Following international river conservationist Mark Angelo, RiverBlue spans the globe to infiltrate one of the world’s most polluting industries — fashion. With its focus on our iconic everyday go-to wear, blue jeans, the harsh chemical manufacturing processes and irresponsible disposal of toxic waste are exposed. Keeping our jeans current to changing whims of fashion is destroying our rivers. This groundbreaking documentary examines the destruction of our rivers, its effect on humanity, and the solutions that inspire hope for a sustainable future.
Pepe wakes up every day with a smile on his face. Pepe Argulo is a 12 year-old boy with cerebral palsy. He lives with his family in one of the poorest parts of Lima, Peru. Together they fight to improve their situation, making sure never to lose track of the beauty of life and the love of family. This is an intimate portrait of a boy with joy in his heart.
Three brothers collect garbage to earn the money to pay for their school fees. They want to change their future by selling garbage in Lahore and studying. This is a portrait of resilience which celebrates children who dare to achieve their dreams.
From Africa, Abou watches the fence and imagines a future in Europe ahead of him. For over a year, he and thousands of other migrants have attempted to jump the enormous fence system that separates Morocco from a tiny land spit of Spain. Beyond this enclave Melilla spreads the Mediterranean towards Spanish mainland. Behind the camera, Abou portrays the struggle for dignity and freedom on the militarized frontier.
In a remote village in central Iran, students try to fulfill their dreams. Studying is still a big challenge for many as they must walk kilometers across wild landscapes to reach their school. Some keep going while others give up. One day, a car shows up in the village. It’s not an ordinary car but a magic car which sparks their imagination and makes them dream.
A kaleidoscopic picture of the pirate movie industry in Managua, Nicaragua; an immersive glimpse into lives built around selling bootleg movies in the street. This film is both a sensory exploration of specific intercultural spaces and a meditation on the way Hollywood products are transformed into basic commodities that people depend on for their daily survival. It invites us to consider a personal side of “piracy” that isn’t often seen.
“Art Connect” reveals the impact that art and creativity had in a group of ‘at risk’ teenagers from Laventille: the community in Trinidad and Tobago with the most violence. The story is told by these children who had access to different forms of art to express themselves. By talking, painting, singing, dancing and filming they allow us into their world.
“Rwanda & Juliet” follows eccentric Ivy League professor Andrew Garrod to Kigali, Rwanda, where he mounts Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with Rwandan college students from both Hutu and Tutsi backgrounds. Predominantly orphans, the cast of young Rwandans tackle their country’s past and their own futures. Hopes, expectations, pasts, personalities and cultures collide as opening night approaches.
This hard-hitting inside look at the ongoing conflict in South Sudan presents a close-up view of everyday wartime life in the Nuba Mountains. The film is shot both in the refugee camp where women and their starving children, such as Madina, have fled, and village life under a siege in which Nuba men are daily forced to defend themselves against attacks from Sudanese troops. Their personal stories, told alongside skirmishes and bombings, create a riveting commentary of the effects of war on civilians.
The Chocolate Islands: this film transports you to the islands off west Africa where the best chocolate in the world is grown, both organically and sustainably. You can practically smell and taste the chocolate as you learn where and how the chocolate we love is made from the seeds of the chocolate tree.
In French with English subtitles
A poetic portrayal of Congo in transition, seen through the eyes of public sector workers in a railway station, post office and the only fire station in the largest city, Kinshasa. Belgian director Kristof Bilsen’s cinéma vérité view of the daily lives of these workers tells us everything we need to know about poverty, neglect, corruption and decaying infrastructure in a city of 11 million people.
In French with English subtitles
SDFF 2016 Special Jury Mention: Feature Documentary
“Drawing the Tiger” is the intimate portrait of a Nepalese family’s daily struggle to survive off subsistence farming and the price that family pays for their golden opportunity to break the poverty cycle. Shanta, their brightest child, receives a charity scholarship to go to school in the capital city. She promises to return and free her family from poverty. But she doesn’t.
“Daughters of the Forest” follows the lives of a group of girls attending The Mbaracayú Forest Girls’ School. The school is surrounded by land where more than 95 percent of the forest has been burned and cleared. The school is where the girls learn both academically and through running businesses that support themselves and the school. We see the fulfillment of their vision: the best hope for changing the world is empowering the girls.