Sebastopol film festival

SDFF Presents… DOCS MAKE HOUSE CALLS
2020 Virtual Film Festival Program Archive

Preview Week: Shorts w/ Filmmaker Conversations
Keeper of the Creek, filmmaker Dan Goldes
Rewilding Honeybees, filmmaker Cameron Neilson
A Pilgrimage, filmmakers: Sara Alexander & Brian Antonson
Three Red Sweaters, filmmaker Martha Gregory
All That Remains + filmmaker interview w/ Director/Producer Eva Rendle
Dick Ogg: Fisherman + filmmaker interview w/ Director Cynthia Abbott + Producer Andrea Leland (sponsored by Slow Fish/Slow Food Russian River)

Week 1: Opening Night – Our Time Machine + exclusive filmmaker interviews
Our Time Machine featuring filmmaker interviews with Directors Yang Sun and S. Leo Chiang

Week 2: SDFF 2020 Jury Winners – Midnight Family, Night Cleaners, The Whale
Midnight Family, filmmaker Luke Lorentzen
Night Cleaners, filmmaker Hannah Nordenswan
The Whale, filmmaker Iza Pająk

Week 3: SDFF 2020 SDFF 2020 Music Docs
The Poster Boys, filmmakers Joshua Lamme Hilliard and Bobo Simmons
Strange Tenants: Ska’d for Life, filmmaker Fiona Cochrane
That’s My Jazz, filmmaker: Ben Proudfoot

Week 4: SDFF 2020 SDFF 2020 Environmental Activist Films
The Wild, filmmaker by Mark Titus
Eye of the Pangolin, filmmaker Bruce Young
L’eau est la vie: From Standing Rock to the Swamp, filmmaker Sam Vinal

Week 5: Shorts Program 1 – Indelible Artists 
Hebo, filmmaker Kevin Wells
Kamali, filmmaker Sasha Rainbow
Long Yearning, filmmaker Elliot Spencer
Quiet Hours, filmmaker Paul Szynol
The Worlds of Bernice Bing, filmmaker Madeline Lim

Week 6: Hidden Histories: Seeking Social Justice 
Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066, filmmaker Jon Osaki
5 Blocks, filmmaker Dan Goldes & Robert Cortland

Week 7: Shorts Season? We Got You Covered! Summer Shorts Program 2
Green Screen Gringo, filmmaker Douwe Dijkstra
Knocking Down The Fences, filmmaker Meg Shutzer
Motorcycle Man, filmmaker Daniel Lovering
Neighbours, filmmaker Trond Kvig Andreasson

Week 8: Identity and Performance on Stage and Screen
Gay Chorus Deep South
Identity & Performance Program: Siudy Entre Mundos: 50 performances of the American Dream

Week 9: Who Are You? Part 1
Dear Homeland
Where We Belong

Documentaries Make House Calls Preview:
Shorts + Conversations 1

May 7 – May 17 — Total Running Time: 77 Minutes

Sebastopol Center for the Arts proudly presents Documentaries Make House Calls from Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival. Docs Make House Calls will be streaming films at intervals, beginning June 19 and ending Oct. 18.

All of these stories selected for DMHC are in keeping with current circumstances — close to home. While the air we share has become a carrier of danger we stay put to diffuse and defeat the threat. Smog, frantic schedules and routine are lifted. While desperation exists, it’s also a time of introspection and reassessment. Our values and connections rise to the fore: family, charity, recognition and stewardship of that which nourishes and sustains.

This collection of films is presented as a touchstone in troubled times. The filmmakers’ voices support and expand our appreciation for one another. For many of us they will resonate far into the future.

More extraordinary feature length and short films from SDFF 2020 are coming directly to you online through Docs Make House Calls. Check out sebastopolfilm.org to keep up with special interest stories, news and the opportunity to view more movies that matter.

To survey upcoming films in the DMHC online series, click here.

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“If you’ve ever thought ‘Someone should do something about that litter problem’, remember, you’re someone.”

Keeper of the Creek

Filmmaker: Dan Goldes

US, 2018, 5 mins

Official Selection: EkoFilm Poland Nowogard, Golden State Film Festival Los Angeles, Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival Kuala Lumpur  Culture Award

“Keeper of the Creek” is director Dan Goldes’s film about his brother, Joel, who has adopted a forgotten creek and watershed near his home. Without fanfare, he has diligently worked for 10 years on cleaning the creek, understanding that “we all live downstream” and that the health of the waterway impacts the health of the surrounding neighborhood. In an era of cynicism and divisiveness, Joel quietly shows that one person can make a difference. This isn’t director Bob Goldes’s first time at SDFF or his only film selected as part of SDFF 2020. His feature, “5 Blocks,” about gentrification on Market Street in San Francisco was also an official selection for SDFF 2020’s original festival and is well worth looking up!

