a film by Nahid Hassanzadeh
Persian with English subtitles
Ghadir, a chemical plant worker, protesting against being unpaid for over a year, is arrested during a demonstration and imprisoned without trial. He’s released one year later with no explanation given. On arriving home he finds his daughter, Somayeh, has given birth out of wedlock. This a very moving performance of a man caught between the love for his immediate family, and the stern, unforgiving culture he is a part of. The film takes a long and often troubling look at family life in rural Iran, and the terrible consequences to those women and girls who break the “rules.”
In The Radiant City
a film by Rachel Lambert
Set in Kentuckiana, this gem of a film features a stellar cast, including Celia Weston, Marin Ireland, Paul Sparks and Michael Abbott, Jr. After 20 years away, Andrew Yurley (Abbott) returns to his hometown in Kentucky, where he left after making a statement that put his brother away for life. Now he faces his still angry family, doped-up mother, a bunch of judging townsfolk, and the prospect of his brother’s re-sentencing. What should he say this time? Can what is broken ever be fixed? Brilliantly written and richly crafted, this is Rachel Lambert’s first narrative feature.
A Free Man
a film by Stephen Newton
Featuring Mike Miller continuing his role as Ryder, “A Free Man” is part two of the “Dark As Night” trilogy. Part one was screened at last year’s YESfest. The film follows Ryder’s journey after a grisly and harrowing night at this friend’s cabin. A slice-of-bad-guy-life.
a film by George Stevens
This 1953 box office sensation got six Oscar nominations and won for best cinematography. The blockbuster film set a new standard for not just Westerns but all types of films. Gunslinger Shane (Alan Ladd) rides into a small Wyoming town with hopes of quietly settling down as a farmhand. Taking a job on homesteader Joe Starrett’s (Van Heflin) farm, Shane is drawn into a battle between the townsfolk and ruthless cattle baron Rufus Ryker (Emile Meyer). Shane’s growing attraction to Starrett’s wife, Marian (Jean Arthur), and his fondness for their son Joey (Brandon de Wilde), who idolizes him, force Shane to action.
a film by Catherine Eaton
This film will seize you and hold you steadfast until the very end. On a remote island off the coast of Maine, Liv, after years of silence, begins to weave a language out of Shakespeare’s words. Michael, a driven neurologist brought to the island to protect her, commits her to a psychiatric hospital where she becomes a full-blown rebel — fighting for her real voice and her freedom. Michael, who clearly loves her, soon joins her fight for her release. The story, the exquisite cinematography, the acting and the directing make this film a true work of art.
a film by Stephen Wallace Pruitt
Set on the road in Indiana, this heart-warming story stars Joicie Appell (Nailbiter, Santa’s Sack, Yes Darling) as Dorothy, a sweet but feisty 88-year-old woman who sets out on a road trip from Wamego, Kansas, to Terre Haute, where she grew up. Dorothy wants to visit her hometown one last time, and also visit her oldest and dearest childhood friend, Pat. Along the way she touches the hearts of ordinary people she meets, and she spends some sweet time soaking up the heartland. As Dorothy, Appell looks like everyone’s grandma, and her performance is quietly brilliant.
The Activists: War, Peace, and Politics in the Streets
a film by Melody Shemtov
Activists and activism have long been a part of the American story. Activists have fought battles for civil rights, voter enfranchisement, collective bargaining, and an end to wars. While these struggles have sometimes yielded significant victories, and at other times resulted in disappointing defeats, activism has always been driven by ordinary people who give freely of their time and resources to try to bring about their visions for a new world. With some stunning footage and remarkable testimonials, the film captures these people who took to the streets in the struggle for peace and justice in American politics and society.
a film by Steph Ching and Ellen Martinez
Arabic, English, Korean with English subtitles
Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan has been the “temporary” home of 80,000 Syrians since 2012. Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart co-executive produced this film after being inspired by the two directors, who spent three years with the women, men and children in Zaatari. In the midst of these dire circumstances, the filmmakers beautifully capture the heart of the story, and bring us in intimate contact with these families and their daily struggle to create some semblance of normalcy. For example, the camp is a functioning city with retail shops and restaurants, and even a pet shop that sells birds.
