After Auschwitz

Each year more than 1.5 million people travel to Auschwitz to visit the former Nazi concentration and extermination camp. For future generations more than one hundred thousand historical objects have to be preserved carefully piece by piece. Meditatively watching the conservation work reveals the ephemeral nature of the objects and offers an opportunity to reflect on the content and the future of the cultural memory after Auschwitz.

Jury Award Winner: How to Change the World

Jerry AwardBeautifully crafted from a wealth of never-before-seen archival footage, How to Change the World chronicles the adventures of an eclectic group of young pioneers – Canadian hippie journalists, photographers, musicians, scientists, and American draft dodgers – who set out to stop atomic bomb tests in Amchitka, Alaska, and ended up creating Greenpeace. With cameras in hand and a belief in the power of images to change the world, the group transcended the personality clashes of its members to undertake some of the bravest and most significant environmental protests in history.

Plays with Jury Award Short Doc Winner Los Olvidados

 

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Almost Friends

A school program aims at fostering friendships between Israeli Jewish and Arab youngsters. Only 50 miles separates the two schools, but a vast national, cultural and ideological abyss also separates the students. Two young girls meet and experience a chemistry that seems to bridge the gap.  This film is a deft and succinct presentation of the basis of continuing conflict among Jews and Arabs on a small scale and personal level, but with politics as the subtext.

Preceded by A Composer

Almost There

A coming-of-old-age story about Peter Anton, living in isolated and dangerously squalid conditions, whose world changes when two filmmakers discover his art. Filmed over eight years, it’s a wild ride as one twist after another unfolds against a background of eye-popping art. This film is about outsider art, the elderly, mental illness, ethics in documentary filmmaking, the selfless spirit of caring people, the importance of regular home maintenance, the role pets play in people’s lives — and a few other things.

Screens with This is Not the End

Audience Award Winner: David & Me 7:00

When David McCallum, a 16 year old from Brooklyn, was tried and convicted for kidnapping, robbery and murder, filmmaker Ray Klonsky wasn’t even born. But when he heard David’s story and found the evidence leading to his 25-years-to-life sentence was questionable, Ray vowed to find the evidence that would vindicate him. David & Me is an emotional story about friendship, perseverance and an unwavering belief in justice.

Preceded by On Beauty

Solitary Plains

A lonely boy in the middle of a cruel North Dakota winter muses about the oil boom that has drawn his father and thousands of others to America’s Northern Plains in search of work. Solitary Plains is a stand-alone vignette from the Oscar nominated short White Earth, and is a return to SDFF for director Jensen.

Plays with Old South

Old South

In a black neighborhood, in Athens, GA, a very white, very Confederate flag flying fraternity moves in. What happens next may surprise you, but maybe it shouldn’t. Since the post-racial glow of the Obama election, and now in the aftermath of Ferguson, everyone’s talking about race. Sending a powerful message about community and hope, one block in Athens affords us a window into the underlying dynamics of race relations in the changing American South, and how to take crucial steps forward.



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Gignéville

Gigneville

Gignéville is the sweet story of star-crossed love found after the end of the Second World War when a million German soldiers worked as prisoners of war in France. Relationships between German soldiers and French women were persecuted, but the filmmaker’s grandfather fell in love with a French girl during his work as a prisoner. Over sixty years later he talks about the events for the first time.

A Hole in the Sky

Young Alifa looks up at the Somali sky. She thinks about her daily life as a shepherdess and knows that the day that will change her life forever is about to come.

Screens as part of Shorts Program 3

Tracing Roots

Tracing Roots is a heartfelt glimpse into the world of Haida elder and master weaver Delores Churchill. The film is a portrait infused with her passion and curiosity. It is also a mystery.  follows Delores on her journey to uncover the origins of a spruce root hat found in a retreating glacier in the Northern Canada. Her search to understand the roots of the woven hat crosses cultures and borders, and involves artists, scholars and scientists. The documentary raises questions about understanding and interpreting ownership, knowledge and connection.

Screens as part of Shorts Program 2

Jury Award Winner: Los Olvidados

Mexican American Artist Ramiro Gomez attempts to capture the Mexican immigrant experience by locating his artwork in authentic environments along the border. He relates both his own personal stories and those of the immigrants as he creates and places his art. This film follows the artist as he uses his work to document those stories.