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Sebastopol film festival

Farmworkers find themselves in an increasingly precarious position a year after wildfires ravaged the Northern California vineyards in which they worked. The current pandemic has again magnified the a heightened state of insecurity and inequality, and risks to life and limb these workers experience on a daily basis

All That Remains

Filmmaker: Eva Rendle

US, 2019, 20 mins

Winner-Student Academy Awards; Official Selection-
Wild & Scenic Film Festival 2020, Mill Valley Film Festival 2019, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival 2020

A year after wildfires ravaged Northern California’s Wine Country, its vulnerable population of farmworkers, many of them undocumented, find themselves in a heightened state of insecurity and inequality. All That Remains follows the second responders and vineyard workers who are still dealing with the aftermath of the fires, long after the media has turned away. Immigration, labor, and housing issues that have been building in Napa and Sonoma for decades, only to be brought to the surface by one of the deadliest natural disasters in California history.

                                     

Short is complemented by exclusive interview between filmmaker Eva Rendle and SDFF programmer Jeffrey Zankel.

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A filmmaker explores memory and the way that we use technology to record our lives; sometimes at the expense of being present for them. Filmmaker Martha Gregory utilizes her grandfather’s 16mm home videos as her medium. This journey into family archives employs a very personal story to examine how memory is captured as a moment in time, and breathes new life into what was once thought lost forever.

Three Red Sweaters,

Filmmaker: Martha Gregory

US, 2017, 8 mins

Awards: SDFF 2018 Critic’s Choice; Aspen Shortfest 2017 Best Doc; Middlebury New Filmmakers Fest 2017 Jacob Burn Film Center Creative Culture Award

Photographer Sally Mann once wrote: “Before the invention of photography, significant moments in the flow of time of our lives would be like rocks placed in a stream; impediments that demonstrated but didn’t diminish the volume of the flow and around which accrued the debris of memory, rich in sight, smell, taste and sound.” Do photographs and film help us remember the past or remove us from it? As visual media becomes ever more ubiquitous, do we need our memories? Are our smart phones a barrier between us and experience?

This film evolved over many months of research and interviews and then took on a new form when filmmaker Martha Gregory gained access to hours of archival footage shot by her grandfather in the 50s, 60s and 70s. With a wealth of incredible images she had a new angle from which to explore her initial question; how are our memories changing now that we have the ability to document every moment of our lives? The film’s course was then altered again when she realized her Grandfather would not live to see the project completed; a project to which he had been invaluable.

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Sebastopol film festival

Dick Ogg: Fisherman tells the compelling story of the challenges facing the California Dungeness Crab fishing industry and one man’s passion to keep the fisheries alive and thriving.

Dick Ogg: Fisherman

Director: Cynthia Abbott

Director: Prod. Andrea Leland

US, 2019, 9 mins 2020 Awards: International Ocean Film Festival Best Short, Big Sky International Film Festival Official Selection

Living and fishing in the Bodega Bay area for 55 years, Dick is forced to confront the realities of a warming ocean, the creation of a Marine Projected Area in the local fishing grounds, and derelict crab pots. Dick wants to see organic sustainable fishing practices but daunting challenges are causing local fishermen to leave the profession. Here Dick faces these challenges with solutions and actions to keep the local fisheries alive.

                                     

Short is complemented by exclusive interview between filmmakers Cynthia Abbott & Andrea Leland and SDFF programmer Jeffrey Zankel.

                                     

Dick Ogg: Fisherman streaming at SDFF 2020 is sponsored by

Sebastopol film festival

Join Sonoma County artist Genevieve Barnhart on her 97 year pilgrimage through life and art.

A Pilgrimage

Director & Producer: Sara Alexander

Director of Photography & Editor: Brian Antonson

US, 2017, 10 mins

When Genevieve Barnhart, now 97, was invited to assemble a retrospective of her sculptures and photographs, her first thought was, “Why would I want to do that?” Her second was, “Maybe I can inspire ‘little women’ to do big things.” This is a cinematic adaptation of her astounding, auto-biographical one- woman show, tracking this iconic local artist’s life and her work’s global reach.

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Honeybees have been domesticated over hundreds of years, however now with colony collapse disorder, rewilding them might be the solution to saving them.

Rewilding Honeybees, Filmmaker: Cameron Neilson 

United States, 2020, 11 mins

Rewilding practices are a radical shift in beekeeping towards the preservation and protection of the honeybees. This film showcases the work of Michael Thiele, and his vision of symbiotic narratives and an apiculture paradigm which integrates natural bee life cycles as guiding principles. You see the creation of log hives, which Michael puts high up in trees to mirror the natural nest preferences of honeybees, using the research of scientist Thomas Seeley. Throughout the film Michael inquiries into the current conceptions of humans relationship to nature and redesigns the ways in which we live with bees.