The Chocolate Case
a film by Benthe Forrer
Dutch, English, French, German with English subtitles
When you bite into a bar of chocolate, do you ever wonder if you are helping finance slavery and child labor? Well, you will now. After first exposing the cocoa industry’s reliance on child slavery, a group of curious and intrepid Dutch journalists set out on a decade-long campaign to combat the mega-industry, including a scheme to get one of their group prosecuted for purchasing goods produced through child labor and slavery, and thus set a legal precedent. In spite of the tragedy of the global wrongs the journalists are trying to right, the film is also light-hearted and fun. Eventually the activists create a slave-free chocolate bar which becomes Netherlands’ leading chocolate bar.
The Freedom to Marry
a film by Eddie Rosenstein
Over the last four decades, the concept of same-sex couples marrying went from a “preposterous notion” to the national law. This film is an intimate look at the people who led the Freedom to Marry movement — possibly the most significant civil rights campaign of our time. Take a riveting ride alongside Evan Wolfson, the man known as architect of the movement, civil rights attorney Mary Bonauto, and their colleagues as they wage their epic battle before the United States Supreme Court. Even though we know the outcome, this documentary is still full of suspense, fresh perspectives, and an inspirational tale of how people can actually make a difference.
a film by Jill Campbell
At the end of high school in Queens, New York City, Kenny Anderson was considered the No. 1 player in America. He played two years for Georgia Tech as starting point guard, and helped take Tech to the Final Four. After his sophomore year, Mr. Chibbs (his childhood nickname) was drafted by the NBA where he played for 14 years. Ten years after his retirement, having faced both his mother’s death and subsequent DUI, Anderson is forced to confront many questionable choices, and reflect and discover what life is like after his famous title fades away. His aphorism: “Basketball is easy. Life is hard.”
HEART TO HEART
a program of short narrative films
102 mins. total (in screening order)
a film by Christine Turner
A busy young man is left to care for his grandmother one morning. She has Alzheimer’s. A beautifully produced and poignant story, with a brilliant breakout performance from the male star, Jimmie Jeter.
The Mess He Made
a film by Matthew Puccini
A man reassesses everything in his life during the 15 agonizing minutes as he waits for the results of a Rapid HIV Test in a small-town strip mall.
Website & Trailer: themesshemade.com/
a film by Tristan Aymon
French with English subtitles
Ludovic, a weekend biker, has planned an afternoon with Axelle in a wooden shed. Despite her attraction to him, the young and bold Axelle is determined to not get caught in Ludovic’s well-oiled game of seduction.
a film by Gulliver Moore
United Kingdom/12 mins.
Charlie, a down-on-his-luck baker has an unhealthy rivalry with the butcher over the road. Then Charlie meets a magic chicken. And that is all he needs.
A Whole World for a Little World
Le monde du petit monde
a film by Fabrice Bracq
French with English subtitles
Like a fairytale, full of princes and princesses, a young mother tells her baby a lovely story. And it is a story she hopes will last forever.
a film by Emily Pando
There is, in everyone’s life, that one moment before everything changes. This story is a reminder to cherish every breath before all counters hit zero.
Un seul homme
a film by Philippe Grégoire
An 80-year-old man follows the traces left by a car accident. About the story, the director says: “One day, under a blazing hot sun, something happened that caused my grandfather to never allow me to mow his lawn again. I wrote ‘One Man’ after I was reminded of that day.”
a film by André Heizer
In this very amusing scenario, a young elementary school teacher catches a student cheating and holds a conference with the student’s mother. Both teacher and mother are forced to re-examine their complicated roles in the education system.
Cup of Tea
a film by Jitendra Rai
Hindi with English subtitles
A young photographer stands at the edge of a lake, soaking in and photographing the beauty surrounding her. She notices a young village kid smiling at her. She smiles back. Suddenly, she is jolted back to reality.
a film by Cory Reeder
The story is about a girl with Down Syndrome, starring Gitane Neil, who has Down Syndrome. When her family moves across the country, a little girl finds more than a best friend when her parents let her adopt a dog. This sweet and heart-grabbing film was created for the 2017 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge.