SDFF 2020
DOCS MAKE HOUSE CALLS

DOCS MAKE HOUSE CALLS 2020 DIGITAL FESTIVAL ARCHIVE

Documentaries Make House Calls (DMHC) was the streaming version of Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival 2020. Less than a week out from our live festival in 2020, Sonoma County was among those in the United States already beginning to see SARS-CoV-2 cases in what would become a worldwide pandemic. An international festival, with cases already proliferating, we decided to postpone the festival, hoping the virus would be kept under control within a number of weeks or months. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and we ended up moving to a digital format for the year. DMHC was the form that SDFF 2020 took online.

While we were grateful to have the opportunity to honor the films and filmmakers we had chosen, and excited to give their work a platform, the decision was excruciating. Streaming was an expense we hadn’t planned for, and instead of showing all 72 films we had selected, we could only stream 39. So, while this page only lists the DMHC titles, the full 2020 film guide with all 72 original titles is available here, along with film descriptions, photos and trailers wherever possible. We encourage you to check out this expanded list, there are many unbelievably good films that we just couldn’t bring you this year. We’ll be keeping up with this expanded list of filmmakers, and hope that you will too.

The films listed on the page below all streamed as a part of DMHC 2020. We hope you’ll keep an eye out for them as they make their way to various streaming platforms, and we’ll try to keep you updated on that front. And, while the digital fest didn’t afford us the opportunity to show all of our 2020 selections, or to hold an in-person festival that is a warm, welcoming congregation of filmmakers, cinephiles, and wonderfully curious community members, it did propel us to record a number of interviews with DMHC filmmakers, which can be found on SDFF’s Video Exclusives page, under the “2020 Filmmaker Interviews + Discussions” header.

To see the full roster of original (pre-pandemic/pre-digital) SDFF 2020 Official Selections, click here.

See Winner Details in Week 2 of the Film Guide Below.

DMHC 2020 PROGRAM

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, David Charles Rodrigues
Siudy Entre Mundos: 50 performances of the American Dream, Pablo Croce

Week 9: Who Are You? Part 1
Dear Homeland, Claudia Escobar
Where We Belong, Jacqueline Zünd

Week 10: Who Are You? Part 2
All That Remains, Eva Rendle
The Desert, Bo Kovitz
The Wind. A Documentary Thriller
, Michal Bielawski

Week 11: Who Are You? Part 3
Kamali, Sasha Rainbow
Maikaru
,
Amanda Harryman
Moment To Moment
, Michael Attie
After The Fire
,
Derek Knowles & Spencer Seibert
Knocking Down The Fences
,
Meg Shutzer
A Pilgrimage
, Sara Alexander & Brian Antonson
Dick Ogg: Fisherman, Dir. Cynthia Abbott & Prod. Andrea Leland

Week 12: Who Are You? Part 4
Queen Of The Beach, Christopher McDonald
Butterfly, Alessandro Cassigoli + Casey Kauffman

Documentaries Make House Calls Preview:
Shorts + Conversations

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 first 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.

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

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Filmmaker: Dan Goldes
Year: 2018
Runtime: 5 mins
Country: U.S.
Awards/Official Selections: EkoFilm Poland Nowogard, Golden State Film Festival Los Angeles, Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival Kuala Lumpur Culture Award

Film Website (streams free)

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.

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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

Filmmaker: Eva Rendle
Year: 2019
Runtime: 20 mins
Country: U.S.
Awards/Official Selections: Winner-Student Academy Awards; Official Selection- Wild & Scenic Film Festival 2020, Mill Valley Film Festival 2019, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival 2020

Trailer l Film Website l Filmmaker Interview

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.

                                     

Watch SDDF exclusive interview between filmmaker Eva Rendle and festival programmer and filmmaker liaison Jeffrey Zankel Here!

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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.

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Filmmaker: Martha Gregory
Year: 2017
Runtime: 8 mins
Country: U.S.
Awards/Official Selections: SDFF 2018 Critic’s Choice; Aspen Shortfest 2017 Best Doc; Middlebury New Filmmakers Fest 2017 Jacob Burn Film Center Creative Culture Award

Film Website l See Full Film

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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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.

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Filmmaker: Dir. Cynthia Abbott + Prod. Andrea Leland
Year: 2019
Runtime: 9 mins
Country: U.S.
Awards/Official Selections:International Ocean Film Festival Best Short, Big Sky International Film Festival Official Selection

Film Website l See Filmmaker Interview

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 Slow Fish & Slow Food Russian River.

