great team of Palestinian youth, trained through our Voices Beyond Walls Youth Media Program to cinematically capture the culture of kite making and flying among youth.
POWER & IMPOTENCE (66 min)
Anna Recalde, Director | Paraguay | 2014 | Documentary | US PREMIERE
A Shakespearean drama about power and the fragile nature of politics. This political thriller crescendos as we follow the adventures of Fernando Lugo, former bishop (Liberation Theology movement) elected president of Paraguay in 2008 until the tragic coup d'état in 2011.
CLOSED SEA (106 min)
Stefano Liberti & Andrea Segre | Directors | Italy | 2012 | Documentary
A close up view of the plight of several African migrants and refugees trying to escape Libya in 2008. Their aim is to reach Lampedusa – a small Italian island in the Mediterranean. What makes this documentary worth watching is the revelation of what refugees must go through to apply for asylum in Europe.
REFUGIADOS SIN TIERRA (96 min)
Fernando Molina & Nicolás Bietti | Directors | Chile | 2013 | Documentary
Filmed in Chile, this documentary follows a group of people returning to their village after the eruption of a volcano despite the authorities concern for their safety.
SHOULDER THE LION (75 min)
Erinnesse Rebisz & Patryk Rebisz | Directors | USA/Poland | 2014 | Documentary
A photographer, who is blind, questions the power of images in today's visually saturated culture; due to his advanced hearing loss, a musician is forced to give up his dream and reinvent his future; a painter who lost half her brain, who was also the inspiration for the Academy Award-winning film Million Dollar Baby, searched for her place in life, unsure of what she should be to the world. The film attempts to ask what it takes for someone to keep on going in times of such challenges.
LOST IN THE BEWILDERNESS (97 min)
Alexandra Anthony | Director | USA | 2014 | Documentary
A feature-length documentary about the filmmaker's cousin Lucas, kidnapped at age five from his native Greece, and found on the eve of his sixteenth birthday in the US. This story of international parental abduction, filmed for over twenty-five years, chronicles Lucas' journey of growth and self-discovery, and culminates with Lucas becoming a father himself. Not only a detective story but also a lyrical meditation on childhood, lost and found, and an explanation of how the themes of ancient Greek myth and tragedy, with the family at their center, are still
very much alive in the modern world.
CAVEDIGGER (45 min)
Jeffrey Karoff | Director | USA | 2013 | Documentary
Ra Paulette digs cathedral-like, 'eighth wonder of the world' art caves into the sandstone cliffs of Northern New Mexico. Each creation takes him years to complete, and each is a masterwork. But patrons who have commissioned caves have cut off nearly all of his projects due to artistic differences. Fed up, Ra has chosen to forego all commissions to create his own magnum opus, a massive, secret, 10-year project. CaveDigger was Oscar-nominated for "Best Short Documentary" in 2014.
ICE WARRIORS: USA Sled Hockey (45 min)
Brian Knappenberger | Director | USA | 2014 | Documentary
The training is tough as the USA sled hockey team prepares for the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Sled hockey, called "murderball on blades," is played as aggressively as able-bodied hockey — but these players battle with their sticks, sharp sled runners and the serrated ice picks used to propel their sleds. They fight it out at eye level with a fast-moving puck in this game of force, speed and strategy.
MILL WORK (59 min)
Tom Calderwood & Reed Snyder | Directors | USA | 2015 | Documentary
The Old Schwamb Mill in Arlington, MA, begun in 1864 as a picture frame manufactory and is the rare survivor of the small, family-owned mills that helped define New England. It is the oldest continuously operating mill site in the United States. Its unique 19th century elliptical faceplate lathes, its original belt-driven shaft-and-pulley machinery, and the original hand-turning process are used to this day to create custom-made oval and circular frames.
