The 2015 African World Documentary Films
Charysse Tia Harper (USA) - 65min
‘12 Months’ is a documentary about a Los Angeles man (Tony) who rented his home for the entire year of 2013 for $1 per month to help a family in transitional housing. He never met the family, but offered his 3-bedroom home to give the family a chance to get on their feet. The story follows Felicia Dukes and her four children as they are in Tony's home, as well as explores the impact that generosity has on the community.
A Day in the Sun
Nerina Penzhorn (South Africa) - 13min
The Daily Sun is the most widely read tabloid newspaper in South Africa. ‘A Day in the Sun' takes a poetic look at the stories behind the headlines. The film contrasts the often flippant headlines with the hardship that the subjects of Daily Sun stories often experience and shows the detrimental effect that reporting on the suffering of others has on Daily Sun journalists.
A Goat for a Vote
Jeroen van Velzen (Kenya, Netherlands) - 51min
The best way to understand our society is to look at one's children. Three students at Majaoni Secondary School in Kenya compete for the prestigious position of school president. Winning the annual school election not only gives them the possibility for power and respect, but guarantees them a future in Kenyan society. Magdalene, who has to prove herself in an environment dominated by boys, has the impossible task of uniting her fellow female students in a fight for equal rights. Harry, from a poor family, hopes to win so he can take care of his family in the future. He struggles against the popular and charming Said, who is not only a natural born leader with a disarming smile but also a fast learner in the game of Kenyan politics. It is the endless enthusiasm and motivation of these three candidates that predicts a fierce election battle.
Cape of German Hopes
Anna Sacco (South Africa) - 31min
"Cape of German Hopes" is a journey into the life experiences of German families and people of German heritage settled in Cape Town, South Africa. It uncovers how they seek to open up to an African culture while keeping their typical Germanness. The film explores both the distinctive differences and the surprisingly similar historical parallels between Germany and South Africa. On a larger scale, the documentary also unpacks such complex topics as identity, trans-nationalism and acculturation. Treasuring one's own cultural heritage becomes more important in an increasingly mobile society. Consequently, the documentary not only throws light on the local German community, but also attempts to show a blueprint of immigration cultures living all over the world.
Munza Almusafer (Tanzania, Oman) - 5min
The dark-skinned 11-year-old Cholo meets his fair-skinned brother Abdullah for the first time, when their father Said arrives in Zanzibar from Muscat, Oman. Although, strikingly different, the two boys enjoy a crackling chemistry.
Colors: Bangi' in South Carolina
Terry Davis (USA) - 65min
"Colors: Bangin' in South Carolina" details the deadliest gang feud in the history of Columbia, South Carolina. A feud inherited from Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles that has lasted over 15 years turning even the suburbs into a warzone. The movie offers never before seen footage of gangs, active gang member testimonials, and interviews with the newly formed police agencies that were made to stop them. The documentary is told through the experiences of 4 gang leaders during the gang epidemic that destroyed families and took lives. The story primarily follows Terrence Davis, formerly the leader of one the largest Crip gangs in South Carolina history by the time he was 17 years old. Lost in a world of senseless murder, violence, and drugs Terrence figured out a way to climb out. After deciding to change his life, he escaped to college and pursued a career in directing.
Deeper Than Black
Sean Addo (USA) - 23min
A Ghanaian-American filmmaker looks to bridge the divide between his African pedigree and American birthright by confronting the question: 'Who am I, and where do I belong?' Born and raised in the United States to Ghanaian parents, Sean Addo, a product of two different cultures, African-American and African. Propelled by his fear of the loss of his Ghanaian culture, Sean sets off on his quest to clarify his identity. He looks to connect to his African heritage through dance, food, and language. In the process he challenges what it means to be 'Black' in America, and shares a similar story of the new American in a growing multicultural society.
