Documentary Track

CARBON TRADE-OFF

Project Synopsis:

San Gregorio, a small Mayan farming village, has put their trust in mayor and founder, Nicolas Moshan, an unmarried, childless leader. We trace his coming of age as he fights to save his village. Through his struggle, he awakens to a global climate crisis that is threatening his people, his jungle, and his way of life.

CHUNKY - JOURNEY OF AN ACTIVIST

Project Synopsis:

Chunky: Journey of an Activist (WT) tells the story of Ramón "Chunky" Sanchez – a southern California musician, composer, storyteller and community activist.  Our one-hour film examines how Sanchez' personal story is interwoven with the broader history of the Chicana/o community and the unique cultural dynamics of the U.S.-Mexican border.  Chunky was influenced by the social unrest he witnessed and lived in his youth as both a child of farm working parents and as a student during the turbulent 1960's.  His songs helped to define an era which transformed America.  Chunky became an important figure in the early days of the Chicano movement and continues to be active in today's immigrant rights' protests.  Much like the role which African American music played in the Civil Rights movement, Chunky's songs capture the spirit of a generation determined to make changes in their lives and their communities as they struggled for identity and social change.  Chunky's life work has recently been recognized by a National Heritage Fellowship given annually by the National Endowment for the Arts. The award recognizes folk and traditional artists for their artistic excellence and efforts to conserve America's culture for future generations. 
FARM AND RED MOON
Project Synopsis:

Audrey Kali once embraced a vegan lifestyle in support of her concern for animal welfare. But visits with farmers – in whose farming practices and philosophies she found much to respect – prompted a re-examination. The film explores her journey, moving from denial to head-on confrontation of the inevitable violence of meat production, and to a newly complex perspective and ambivalence about meat eating.
KEEPING THE FAITH WITH MORRIE
Project Synopsis:

Keeping the Faith With Morrie is a documentary film about the life of Morrie Turner and his iconic multi-ethnic cartoon strip, Wee Pals. With the help of an animated narrator, Nipper, one of Turners most beloved characters, viewers get a glimpse of Turners’ struggles and triumphs in his quest to become a professional cartoonist in an industry that excluded people of color.  Frustrated with the racist caricatures of cartoons like mush mouth and Amos and Andy, Turner created a comic strip to counter the images that were being popularized.  It was the Civil Rights Movement and the death of Martin Luther King that gave Wee Pals its first newspaper syndication.  The Wee Pals comic strip brought a clear eyed but humorous depiction of race through the eyes of multi-cultural children. Turner’s story is part of a larger American narrative – the story of an ever-expanding, multi-racial nation grappling with free expression and identity in the most fundamental medium—the comic strip pages. As, Morrie approaches 90 years old and begins to retire his comic strip to his grandson, Nathan, Wee Pals will take on a new voice and significance while continuing to illustrate American culture’s outliers. in 2015, Wee Pals will celebrate 50 years as a comic strip.
PRODIGAL DAUGHTER
Project Synopsis:

Prodigal Daughter follows undocumented filmmaker Mabel Valdiviezo on her journey to reconcile with the family she hasn’t spoken to since she left Peru in the 1990s. Now in her forties, Mabel finally obtains her citizenship papers and returns home hoping to be embraced by her family, and overcome her resentment against her parents. When Mabel is compelled to reveal the truth about her childhood trauma that led her to a destructive life of sex, alcohol and drugs, her parents reject her.  Feeling hurt and abandoned, Mabel returns home to San Francisco where soon she is diagnosed with advanced cancer and given six months to live. With time no longer her ally; will Mabel make peace with her family and gain redemption before it is too late? Prodigal Daughter has the ability to humanize and personalize the lives of the so-called ‘undocumented.’ Americans too often forget that, exclusive of indigenous Native Americans, this is an entire nation of immigrants. Our goal is to bring out a transformative and healing story from and for the prodigal daughters and sons of global immigrant diasporas and the families they left behind.
SANDS OF SILENCE
Project Synopsis:

How can a woman heal after being molested by her father, trafficked into prostitution, and having her daughter sold? Drawing on her own childhood experiences of sexual vulnerability, the filmmaker interweaves her own story with that of Virginia, a Mexican-American sex trafficking survivor who breaks a cycle of sexual exploitation spanning three generations. Virginia’s astonishing metamorphosis into an impassioned crusader against gender-based violence and modern-day slavery forms the core of the film.