Visitor's Day

An intimate portrait verite of one young man growing up at IPODERAC — a non-profit farm in Puebla, Mexico, dedicated to the care and social development of street children. This film follows the struggles of a neglected boy, Juan Carlos, who strives for self-acceptance and maturity in a sea of abandoned children.

The Emmy-nominated director sees the story as a beacon of hope and a positive depiction of our neighboring country.

School Play

A 5th grade theater production of The Wizard of Oz becomes a larger-than-life coming of age drama. As pressure mounts and with opening night rapidly approaching, these children — the class clown, the overachiever, the chubby kid, the stutterer — are forced to face their hopes and fears, and all their peers. In this hilarious tribute to the end of childhood, who knew growing up was so hard?

The Learning Alliance

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.

Laleh Complex

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.

The Scenes

Although art funding is short, Mt. Diablo Elementary gives their the kids the freedom to do their own skits, and “The Scenes” is the result. Director Laura Van Zee Taylor introduces us to the 5th grade comedy troupe known as ‘What the Heck Was That’. While their public school focuses on sports and STEM, these ‘proudly-weird’ kids create their own arts education. Without any adult help and despite a few nasty bullies, these kids come together to learn, grow and shine.

WOMAN FILMMAKER

Oyler

Based on the award-winning ‘Marketplace’ radio series “One School, One Year”, “Oyler” takes viewers through a year at the school, depicting Principal Craig Hockenberry’s mission to transform an inner city school into a community learning center. The story focuses on senior Raven Gribbins’ quest to become the first in her troubled family to finish high school. Neighborhood problems erode the school’s progress, and Hockenberry’s job is threatened, but ultimately Raven gets recruited to college, and a record number of students graduate Oyler.

A New Color: The Art of Being Edythe Boone

Edythe Boone may be 75 years old but is still fully engaged in bringing her art to the community. Her murals grace buildings from Berkeley to San Francisco, but she is above all a community educator. Boone tirelessly teaches both young and old in her unique method of mural painting. As events unfold, her nephew dies in police custody with his last words being “I Can’t Breathe”, throwing her work into turmoil.

Drawing the Tiger (2016 Special Jury Mention)

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.

WOMAN FILMMAKER