Maria Seppala, Veera Lehto-Michaud (Ghana, Liberia, USA, Finland) - 13min
A documentary about a Liberian refugee, Samuel ‘Sam’ Reayah and his family who has been separated for five years and live in uncertainty of waiting for family reunion. The story takes us through two different worlds. While Sam and their younger daughter Ruth continue their lives in Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana, his wife Decontee and older daughter Joyce have already started a new life in Rochester, USA. Rochester is a world of skyscrapers dominating the sky and the ever flashing billboards. The city represents the Western way of life; the streets are clean and organized. The world of Buduburam consists of searing sun and shaky huts, streets filled with lively chaos, open gutters and dark nights without electricity. The documentary explores the idea of home. Sam’s family had a home in Liberia, but they had to give it up. They were forced to build homes elsewhere. They built a home in Ghana, and they build a home in The United States. They built homes together; they built homes separate from each other. But which home does the heart want?
Dirty Hands: Clean Money
John Goheen (Uganda, USA) - 8min
In many African countries garbage is an ever increasing problem. In Uganda's largest city, Kampala, roughly 800 tons of trash is generated each day. With limited government programs to deal with trash, some enterprising citizens have taken to the streets with profitable solutions in some unexpected ways.
Far from the Shore (Lejos De La Orilla)
Javier Sanz (Spain) - 61min
Eschewing a linear or realist treatment of a social ‘problem’, the film opts instead for an impressionistic montage of four personal stories. Placing Mariama, Amadou, Abdoulaye and Rahisy (two from the Gambia, one from Senegal and one from Puerto Rico) each in an individual setting that mirrors their quest and its obstacles, the documentary interweaves the heroic and anonymous journeys of people who struggle to transcend their difficulties and create something new.
Fare Ta - Land Of Dance
Idrissa Camara (Guinea, United Kingdom) - 17min
Dancing is part of our identity, it’s part of who we are, how we express ourselves. Fara Ta - Land of Dance is a first attempt to document some of the dance practices in Guinea, West Africa and pose the question on what is meant by "traditional" African-dance. The film maker went back to Guinea to record the urban and village dance practices. Wales, the film maker’s new home country is often called the "Land of Song," so then surely Guinea must be "the land of Dance!”
Carlos de Jesus (Belize, Honduras, Puerto Rico, USA) - 82min
The film presents a cultural encounter between two distinct Afro-Caribbean experiences: Afro-Puerto Rican and Garifuna. Through these two parallel perspectives, it examines how the experience of slavery has played itself out and how historical circumstances determine who we are today. Also known as the ‘black Caribs’, the Garifuna were formed when enslaved West Africans joined with Carib Indians to form a culture that has survived for over 212 years - on self-reliance, sacred spirit-possession practices and dance. Now, the Garifuna face the challenge of meshing western lifestyles and modern technology with the long-held values of their community.
Gold Is Here
David A. Masterwille (Ghana) - 71min
‘Gold is Here’ explores the lives of artisan gold miners in the rain forests of Ghana. The film takes a critical look at villagers who have been shot and have suffered serious gun injuries while defending their lands from illegal mining. The film also focuses on the women who ferry ores from dangerous pits and process them in poisoned waters as their means of livelihood. And in particular, it sheds light on the involvement of children mining in abandoned and collapsing mine pits. For most of these children, mining in sometimes mercury-infested streams has become their only means of raising revenue to cater for their elementary school needs. As a result, some suffer serious water borne diseases, which mostly go untreated for years, and in the process, impede their physical and educational development.
Kristin Alexander (Bermuda, USA) - 20min
African American performance artist and educator, Mwalimu Melodye Micere Van Putten teaches traditional African principles and values to children and adults in USA and Bermuda. Using movement poetry and music, Mwalimu brings excitement and joy to students while instilling a sense of motivation, self-esteem and pride in their heritage. Her work highlights the positive psychological benefits of an African centered education for all people. The documentary is an uplifting story of healing through learning history.
