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NAME MC Film Festival 2010

NAME 2010 Multicultural Film Festival

The following films/videos were screened at the 2010 Las Vegas NAME Conference.

Many thanks to the MC Film Festival Committee, chaired by Robin Brenneman.

Title and Length Publishing Information – Producer/Director Multi-cultural Topic Summary
Crossing Lines(32 minutes) A film by Leena Jayaswal and Indira S. Somani. New Day Films. www.crossinglinesthefilm.com Cultural identity/ Indian Americans Crossing Lines is a film about an Indian American woman’s struggle to stay connected to India after the loss of her father. Like most second-generation ethnic Americans, Indira Somani has struggled with identity issues, since her parents migrated to the U.S. in the 1960s.  This film takes you on a journey to India, where Indira visits her father’s extended family for the first time after his death.  The film explores how Indira tries to stay connected to Indian culture and her extended family despite the loss of her father.
Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women. (45 minutes) Media Education Foundation. www.mediaed.org Feminism  In this new, highly anticipated update of her pioneering Killing Us Softly series, Jean Kilbourne takes a fresh look at how advertising traffics in distorted and destructive ideals of femininity.  The film marshals a range of new print and television advertisements to lay bare a stunning pattern of damaging gender stereotypes–images and messages that too often reinforce unrealistic and unhealthy perceptions of beauty, perfection and sexuality.
For the Next 7 Generations: 13 Indigenous Grandmothers Weaving a World that Works (85 minutes) A project of the Center for Sacred Studies and The International council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers.  Laughing Willow Company.  www.forthenext7generations.com Indigenous people Who owns cultural identity?  Who controls how a people are studied and represented?  Is there a “politics of knowledge?” This provocative new documentary explores these issues through the controversial career of one of the most influential scholars of the 20th Century.  Melville J. Herskovits (1895-1963) led a revolution in cultural anthropology, founded the first African Studies Center in the U.S. and was the first president of the African Studies Association. Historians including co-producer Vincent Brown, Kwame Anthony Appiah and Johnetta Cole, discuss what It means that the son of Jewish immigrants played such a dominant role in shaping how Africa and African Americans have been viewed.
Herskovits At the Heart of Blackness(56 minutes) Vital Pictures. Independentlens. Produced by Llewellyn Smith, Vincent Brown and Christine Herbes-Sommers.  California Newsreel. www.newsreel.org Cultural identity/ biography Who owns cultural Identity?  Who controls how a people are studied and represented?  Is there a “politics of knowledge?” This provocative new documentary explores these issues through the controversial career of one of the most influential scholars of the 20th Century.  Melville J. Herskovits (1895-1963) led a revolution in cultural anthropology, founded the first African Studies Center in the U.S. and was the first president of the African Studies Association. Historians including co-producer Vincent Brown, Kwame Anthony Appiah and Johnetta Cole, discuss what It means that the son of Jewish immigrants played such a dominant role in shaping how Africa and African Americans have been viewed.
Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train(78 minutes) A film by Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller. www.howardzinn.org. www.firstrunfeatures.com Biography, multicultural history A film about the life and times of historian, activist and author of the best-selling classic, A People’s History of the United States. Featuring rare archival materials and interviews with Zinn and colleagues such as Noam Chomsky, the film captures the essence of this extraordinary man who was a catalyst for progressive change for more than 60 years.
Tea and Justice: NYPD’s 1st Asian Women Officers (55 minutes) A film by Ermena Vinluan.  Women Make Movies. www.wmm.com Feminism/Asian Americans Tea and Justice chronicles the experiences of three women who joined the New York Police Department during the 1980s–the first Asian women to become members of a force that was largely white and predominantly male.  In this award winning documentary, Officer Trish Ormsby and Etectives Agnes Chan and Christine Leung share their fascinating stories about careers and personal lives as well as satisfactions  and risks on the job, the stereotypes they defied, and how they persevered.
Unveiled Views: Muslim Women Artists Speak Out(52 minutes) A film by Alba Sotorra.  Women Make Movies. www.wmm.com  Religion/ gender In this revealing documentary, five extraordinary Muslim women talk about their occupations, aspirations and the rights and status of women in their countries. They challenge the expected and enforced rules that dictate their lives and strive to rise above violence and oppression.  These self-portraits of hope, heroism, and pride challenge conventional Western stereotypes about women in the Islamic world.
As Seen Through These Eyes: (74 Minutes.) A Hilary Helstein film Narrated by Maya Angelou.  Menemsha Films and Parkchester Pictures.  www.menemshafilms.com Holocaust As Maya Angelou narrates this powerful documentary, she reveals the story of a brave group of people who fought Hitler with the only weapons they had: charcoal, pencil stubs, shreds of paper and memories etched in their minds. These artists took their fate into their own hands to make a compelling statement about the human spirit, enduring against unimaginable odds.
New Year Baby (74 minutes) A documentary by Socheata Poeuv.  Center for Asian American Media. ITVS.  Independentlens.  Broken English Productions. www.newyearbaby.net Asian Americans A young woman born in Cambodia and raised in the U.S. returns to Cambodia to discover secrets of how her family came together during the Khmer Rouge period.
Let’s Get Real (35 Minutes) A Respect for All project.  Groundspark Productions. New Day Films. www.groundspark.org Bullying Unlike the vast majority of films made for schools about the issue, Let’s Get Real doesn’t sugarcoat the truth or feature adults lecturing kids about what to do when “bad” kids pick on them.Let’s Get Real examines a variety of issues that lead to taunting and bullying, including racial differences, perceived sexual orientation, learning disabilities, religious differences, sexual harassment and others. The film not only gives a voice to targeted kids, but also to kids who do the bullying to find out why they lash out at their peers and how it makes them feel. The most heartening part of Let’s Get Real includes stories of kids who have mustered the courage to stand up for themselves or a classmate.
Blacking Up: Hip Hop’s Remix of Race and Identity (57 minutes). A co-production of Limbic Productions, Inc. and WTIU, produced in association with ITVS with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting .  California Newsreel. www.newsreel.org Racial identity The ambitious and hard-hitting documentary Blacking Up: Hip-Hop’s Remix of Race and Identity looks at the popularity of hip-hop among America’s white youth. It asks whether white identification is rooted in admiration and a desire to transcend race or if it is merely a new chapter in the long continuum of stereotyping, mimicry and cultural appropriation? Does it reflect a new face of racial understanding in white America or does it reinforce an ugly history?
In My Shoes: Stories of Youth with LGBT Parents (31 minutes) Directed by Jen Gilomen.  Produced by COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere) Youth Leadership and Action Program. Frameline Films. www.frameline.org Sexual orientation In a time when LGBT families are debated and attacked in the media, courts and Congress, from school houses to state houses across the country, five young people who are children of LGBT parents give you a chance to walk in their shoes–to hear their own views on marriage, making change, and what it means to be a family.
Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth(60 minutes) Graham Street Productions.  Directed by Anne Galisky.  www.papersthemovie.com Immigration reform There are approximately 2 million undocumented children who were born outside the U.S. and raised in this country. These are young people who were educated in American schools, hold American values, know only the U.S. as home and who, upon high school graduation, find the door to their future slammed shut. 65,000 undocumented students graduate every year from high school without “papers.” It is against the law to work or drive. It is difficult, if not impossible in some states, to attend college. They live at risk of arrest, detention and deportation to countries they may not even remember. Currently, there is no path to citizenship for these young people. Many of these young people are advocating for passage of the DREAM Act, a bill that will provide a path to citizenship for undocumented youth if they attend college.