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Week 1: Our Time Machine
Featuring interviews with Yang Sun & S. Leo Chiang

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Our Time Machine

Filmmakers:

S. Leo Chiang & Yang Sun

China, 2019, 86 mins 

 

Our Time Machine streaming at SDFF’s Docs Make House Calls is sponsored by the Gravenstein Grill.


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When influential Chinese artist Maleonn realizes that his father Ma Ke, an accomplished Peking Opera director, is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, he invites his father to collaborate on his most ambitious project to date—a haunting, magical, autobiographical stage performance featuring life-size mechanical puppets called “Papa’s Time Machine.” As they create this play, the two men confront their mortality before time runs out and memories are lost forever. 

AWARDS

China Academy Awards-Best Documentary Film, Tribeca Film Festival-Best Cinematography 2019, LA Asian Pacific Film Festival Grand Jury Award, IDFA Official Selection 2019, Winner-DocEdge Film, Minsk International Film Festival Listapad 2019 Grand Prix, Indie Street Film Festival 2019

 

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Yang Sun

Director – Producer – Cinematographer

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Shanghai-based director and cameraman Yang Sun has directed several short documentaries. This is his feature-length debut.  See his opening remarks for our screening here.

S. Leo Chiang

Director – Producer – Writer

Sebastopol film festival

S. Leo Chiang is a filmmaker based in San Francisco and Taipei. He co-founded the Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc), and is a documentary branch member of the Academy. Watch him introduce our screening of the film here.

Our Time Machine Website

Facebook: @ourtimemachinefilm – Instagram: @ourtimemachinefilm – Twitter: #ourtimemachinefilm 

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Week 2: SDFF 2020 Jury Winners

Feature: Midnight Family, filmmaker Luke Lorentzen
Short: Night Cleaners, filmmaker Hanna Nordenswan
Mini: The Whale, Iza Pająk

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Sebastopol film festival


MIDNIGHT FAMILY

Filmmaker: Luke Lorentzen

US, 2020, 90 mins

In Mexico City, the government operates fewer than 45 emergency ambulances for a population of 9 million. This has spawned an underground industry of for-profit ambulances often run by people with little or no training or certification. An exception in this ethically fraught, cutthroat industry, the Ochoa family struggles to keep their financial needs from jeopardizing the people in their care. When a crackdown by corrupt police pushes the family into greater hardship, they face increasing moral dilemmas even as they continue providing essential emergency medical services.

Filmmaker Luke Lorentzen accepts his jury award for Best Feature here.

Midnight Family trailer here.

For more information on the film, check out their website midnightfamilyfilm.com or catch them on all of the socials @MidnightFamilyFilm.

Selection of Awards: Special Jury Award for Cinematography, U.S. Documentary, Sundance Film Festival; Best Film & Best Director, Guadalajara International Film Festival; Premio Guerrero de la Prensa, Red de Prensa Mexicana de Cine;Firebird Award for Best Documentary, Hong Kong International Film Festival; Cine Latino Documentary Audience Award, MSPIFF; Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature, Cine Las Americas; Best Mexican Documentary, DOQUMENTA, Queretaro; Grand Prix, Russian Press Prize and IFFS Prize Message to Man Film Festival, Saint Petersburg; IDA Documentary Awards, Winner, Best Editing, Best Feature and Best Cinematography.

SDFF 2020 Jury winner-Shorts-laurels
DMHC presents SDFF 2020 winner-shorts


NIGHT CLEANERS

Filmmaker: Hanna Nordenswan

US, 2019, 24 mins

After sunset familiar New York spaces turn into something else entirely; shadowy worlds where only the thoughts of the night cleaners can be heard.

Night Cleaners is about the people who clean up while most of the population sleeps. It explores the relationship between spaces and the cleaners who go through them at night, while shining a light on people who are rarely noticed.

The stories of the cleaners have similarities – most are immigrants and all have a special connection to the space they clean. Night Cleaners peaks behind the scenes lets us witness the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Selected Awards: Visionary Documentary, Oaxaca International Film Festival; Best Doc, Nordic International  Film Festival; FIPA Selection and New Doc shortlist.

Watch Night Cleaners Trailer Here.

Filmmaker/journalist Hanna Nordenswan accept her SDFF 2020 Jury Award for Best Short Here.

For more information about the film and filmmaker, go to hannanordenswan.com or catch her on her socials – instagram: @nordenswanson, facebook: @hanna.nordenswan,  twitter: @HannaNordenswan.