I Will Not Be Silenced
Judy Rymer (Kenya, Australia) - 84min
One young Australian woman's horrific gang rape has led to a five year battle for justice with the Kenyan legal system. Rape victims do not testify against their attackers in Kenya because they fear for their lives. Supported in her quest by a courageous high ranking police officer and some senior legal officials, much is at stake as Charlotte seeks justice against all odds in the Kenyan Courts. Currently Charlotte's testimony is detaining her attackers in prison. Her life is in constant danger. Her indomitable strength and her sense of outrage at the lack of rights for Kenyan women has been her inspiration and brought many silenced women out of the dark to stand at her side.
In His Own Home
Malini Schuelle (USA) - 42min
Heavily armed and clad in SWAT gear, officers of the University of Florida Police Department responding to a 911 call from a neighbor who heard screams from Ghanaian doctoral student, Kofi Adu-Brempong’s campus apartment. After breaking open his door and entering his apartment, the SWAT team saw him sitting with a metal table leg in his hand, they shoot him in the face and hand. Adu-Brempong, who because of childhood polio, needed a cane to walk, and had been suffering from mental illness, now has severe facial injuries, and is charged with resisting arrest. He is guarded 24/7 outside his hospital door, his legs shackled. The officer who shoots Kofi, and who had previously been caught cruising through town throwing eggs at residents of a Black neighborhood, is not suspended or fired. Student protests lead the administration to drop charges but calls for revoking SWAT-like teams on campus go unheard. Although the case shocked students at the University of Florida, it received little national coverage. The documentary speaks to the racism and militarization of campuses nationwide. With this film, the film makers hope to expose not only the racist intent involved in this incident, but also how universities are becoming militarized zones where police have little accountability.
La Belle Vie: The Good Life
Rachelle Salnave (USA, Haiti) - 62min
Child of elite ‘mulatto’ migrants, Haitian-American filmmaker, Rachelle Salnave, grows up ignorant of the complexities of Haitian class and political power. When she sets out to explore her parents’ country in the wake of the earthquake, she is shocked not only by its poverty but her own relegation to the status of ‘blan’ or ‘dyaspora’. Interweaving her own personal family stories with other Haitian voices, the film examines the rationale behind its social class system and how it has affected the Haitian-American migrant experience. The film is an optimistic call to forsake division and prejudice, and work as one to rebuild and prosper in the name of a new and stronger Haiti.
Gorka Gamarra (Guinea Bissau, Spain) - 63min
The Creole is the language used daily by the majority of the population of Guinea Bissau. However, the creole does not have the status of official language. Musicians and writers of different generations explain through their songs why they have chosen this language as an instrument to express their feelings and transmit the social reality of the country.
Life in Progress
Irene Loebell (South Africa, Switzerland) - 99min
In a rundown township near Johannesburg, three youngsters from troubled backgrounds are right in the middle of the great adventure of coming of age. All members of the dance group Taxido, which provides a living while improving their prospects, their days are filled with rehearsals and performances. In Jerry, founder, choreographer and manager of the troupe, in spite of his frightful past they find the guidance lacking from their upbringings. Seipati, 18, lives with her overburdened grandmother and is proud of the trophies she has received as the group’s dancing queen. Venter, 19, is relieved that dancing keeps him from the wrong path. Ladies’ man, Tshidiso, 20, always on the phone dealing with one of his eleven girlfriends, conquers not only girls but also Taxido audiences with his charm. The youngsters receive praises wherever they performe their wild dance routines, homegrown on the streets of their township, Though back in their hovels they face again the daily grind of poverty added to by the sometimes aggressive treatment Jerry uses to keep them away from the violence of the streets. But then the youngsters start to rebel when other interests take hold. Twenty years after apartheid’s end, ‘Life In Progress’ delivers a close insight into the lives of three adolescents living in a rundown township called Katlehong, a Sotho word for “progress”.