PHOTOS BY KIRK (28 min)
Jamie Day Fleck, Director | Canada | 2015 | Documentary | WORLD PREMIERE
Photographer, Jamie Day Fleck tells the story of an Armenian Genocide survivor who immigrated to America in 1920, and worked as a photographer in the Bronx from the 1920s to 1970s.
ARCTIC DEFENDERS (90 min)
John Walker, Director | Canada | 2013 | Documentary | US PREMIERE
Set in the dramatic and alluring landscape of the north, Arctic Defenders tells the remarkable story that began in 1968 with a radical Inuit movement that changed the political landscape forever. It led to the largest land claim in western civilization, orchestrated by young visionary Inuits with a dream - the governance of their territory - the creation of Nunavut. The story reveals Canada’s misguided attempts at sovereignty in the north and finds hope and inspiration from determined people who changed the rules of the game.
GABO: The Magic Of Reality (90 min)
Justin Webster | Director | France | 2015 | Documentary | NEW ENGLAND PREMIERE
AIFF BEST OF FESTIVAL
The film asks the question: How did a boy from a backward town on the Caribbean coast become a writer who won the hearts of millions, from the poorest to the most powerful political leaders, and whose works changed our perception of reality? The answer is the incredible story of Gabriel García Márquez, the 1982 Nobel Prize winner for Literature, who grew up in the poverty and violence of northern Colombia, and propelled by a love of life and a sensual, magical sensibility, followed a path that made him not only a pioneer of life-affirming literature, but took him to the forefront of the great political struggles of Latin America in the 70s and 80s, militant journalism and friendships with political leaders such as Fidel Castro and Bill Clinton.
LITTLE PEOPLE BIG DREAMS (90 min)
Mak CK, Director | Singapore | 2014 | Documentary | BOSTON PREMIERE
Explore the bizarre world of Dwarf Empire, a theme park where dwarves from all over China perform for gawping tourists. Director Mak CK’s camera boldly peers into the lives and dreams of these little people and the film, through their stories, touches on complex issues of exploitation and otherness, community and survival.
SEA WOMEN (23 min)
Marta Solana | Director | Spain | 2014 | Documentary
The story of women in the fisheries of Cantabria (Spain). Not only are they mothers and widows, but they also have to manage indispensable tasks of this sector and to provide support to fisher families.
NOVENA (18 min)
Anna Rodgers | Director | Ireland | 2013 | Documentary
The story of women in the fisheries of Cantabria (Spain). Not only are they mothers and widows, but they also have to manage indispensable tasks of this sector and to provide support to fisher families.
A CHANCE TO DRESS (41 min)
Alice Dungan Bouvrie | Director | USA | 2015 | Documentary
AIFF BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
76 year old Professor Emeritus John Southard recently came out to his family, friends and M.I.T colleagues as a cross-dresser after nearly 40 years of easy collegiality. His exuberant outing is reflected, in part, by his efforts to reach out as an educator and counselor to other closeted students and faculty.
VESSEL (90 min)
Diana Whitten | Director | Netherlands | 2014 | Documentary
This multi-national award-winning documentary, written and directed by Diana Whitten, begins with a young doctor who lived by the sea, and an unlikely idea. Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, horrified by the realities created by anti-abortion law around the world, felt compelled to challenge this. Her method: to provide abortions on a ship in offshore waters. A fearless sea captain sails a ship through loopholes in international law, providing abortions on the high seas, and leaving in her wake a network of emboldened activists who trust women to handle abortion on their own terms.
JARDÍN BAROCCO (62 min)
Jairo López | Director | Spain | 2014 | Documentary | US PREMIERE
An experimental documentary, this film captures the performance construction of artist Roberto García Mesa in a room at the Gallery Conca Contemporary Art Space in La Laguna, Tenerife. García freely creates through poems, actions, performances, installations and graphic works, with director Jairo Lopez shooting freely with his camera. The result is a spontaneous composition guided by chance and the search for beauty between the shadows.
