Tag Archives for " Feature Film "
I would like to say 'thank you' to all of the attendees, filmmakers and supporters of the very first Oregon Documentary Film Festival and write a brief festival recap. Fifteen short and feature length documentary films from all over the world were screened at this two-day event. With over two hundred and fifty total ticket purchases and attendees combined, the event was more successful than we ever dreamed, in our first year.
We kicked things off on Veterans Day, Friday November 10th, 2017 and screened 'Stu Steinberg,' a film about US Military Veterans with a call-to-action to offer better and more efficient medical support for those that have served in combat. Director Clay Kempf's film was voted "Best Feature Film" by the judges and Stu Steinberg himself was on hand for the screening with several veterans from the film.
Daniel Roher's "Ghosts of Our Forest" introduces the viewer to the musical and culturally rich, Batwa tribe. This documentary touched and inspired our judges.
Review: "A touching story about an African tribe that lost their home overnight and how they are trying to survive in today's world. You really feel for the children in this story and wonder how what their lives will be like in the future. The film features vivid images, great music and a story by Daniel Roher that unfolds in an hour, but feels like fifteen minutes."
"the indigenous Batwa tribe was forcefully removed from their ancestral home by the Ugandan government."
In 1992, as pressure from international conservation groups to protect the great forests of Uganda mounted and the indigenous Batwa tribe was forcefully removed from their ancestral home by the Ugandan government. One of the most ecologically diverse places on earth, the Bwindi impenetrable forest nurtured the Batwa, and in turn the tribe worshiped all that it gave them. Upon eviction, however, the Batwa received nothing in the way of compensation or support, and so fell into poverty.
A young Batwa named Gad Semejeri is doing everything he can to preserve his culture in the face of social oppression and substance abuse. Along with a group of young Batwa, he founded the Batwa Music Club, a band that strives to reclaim its cultural heritage by performing traditional songs that speak out against the injustices the the tribe has suffered.
With Gad’s leadership, the group is rehearsing for its biggest gig to date, a concert in Kampala where they will take centre stage and make the plight of the Batwa known to the whole of Uganda.
The young Batwa are threading together rapturous tales of traditional life and stories from Batwa elders. The Batwa Music Club struggles for survival on a daily basis and is still performing original music. Ipalaki is an inspiration and vibrant testament to the importance of indigenous knowledge in the globalized world.
Fattitude exposes the hollywood and media bias towards overweight people. The directors expose the bias and empower people of all body types with a great message. The judges loved this film and feel like it's a wake-up call for western society.
Fattitude is a feature length documentary that exposes how culture – particularly media culture - encourages weight bias and then offers alternative ways of thinking that embrace body acceptance at all sizes. Informed by a post-modern, post-colonial, feminist background, Fattitude is very conscious and attentive to the idea that fat hatred crosses the lines of race, class, sexuality and gender.
The film features a diverse variety of voices such as academic scholars and activists. Hollywood directors and writers, as well as, psychologists. Rebecca Phul, Jackson Katz, Marilyn Wann and Sonya Renee Taylor present their views. Virgie Tovar, Jen Posner, Lindy West, Ricki Lake, Winne Holzman, Guy Branum, Tess Munster and Andrew Walen include their testimonials as well.
"Fattitude is a conscious the idea that fat hatred crosses the lines of race, class, sexuality and gender."
We had an opportunity to catch up with director Lindsey Averill for a short interview about the "Fattitude" film's back story.
What drives someone to say, "this morning I'm going on a Salton Sea Walk and I won't stop for three years?" Director Corbin Schweitzer does a great job with telling the story of this environmental crisis. The disappearance of the Salton Sea could be catastrophic to the environment and Randy Brown's movement is worthy of attention.
The Salton Sea, California's largest lake, is rapidly drying up. After 2017, the largest rural to urban water transfer will exponentially accelerate the rate at which the sea shrinks. This will expose acres of dried lakebed. The exposed playa, containing 100 years worth of farm chemicals, could become airborne. This could send billowing clouds of toxic dust towards major population centers in the Southwest. The Salton Sea is located 230 feet below sea-level. In this desolate pocket of Southern California's Colorado Desert, the plight of the sea is largely ignored.
"Randy Brown, set out to do something no one had ever attempted to walk the entire shoreline of the Salton Sea."
There are a few outspoken people who claim to know how to save it. Randy Brown, community activist, set out to do something no one had ever attempted. To walk the entire shoreline of the sea. In June of 2015, with temperatures reaching 120 degrees, he set out on his 6 day, 115 mile journey. His mission is to raise awareness for the sea. A forgotten place of peace and beauty. Will the people be inspired to save it before it's too late?
We had a chance to catch up with Director Corbin Schweitzer for a behind-the-scenes look at "The Salton Sea."
"Several years ago, I received a call about a community activist, Randy Brown. He was seeking to do what no man had attempted before and walk around the hazardous 116-mile shoreline of California’s Salton Sea. This began what would become a three year journey to document his story. Ultimately we hoped to bring to light an incredibly beautiful and forgotten piece of natural history. The Salton Sea has been left to evaporate and disappear. At the end of this year, the remaining flows of the Colorado river will be diverted to outlying cities and areas. This will leave the Salton Sea without a new source of water. This film seeks to raise awareness and prevent what could become one of the worst ecological disasters ever recorded."
