Dir. Sara Blom
Synopsis: In October 2011, filmmaker and anthropologist Sara Blom visited the Occupy protest in Amsterdam with her videocamera every day for seven weeks. The result is an intimate portrayal of the movement, which starts quietly and ends with unexpected emotional impact. With honesty and compassion, Blom artfully captures both the inspiring and painful moments of the life of the fleeting encampment through the eyes of two primary characters. Beautifully photographed and edited, Fair Square: Occupy Amsterdam shows the evolution of the movement in a specific encampment, yet tells a universal story of the struggle for social change that took place on public squares everywhere last fall.
Bio: Sara Blom (1982) studied visual anthropology at the University of Leiden (Netherlands) and graduated with Real Estate Nomads, a documentary about tenants in the Netherlands who temporarily inhabit buildings to prevent them from being squatted. In 2010 she participated in the collective documentary workshop Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner about food, which was shown at the Beeld voor Beeld in 2011. Since 2009 she runs a freelance collective with two fellow filmmaker anthropologists.
THE FILM EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT
Dir. Dennis Trainor, Jr.
Synopsis: What would a world look like that had a culture and an economic system that places human need above corporate greed, and how do we bring that world into being? Who cares what it is called! Call it Socialism, Call it Real Democracy Now, and Call it Chunky-Monkey-Cherry Garcia. The world needs to change radically, it needs to change dramatically, and it needs to change fast. Shot on the front lines from the earliest days of the Occupy movement in New York City, Boston and Washington, DC, American Autumn: An Occudoc is an invitation for you to participate in that positive change. With interviews from key organizers, thinkers and activists including Medea Benjamin, David Degraw, Dr. Margaret Flowers, Lee Camp, Naomi Klein, Nathan Schneider, Ashley Sanders, Vlad Teichberg, Sgt. Shamar Thomas, Dr. Cornel West, Kevin Zeese and many more, writer/ director Dennis Trainor, Jr. delivers a fast-paced, fact-filled and fearless provocation to all Americans to Occupy!
Bio: Dennis Trainor, Jr. is currently the host of the web series of Acronym TV (on hiatus until the documentary is finished). He has been writing and producing editorial video commentary since 2007, publishing over 800 videos during that span that have garnered over 30 million views on youtube alone. He formally published under the alias “Davis Fleetwood” and while doing so was an embedded youtube personality/ media advisor on the staff of Dennis Kucinich’s 2008 presidential campaign, giving him the distinction as the first video blogger to be employed by a presidential candidate. American Autumn: An Occudoc is his full-length field documentary.
NEW YORK CITY PREMIERE
Dirs. Karin Hayes and Victoria Bruce
Synopsis: America is in the grip of a societal economic panic. Lawmakers cry “We’re Broke!” as they slash budgets, lay off schoolteachers, police, and firefighters, crumbling our country’s social fabric and leaving many Americans scrambling to survive. Meanwhile, multibillion-dollar American corporations like Exxon, Google and Bank of America are making record profits. And while the deficit climbs and the cuts go deeper, these corporations—with intimate ties to our political leaders—are concealing colossal profits overseas to avoid paying U.S. income tax. We’re Not Broke is the story of how U.S. corporations have been able to hide over a trillion dollars from Uncle Sam, and how seven fed-up Americans from across the country, take their frustration to the streets . . . and vow to make the corporations pay their fair share.
Bio: Directors/Producers Karin Hayes and Victoria Bruce are the recipients of the duPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcast journalism for their first film, The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt (HBO/Cinemax). Bruce and Hayes also produced and directed Held Hostage in Colombia, a documentary about three American contractors captured and held hostage by FARC guerrillas in Colombia, and the 2008 Target® Filmmaker Award-winning Pip & Zastrow: An American Friendship. In 2010, they co-authored the award-winning non-fiction book Hostage Nation: Colombia’s Guerrilla Army and the Failed War on Drugs, published by Knopf.