Olga Pirkovskaya (Guinea) - 15min
Shot in the Republic of Guinea just as Ebola was starting to spread, the film however focuses on the underlying causes of the catastrophe from the point of view of a local observer. He seeks to understand why; although corruption, social problems and environmental disaster are far from new, the international community continues to ignore African problems. The main questions of the film are: do western countries really help African countries? Has western intrusion influenced their natural development? And what is the solution?
Catherine Murphy (Cuba) - 33min
Cuba, 1961: 250,000 volunteers taught 700,000 people to read and write in one year. 100,000 of the teachers were under 18 years old. Over half were women. The documentary explores this story through the personal testimonies of the young women who went out to teach literacy in rural communities across the island - and found themselves deeply transformed in the process.
Money 1955: The Emmett Till Murder Trial
Rob Underhill (USA) - 15min
In "Money 1955" international press descend on a remote Tallahatchie County, Mississippi courthouse and draw the world's attention to the murder trial of two white men accused of the horrific lynching of a 14-year old black boy from Chicago named Emmett Till. One actor, Mike Wiley, performs all 20 roles in reenacting the Emmett Till murder trial. It is a true-crime story crafted from the actual court transcripts.
My Favorite Thing
Chris Philips (Ethiopia) - 5min
‘My Favourite Things’ is a short documentary about an enchanting story about poverty, play and the rights of children starring 5-year-old Henok from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
My Name is Dieme
Jonathan Hyams (DR Congo. Uganda, United Kingdom) - 4min
Dieme is 8 years old and from the Democratic Republic of Congo. His family fled to neighboring Uganda when war broke out between rebel groups and the Congolese military. Every day he risks his life crossing the border to his homeland to attend school. Dieme knows how dangerous this journey is but believes, 'it is better to die trying to get an education, than staying at home without a good future'. The documentary takes you on Dieme’s journey.
Napps - Memoire of an Invisible Man
Tami Libermann (Germany) - 30min
This film tells the story of Mr. X, but his identity, and his face, is never revealed in it. Mr. X is a West-African asylum seeker living in Berlin without a work permit. As his exposure might put him in danger, he is the one holding the camera instead of appearing in front of it. Mr. X shoots the landscapes and people of Berlin to tell stories about the refugee camp in Italy, about his grandmother in West Africa, about his acquaintance with African drug dealers from Goerlitzer Park, and about the relationship between him, his legal status and his camera.
Kim Borba, Ashley Panzera (Haiti, USA) - 18min
In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, failed reconstruction has pushed social unrest to the breaking point. Protests erupt in the streets, and armed UN soldiers stalk the angry crowds. But a group of young Haitians, driven by their passion for a new Haiti, is sparking social change. To democratize information and offer hope to the population, they produce a radical newspaper, Bri Kouri Nouvèl Gaye (Noise Travels, News Spreads). The documentary follows this team of idealistic citizen journalists as they confront the problems that NGOs and government could not solve. Undaunted by the threat of an oppressive government, they maneuver their way into prison to visit a political prisoner and unravel the story behind his illegal arrest. Unfazed by the downpour of Tropical Storm Isaac, they take us into the tent camps of Port-au-Prince to investigate the housing crisis that has left more than 150,000 people homeless. With youthful optimism, they strive to capture international attention via Twitter and YouTube. Their on-the-ground accounts take the audience beyond the characterization of Haiti as “the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere,” putting a human face to the statistics and challenging stigmas of victimhood.
Omo Child: The River and the Bush
John Rowe (Ethiopia, USA) - 86min
For many generations the Kara tribal people of the Omo Valley (southwest Ethiopia) believed some children are cursed and that these 'cursed' children bring disease, drought and death to the tribe. The curse is called 'mingi' and mingi children are killed. Lale Labuko, a young educated man from the Kara tribe was 15 years old when he saw a child in his village killed and also learned that he had 2 older sisters he never knew who had been killed. He decided one day he would stop this horrific practice. The film follows Lale’s journey over a five year period along with the people of his tribe as they attempt to change this ancient practice.
