Feature Programs (Alphabetical)

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42 SECONDS OF HAPPINESS – East Coast Premiere
Director: Christina Kallas
Country: USA, Running Time: 95 min
A circle of thirty-something friends reunite for a weekend away to celebrate the same sex wedding of a member of their group. Yet, despite their best efforts to behave themselves, a series of surprise plans, unexpected arrivals and exposed secrets lead to an explosion of drama that, coupled with the flammable combination of hurt feelings, unresolved tensions, and lots of wine cannot be contained.
Preceded by
Director: JD Ferenc
Country: USA, Running Time 3:45 min
Josh Wells’ music video takes a unique look at gun violence and police brutality.


Director: Marlene “Mo” Morris
Country: USA, Running Time: 57 min
A joy-filled and yet heart-rending Harlem homecoming for this story about community, art and lives that matter. Spanning from Harlem to Berkeley and from Malcolm X to Eric Garner, Boone’s commitment to challenging inequality inspires hope. But when the death of her nephew ignites a national outcry, everything she has worked for so tirelessly is at stake.
Preceded by
BY JAMAL JOSEPH – Harlem Spotlight
Director: Mike De Caro
Country: USA, Running Time: 13:28
A short portrait of the filmmaker, professor, activist, youth advocate, and Oscar Nominee, Jamal Joseph. Formerly a young leader in the 70’s Black Panther Party, Jamal changed his life through and with the arts and is now a well respected writer/director based in his beloved Harlem.
STREETS – Harlem Spotlight
Director: Jamal Joseph
Country: USA, Running Time: 5:00
A view of life on the streets in Harlem
Director: Byron Harmon
Country: US, Running Time: 15:33
Fox 5 Films’ Zachary Kiesch spent the day in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, and the Pink Houses with Maino and Uncle Murda, two of the biggest rap stars in the game right now. We take you inside two of the most notorious neighborhoods in New York City and show you a side rarely seen on local news.


Director: Christopher Kirkley (in collaboration with Mdou Moctar and Jerome Fino) Country: Niger, Running Time: 75 min
A revolutionary story of one musician’s struggle to make it, against all odds, in the winner-takes- all Tuareg guitar scene of Niger.
Preceded by
Director: Jacob Krupnick
Country: Colombia, Running Time: 4:52 min
Desire and betrayal shot throughout the alleys and markets of Bogotá, Colombia. The story begins as our hero realizes her lover has left — and stolen her prize bird. With a seductive soundtrack by Pillar Point and featuring the sensational moves of Voguing artist Kia Labeija, what follows is an adventure through the city told through music and dance.
KOJO  –  World Premiere
Director: Michael Fequiere
Country: USA, Running Time: 8:27 min
A short profile piece on child prodigy jazz drummer Kojo Odu Roney.
Director: Paul Szynol
Country: USA, Running Time: 13:15 min
A short documentary about the prodigious talent and irrepressible spirit of a musically precocious 12-year-old blind boy who plays the piano.


Director: Priscilla Anany
Countries: Ghana/USA, Running Time: 102 min
A woman gives birth to a son with cleft lip and other health complications. Her life becomes a nightmare as she’s accused of impairing the child because she carried and delivered it. While she endures bashing from her community, she does everything in her power to find cure for the child. When all fails she decides get rid of the child in favor of a clean slate with a new love interest.
Preceded by
HOW WAS YOUR DAY? – East Coast Premiere
Director: Damien O’Donnell
Country: Ireland, Running Time: 13:30 min
A Woman is excited about the approaching birth of her first child.


CLARENCE – New York State Premiere
Director: Kristin Catalano
Country: USA, Running Time: 76 min
After fifty years away from academia, Clarence Garrett, an 85-year-old African-American WWII Vet, returns to the University of WI-Milwaukee to nullify his biggest regret–not earning his Bachelor’s Degree.
Preceded by
BEAUTIFUL LIES – World Premiere
Director: Tracey Anarella
Country: USA, Running Time: 10 min
Dementia serves as the vehicle for an 87-year-old artist to be able to talk about his life, his art and why he painted all through the alter ego he created in his head named “Charles.”
Director: Saman Hosseinpuor Country: Iran, Running Time: 3:41
An old couple are in their apartment, the man is sleeping and the woman is doing housework. She wants to change the fishbowl water but it slips out of her hand and falls on the ground. They’ve ran out of water and there’s no water for the fish. But with the help of the sleeping man they find some.