PLEASE NOTE: Shorts will not necessarily be screened in the order listed below.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 6 PM
Festival Opener [1:10] [Will screen before every program]
More than just a game, this creative short film is a visual interpretation of both the obstacles and the collective strength of the 99%.
MK12 is a design and filmmaking collective founded by artists in Kansas City, Missouri. Their work challenges the boundaries between narrative structure and experimental storytelling though the juxtaposition of live action, graphic design, nostalgia and new technologies and has been featured in many international film festivals, including Sundance, SXSW and the Sao Paulo Biennial.
#12M mai no hem marxat [1:01 min]
From a birdseye perspective, this short film shows the size of the demonstration that took place for the first anniversary of the occupation of Plaça Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. On that day the hashtag #mainohemmarxat (weneverleft) showed the world that the spirit of the 15M/Indignados movement never left the city. Indeed, hundreds of thousands of people took the streets once again to protest against the system that brought a crisis that left 50% of young people jobless.
Born during the occupation of Plaça Catalunya by the Indignados, the 15Mbcn.tv video collective documented in real time life on the square, from demonstrations to General Assemblies and other everyday activities. After the eviction of the square, the collective began documenting social movement activities in the broader community, with special attention to the increasing repression against activists in the last few months.
99 Words in Zuccotti Park [1:52 min]
Dir. Jean Thevenin
On 11/11/11, Director Thevenin met 99 Occupy Wall Street occupiers in Zuccotti Park, asking each to choose just one word to express his or her personal meaning of the movement. The result is a stunning display of diversity in all its forms and a celebration of the movement of the 99%.
Jean Thevenin is a musician and filmmaker based in Paris, France. In winter 2011, he spent three months in New York to shoot the Occupy movement. His first short film, Visible Shape, won the Special Jury Award at the Côté Court Festival in Paris in June 2012.
Alejandra and David: Facing Foreclosure [7:01 min]
Dir. Peter Leeman
This heart-wrenching film tells the story of how longtime immigrant rights activists teamed up with Occupy Homes MN to try to save their parents’ home from wrongful foreclosure in South Minneapolis, Minnesota. The family from Mexico City, who worked hard to own their dream house, was evicted due to a banking computing error. After a month long occupation of their home, and multiple spectacular eviction defenses, Alejandra and David reflect on what they gained from the experience.
Peter Leeman is a photographer and filmmaker who recently relocated from Minneapolis to Pittsburgh.
F* the Banks! [2:22]
Dir. Dan Scott McNair
Tired of big money speaking louder than our voices or votes? F* the Banks! This short narrative film shot on the streets of New York City shows you how!
The Revolution Will Be Televised [14:37 min]
Dir. Livia Santos
Shot in San Francisco, Oakland and New York City, this documentary gives an overview of the movement from its inception to May 1, 2012, focusing on how the movement builds awareness about social change through community organizing.
Livia Santos is a Brazilian student filmmaker who has been living in San Francisco for the last five years. She is currently the cinematographer of Kumba Films and is developing a Vj project that explores Brazilian alternative movies. This short documentary about Occupy Wall Street is her final project for her documentary class at City College of San Francisco.
Voices of Veterans [8:19]
An Occupy TVNY Production
Produced and Photographed by Joshua van Praag
Having taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the U.S. against enemies foreign and domestic, vets across the country see the Occupy Wall Street movement as their opportunity to live up to that commitment. On November 2, 2011, 40 veterans marched through New York’s financial district to address the occupation at Zuccotti Park and share their stories.
Occupy TVNY is an open video collective and subgroup of the Media Working Group at Occupy Wall Street operating in accordance with the principles of horizontality established by the NYCGA. Joshua van Praag has worked with directors Martin Scorsese, Bernardo Bertolucci, Woody Allen and Wong Kar-Wei, and his work has been exhibited at New York’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo and the Raindance Festival in London. He is currently at work on a documentary about the role of independent media in social movements. Sound: Lauri Faggioni, Editor: Zachary Schubert, Co-Producers: Michael Fix, Lauri Faggioni.