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

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Filmmaker: Dir. + Prod. Sara Alexander, Dir. of Photography Brian Antonson
Year: 2017
Runtime: 10 mins
Country: U.S.

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.

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Filmmaker: Cameron Neilson
Year: 2020
Runtime: 11 mins
Country: U.S.

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: Opening Night Film
Our Time Machine

Sebastopol film festival

Filmmakers: S. Leo Chiang & Yang Sun
Year: 2019
Runtime: 86 mins
Country:
China
Socials: Facebook: @ourtimemachinefilm – Instagram: @ourtimemachinefilm – Twitter: #ourtimemachinefilm

Watch Trailer  l  Visit Website l See Filmmaker Interview

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/Official Selections: 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

                                     

Our Time Machine SDFF 2020 Screening Sponsored by The Gravenstein Grill.

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Week 2: SDFF 2020 Jury Winners

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

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Sebastopol film festival

Filmmakers: Luke Lorentzen
Year: 2020
Runtime: 90 mins
Country:
Mexico

Watch Trailer  l  Visit Website  l  See Filmmaker Acceptance Speech

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.

Awards/Official Selections: 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

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

Filmmakers: Hanna Nordenswan
Year: 2019
Runtime: 24 mins
Country:
U.S.
Socials: instagram: @nordenswanson, facebook: @hanna.nordenswan,  twitter: @HannaNordenswan

Watch Trailer  l  Visit Filmmaker Website  l  See Filmmaker Acceptance Speech

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.

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

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SDFF 2020 Jury Winner for Minis The Whale

Filmmakers: Iza Pająk
Year: 2018
Runtime: 8 mins
Country:
Poland

See Filmmaker Acceptance Speech

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.

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Week 3: Music Program

Sebastopol Film
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.

Filmmakers: Joshua Lamme Hilliard, Bob Simmons
Year: 2019
Runtime: 72 mins
Country:
U.S.
Awards/Official Selections:Visionary Documentary, Oaxaca International Film Festival; Best Doc, Nordic International  Film Festival; FIPA Selection and New Doc shortlist.
Socials: facebook @PosterBoysTheMovie

Watch Trailer  l  Visit Filmmaker Website  l See Full Film

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.

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Sebastopol Film

Filmmakers: Fiona Cochrane
Year: 2019
Runtime: 53 mins
Country:
Australia

Watch Trailer  l  Visit Film 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.

Filmmakers: Ben Proudfoot
Year: 2018
Runtime: 14 mins
Country:
 U.S.
Awards + Official Selections: Webby Award Winner, HotDocs, Tribeca Film Festival, Vimeo Staff Pick
Social Media Handle: @breakwaterstudios

Watch Full Film  l  Visit Filmmaker Website

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.

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Sebastopol Film

How Do You Save What You Love?

the-wild-documentary

Filmmakers: Mark Titus
Year: 2019
Runtime: 62 mins
Country:
 U.S.
Social Media Handles: @thewildfilm, @augustisland

Watch Trailer  l  Visit Film Website l See Filmmaker Interview

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.

Awards + Official Selections: 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

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The search for an animal on the edge…

Filmmakers: Bruce Young
Year: 2019
Runtime: 46 mins
Country:
 South Africa
Social Media Handles: f: @pangolin.africa l t & i @PangolinAfrica l #EyeOfThePangolin

Watch Trailer  l  Visit Film Website l See Filmmaker Interview

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.

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Sebastopol Film

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

Filmmakers: Sam Vinal
Year: 2019
Runtime: 24 mins
Country:
 U.S.
Social Media Handles: @mutualaidmedia 

Watch Trailer  l  Visit Film Website

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.

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WEEK 5: INDELIBLE ARTISTS – SHORTS PROGRAM 2

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

Filmmakers: Kevin Wells
Year: 2019
Runtime: 11 mins
Country:
 U.S.
Social Media: facebook @hebodoc, twitter @stringerwells

Watch Trailer  l  Visit Film Website

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.

Awards + Official Selections: 2020 Ethnografilm, UFVA 2020, South Georgia Film Festival 2020, The Magnolia Independent Film Festival 2020, 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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A single Indian mother fights for her daughter’s empowerment through skateboarding.