COLD NIGHTS HOT SALSA – Manhattan Premiere
Director: Edwin Gailits
Country: Canada, Running Time: 61 min
The passionate story of two young salsa dancers from Montreal, Canada, in love with dancing and each other, who, over three ambitious years, set their sights on winning a World Salsa Championship.
Preceded by
Director: Corin Michalski
Country: USA, Running Time: 13 min
Gerardo, a Mexican immigrant living in New York, feels isolated after moving to the city. Exhausted and alone he works as a janitor for a small studio where he rediscovers his passion for dance and connects with the present and the daughter he left behind.


Director: Emily Abt
Country: USA, Running Time: 88 min
Captured over two years, the feature length documentary about four disadvantaged fathers in New York City as they struggle to beat the odds and defy the deadbeat dad stereotype.
Preceded by
Director: Gine Therese Gronner
Country: Norway, Running Time: 15 min
Kim has been messing up his life. He lost his family on the way. Now, he wants one thing only: To spend some time with his ex-wife and their daughter. Like they used to before, if only for a few stolen moments.


DOGTOWN REDEMPTION – New York City Premiere
Director: Amir Soltani
Country: USA, Running Time: 95 min
Set in Oakland, California, DOGTOWN REDEMPTION is a story about Americans who survive off trash. Jason, the Olympic titan of recycling, Landon, a former minister, and Miss Kay, formerly a punk rocker, introduce us to the art, science, economics and politics of recycling: what it offers, how it touches and why it matters to the poor. Their struggles with addiction, mental illness, homelessness, and their triumphs, provides a glimpse into the dynamics of economic inequality, racial discrimination and political disenfranchisement in Oakland and beyond.


FOR KIBERA! – US Premiere
Director: Kati Juurus
Countries: Finland/Kenya, Running Time: 56 min
Self-taught radio journalist and cameraman, Boy Dallas, lives in one of Africa’s largest slums. One day he starts wondering why his native slum Kibera stays poor despite the many aid projects and NGOs that try to make life in Kibera better for its inhabitants.
Preceded by
THE VOICE OF THE KORA – New York City Premiere
Directed by Claudine Pommier
Countries: Canada/Gambia/France/Mali/Senegal, Running Time: 45 min
The kora is a harp-lute originating in West Africa. Traditionally it is played by the “Griots”, who have  been  for  centuries,  from  father  to  son, storytellers, diplomats, advisers, keepers of memories, poets. The Griot talks and sings while playing very elaborate music that gets enriched from generation to generation.


Directors: Kurt Sensenbrenner, Colin Sytsma
Countries: USA/Panama, Running Time: 66 min
Film looks at Eastern Panama which has suffered decades of government corruption and neglect that has impoverished the region. However, thanks to the tireless efforts of one priest to build infrastructure, protect watersheds, and conserve the rainforest, life is looking up for the locals.
Preceded by
Country: Cuba, Running Time: 9 min
A young girl in a Cuban pueblo leaves her school one afternoon with a secret.
Produced as part of the workshop of auteurs filming in Cuba with Abbas Kiarostami just months before his passing this Spring.


GOOD FUNK – East Coast Premiere
Directed by Adam Kritzer
Country: USA, Running Time: 73 min
Set in Red Hook, a Brooklyn neighborhood on the verge of gentrification, GOOD FUNK is the story of three generations of citizens whose lives intersect through acts of kindness both big and small.
Preceded by
Director: Tony Ducret
Country: USA, Running Time: 17 min
An abused dog escapes its captor and embarks on a quest for love and glory.


GOOD GRIEF – New York City Premiere
Director: Brandon Ford Green
Country: USA, Running Time: 103 min
Life pulled them apart. Cory drew them together. A film inspired by one of the world’s most beloved comics.
Preceded by
I’LL TEXT YOU – East Coast Premiere
Directed by David Lasdon
Country: USA, Running Time: 4 min
Two people meet on a blind date…Or is it?


