DocuWeeks 2010

A moving history of one of the most harrowing and inspirational chapters of the Civil Rights movement, a behind the scenes look at the 1,400-year-old conflict between Islam and Christianity, an investigation of the unexplainable phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder, and a mash-up of "Glee" and "High School Musical" are all part of the wide-ranging lineup of twenty-two films in IDA’s 14th Annual DocuWeeks™ Theatrical Documentary Showcase. Films screen a full week in both Los Angeles and New York City between July 30th and August 19th.

ArcLight Hollywood
Los Angeles Showtimes
& IFC Center
New York Showtimes

FEATURES:

Apaporis
Los Angeles
August 6 - August 12


New York
July 30 - August 5

Apaporis  More Info Director/Writer: Antonio Dorado
Apaporis takes us on a journey through the untrodden, war-locked Northwest Amazon, where we discover the secret knowledge of of Cabiyari and Cubeo indigenous cultures and their insight into nature, life and medicinal and psychotropic plants. With breathtaking images, millenary secrets are revealed such as the preparation of Yagé (“The vine of the Gods”), pulverized coca, and curare, alongside a magical practice to revive dead animals. These communities, besieged by the looming death of their sacred languages and cultures, must now come together to preserve their very survival.

Producers: Alberto Dorado, Juan Carlos Paredes, Omar Dorado
Fundación Imagen Latina
72 min. Colombia
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

Budrus
Los Angeles
July 30 - August 5


New York
August 6 - August 12

Budrus  More Info Director/Producer/Writer: Julia Bacha
Ayed Morrar took leave of his comfortable job at the Palestinian Authority upon hearing that the Israeli government was planning to build a separation barrier through Budrus, his small agricultural village. He convened a town-hall meeting, invited Israeli civilians, and formed a movement whose motto, "We Can Do It," resonates with community organizers worldwide. To everyone's surprise, Ayed became the leader of the first unarmed movement to successfully protect and even expand Palestinian territory—an accomplishment made possible in large part by Ayed's 15-year-old daughter Iltezam, who launched a women's contingent that quickly moved to the front lines.

Producers: Ronit Avni, Rula Salameh
Executive Producers: Ronit Avni, Jehane Noujaim
Just Vision
81 min. USA/Israel/Palestinian Territories
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

Colony
Los Angeles
July 30 - August 5


New York
August 13 - August 19

Colony  More Info Directors: Carter Gunn, Ross McDonnell
The unexplainable phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder has left landscapes of empty beehives all across America, threatening not only the beekeeping industry but our food supply. As scientists and beekeepers search for the cause, Colony captures the struggle within the beekeeping community to save the honeybee and themselves, through the eyes of veteran beekeeper Davis Mendes and Lance and Victor Seppi, two young brothers getting into beekeeping when most are getting out. As Mendes tries to save the nation's collapsing hives, the Seppis try to keep their business alive amidst a collapsing economy.

Producers: Morgan Bushe,
Macdara Kelleher
Fastnet Films
84 min. Ireland/USA
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

FAMILY AFFAIR
Los Angeles
July 30 - August 5


New York
August 13 - August 19

FAMILY AFFAIR  More Info Director/Producer/Writer: Chico Colvard
"The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable."
—Judith Herman, M.D.

Like a scene torn from The Color Purple or Capturing The Friedmans, this deeply personal and uncompromising documentary examines the complex levels of pedophilia and how it can manipulate and control an entire family for life. FAMILY AFFAIR is also a story about resilience, survival and understanding a child's capacity to accommodate a parent's past crimes in order to satisfy a basic longing for family.

Producer: Chico Colvard, Liz Garbus
Executive Producers: Abigail E. Disney, Dan Cogan
C-LineFilms, LLC
82 min. USA
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

For Once in My Life
Los Angeles
July 30 - August 5


New York
August 6 - August 12

For Once in My Life  More Info Directors: Jim Bigham, Mark Moormann
For Once in My Life is a documentary about a unique band of singers and musicians, and their journey to show the world the greatness—and killer soundtrack—within each of them. The band members have a wide range of mental and physical disabilities, as well as musical abilities that extend into ranges of pure genius. In a cinema vérité style, the film explores the struggles and triumphs, and the healing power of music, as the band members' unique talents are nurtured to challenge the world's perceptions.