Filmmakers: Sasha Rainbow
Year: 2019
Runtime: 24 mins
Country:
 India, U.S., UK
Social Media: facebook @Kamalifilm, twitter @itssasharainbow

Watch Trailer  l  Visit Film Website

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.

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

Filmmakers: Elliot Spencer
Year: 2017
Runtime: 25 mins
Country:
 China, U.S.

Watch Trailer  l  Visit Film Website

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

Awards + Official Selections: Best Human Rights Film – 5th Life After Oil International Film Festival 2018, Best Experimental Film – ATOM Awards2017, 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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Donald Hall, America’s Poet Laureate and winner of the National Medal of Arts, lives in the fragile space between loneliness and solitude.

Filmmakers: Paul Szynol
Year: 2018
Runtime: 14 mins
Country:
 U.S.
Social Media Handles: @paulszynol

Visit Filmmaker Website

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.

Awards + Official Selections: This film appeared in a showcase of cinematic, documentary shorts curated by The Atlantic.

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

Filmmakers: Madeline Lim
Year: 2013
Runtime: 34 mins
Country:
 U.S.
Social Media Handle: @QWOCMAP

Learn More About Bernice Bing + This Film l Watch Trailer

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.

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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.

Filmmakers: Jon Osaki
Year: 2018
Runtime: 65 mins
Country:
 U.S.
Social Media Handle: ig: @alternativefactsfilm   l  fb: @alternativefacts9066

Watch Trailer  l Visit Film WebsiteSee Filmmaker Interview

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

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Filmmakers: Dan Goldes + Robert Cortlandt
Year: 2019
Runtime: 50 mins
Country:
 U.S.
Social Media Handle: @urbanstreetfilms

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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

Filmmakers: Douwe Dijkstra
Year: 2016
Runtime: 16 mins
Country:
 Brazil, Netherlands

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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.

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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.

Filmmakers: Meg Stutzer
Year: 2019
Runtime: 12 mins
Country:
 U.S.

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“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.

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“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

Filmmakers: Daniel Lovering
Year: 2019
Runtime: 32 mins
Country:
 Ireland

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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.

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“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

Filmmakers: Trond Kvig Andreasson
Year: 2018
Runtime: 38 mins
Country:
 Norway

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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.

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“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

Filmmakers: Pablo Croce
Year: 2019
Runtime: 60 mins
Country:
 Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Social Media Handle: @BetweenWorlds

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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.

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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.

Filmmakers: David Charles Rodrigues
Year: 2019
Runtime: 98 mins
Country:
 United States
Social Media Handle: Instagram & Facebook: @gaychorusdeepsouth, Twitter: @gcds_film

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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.

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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.

Filmmakers: Claudia Escobar
Year: 2019
Runtime: 58 mins
Country:
 United States, Mexico
Social Media Handle: Instagram: @DearHomelandFilm, Facebook: @DearHomelandFilm, Twitter: @DearHomeland

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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.

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

Filmmakers: Jacqueline Zünd,
Year: 2019
Runtime: 78 mins
Country:
 Switzerland
Social Media: Facebook – Where We Belong Movie

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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.

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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

Filmmakers: Eva Rendle
Year: 2019
Runtime: 20 mins
Country:
 U.S.
Social Media: Facebook – Where We Belong Movie

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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.

                                     

Watch SDDF exclusive interview between filmmaker Eva Rendle and festival programmer and filmmaker liaison Jeffrey Zankel Here!

 

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Years after the closure of a major public hospital in the Bay Area, patients, first responders and care providers must navigate a hospital desert and adapt to the limited options, longer distances and backlogged systems of care.

Filmmakers: Bo Kovitz
Year: 2019
Runtime: 27 mins
Country:
 U.S.
Social Media:facebook: @bkovitz, Instagram: bo.kov, Twitter: @ibkeau

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The Desert is a short, character-driven film that explores the aftermath of a major public hospital closure in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the wealthiest regions in the country. It was the only full-service public hospital for more than 250,000 residents in West Contra Costa County. Now, the nearest public hospital is more than 15 miles away. Through intimate character-driven storytelling, the film illustrates the multifaceted impact of the loss of a major safety net institution as those in the community travel further and overcome barriers to care.

