A retrospective of documentary films on Black Lives selected from the seven previous editions of the festival
Screening over 2 days. Fri. August 21 and Sat. August 22.
Friday, August 21
Just Listen, Ching Juhl, 15', USA, 2020
String players from around the world join in a vigil for Elijah McClain killed by police brutality. Hundreds of young and old, women, men, black, brown, and white people, with masks, gathered in Washington Square Park, NYC for a peaceful and touching event on June 29, 2020. Filmmaker Ching Juhl interviews young American Chinese violist Sean Juhl, African American violinist Sean Bennett, Russian Asian violinist Anya Ivanova, and African American violinist Lady Jess.
Black Lives Matter, Ching Juhl, 10', USA, 2020
Thousands of people join the June 2, 2020 protest and march in New York City, meeting at Foley Square, near City Hall, and passing through Lower Manhattan, Chinatown, to rally at One Police Plaza, the NYC police headquarters, shouting "I Can't Breathe!" The film depicts Black Lives Matter as a decentralized movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against African-American people.
Isaac Pope: the Spirit of an American Century, Rock Grant, 58', USA, 2018
An intimate view of 100 years of American history seen through Isaac Pope, an African American centenarian who's a spellbinding storyteller and unsung hero of war, the civil rights and workers' movements, and the tale of the nation's spirit, loss, and love. Grandson of enslaved people, son of sharecroppers, he yearned toward the American Dream. His life shows tectonic shifts in some interactions between races that show the way forward.
Stonewall with a T, Samy Nemir Olivares, 80', USA, 2019
The film examines the New York City transgender activism movement – spanning from Stonewall era to the present - in a decades-long struggle to acquire civil rights, recognition under the law and society, and fighting against discrimination. It’s an untold chapter of the LGBT history revisited 50 years after Stonewall. Interviews with the most active transgender activists of recent times never-seen-before footage of LGBT pioneer icons Sylvia River and
Marsha P Johnson.
Saturday, August 22
(In the) Executioner's Shadow, Maggie Stogner, 55', USA, 2018
The film tackles tough issues of justice, injustice, and capital punishment and underscores themes of race and economic inequities, high rates of wrongful incarceration, mental illness among inmates. This provocative film challenges viewers to question their deepest beliefs about the meaning of justice and to examine how the death penalty defines who we are as individuals and as a society.
Straight from the Pen, Paul Sutton, 51', USA, 2017.
An unprecedented creative writing class matches 24 prisoners -mostly lifers--with a dozen college students on a maximum -security yard in southern California. Prisoners learn to express themselves openly and honestly, many for the first time, to a group of strangers, in a setting where survival often demands alienation, disaffection, and aggression.
Inside/Outside, Nandini Sikand, 95', USA, 2019
Inside/Outside is a feature-length documentary film about women and mass incarceration in the United States as they struggle with the challenges of sexual assault, substance abuse, and often motherhood. Seen through the lens of a predominantly white county jail in a rapidly gentrifying town in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, this film explores challenges the women face inside and outside the jail. Inside/Outside addresses the hard and cold facts of the prison industrial complex.
Free "Meet the Filmmakers" sessions, panels, and Q&As will stream LIVE on the Festival's YouTube Channel from August 17.
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SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York (SRFF 2020) is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by LMCC.
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