Producer: Jim Bigham
Executive Producer: Lourdes Little
Big Blue Box Productions
91 min. USA
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

Freedom Riders
Los Angeles
August 13 - August 19


New York
August 13 - August 19

Freedom Riders  More Info Director/Producer/Writer: Stanley Nelson
Freedom Riders is the first feature-length film about a courageous band of civil rights activists who called themselves the Freedom Riders. They challenged segregation in interstate transport in the American South during the spring and summer of 1961. The attention the movement generated caused the federal government to take down Jim Crow signs of "whites only" and "colored only," allowing every American to travel freely—a legacy we enjoy today.

Producer: Laurens Grant
Executive Producer: Mark Samels
Firelight Media/American Experience Films/WGBH-Boston
105 min. USA
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

HolyWars
Los Angeles
July 30 - August 5


New York
August 6 - August 12

HolyWars  More Info Director/Writer: Stephen Marshall
Touching down in four hotbeds of religious fundamentalism—Pakistan, Lebanon, UK, and heartland America—HolyWars goes behind the scenes of the 1,400-year-old conflict between Islam and Christianity. The film follows a danger-seeking Christian missionary and a radical Muslim Irish convert, both of whom believe in an apocalyptic battle, after which their religion will ultimately rule the world. Tracking their lives from the onset of the "War on Terror" to the election of Barack Obama, HolyWars shows that even the most radical of believers can be transformed by our changing world.

Producers: Lisa Kawamoto Hsu, Allison Kunzman, Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody, Brian Beletic
Executive Producers: Brian Beletic, Brian Carmody, Patrick Milling Smith
Smuggler Films
82 min. USA/UK/Pakistan
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

Louder Than a Bomb
Los Angeles
August 6 - August 12


New York
July 30 - August 5

Louder Than a Bomb  More Info Directors/Producers: Greg Jacobs, Jon Siskel
Louder Than a Bomb tells the story of four Chicago high school poetry teams as they prepare for and compete in the world's largest youth slam. By turns hopeful and heartbreaking, the film captures the tempestuous lives of these unforgettable kids, exploring the ways writing shapes their world, and vice versa. Louder Than a Bomb is about language as a joyful release, irrepressibly talented teenagers obsessed with making words dance, and the communities they create along the way. While the topics they tackle are often deeply personal, what they put into their poems, and what they get out of them, is universal: the defining work of finding one's voice.

Siskel/Jacobs Productions
100 min. USA
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS
Los Angeles
August 13 - August 19


New York
August 6 - August 12

MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS  More Info Director/Producer: Matthew D. Kallis
Across the USA, high school sports are regularly lavished with funding, publicity and scholarships, while theater departments, hoping for some attention of their own, struggle to put on a school musical. It's no different in sports-crazy Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, except for the "Freddy Awards," a live television event that recognizes excellence in local high school musical theater. Illustrating that arts education encourages the same teamwork, camaraderie and confidence as sports, MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS follows three theater troupes on their creative journey to the elaborate award ceremony—the "Super Bowl" of high school musical theater.

Producer/Writer: Christopher Lockhart
Canyonback Films, LLC
95 min. USA
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

Music from the Big House
Los Angeles
August 13 - August 19


New York
August 13 - August 19

Music from the Big House  More Info Director: Bruce McDonald
Rita Chiarelli, an award-winning recording artist, takes a pilgrimage to the birthplace of the blues: Louisiana State Maximum Security Penitentiary, a.k.a Angola Prison. She never imagined that her love for the blues would lead her to raise the roof in a collaborative jailhouse performance with inmates serving life sentences for murder, rape and armed robbery. Music has given these inmates something to live for in what was once the bloodiest prison in America. Steeped with hope, these remarkable voices guide us on a journey of men on a quest for forgiveness. One woman, four bands, and two hours of the blues: It's time to make a new soundtrack.

Producers: Erin Faith Young, Jennifer St. John
Writers: Tony Burgess, Erin Faith Young
Caché Film & Television
86 min. Canada
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

My Perestroika
Los Angeles
August 6 - August 12


New York
August 13 - August 19

My Perestroika  More Info Director: Robin Hessman
My Perestroika follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times—from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. Using a wealth of footage rarely seen outside of Russia—including home movies from the USSR in the 1970s—the film combines an intimate view of the past with the contemporary lives of these former schoolmates, painting a complex picture of the dreams and disillusionment of those raised behind the Iron Curtain.