                                     

Watch exclusive interview on Bay Area Health Care & COVID with filmmaker Bo Kovitz here

 

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Filmmakers: Michal Bielawski
Year: 2019
Runtime: 75 mins
Country:
 Poland

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The halny wind is the most unpredictable element in the Polish mountains. It comes in cycles, in every spring and autumn. One never knows if or when it turns into a destructive gale. Halny particularly affects the inhabitants of Zakopane and its area, changing picturesque mountain trails into a set for an untamed performance of nature.

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

Filmmakers: Sasha Rainbow
Year: 2019
Runtime: 24 mins
Country:
 India, U.S., UK
Social Media: facebook @Kamalifilm, twitter @itssasharainbow

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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.

Awards + Official Selections: Best Short Doc – Atlanta FF, Best Director – Mumbai Shorts International FF, Outstanding Doc – DC Shorts FF, Best Doc Short – Raindance FF, Audience Choice Award-Short Film – Tacoma FF, Best Shorts Spotlight – SCAD Savannah FF, Best Short Doc – Free Spirit FF, Best Doc – Hamilton FF, Best Doc Short – Camerimage, Best Doc – Norwich FF

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Maikaru looks toward a bright future having survived a childhood filled with violence and human trafficking.

Filmmakers: Amanda Harryman
Year: 2014
Runtime: 7 mins
Country:
 US

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An authentic and vulnerable piece that exposes the invisible issue of human trafficking that is happening worldwide. Maikaru’s story is at once horrific, healing and hopeful. aikaru was born into Seattle’s dark world of human trafficking, drug dealing and violence. His mother was kidnapped at the age of 12 and was forced into prostitution. When Maikaru was seven, he was forced into dealing crack cocaine. His gripping story of survival is the subject of this award-winning documentary short directed by director Amanda Harryman. Told with artistry and honesty, My-kah-rue and his story are unforgettable.

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According to filmmaker Michael Attie, he came to this story after hearing an episode of This American Life about the subject of this documentary, renowned physicist Carl Jewett. Jewett was grappling with the early stages of  an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and trying to use his scientific bearings to decipher his own illness by applying the scientific method to evaluate his own deteriorating abilities. 

Filmmakers: Michael Attie
Year: 2018
Runtime: 13 mins
Country:
 US
Social Media: ig: @mandatoryfilm

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This documentary follows Carl and Susan, husband and wife, scientist and artist, as they navigate the challenges of Carl’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Unable to engage in his prior physics career, Carl finds solace dismantling discarded electronics in search of the copper inside. This film is a love story and a testament to human resilience and creativity in the face of a debilitating disease.

Carl and Susan met as teachers. Their chemistry is palpable as Susan recalls the moment she first saw him and, later, the flavors and textures of the picnic lunch Carl packed for their first date. She describes the man she eventually married as a brilliant problem solver drawn to the rules of physics. Her memories illustrate the life they built together, and the ways that it changes when Carl is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Moment to Momentbeautifully renders the tenderness and resiliency of their love story. Navigating the debilitating effects of the disease, Carl finds purpose in removing the copper wiring from televisions. Susan lovingly creates sculptures with the delicate coils, holding on to the profound connection that remains in their lives.

Upon meeting the couple, he found that Carl and Susan’s unique and evolving relationship was what most moved him.

“I started filming knowing that I wanted to capture this moment in their lives, as roles shifted and challenges emerged. In the intervening time the story took an unexpected turn: unable to engage in the scientific inquiry of his prior career, Carl found solace in his basement, dismantling discarded electronics in search of the valuable copper inside. The metaphorical power of the act was striking, but it went one step further when Susan, an art teacher and artist, started framing the copper, leading to a fruitful collaboration (and now traveling art show!) that enriched their relationship in a difficult time.”

-Michael Atttie

The thread that has emerged is one of resiliency and love in the face of a life-changing diagnosis. My hope is that this short documentary can reflect this time.

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After the Fire follows residents of Sonoma Valley as they struggle to find their places in a community that has been reshaped overnight by the historic Northern California wildfires. It is an intimate look at what they’ve lost, what they’ve gained, and what happens next, after the Fire.

Filmmakers: Derek Knowles & Spencer Seibert,
Year: 2018
Runtime: 19 mins
Country:
 US
Social Media Handles:@dereknowles, @sybertronic

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In October of 2017, the most destructive fires in U.S history engulfed cities and towns across northern California. While national coverage emphasized the scale and devastation of the disaster, After The Fire examines the less heralded experiences of those who lived through it, following three residents of one of the Sonoma Valley as they struggle to find their places in a community reshaped overnight. Winner of the Tribeca Film Institute’s If/Then Shorts award.