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SDFF 2020 Jury Winner for Minis The Whale

THE WHALE

Filmmaker: Iza Pająk

Poland, 2018, 8 mins

A whale was found at the side of Vistula river in Warsaw. How he got there? Was it possible to save him?

This experimental documentary by young Polish filmmaker Iza Pająk has also been honored with a bundle of audience and juried awards at Red Rock, and has also won at the 2019 Canberra Short Film Festival and at the 2019 Millennium Docs Against Gravity.

Filmmaker Iza Pająk accepts her jury award for Best Mini here.

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Week 3: Music Program

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Sebastopol Film

Two young artists help develop a visual language that became an integral part of Austin’s music scene and underground culture, beginning in the 1960s and 70s.

The Poster Boys, 2019
Filmmakers: Joshua Lamme Hilliard, Bob Simmons
72 mins. U.S.A.
Facebook: @PosterBoysTheMovie
Watch Trailer 

Armed only with pen and ink, a few artists found a need and filled it, and along the way, changed a sleepy Texas town into a vibrant international city. The Poster Boys is the story of a few artists who pooled their talents to visually inform a cultural revolution in Austin, Texas. Beginning in the proto-psychedelic late 60’s through to the cosmic cowboy 70s, they created thousands of images to promote the music and defined the city along the way. In so doing, they set a scene that went on to define an internationally recognized artist-centered city. This feature doc is a tale about a special time and a place that will not be seen again, but begs to be examined and celebrated. The film drops a formal film score and instead is set against the music of the era, including Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, Shiva’s Headband, Mance Lipscomb, and other other psychedelic, blues and country tracks of its day.

Sebastopol Film

Strange Tenants: Ska’d for Life
Filmmaker: Fiona Cochrane
2019, 53 mins., Australia
See TrailerVisit Website 

Strange Tenants were the “Godfathers of Australian Ska”, emerging in the 1980s in the wake of UK two-tone ska bands like The Specials but producing original political ska songs unlike most other Australian ska bands. 36 years later they’re still around and still political.

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Milt Abel II, a world renowned pastry chef, reflects on his relationship with his deceased father Milton Abel Sr., famed Kansas City Jazz musician.

That’s My Jazz, 2018
Filmmaker: Ben Proudfoot,
14 min, U.S.A.
Social Media Handle: @breakwaterstudios

WEBBY AWARD WINNER

Milt Abel II, the son of Kansas City jazz legend, Milt Abel Sr., longed to follow in the fortuitous footsteps of his father, but on a different stage. From a young age he found his passion in the culinary arts, working his way from being a dishwasher in diners to the head pastry chef at Thomas Keller’s prestigious restaurant, The French Laundry, and sous pastry chef at the two-Michelin-star Noma. But while Milt II was rising to the top in his career, his father’s was slowly coming to an end. “That’s My Jazz” follows Milt II at the peak of his career yet facing the realization of his own limitations. Finding himself at a critical crossroad of life, Milt II pushes the button to turn back time, reflecting on the rise of his star and its intersection with the sunset of his father’s.

Sebastopol Film

How Do You Save What You Love?

The Wild
Mark Titus, Director
2019, U.S., 62 minutes

By suddenly dismantling safeguards the EPA had enacted to protect the salmon, water and people of Bristol Bay – the current political regime in the United States has unilaterally revived a mining corporation’s relentless pursuit to build North America’s largest open-pit copper mine – directly in the headwaters of the most prodigious wild sockeye salmon run in the world.

This urgent threat spurs filmmaker, Mark Titus back to the Alaskan wilderness – where the people of Bristol Bay and the world’s largest wild salmon runs face devastation if a massive copper mine is constructed. The Wild is a race against time.

Festivals & Awards
Doc LA 2019—Best Environmental Documentary, Rod Stewart Award for Ocean Conservation 2020—Best Film, Boston Film Festival 2019—Eco Film Award; Breckenridge Film Festival 2019—Winner Best Documentary; Mystic Film Fest 2019—Best Conservation Film

www.thewildfilm.com  l  @thewildfilm, @augustisland

The Wild is sponsored by

Sebastopol film festival

Eye of the Pangolin
Filmmaker: Bruce Young, 2019
South Africa, 46 min. + Filmmaker Conversation

The search for an animal on the edge…

Due to an increasingly insatiable market in Asia, their pangolins have disappeared almost entirely. They are poached and killed for the supposed medicinal value of their scales and as a dining delicacy. Due to an increasingly insatiable market in Asia, their pangolins have disappeared almost entirely. They are poached and killed for the supposed medicinal value of their scales and as a dining delicacy.

Two award-winning South African filmmakers are on a mission to capture the African pangolin on film in the hope that if people come to know it, they will care enough to help end this horrific trade.