Producers: Robin Hessman, Rachel Wexler
Red Square Productions
88 min. USA/UK/Russia
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

Pushing the Elephant
Los Angeles
August 13 - August 19


New York
August 6 - August 12

Pushing the Elephant  More Info Directors: Beth Davenport, Elizabeth Mandel
Rose Mapendo lost her family and home to the ethnic violence that engulfed the Democratic Republic of Congo, yet she emerged from the suffering advocating peace and reconciliation. But after helping numerous victims to recover and rebuild their lives, there is one person Rose must still teach to forgive: her daughter Nangabire, now 17 and living in Arizona. Pushing the Elephant captures one of the most important stories of our age, in which genocidal violence is challenged by the moral fortitude and grace of one woman's mission for peace.

Producers: Katy Chevigny, Angela Tucker
Executive Producers for Chicken & Egg Pictures: Julie Parker Benello, Wendy Ettinger and Judith Helfand
Arts Engine
89 min. US, Switzerland, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

Quest for Honor
Los Angeles
August 13 - August 19


New York
August 6 - August 12

Quest for Honor  More Info Director/Producer/Writer: Mary Ann Smothers Bruni
The alarming rise in "honor killing," the heinous act of men killing daughters, sisters and wives who threaten "family honor," endangers tens of thousands of women in Iraq, Turkey, Jordan and adjoining countries. The Women's Media Center of Suleymaniyah, Iraq, has joined forces with Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to end this practice. Quest for Honor follows Runak Faranj, a former teacher and tireless activist, as she works with local lawmen, journalists and members of the KRG to solve the murder of a widowed young mother, protect the victim of a safe-house shooting, eradicate honor killing and redefine honor.

Producer: Lawrence Taub
Co-Producer: Warzer Jaff
Executive Producers: Frances "Sissy" Farenthold, Philip Knox Key, Sarah Elizabeth Lamar Bruni
Smothers Bruni Productions LLC
67 min. USA/Iraq
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

Steam of Life (Miesten vuoro)
Los Angeles
August 6 - August 12


New York
July 30 - August 5

Steam of Life (Miesten vuoro)  More Info Directors/Writers: Joonas Berghäll, Mika Hotakainen
Naked Finnish men in saunas speak straight from the heart and in the warmth of rusty stoves, cleansing themselves both physically and mentally towards the film's deeply emotional and unforgettable finale. The film travels through Finland, inviting men of all walks of life in many different saunas to share their touching stories about love, death, birth and friendship—about life. Steam of Life reveals the men's naked souls in an exceptionally intimate and poetic way.

Producer: Joonas Berghäll
Oktober Oy
84 min. Finland/Sweden
Filmmaker Q&A

 

Summer Pasture
Los Angeles
August 6 - August 12


New York
July 30 - August 5

Summer Pasture  More Info Directors/Producers: Lynn True, Nelson Walker
Filmed in the high grasslands of eastern Tibet, with unprecedented access to a place seldom visited by outsiders, Summer Pasture is a rare and intimate glimpse into the life of a young couple and their infant daughter during a time of great transition. Locho and Yama are nomadic herders who carve their existence from the land as their ancestors have for generations. But now, as traditional nomadic life confronts rapid modernization, Summer Pasture captures a family at a crossroads, ultimately revealing the profound sacrifice they will make to ensure their daughter's future.

True-Walker Productions
86 min.USA/Tibet/China
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

This Way of Life
Los Angeles
August 6 - August 12


New York
July 30 - August 5

This Way of Life  More Info Director: Tom Burstyn
Set against the imposing mountains and isolated beaches in a remote part of North Island, New Zealand, This Way of Life is an intimate portrait of a Maori family—Peter and Colleen Karina and their six children, ages 2 through 11—and their relationship with each other, nature and horses. This Way of Life is a blueprint for how to live with little. It is a modern parable of one family's unconventional and incredibly positive response to the questions that confront many families in these anxious times.