HEAR THE SILENCE (Höre die Stille) – US Premiere
Director: Ed Ehrenberg
Country: Germany, Running Time: 95 min
One could actually get lost in the breathtaking cinematography and set design of this piece if not for the riveting story of the men and women at the time of the German attack on the Soviet Union in 1941. A small, lost unit of German soldiers is looking for shelter in a remote, small, snowy village in the Ukraine. They get separated from their company during battle and wind up deep within enemy territory cut off from their fellow troops.
Preceded by
Director: Alison Klayman
Country: USA, Running time: 4 min
This animated New York Times Op-Doc explores the life of Nadezhda Popova, known as Nadia, who became a World War II hero as part of a Soviet all-female bombing regiment.


Director: Daniel Maldonado
Country: USA, Running Time: 75 min
A meditation on urban communication that weaves two stories together, both inspired by true events in New York City. Part 1 is a lyrical tone poem concerning of a missing young man with Asperger’s Syndrome who wanders through the labyrinth-like subways, somehow unnoticed. Part 2 follows a gambling Ecuadorian livery driver who offers a ride to a stranded Chinese woman desperate to get home to her sick child. H.O.M.E. explores alienation & meaningful encounters through the lens of a “disconnected” city in constant motion.
Preceded by
Directed by Joie Lee
USA, Running Time: 8:08 min
A woman wrestles with honesty, integrity and two needy souls on the NY subway.
Director: Alexander Hankoff
Country: USA, Running Time: 5:16 min
A day in the life of Jerry, a pet store owner in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn as he tends to his pigeons and shares his philosophies about NYC.


I GO BACK HOME – JIMMY SCOTT – East Coast Premiere
Director: Yoon-ha Chang
Country: Germany, Running Time: 96 min
The story of jazz legend Jimmy Scott and disillusioned producer and composer Ralf Kemper who accepted the job to produce an album with the almost-forgotten icon. Jimmy Scott, friend of Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker and one of the last connections to the golden age of jazz, was described as “perhaps the most unjustly ignored American singer of the 20th century,” by the New York Times. Kemper becomes obsessed with the idea of bringing attention to his hero, but it takes a tragedy to put his thoughts into action. Ralf gathers some of the most important jazz musicians into the studio in tribute for Scott. Together with many of Scott’s old friends like Quincy Jones, Joe Pesci and James Moody, Kemper pursues his dream. He can’t give up. He spares no expense and reaches the limits of what can be done to capture Jimmy’s unique voice in a race against time.  Winner of Best Musical Documentary at SXSW this past Spring.


Director: Paula Gomes
Country: Brazil, Running Time: 83 min
Jonas is 13-years-old and his life dream is to maintain the circus that he created in his backyard. While he faces this challenge, he will live the adventure of growing up.
Preceded by
MARQUIS – World Premiere
Director: Maya Suchak
Country: USA, Running Time: 7:46 min
The story of Marquis Dixon who was sentenced to 9 years in state prison for stealing a pair of sneakers, told through the perspective of his mother Aisha.
GUILT TRIP – World Premiere
Director: Majestic Tillman
Country: USA, Running Time: 3 min
Shot in one single take, GUILT TRIP is the story of two cousins dealing with the aftermath of a crime gone wrong.


Director: Janet Paxton Gardner
Countries: Cambodia/USA, Running Time: 57 min
Sayon Soeun was abducted at age six and exploited by Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, and his family life and education were stolen. Breaking a 25-year silence, he takes us inside the Children’s Army as a witness to genocide. Footage from a lost archive reveals a war-torn country closed to Western media during the 1970s, and we follow Soeun’s remarkable recovery and redemption from painful childhood trauma. LOST CHILD celebrates the power of the human spirit to overcome oppression and make peace with an inconceivably difficult past.
Preceded by
Director: James Khehtie
Country: Australia, Running Time: 14 min
A man delivers telegrams to farming families during World War II in a rural community letting them know a husband or son was killed in action.
*Regarded as a film of artistic, cultural and historical significance by the OSCARS® | Academy Awards® Film Archive, THE TELEGRAM MAN is part of its permanent collection at the Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in Hollywood. The Archive collects, preserves and provides access to moving images that represent significant contributions to the art and science of motion pictures. Starring Australian and international screen legends Jack Thompson, Gary Sweet and Sigrid Thornton.