Website  l  f: @pangolin.africa l t & i @PangolinAfrica l #EyeOfThePangolin

Sebastopol Film

L’EAU EST LA VIE:
FROM STANDING ROCK TO THE SWAMP
Director Sam Vinal, 2019, U.S., 24 minutes
On the banks of Louisiana, fierce Indigenous women are ready to fight—to stop the corporate blacksnake and preserve their way of life. They are risking everything to protect Mother Earth from the predatory fossil fuel companies that seek to poison it. Cherri Foytlin leads us on a no-nonsense journey of Indigenous resistance to the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (BBP) in the swamps of Louisiana.

This struggle is not over a singular pipeline. Rather, the pipeline is one piece of an ongoing legacy of colonization and slow genocide.

www.mutualaidmedia.com/water-is-life  l  @mutualaidmedia  I  View Trailer

WEEK 5: INDELIBLE ARTISTS – SHORTS PROGRAM 2

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HEBO

Filmmaker: Kevin Wells, 2019, U.S., 11 mins

Language: English, Subtitles: No

Hebo showcases the work of Sam Ezell, an outsider folk artist in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and explores his struggle to overcome sudden partial blindness.

Hebo explores the work of Sam Ezell, an outsider folk artist in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Sam has been a maintenance worker at the Daniel Boone Village since 1970, and is a lifelong collector of folk art and antiques. If he isn’t working or junk hunting, Sam is painting. He started painting at the urging of Bernice Sims, a folk artist from Brewten, AL, who told Sam she was going to be mad if he didn’t paint her a picture. He painted Bernice a sunflower and hasn’t stopped. In 2015, Sam had a stroke that blinded him in one eye, and he feared he’d have to quit painting. Sam began experimenting with painting large abstracts as a way to improve his vision, and has been hooked ever since. Hebo chronicles Sam’s surprising artistic journey and explores the creative spirit in the face of adversity.

Website: http://www.krwells.com/hebo
Social Media: facebook @hebodoc, twitter @stringerwells

Festival Appearances + Awards
Official selection 2020
: Ethnografilm, UFVA, South Georgia Film Festival, The Magnolia Independent Film Festival

Official selection 2019: Utopia Film Festival, Film Carrboro Fest 2019, Cucalorus Festival 2019, Indie Grits 2019, NHdocs 2019, Full Bloom Film Festival 2019

 

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KAMALI

Filmmaker: Sasha Rainbow, 2019, U.S., 24 mins

Language: Tamil, Subtitles: Yes

A single Indian mother fights for her daughter’s empowerment through skateboarding.

After the “skating Sari girls’ featured in the Wild Beasts’ video Alpha Female went viral, filmmaker Sasha Rainbow was overwhelmed by the public’s response to these young women, who were symbols of rebellion, individualism, self-possession and independence. She wanted to the story of how skateboarding changed these young women’s lives. While shooting the music video, Rainbow met 7 year-old Kamali, a courageous and charismatic skater girl and her mother Suganthi, who made their first trip outside of the small village in which they lived, where Kamali was the only skater girl. Against the wishes of the family, Suganthi is determined to give her daughter a chance to break the family’s cycle of poverty and face the future as an independent woman, a fate Sugathi was denied.

This inspiring documentary short not only produces a symbol of freedom in its depiction of Kamali, it is also a way of encouraging more young girls to following Kamali’s footsteps, and helping Kamali and her mother make positive changes for the women of their village now and into the future.

Website: https://www.kamali-film.com
Social Media: Facebook @Kamalifilm, Twitter @itssasharainbow

Festivals + Awards
Best Short Documentary – Atlanta Film Festival, Best Director – Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival, Outstanding Documentary – DC ShortsFilm Festival, Best Documentary Short – Raindance Film Festival, Audience Choice Award -Short Film – Tacoma Film Festival, Best Shorts Spotlight – SCAD Savannah Film Festival, Best Short Documentary – Free Spirit Film Festival. Best Documentary – Hamilton Film Festival, Best Documentary Short – Camerimage, Best Documentary Film – Norwich Film Festival

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LONG YEARNING – MODERN CHINA, ANCIENT POEMS

Filmmaker: Elliot Spencer, 2017, U.S., 25 mins

Language: Chinese, English Subtitles: Yes

Long Yearning is a haunting, evocative documentary that stitches together impressionistic footage of industrialized labor in modern Chinese factories with traditional poetry.

Long Yearning is an Avant-Garde, cinematic exploration of the lives of Chinese factory workers and the nature of repetitive industrialized work. The film is intermixed with written excerpts of traditional Chinese poetry, creating a surreal merging between modern and ancient China. The film renders a rhythmic, aestheticized depiction of contemporary labor and industrialization, and creates something akin to an emotional history, imbued with human pathos and poetry.