John West explores a dark part of US history in "Human Zoos." A racially charged story that will mesmerize you with the stories and reality of a time where people were exploited in ways that are unimaginable in today in society. You have to see it to believe it and then wonder why they didn't teach you this chapter in history class.
Thousands of indigenous peoples were put on public display in America in the early decades of the twentieth century.
Often touted as “missing links” between man and apes, these native peoples were harassed, demeaned, and jeered at. Their public display was arranged with the enthusiastic support of the most elite members of the scientific community, and it was promoted uncritically by America’s leading newspapers. The documentary also tells the story of a courageous group of African-American ministers who tried to stop one such 'Human Zoo' in New York City. The documentary features Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Pamela Newkirk, author of Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga.
In September 1906, nearly a quarter of a million people flocked to the Bronx Zoo in New York City. Many came for a startling new exhibit in the Zoo’s Monkey House. But it wasn’t a monkey they came to see. It was a man. His name was Ota Benga. A pygmy from the African Congo, Ota Benga was exhibited in a cage along with monkeys.
Benga was not alone. He was one of literally thousands of indigenous peoples who were put on public display throughout America in the early twentieth century. Often touted as “missing links” between man and apes and as examples of the “lower” stages of human evolution, these native peoples were harassed, demeaned, and jeered at. Their public display was arranged with the enthusiastic support of the most elite members of the scientific community, and it was promoted uncritically by America’s leading newspapers.
Human Zoos tells the horrifying story of this effort to dehumanize entire classes of people in the name of science. It will also tell the story of the courageous African-American ministers in New York City who tried to stop what was going on. Finally, the documentary will expose how some organizations are still trying to cover up their involvement in what happened and re-write the past.
The documentary featuresl interviews with a number of experts, including Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Pamela Newkirk, author of Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga.
We had a chance to catch up with Director John West to get a behind-the-scenes look at this powerful documentary film, Human Zoos.
On April 14th, 2009, Noah Schultz was arrested for attempted murder in Portland, Oregon. This is the story of his transformation. During his seven years of incarceration, Noah took advantage of every program, workshop and educational service provided. He pushed himself not only to be better, but to challenge our perceptions of what it means to be an inmate
From gang member and drug dealer, to college grad, author, and TEDx speaker, Noah's determination and spirit have launched him to success. Since his release in October of 2016, he continues to advocate for programs in youth correctional facilities, and has inspired countless other inmates to follow similar paths. Noah hopes to achieve reform not only in our prison systems but also in our nation's widespread views of how we perceive inmates and ex-cons. Noah's story is unique, but it doesn't have to be.
An incredible inspirational feature film about the survivors of traumatic brain injuries. Director David Brown takes the viewer through the process of recovery for the survivors and their families. The film is a favorite of the judges for it's detailed editing, music and diversity in each one of the four stories.
'Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery' is a hour-long character-driven documentary exploring the dramatic but little understood phenomenon of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Called 'the Silent Epidemic,' TBI impacts 2.5 million Americans and costs American society $60 billion every year. 'Going the Distance' focuses an intimate lens on the daunting, inspiring journeys of four TBI survivors and the people who love and care for them. The film’s profiles in courage include: Jason Poole, an African-American Iraq War vet nearly killed by a roadside bomb; Kristen Collins, a nurse who was badly injured in a motorcycle accident; Jay Waller, a Yale graduate who was the victim of a savage road-rage beating; and Ian McFarland, a six-year-old who survived the auto accident that made him an orphan.
For Jason, Jay, Kristen and Ian, 'Going the Distance' involves both acceptance of an impaired new self as well as learning to adapt to the changed person they have become. Although the individual stories and circumstances are unique, the dilemmas they face are universal and profoundly human, impacting that part of ourselves, the brain, that informs who we are and governs our personality, thoughts, feelings and perceptions. An injury to the brain is an injury to the essential self, which is why Kristen explains that she and all TBI survivors “have to reinvent who they are.” Interweaving cinema vérité scenes, interviews, home movies and stock news footage, 'Going the Distance' explores the physical, emotional and economic challenges of traumatic brain injury and disability for these survivors as they reinvent themselves.
The documentary also explores the parallel journeys of family members and friends whose lives are dramatically altered by TBI: most are totally unprepared to deal with a TBI survivor, and “caregiver burnout” is a huge and unacknowledged problem. The film features interviews with the characters’ professional caregivers, including physicians, psychologists and therapists, who provide enough scientific, medical and policy information to orient the viewer without resorting to abstract terminology or overwhelming the film with data.
Framing its individual stories within the broader social context of an embattled health care system and a nation coping the costs of the War on Terror, 'Going the Distance' paints a complex and compelling portrait of TBI survivors, their loved ones and communities. In spite of undeniable and enduring hardship, including life-long cognitive and emotional challenges, each protagonist has an inspiring recovery arc in which he or she regains a significant measure of his or her pre-injury dream and envisions a new life path. Their heroic efforts model the universal struggle to shape our destinies, and, in their example, we may find a reflection of our best selves.
Called 'the Silent Epidemic,' TBI impacts 2.5 million Americans and costs American society $60 billion every year.
We had an opportunity to catch up with director David Brown for a short interview about the "Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery" film's back story.