100 Ways to Cross the Border
Dir. Amber Bemak
100 Ways to Cross the Border is a feature length performative documentary film which depicts the prolific Mexican/Chicano performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s 40-year career of artistic intervention on the US/Mexico border. Claiming all borders as queer and liminal spaces, or as Gómez-Peña calls it, “queering the border,” the film opens up the border broadly as a space of utopian possibility, a site of reinvention, and a move away from the current mainstream paradigm rooted in fear and xenophobia.
The Cleaning Writer
Dir. Carolina González Valencia
Beatriz Valencia, a domestic worker in the U.S., and Carolina, her daughter-filmmaker, collaborate to create the fictional character, Beatriz Valencia–author of the forthcoming book “How to Immigrate to the United States.” Using performance and hybridity, this documentary tells a story about immigration, labor, dreams and the power of fiction to generate emancipation.
Untitled Street Vending Film
Dir. Courtney Wittekind
From morning to night, a procession of singing street vendors winds their way into the rapidly-urbanizing core of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, crooning to the apartment blocks above. Set within a sprawling tangle of new construction occupied by an increasingly wealthy urban elite, USVF offers a vibrant, melodious portrait of vendors’ shared effort to persist in spite of large-scale political and economic change.
These Kids This City
Dir. Dorian Emerson Munroe
These Kids This City is a film about the young people of Liberty City Miami and its infamous bike culture, which reaches its pinnacle every Martin Luther King Day, when thousands flood the streets on dirt bikes and four wheelers riding in a form of rebellion and community. In light of a hate crime that occurred during last year’s gathering and the viral cell phone video that followed, three friends at the center of the movement are forced to defend the validity of their methods under the pressure of the justice system and the national media spotlight.
There Was, and There Was Not
Dir. Emily Mkrtichian
In a disputed territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan, a painter invites four women into her studio – a politician, an Olympic-hopeful athlete, a domestic violence activist, and a woman who disarms landmines for a living. Through intimate conversations, each woman shares their personal hardships, as well as their imaginations, desires and dreams for the future, starting the artist on a journey to create a series of transformative portraits.
Dir. John Sutter
Baseline is a series of feature-length documentaries filmed in the same locations every five years until 2050, offering an unprecedented look at the climate crisis. Baseline 2021, the first film in the series, uses archival material, interviews and verité scenes to reframe the climate emergency in the context of “generational amnesia.” The film takes a vignette approach, exploring places where the lessons of the climate crisis already are being forgotten and following characters who create memory as a form of resistance.
Dir. Kat Knight
Over a short period of time in the late 90s and early 2000s, every member of filmmaker Kat Knight’s family – her mother, her father, her brother, and herself – came out of the closet while living in America’s Bible Belt. Interweaving six decades of home movies and contemporary footage of the family in conversation, Prairie Queers explores family ties, multigenerational queer identity and networks of safety in rural Oklahoma.
Dir. Phil Clarke Hill
Exploring the human cost and complexities of two conflicting attitudes in Brazilian Amazonia —extraction versus conservation— this character-led documentary tells the stories of three stakeholders, a Ka’apor tribal leader, a sawmill labourer and a small-scale rancher. Looking at the situation and characters from a nuanced perspective, Developing Amazonia reveals that though they appear to represent opposing communities, all face similar systemic problems, as a result of living in a country run by a powerful and corrupt industrial and political elite.
Leuser: The Last Place on Earth
Dir. Shayne McGrath
A small group of Indonesian activists risk their lives battling the insatiable palm oil industry to protect the last place on Earth where orangutans, tigers, rhinos, and elephants still live together in the wild. While biologist Rudi leads patrol teams deep into the forest to catch poachers, charismatic activist Wiza has dedicated her life to publicly and defiantly fighting the large-scale corruption that has allowed large corporations to raze the forest for palm oil plantations.
Looking in Dots and Dashes
Dir. Tushar Madhav
After committing suicide at the peak of his artistic career in Japan in 2001, internationally renowned Indian painter Jangarh Singh Shyam has become a god-like figure for the people of his home village and an enigma in the world of indigenous art. This film discovers the artist in his afterlife, oscillating between myth and reality, by exploring his creative genius and unearthing the mysteries of his depression and death, which gave birth to a legacy that survives amidst paradoxes in the global market for indigenous art.
One of Ours
Dir. Yasmine Mathurin
One of Ours is a poetic observational look at reconciliation and belonging through the eyes of Josiah Wilson, a young Haitian-born Indigenous adoptee in Calgary, Canada. After being racially profiled at an Indigenous basketball tournament, Josiah distanced himself from his indigenous identity. While his dynamic family attempts to heal him from the past through tradition, a skeptical Josiah is forced to examine his sense of belonging through the politics of his identities.