In correspondence with SDFF, filmmaker Elliot Spencer gave a thorough explanation of his film and the relationship between its experimental form and its subject matter…


“China is known to many as the factory of the World, and yet we rarely see the people who work there or contemplate the nature of repetitive work carried out by these individuals. Long Yearning takes the audience up close to the workers through intimate time-lapse and slow-motion portraiture.

I researched and shot the film while living and working in China over the course of three years. During my time in China, I learned to speak Mandarin and was invited to visit several rural factories, which allowed me to film internally.

I wanted to create a film that went beyond what I was seeing. The imagery captured has been heavily affected through layering and motion blurring to create a distinctive visual style, which aims to challenge the audience to look closer at the individual factory workers.

Instead of crafting a straight documentary I felt that a more creative approach could better evoke thought and questioning from audiences. In many respects making this film was a return to my grassroots in experimental filmmaking.

The Chinese poetry featured in the film was carefully chosen and accurately translated into English. It gives a rare insight into the inspired minds of China’s ancient poets and today’s factory workers carrying out industrialized work.”

—Elliot Spencer Director


Website: http://www.elliotspencer.com/long-yearning.html

Awards:  Best Human Rights Film – 5th Life After Oil International Film Festival 2018, Best Experimental Film – ATOM Awards 2017, Best Experimental Film at the IV SMCFF in Russia , Best Documentary at  the ASIA Peace Festival 2017, Screened at the 2017 Hancheng International Film Festival, China.

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QUIET HOURS

Filmmaker: Paul Szynol, 2018, U.S., 14 mins

Language: English   Subtitles: No

Donald Hall, America’s Poet Laureate and winner of the National Medal of Arts, lives in the fragile space between loneliness and solitude.

Before Donald Hall died in June 2018, the 89 year-old American poet laureate let filmmaker Donald Hall into his home in rural New Hampshire. In the film, Hall reflects on his poetry, in which death, loss and memory are prominent themes, and the one great love of his life: the poet Jane Kenyon, his second wife, who passed away in 1995. The film has a meditative, mournful quality not unlike Hall’s poetry.

Website: www.itchydogfilms.com
Social Media: @paulszynol

Awards/Appearances: This film appeared in a showcase of cinematic, documentary shorts curated by The Atlantic.

Quiet Hours sponsored by Sebasopol poets Rebecca Evert and Larry Robinson, two poets who reside in Sebastopol.

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THE WORLDS OF BERNICE BING

Filmmaker: Madeline Lim, 2013, U.S., 34 mins

Language: English Subtitles: No

The Worlds of Bernice Bing explores the life, activism and art of this Abstract Expressionist painter, radical thinker, Buddhist, feminist, and Chinese American lesbian.

Riding the waves of American history, The Worlds of Bernice Bing examines the life, activism and art of this Abstract Expressionist painter, beat-era existentialist, Buddhist, feminist, activist, and Chinese American lesbian. This poignant documentary is a lush tribute to Bernice Bing, the little-known foremother of Asian American avant-garde art and does justice to her legacy as a San Francisco icon.

The film documents the importance of Bing’s art and life’s work in American Art history using archival footage and interviews with scholars, colleagues and friends. Rather than following the trends of the day, Bing created art on her own terms, from her art studio in North Beach, to her groundbreaking community work and her later life in rural northern California. This short puts her life and art into perspective as groundbreaking and inspirational models for the present day.

Read Lydia Matthews “Quantum Bingo,” about Bing’s critical place in American Art History, written for a 1999 retrospective of Bing’s work at the SOMA Cultural Center.

For more on the film and Bernice Bing: https://www.aawaa.net/the-worlds-of-bernice-bing
Social Media: @QWOCMAP

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Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 examines the false information and political influences that led to the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, while also drawing parallels with the current climate of fear, targeting of immigrant and religious communities, and similar attempts to abuse the powers of the government.

Alternative Facts:
The Lies of Executive Order 9066

Filmmaker: Jon Osaki, See Filmmaker Interview Now!
2018, U.S.A., TRT: 65 mins
Language: English, Subtitles: No
Trailer: vimeo.com/358876772, Website: 5blocksproject.com, Socials – @urbanstreetfilms
www.alternativefacts9066.com  l  ig: @alternativefactsfilm   l  fb: @alternativefacts9066

Synopsis

Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 is a documentary feature film about the false information and political influences which led to the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.

Alternative Facts sheds light on the people and politics that influenced the signing of the infamous Executive Order 9066 which authorized the mass incarceration of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans. The film will expose the lies used to justify the decision and the cover-up that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Alternative Facts will also examine the parallels to the current climate of fear, attitudes towards immigrant communities, and similar attempts to abuse the powers of the government

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5 Blocks

Filmmaker: Dan Goldes + Robert Cortlandt, 2019, U.S.A., TRT: 50 mins
Language: English, Subtitles: No
5blocksproject.com,  l  Socials – @urbanstreetfilms

A San Francisco neighborhood undergoes its most dramatic change in 50 years.