Diveena Cooppan (South Africa, USA) - 63min
In South Africa, five strangers facing shame and potential death from AIDS form an unlikely friendship. It transforms them from ordinary citizens to extraordinary activists. They struggle against stigma and fear; suicide and isolation. At the height of the epidemic they form a network for people living with HIV. As friends and family die, and leaders deny the existence of HIV, they fight harder. Fifteen years later, against all odds, they are still alive. Their friendship becomes a remarkable story: a quiet victory of meaningful, beautiful lives in an evolving South Africa. It gives strength in their struggles: of having children, fighting cancer, and being lesbian in South Africa. Positively Beautiful is a story about life and love in the age of HIV/AIDS.
Michael Matheson Miller (USA) - 94min
Fighting poverty is big business, but who profits the most? The West has positioned itself as the protagonist of development, giving rise to a vast multi-billion dollar poverty industry of NGOs, state and multilateral agencies, and for-profit aid contractors. The business of ‘doing-good’ has never done better. Unfortunately, the results have been mixed, in some cases even catastrophic, and leaders in the developing world are growing increasingly vocal in calling for change. Drawing from over 200 interviews filmed in 20 countries, but with considerable footage from Haiti, Poverty, Inc. unearths an uncomfortable side of charity we are all too tempted to ignore. The film invites the viewer to step into the shoes of local entrepreneurs and their colleagues and families, with expert commentary from public leaders, development economists, anthropologists, and others. From TOMs Shoes to international adoptions, from solar panels to U.S. agricultural subsidies, the film challenges each of us to ask the tough question: could I be part of the problem?
Gloria Rolando (Cuba, Haiti) - 60min
In the early 20th century, thousands of Haitian laborers worked the coffee plantations and sugarcane fields of Cuba, influencing the island’s music, language and culture. But when the market crashed, in the 1930s, many were expelled — sent back across the Windward Passage like so many damaged goods. The film, by one of Cuba’s foremost documentarists, revisits this forgotten chapter, recounting both the memories of Haitian families and the discrimination suffered by their Cuban descendants. The result is part Caribbean social history and part homage to the dreams and hardships of the immigrant experience.
Remembering Nokutela (uKukhumbula uNokutela)
Cherif Keita (South Africa) - 57min
The story of Nokutela Dube, a pioneer woman who paved the way for the liberation of her people in South Africa. Unfortunately this remarkable woman was forgotten by everyone. The film reveals how her unmarked grave was found and how she was honored almost a century after her death at the age of 44. All too often, the (hi)story of women is reduced to a footnote in the epic of brave men. In Africa, that footnote simply disappears when a woman has not been able to conceive or bear a child.
Road to Rio
Nathan Erasmus (Brazil, United Kingdom) - 52min
In greater Fortaleza in the north of Brazil there were 12,777 children and adolescents recorded to be in child labor, living and working on the streets in 2013. ‘Road to Rio’ follows 9 of them who won the chance to play in the 2014 Street Child World Cup. The film follows as the children go on an inspiring, emotional and often amusing journey while preparing and playing in the tournament. This is more than a fascinating window into the lives of street children; this is their chance to shine!
See Me Now
Glen Mackay (United Kingdom) - 13min
"See Me Now" is a fashion film inspired by the quote - "The darker the skin, the uglier they're considered" Upon hearing that, the film maker called upon models and designers of color to showcase the beauty of dark skin. And to send a message that beauty comes from being comfortable in your skin.
Florence Martin-Kessler, Anne Poiret (South Sudan, France) - 70min
State Builders is not a film about forgotten wars and improbable peace. Rather it is a film about the grey zone that occurs between war and peace, when it’s neither quite one nor the other. In 2011, the Republic of South Sudan became the world's newest nation. After a 50-year civil war, the stakes and hopes are high. But how does one build a country from scratch? The documentary follows a determined UN’s professional Nation Builders - veterans of Kosovo and East Timor - with a 19-point road map that has a price-tag in the billions of dollars, working with the country's newly appointed Vice-President as they attempt to shape the young democracy. The day of its independence in July 2011, South Sudan has a flag, a national anthem, a capital city – Juba - and a president, Salva Kiir, to prove its existence to the world and to its people. Everything else remains to be decided, built, and done: borders need to be set; a constitution drafted; an army and judicial system established, revenues from oil production and income tax perceived - all the basic elements that make up a state.
Sur Les Traces d'un President (On the Trail of a President)
Dueudonne Alaka (Cameroon, Senegal) - 26min
In the course of a training trip to Senegal, the filmmaker went to pay his respects on the grave of Ahmadou Ahidjo, the first President of the Republic of Cameroon who died and buried in Dakar, Senegal twenty four years ago. Fresh with the stories the filmmaker’s mother used to tell him about Ahmadou Ahidjo, he embarked upon a journey to make a film about the first president of Cameroon in memory of my country.
John Goheen (Kenya, USA) - 5min
"The Ball" takes place in one of Kenya’s largest slums – Kibera - with an estimated 800,000 residents. This short documentary takes viewers into a place that most outsiders would not risk visiting or would want to. The documentary follows two young boys in their quest to someday leave the slum by becoming professional soccer players. They have decided not to let their impoverished life keep that from happening. Through hard work and ingenuity, these boys find a way to still go after their dream.
The Invented People: Echoes from Cape Verde
Juan Meseguer (Cape Verde, Spain) - 70min
In 1984 a group of young Cape Verdeans influenced by the spirit of the Woodstock festival decided to create the "Baia das Gatas" festival on the island of San Vicente, Cape Verde. What they could not have imagined was that 30 years later this festival would be how the island would be known outside, and one of the most important annual events in the country. Its music brings echoes of an invented people.
The Life and Times of Elizabeth Keckly
Tim Reid (USA) - 42min
Elizabeth Keckly, although born enslaved within a few miles of Petersburg, has just become recognized for her amazing story. After purchasing her own freedom and moving to Washington, DC in 1860, Keckly soon developed an elite clientele among the women of the nation’s capital for her dressmaking skills. Her skills brought her to the attention of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, and she became the First Lady’s favorite dressmaker and later her confidante, and personal and traveling companion. Even today, the recognition of her drive and perseverance can provide significant inspiration to young people, and struggling adults. The documentary was able to recreate several important moments in her history as well as interview a number of regional, state, and national experts to bring her story to life.
Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno (USA) - 86min
‘The Rule’ captures how one monastery called Newark Abbey, in the heart of one of America's most impoverished and violent cities, Newark, New Jersey, applies the precepts of this nearly 1500 year old handbook to its school, St. Benedict’s Prep. The Benedictine monks instill a sense of community in the most vulnerable student body: inner-city African American and Latino teenage males - who then go on to achieve amazing educational success. A formative chapter in the film begins in 1967 when St. Benedict’s Prep had a student body of mostly white young men from a working class background. But after the Newark Riots of 1967, fear of the neighborhood caused student enrollment to drop so significantly that the school closed in 1972. A year later, while some of the monks moved to exit the decaying city and relocate the abbey and its school to a safer location, a group of visionary monks refused to leave Newark and, adhering to their vow of “stability of place,” reopened the school with few resources but a strong commitment to serve the students of the community, many of whom could not afford the tuition. Fast forward, 40 years later, in a city that struggles to graduate students from high school, particularly young men, St. Benedict’s Prep has a nearly 100% college acceptance rate.