DREADLOCK STORY (83 min)
Linda Ainouche | Director | USA/Jamaica | 2014 | Documentary
The history of Rastafarianism is explored through the prism of hair. The spiritual significance of the much-criticized dreadlocks hairstyle as well as the roots of Rastafari culture, both of which are entangled with the Hindu tradition in Jamaica, are uncovered in revealing interviews with historian Verene Shepherd, David Hinds of the reggae band Steel Pulse, and Monty and Blade Howell, sons of Leonard ‘Gong’ Howell (‘the first rasta’).
ANGKOR'S CHILDREN (66 min)
Lauren Shaw | Director | USA/Cambodia | 2014 | Documentary
Cambodia’s cultural and artistic renaissance is recounted through the voices of three young Cambodian women from the first generation after the Khmer Rouge genocide that killed two million people, including 90% of artists and intellectuals.
INFERNO O PARAÍSO (96 min)
German Piffano | Director | Colombia | 2014 | Documentary | MA PREMIERE
Shot over a period of ten years, “Heaven or Hell” tells the story of Jose Antonio Iglesias, an architect whose crack addiction sent his life spiraling out of control. Piffano paints a compassionate portrait of a man who faces the ups and downs of life with courage.
JOAN'S BOYS (60 min)
Catherine Von Campen | Director | Netherlands | 2013 | Documentary
Joan Sträter offers psychotherapy to out-of-control teenagers, predominantly from ethnic minorities. Mostly boys. They have all had encounters with the police, for reasons varying from robberies to abuse, skipping class or shoplifting. The documentary shows Joan counseling Alaa and Adil, fourteen-year-old twins of Moroccan origin. Joan's Boys is a film about the interaction between Joan and 'her boys', about how their often completely separate worlds can connect. The film is not just a double portrait of patient and counselor; it is also about 'looking' and 'being looked at' and how we so easily judge worlds foreign to us.
THE LONGEST KISS (73 min)
Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque | Director | Canada/Sudan | 2013 | Documentary | US PREMIERE
The meeting of the Blue and White Nile in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, is referred to as ‘the longest kiss in history’. As the Arab Spring was in full bloom, Sudan, straddled between the Middle East and Africa, and was about to split in two. Facing conflicting identities, the youth in north Sudan are faced with a stale leadership while others in south Sudan hope to start over. Focusing on the stories of six people searching for a place to call ‘home’ ahead of the south’s secession, director Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque paints an intimate and detailed portrait of the country’s complex fragmentation.
WELCOME TO THE CIRCUS (87 min)
Courtney Coulson | Director | Palestine | 2015 | Documentary
Q&A w/Filmmaker — 20 min
Set in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the Palestinian Circus School welcomes the LIDO, a circus school from France, into their home. In one month, the two schools must come together to create a mobile circus for the children of Palestine.
POWER TO THE PEDALS: Wenzday Jane and the Culture of Change (41 min)
Bob Nesson | Director | USA | 2014 | Documentary
Q&A w/FIlmmaker and subject, Wenzday Jane — 30 min
This documentary portrays the transformative vision and extraordinary efforts of Wenzday Jane, a young woman whose mechanical skills and innovative actions are reshaping her community. Wenzday goes to the heart of the sustainability issue by offering solutions, and suggests that things don’t have to be the way they are.
TASHI & THE MONK (40 min)
Andrew Hinton & Johnny Burke | Directors | USA | 2014 | Documentary
AIFF BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Q&A w/Filmmakers — 30 min
On a remote mountaintop a brave social experiment is taking place. Former Buddhist monk Lobsang was trained under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, but eight years ago he left his life as a spiritual teacher in the United States to create a unique community in the foothills of the Himalayas which rescues orphaned and neglected children. Five-year-old Tashi is the newest arrival. Her mother recently passed away and she’s been abandoned by her alcoholic father. Wild and troubled, Tashi is struggling to find her place amongst 84 new siblings. Can the community’s love and compassion transform Tashi’s alienation and tantrums into a capacity to make her first real friend?