Synopsis:
San Francisco’s Market Street was once the grandest boulevard in America. Though located just minutes from City Hall, the area fell into decline and became home to some of the city’s most marginalized populations. Today, tech companies and those they employ confront the realities of existing in one of the City’s poorest neighborhoods. Five Blocks explores income disparity, changing demographics, and the nature of place.

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WEEK 7: SHORTS WEATHER? WE GOT YOU COVERED! SHORTS PROGRAM 2

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sebastopol-film festival

Green Screen Gringo
Filmmaker: Douwe Dijkstra, 2016, Netherlands, 16 mins
Language: English, Portuguese  Subtitles: No
Film WebsiteSee Trailer

Behind a green screen, a foreigner finds his way in an enchanting – and yet turbulent – Brazil. Where the streets are a stage for politics, art and affection, a gringo can only watch. The result is a mixtape-portrait on modern day Brazil seen through the eyes of the visitor.

A documentary about AJ Andrews, the first woman to win a Rawlings Gold Glove, and her struggle to make it as one of the best professional softball players in the world.

Knocking Down The Fences
Filmmaker: Meg Shutzer, 2019, U.S., 12 mins
Language: English, Subtitles: No
Social Media: @knockingdownthefences 

Film WebsiteSee Trailer

“When I first heard about AJ and saw some of her flying catches, I could not believe that I had never heard of her.  AJ Andrews should be a household name. But I didn’t know about her because the mainstream media wasn’t covering her story. So I made this film not only to tell people about AJ and to celebrate her achievements but also to unpack the racism and sexism in sports and the media that have kept us from knowing her.” 

 -Knocking Down The Fences filmmaker Meg Shutzer

Knocking Down the Fences tells the story of a superstar athlete you might not have heard of– and why the sports industry hasn’t put her on your radar. AJ Andrews is the first woman to win a Rawlings Gold Glove, an award that has been given to the best fielders in Major League Baseball for decades. Her skills are outstanding, but winning the award did not change the fact that Andrews earns less than $15k a year as a professional softball player. And though Andrews is hopeful, she still has to fight against an industry that is more willing to pay female athletes to model than to play their sport.

“I first learned about Dave Roper from my father, who raced motorcycles in the ’60s and ’70s. He had sold Roper a bike and spoke admiringly of him. Years later, after becoming a journalist and filmmaker, I learned that Roper had become a kind of folk hero of the motorcycling world, partly because of his longevity in the sport, but also because of his philosophical approach to racing and life. So I set out to make a film that would capture his essence as both human being and racer. I tried to make a film that would resonate with general audiences, regardless of their interest in motorcycles or racing, because I think Roper’s story contains universal human themes. I also wanted to explore the unlikely connections between motorcycle racing and art, and the rewards of living an unconventional life.”

-Motorcycle Man filmmaker Dan Lovering

Motorcycle Man
Filmmaker: Daniel Lovering, 2019, U.S., 32 mins
Language: English Subtitles: No
Film WebsiteSee Trailer

Motorcycle Man portrays the quiet commitment of a man who has pursued motorcycle racing for his entire life. Dave Roper has raced every year since 1972, winning hundreds of races around the world and becoming the first American to triumph at the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy race. The film is a study of Roper’s lifelong passion and devotion to this sport. Lots of exciting racing footage.

“The film originated with a fascination for funerals where no one attended. There’s something so empty about a life ending and no one even noticing or caring. These cases are more usual than I think we are all comfortable with. I started attending some of these funerals, trying to find the life behind the death, and I came across the case of Reidun. She had been dead in her apartment for a month before some neighbours reacted. I started talking to everyone I could: her neighbours, her dentist, the police officer who discovered her — even the shop owner where she got her groceries. Collecting these stories, a new image of Reidun emerged, and gave us the challenge of portraying someone totally anonymous, who we’d never meet or know.”

-Neighbours filmmaker Trond Kvid Andreassen

Neighbours
Filmmaker: Trond Kvig Andreasson, 2018, Norway, 38 mins
Language: Norwegian Subtitles: Yes
Film WebsiteSee Trailer

How do we remember someone nobody knew?
A woman is found dead in her apartment in the middle of Oslo. She’s been dead for more than a month. No next of kin, friends, or family. How do you remember someone no one knew? The film explores how an anonymous life still leaves an imprint, even if it’s led without much contact with other people in the middle of a city. How do her neighbours remember her? As the story unfolds, the film explores how an anonymous life leaves an imprint with little mysteries that may never be fully explained.