Director: Fredrik Oskarsson
Countries: Finland/Norway/Sweden, Running Time: 79 min
NUCLEAR NEIGHBOR isn’t just a film about a nuclear plant project, where the end justifies the means. It is also a story about a regular person’s mammoth task to overcome the powers that be.
Preceded by
Director: Stefan Beaumont
Country: USA, Running Time: 4:09 min
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – a junk man’s take on cleaning up our act.
MUIR SONG – Manhattan Premiere
Director: Janssen Powers
US, 2016 (3:18 min)
This film visually and emotionally captures the energy and attitude of exploring the Pacific Northwest through the eyes of people who do so religiously. Modern day explorers living and breathing the outdoors. Narrated by infamous Mountaineer Lou Whittaker who is a living example of explorer and environmentalist John Muir.


REDEMPTION SONG – North American Premiere
Director: Cristina Mantis
Countries: Brazil/Guinea/Italy/Senegal, Running Time: 64 min
This film sings the song of redemption that the African refugee Cissoko, dreams for his people and his land. Having arrived in Italy, in the hottest time of migration, Cissoko decides to return home to convince his young brothers not to emigrate in search of false dreams. Back in Africa, he begins to make projections in schools and villages to inform the people about the precarious living conditions of many immigrants, often dramatically close to slavery.
Preceded by
ALL THEY KNOW IS SHOOT – New York City Premiere
Director: Anike Bay
Country: USA, Running Time: 5:04 min
This is a civil rights Anti-Police Brutality protest music video for the artist Tripp Sticc for his new song of the same title.
Director: Susan Saltz
Countries: Congo, US, Running Time: 23:32 min
Out of the ashes of war torn Eastern Congo two boys emerge with an education, an adventure and a dream.


Director: Dawn Engle
Countries: Guatemala/USA, Running Time: 61 min
In 1959, a little girl is born into a poor family, in one of the most remote, mountainous areas of Guatemala. One year later, civil war breaks out and her tiny village is swept up in a tidal wave of violence. What can one family do to stand up for their rights, in a time of such great change? What can one young woman do, to tell the world what was happening, and to try to stop the suffering? What could the indigenous Maya people do, to gain a voice in the determination of their own future? This is a story about a family, a people, and a destiny. After more than five decades of political turmoil, the courage and tenacity of the indigenous Maya people of Guatemala shines through in this beautiful, tragic, and ultimately triumphant film, which tells their story of struggle and success, through the personal journey of 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Rigoberta Menchú Tum.
Preceded by
Director: Jeremy Ungar
Countries: Cuba/USA, Running Time: 16 min
Winners of the 2016 CUBADISCO Award for best vocal group, the Vocal Vidas are a female a cappella quartet from Santiago de Cuba — the cradle of Afro-Cuban music. This documentary explores their unique sound and tells the story of crafting a musical career in a society in which artistic merit is not measured solely by economic success.


Director: Phil Branch
Country: USA, Running Time: 61 min
Searching for Shaniqua is a documentary that examines the impact that unique, Afrocentric, Islamic and so-called “ghetto” names have on people’s lives.


SWEET DILLARD – World Premiere
Director: Jim Virga
Country: USA, Running Time: 54 min
From the first day of class to a national competition, SWEET DILLARD provides an inside look at one of the nation’s best public high school jazz bands.
Preceded by
Director: Megan Zebrowski
Country: USA, Running Time: 10:27 min
Film looks at the people that play on the city streets and trains and their inspiration to perform.


Director: Adrian Manzano
Country: USA, Running Time: 85 min
When a young Latina graduate returns to her native Bronx, she struggles to find a job, a career, a love, and herself.
Preceded by
THE QUANTUM LIGHTER (L’Encenedor Quàntic)
Director: Pau Escribano
Country: Spain, Running Time: 5:12 min
She thought it was just another night out. She didn’t expect she would see another side of him.


Director: Sharony Green
Countries: USA, Canada, Running Time: 58 min
A son travels to several cities to learn more about his father, the late jazz guitarist Grant Green.
Preceded by
WORLD’S NOT FOR ME – World Premiere
Director: Greg Charles Royal
Country: USA, Running Time: 13:02
A jazz musician wakes up from a coma in 2016 to find the world he once knew is gone on every level. An up and coming jazz musician, whose career is cut short in 1987, wakes up from a near 30 year coma to find a world out of control, musically, economically and culturally. Featuring former Duke Ellington trombonist Gregory Charles Royal
Director: Tom Bogaert
Countries: Belgium, Egypt, Switzerland, Running Time: 9:18 min
The video chapter of “1971, Sun Ra in Egypt” a visual arts project based on the life and work of the legendary American jazz pioneer, mystic, poet, and philosopher Sun Ra.


THE REMNANT – East Coast Premiere
Director: Karmia Olutade
Countries: China/USA, Running Time: 120 min
A group of orphaned child laborers in a second hand water factory struggle to escape and rediscover home in a drought-stricken world.


THE SISTER – US Premiere
Director: Joseph Israel Laban
Country: Philippines, Running Time: 80 min
In the midst of the traditional moryonan rites observed every Holy Week in the island province of Marinduque, Mariana receives a devastating news from abroad – her sister, Magda, who was working as a domestic helper in Saudi Arabia is dead. Mariana and her mother then have to deal with the tedious and expensive process of repatriating the remains of Magda.
Preceded by
Director: Shakti Bhagchandani
Country: USA, Running Time: 12 min
A day in the life of a woman in the Nation of Islam.


THIRSTY – World Premiere
Director: Margo Pelletier
Country: USA, Running Time: 97 min
Bullied, girly-boy Scott Townsend grows up to become drag queen sensation, Thirsty Burlington, known for her spot on impersonation of Cher. But is it enough? A true-life, musical adventure as dramatic as it is entertaining.


Director: Jennifer W Stein
Country: USA, Running Time: 80 min
The film recounts the now world-famous 1975 UFO abduction of Travis Walton and the impact it has had on his life over the intervening forty years — and on the lives of others who were also involved.
Preceded by
Director: Alexander Heringer
Country: Germany, Running Time: 11 min
A grievous loss puts a young woman in an endless struggle of escaping the past.


TWO WORLDS – World Premiere
Director: Maciej Adamek
Country: Poland, Running Time: 51 min
In this inspiring family portrait, 12-year-old Laura serves as the audience’s guide through life with her deaf parents, which is unusual, challenging and surprisingly ordinary.
Preceded by
DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR? – World Premiere
Director: Stephanie Mankins
Country: USA, Running Time: 43 min
A documentary about the filmmaker’s sister, deafened by spinal meningitis at age 3, and her decision to get a cochlear implant 38 years later.


Director: Benjamin Weill
Country: France, Running Time: 80 min
Film follows four inseparable teenagers in a small town in Brittany, France. As lifelong fans of the West Coast, they think they are real gangstas. Together as a “gang”, they are invincible, respected, fearless and nothing can reach them, certainly not the teasing and contempt of their fellow classmates. So when Fle-O, the leader of this merry gang learns that he has to leave his town and his friends at the end of the year, his whole world falls apart leaving him vulnerable when the most popular kid in school decides to make fun of them in front of everyone. Humiliated, our protagonists decide to take their revenge through one last expedition together that will lead them further than they would have imagined.
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Director: Wayne Williams
Country: USA, Running Time: 5:41
Aubrey, an easy going yet dangerously oblivious nine year old husband has to convince Bobbi, his eight year old devoted yet overly-sensitive wife, not to file for divorce after she witnesses an unforgivable transgression of his.
Director: Olivier Dressen
Countries: China, France, Running Time: 4:04 min
A world without adult, only ruled by kids. The story about 5 years old kids, living like adults in a wild wild world.


Director: Jonathan Ashley
Country: USA, Running Time: 54 min
A documentary on the American cultural stereotype of Wiggers—White rap fans who ‘act Black’. A group of White artists and activists share their thoughts, emotions and opinions on the subject while illustrating how their lives and consciousness were forever changed by their involvement in hip hop culture.
Preceded by
ANY DAY NOW  – Manhattan Premiere
Director: Albert Uria
Countries: Spain/USA, Running Time: 20 min
A short, sweet comedy about how short (and sweet) life can be…
Director: Dana Verde
Country: USA, Running Time: 20:10 min
When an interracial couple hosts a feast for family and friends to announce their pregnancy, what should have been a celebration quickly turns into a debate over the racial and ethnic identity of the unborn child (who has an African-American mother and a Latino father).