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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.

Filmmakers: Meg Shutzer
Year: 2019
Runtime: 12 mins
Country:
 US
Social Media Handles:@knockingdownthefences
Film Website l See 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.

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Sebastopol film festival

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

Sebastopol film festival

Filmmakers: Sara Alexander & Brian Antonson,
Year: 2017
Runtime: 10 mins
Country:
 US
See Trailer

 

Just before her 95th birthday, sculptor/fine art photographer Genevieve Barnhart agreed to let her friends organize a retrospective of her work at Sebastopol Center for the Arts, which included photographs and bronze sculptures based on Genevieve’s years of repeated “Pilgrimages” along the Camino di Santiago (driven, in her V.W. bug!). The exhibit also included performances of her one woman show. In the process of recording  Genevieve’s performance, the filmmakers discovered Genevieve was in the midst of another pilgrimage: telling her life journey as female artist in a man’s world – in the foundry, in society, and at home. Genevieve’s first thought when asked to be the subject of a documentary,, “Why would I want to do that?” Her second was, “Maybe I can inspire ‘little women’ to do big things.” This documentary began as a cinematic adaptation of her astounding, auto-biographical one- woman show, tracking this iconic local artist’s life and her work’s global reach.”

Filmmaker Sara Alexander further explains how the project came together, “One day I wandered into the Sebastopol Center for the Arts and discovered that a brilliant and petite artist, whose work is far greater than her fame, was living just a few miles away.  By chance I soon came to know and film Genevieve Barnhart, then 95, who has always believed (and “wants young women to know”) that “little women can do something else if they wanted to.”  And she wanted to, so she did.  The exhibit ended and her exquisite bronze sculptures and photographs inspired by decades on the Pilgrimage trails of Europe returned to private collections where they live hidden from most of us, but this film preserves part of Gen’s remarkable life work and life story.”

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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 mans passion to keep the fisheries alive and thriving.

Sebastopol film festival

Filmmakers: Dir. Cynthia Abbott & Prod. Andrea Leland
Year: 2017
Runtime: 10 mins
Country:
 US
Watch Clip  l  Visit Film Website  l  See Exclusive Filmmaker Interview

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, which you can watch here.

                                     

Dick Ogg: Fisherman streaming at SDFF 2020 is sponsored by Slow Food & Slow Fish Russian River

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A Canadian filmmaker befriends a 9-year-old girl hawking clothes and jewelry on a hip-pie-lovers’ beach in Goa, India, and returns 3 times over the next 7 years to capture her story and help her achieve her childhood dream of going to school.

Filmmakers: Christopher McDonald (Cleeche)
Year: 2019
Runtime: 106 mins
Country:
 Canada, India, U.K.

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“Come look my shop! Very cheap, okay!”While on vacation in Goa, India, Canadian filmmaker Chris McDonell turns his camera on Shilpa Poojar, a 9-year-old beach hawker hustling tourists to buy clothes and jewelry from her seaside shop. Funny, charming and skilled beyond her years, she is a migrant worker from the unique Banjara people and the primary breadwinner for her family. Forging a connection in this chance encounter, Chris returns 3 times over the next 7 years to capture Shilpa’s story of sacrifice and survival and help her achieve her childhood dream of going to school – a relentless effort that will test them both along the way.rom child-laborer to teenage-entrepreneur to one of the “lucky” ones who learned how to read and write (in a culture that favours boys over girls), Shilpa is now an inspiration to many and has been lovingly nicknamed: “Queen of the Beach.”

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Filmed over 3 years, Butterfly is a an Italian teenage boxer, Irma, trying to find her path in life.

Filmmakers: Alessandro Cassigoli + Casey Kauffman
Year: 2018
Runtime: 80 mins
Country:
 Italy

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Butterfly is the delicate story of an Italian teenager who sees her life plan collapse in eight minutes. Raised in one of Naples’ most troubled neighborhoods, Irma focuses on boxing and reaches the Olympics at just 18 years old. Her dramatic defeat there shakes the core of her identity while family tensions, economic strain, and unrealistic dreams complicate her return home. She struggles to reconnect until a new opportunity forces her to decide who she really is. This is a real-life story, but its irresistible protagonist and cinematic storytelling style allow Butterfly to be experienced like a fiction film.

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