The Village of Peace
Ben Schuder, Nicholas Philipides (Israel, USA) - 68min
‘The Village of Peace’ reveals the untold story of the African Hebrew Israelites, an incredible group originally from Chicago, now thriving in the Israeli desert. The stories and perspectives of four Village members are woven together to illustrate a place unlike any other; a community enlightened by ancient scripture and determined to prioritize 'life' in its purest form. Their unique culture evolves from an uncommon interpretation of the Torah (Hebrew Bible), embedded in their foundation, principles, and daily lifestyle practices that includes polygamy, natural birth, veganism, and a rigorous emphasis on health. Although the community is growing in numbers, recent immersion into the Israeli Army leaves the youth susceptible to outside influences. Ultimately we learn about the struggle to preserve the African Hebrew culture, and the challenges of passing their traditions to future generations.
Cameron Zohoori (Kenya, USA) - 40min
When Riqie Wainaina won a green-card lottery in his home country Kenya, he thought it was a ticket to the American dream. He left his family and came to a country he knew only from TV and movies. The reality of life when he arrived in the US was far more complicated. After becoming entrenched in a life of gangs and drug dealers, a tragic event prompts Riqie to transform his life. With the help of some innovative youth workers, he fights to leave behind a life of crime, poverty, and loss and become a leader in his adopted hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts. But the past proves difficult to shake when his mistakes catch up with him and threaten to jeopardize his future.
Undermined: an Epidemic in South Africa Gold Mines
Mo Scarpelli (South Africa, USA) - 9min
A short documentary exploring the Tuberculosis crisis in the mines in Southern Africa. The film is about the river of disease flowing out from the mines and why a vaccine is critical to the global fight against the disease.
Unfair Game: The Politics of Poaching
John Antonelli (Zambia, Swaziland, USA) - 37min
Can wildlife conservation efforts go too far? Is killing people ever a just punishment for hunting wild animals? 'Unfair Game: The Politics of Poaching' documents what happens when measures to protect wildlife are in direct conflict with indigenous peoples' land rights, human rights and their very own survival. The documentary explores conservation and sustainable development as a viable method for safeguarding the human rights of indigenous peoples whose traditional homelands are bordering wildlife refuges and nature conservancies. The film also shows the limitless positive repercussions when native people and animals are both valued and respected.
Wish You Were Here
Jade Gibson, Gareth Jones (South Africa) - 15min
Being of mixed ethnicity, apparently Scottish/Irish/Spanish and Filipino, yet growing up in the UK with adoptive parents and thus having no cultural knowledge of Filipino culture, and never having been there, I find myself constantly mis-identified by how I appear to others. This is often initially with absolute certainty by those who see me, as being identified as a number of different, and often quite diverse, ethnicities. Over the years, I was curious what images and associations might exist in the people’s heads who mis-identified me, and how these might interplay with images of ‘ethnic stereotypes’ shaped through images in the past, as well as present...The underlying visual reference used as a basis for the final film ‘Wish You Were Here’ is a very early ethnographic documentary film of the Inuit – ‘Nanook of the North’ (Robert J Flaherty, 1922) – itself claimed to be partially contrived, as in cut away ‘constructs’ of life in the interior of an igloo, and the replacement of guns with spears to add to the ‘authenticity’. I deliberately parodied the original film by using a black and white silent movie genre, using subtitles and creating an aged grainy ‘flickering’ patina. As I could not film myself, cinematographer and collaborator Gareth Jones filmed me.'
Rob Underhill (USA) - 12min
It is 1956. Previous year, 14-year old Emmett Till from Chicago had gone missing in Money, Mississippi. Later, the boy's mutilated body was found in a river. William Bradford Huie of Look magazine sits down with the two men acquitted for the boy's murder, Roy Bryant Jr. and J.W. Milam, to discuss the trial. Not a word had been uttered outside a courtroom by them or their kin, until now... WOLF CALL (12 Best Film Awards), is the true-story crafted from public record that became a lightning rod for moral outrage pivotal in inspiring a whole generation to commit to social change in the 1950s. 'His death was a spark that ignited the Civil Rights Movement in America,' Ed Bradley, Emmy Award-winning journalist.