Gay Chorus Deep South
Director: David Charles Rodrigues, 2019, United States, TRT: 98 min
Language: English, Subtitles: No
Socials: Instagram & Facebook: @gaychorusdeepsouth, Twitter: @gcds_film

In response to a wave of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws and the divisive 2016 election, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus embarks on a tour of the American Deep South.

Synopsis:
Led by Gay Chorus Conductor Dr. Tim Seelig and joined by The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir; the tour brings a message of music, love and acceptance to communities and individuals confronting intolerance. Over 300 singers travelled from Mississippi to Tennessee through the Carolinas and over the bridge in Selma. They performed in churches, community centers and concert halls in hopes of uniting us in a time of difference. The journey also challenges Tim and other Chorus members who fled the South to confront their own fears, pain and prejudices on a journey towards reconciliation. The conversations and connections that emerge offer a glimpse of a less divided America, where the things that divide us—faith, politics, sexual identity—are set aside by the soaring power of music, humanity and a little drag.

Watch Trailer l Film Website

Siudy Entre Mundos: 50 performances of the American Dream
Director: Pablo Croce, 2019, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, TRT: 60 min
Language: English, Spanish, Subtitles: Yes

“This film is a commentary and reflection over perseverance… a road map on how to overcome obstacles and achieve ones goals. Me, as a documentarian, [I] had the privilege to be involved and had so much access to capture the necessary scenes to tell a story that otherwise would be only in the memories of those involved therefore more than exhibiting a film we share an experience.”

—Pablo Croce, Director

Synopsis:
An exquisite film testimony to dance, music and heritage now at risk in a failed state.

Siudy Entre Mundos (Between Worlds) – 50 performances of the American Dream, tells the story of the now Miami-based Siudy Flamenco Dance Theater (SFDT) and titular flamenco prodigy, Siudy, as they pursue their own version of the American Dream. The heritage and roots of the performance group are in Venezuela and Spain, but its members are transplanted artists, refugees and immigrants who see themselves accepted in their adopted American homeland and society.

Celebrated as artists in South America and Europe, the dance troupe, and Siudy, seem to have realized their version of the American Dream when their planned 10-week run of the original New York stage production entitled, “Between Worlds” (Entre Mundos in Spanish), achieves acceptable critical and box office success, even selling out in the last weeks of its run. But a scathing review of the show from a New York Times arts critic decimates the company’s self-esteem, leaving its members demoralized and even encouraged to close the show, quit and give up. Instead, the devastated and bewildered troupe work through this heartbreaking low-point, resulting in sold-out houses and winning over critics. This new documentary is a gritty chronicle, bordering on coming-of-age redemptive tale for the artists, but also a universal reflection of what becomes of the human spirit when our dreams seem to die, and then we’re forced to face down our inner dragons of fear and inadequacy, and whatever the challenge, always pick up and start over.

Watch Trailer l Social Media: @BetweenWorlds 

Dear Homeland
Director: Claudia Escobar, 2019, United States, TRT: 58 min
Language: English, Spanish  Subtitles: Yes
Socials: Instagram: @DearHomelandFilm, Facebook: @DearHomelandFilm, Twitter: @DearHomeland

From Claudia Escobar’s film about Mexican singer Diana Gameros and her immigration journey from Ciudad Juárez to San Francisco, California, comes a deep reflection on family, resilience and the meaning of home.

Synopsis:
Dear Homeland tells the story of Mexican singer/songwriter Diana Gameros coming of age in the United States while finding her voice as an artist. Told in large part through her hauntingly beautiful music, her 20-year journey takes her from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico to San Francisco, California, where we watch Diana assert herself as not only a musician, but as an immigrant and an advocate for immigrant rights. Through music, she finds the courage to share her own story of being undocumented — channeling her fears and the weight of her separation from her family into powerful songs. This lyrical and poetic film gives audiences a unique look into the challenges, aspirations and opportunities Diana experiences, providing a counter-narrative to the dehumanizing language that dominates present-day narratives about immigrants. Dear Homeland is a deep reflection on family, resilience and what it means to call a place home.

Watch Trailer l Film Website

Where We Belong
Director: Jacqueline Zünd, 2019, Switzerland, TRT: 78 min
Language: French, German, Subtitles: Yes

Parents split up; a family falls apart. Two separate worlds emerge from what once was considered a unity.

Synopsis: In constant transition, children now travel back and forth between two separate homes. This film approaches their reality and focuses on how fragile, but also how brave, smart and funny children can be in such circumstances. Six of them invite us into their worlds apart.

Watch Trailer l Socials: Facebook: Where We Belong Movie

DMHC Upcoming Films Sebastopol film festival