Producer/Writer: Barbara Sumner Burstyn
Cloud South Films Ltd.
88 min. New Zealand
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

Waste Land
Los Angeles
July 30 - August 5


New York
August 13 - August 19

Waste Land  More Info Director/Writer: Lucy Walker
Waste Land follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world's largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio. There, he photographs an eclectic band of catadores—self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz's initial objective was to "paint" the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with them, as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage, reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives. Waste Land offers stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.

Producers: Angus Aynsley, Hank Levine
Executive Producers: Fernando Meirelles, Miel de Botton Aynsley, Andrea Barata Ribeiro, Jackie de Botton
Almega Projects
98 min. UK/Brazil
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

SHORTS

KEEP DANCING
Los Angeles
August 13 - August 19

KEEP DANCING  More Info Director: Greg Vander Veer
After celebrated careers, legendary dancers Marge Champion and Donald Saddler became friends while performing together in the Broadway Show Follies in 2001. When the show closed, they decided to rent a private studio together, and they have been choreographing and rehearsing original dances ever since. At age 90, they continue to pursue their passion for life through their love and mastery of dance. KEEP DANCING seamlessly blends nine decades of archival film and photographs with present-day footage to tell a story through dance of the passing of time and the process of aging.

Producer: Douglas Turnbaugh
Turnbaugh/Vander Veer Productions
21 min. USA
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

Killing In the Name
New York
July 30 - August 5

Killing In the Name  More Info Director/Producer: Jed Rothstein
Ashraf was celebrating the happiest day of his life when an Al-Qaeda suicide bomber walked into his wedding and killed his father and 26 other family members in front of his eyes. Now, he’s rising from tragedy to break the silence in the Muslim community on the taboo subject of terrorism. From a recruiter for Al-Qaeda, to an Islamic militant behind one of the world’s worst terrorist attacks, to a madrassa filled with young boys ready to fulfill the duty of jihad, Ashraf takes us on a harrowing journey around the world to see if one man can speak truth to terror, and begin to turn the global tide.

Producers: Jed Rothstein, Liz Garbus, Rory Kennedy
Executive Producer: Carie Lemack
Moxie Firecracker Films
39 min. USA/Indonesia/Jordan
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

The Labyrinth
Los Angeles
August 13 - August 19

The Labyrinth  More Info Director/Producer: Jason A. Schmidt
Memory, art and hell collide as an Auschwitz survivor finally confronts the horrors of his past after 50 years of silence. Marian Kolodziej was on one of the first transports to enter Auschwitz. He survived five years imprisonment and never spoke of his experience until after a serious stroke in 1993. He began rehabilitation by doing pen-and-ink drawings depicting his horrific experience. His drawings and art installations, which he called The Labyrinth, fill the large basement of a church near Auschwitz. Through the blending of his testimony and graphic drawings, this documentary explores the memories and nightmares that were buried for years.

Producer: Ron Schmidt, S.J.
Executive Producer: Arthur Schmidt
December 2nd Productions
38 min. USA/Poland
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

Mozambique
Los Angeles
August 13 - August 19

Mozambique  More Info Director: Alcides Soares
Alcides Soares is a 16-year-old AIDS orphan, one of half a million living in Mozambique today. After an American television writer (Neal Baer) and a movie director (Chris Zalla) gave Alcides a camera and taught him how to shoot, he made a moving chronicle about his journey to find a family and make a new life in a country that has been ravaged by AIDS—a story repeated millions of times every day throughout Africa. AIDS tears families apart, but the resilience of children like Alcides can make new families out of tragedy.

Producers: Neal Baer, Dick Wolf, Peter Jankowski, Arthur Forney, Christopher Zalla
Executive Producer: Holly Carter
ByKids in association with Wolf Films
14 min. USA/Mozambique
Filmmaker Q&A

 

Sun Come Up
New York
July 30 - August 5

Sun Come Up  More Info Director/Producer: Jennifer Redfearn
Sun Come Up follows the relocation of some of the world's first environmental refugees, the Carteret Islanders - a community living on a remote island chain in the South Pacific Ocean. When rising seas threaten their survival, the islanders face a painful decision: they must leave their beloved land in search of a new place to call home.

Producer: Tim Metzger
Executive Producer: Abigail E. Disney
Big Red Barn Films/Chicken & Egg Pictures/Fork Films/Uncommon Productions/Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
39 min. USA
Website/Trailer | Filmmaker Q&A

 

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