Dir. Shahin Izadi
The Wisconsin Uprising began with the historic pro-labor protests against Govenor Scott Walker’s “budget repair bill” that proposed slashing public services, pensions and collective bargaining rights. The festive occupation of the Madison capitol set the stage for the Occupy Wall Street movement. Edited from footage of the first week of protests, this film captures the spirit of the Uprising and the people behind it.
Shahin Izadi is a PhD graduate in philosophy from UW-Madison, where he was also a member of the Teaching Assistants Association. He is now pursuing an MFA in Film and Media Arts at Temple University.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 8:30 PM
Casseroles – Montréal, 24 mai 2012[3:47 min]
Dir. Jérémie Battaglia
Shot in gorgeous black-and-white with a soundtrack by Avec pas d’casque, this viral video captures the protests in Montréal, Canada, against the rise of tuition fees in Quebec and Law 78, which imposes heavy restrictions on protest and has been called a direct attack on freedom of expression and association. Every evening at 8 people meet in the street with their pots and pans and make all the noise they can in a tradition that began in Chile in the 1970s and is now a popular form of protest in many countries around the world.
Jérémie Battaglia is a photographer and filmmaker.
I Am Not Moving [7:12]
Dir. Corey Ogilvie
A youtube sensation, this film connects foreign and domestic policy, the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. Using their own words, politicians reveal their hypocritical maneuverings to control the will of the people everywhere.
An acclaimed director, editor, and cinematographer, Corey Ogilvie has completed four documentaries since 2008 that have toured international film festival circuits and have garnered four Leo nominations in 2011. Themes of activism and social change dominate his work, which has been called minimalist with an emphasis on narrative concision and emotive rhythm. He is at work on a full-length feature entitled “Occupy the Movie.”
Occupy: Citizen Journalist Super Suit [5:52 min]
Dir. Angeline Gragasin
Going to a protest? Get prepared! Watch this playful DIY instructional video on how to document at a protest and how to prepare for and react to police brutality or other emergency situations.
Angeline Gragasin is a rising new director whose film style combines performance, music, documentary and animation, and has drawn a cult following on Vimeo. Her stylish body of work has earned the attention of curators and creators at Vimeo, Portable.tv, Kickstarter, Got A Girl Crush, and Smashbox Studios. Angeline is a graduate of the University of Chicago, and the founder and creative director of National Headquarters, a video production and postproduction company based in Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago.
Occupying Paradise [6:40 min]
Dir. Michelle Fawcett
For indigenous communities and for those who live under brutal military occupation around the world, the use of the word “occupy” in the Occupy movement has been a shock and an offense. Occupation has meant genocide, the theft of land and resources, and the destruction of ancient cultures. Hawaii, seen as a tropical paradise, may appear the unlikeliest place for the Occupy Movement. But its dependence on tourism and a troubled history of occupation make the goal of creating a better world for all a challenge for local occupiers.
Michelle Fawcett, Ph.D. is an adjunct professor in the Media, Culture and Communications department at New York University. Over the past year, she has visited over 40 occupations across the country as part of the Occupy USA Today media project and has covered the movement with articles and short films featured in Salon.com, Truth-out.org and Free Speech Television.
Queen Mother of Harlem [3:56 min]
Dir. Adele Pham
Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely and the shareholders and tenants of 477 West 142 Street HDFC in Harlem (low-income housing for women and children for the past 30 years) fight for justice against indicted predatory lenders and mortgage fraud. Occupiers have since joined the fight to defend 477. In this video, Queen Mother visits Zuccotti Park and shares her thoughts about the Occupy Wall Street movement. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” she says.
Last September, like many documentary filmmakers, Adele Pham participated and documented the Occupy Wall Street movement and became closely affiliated with Occupy The Hood (OTH). OTH has generously raised funds to start the OTH Media Workshop which will encompass video production, journalism, and media literacy, and will hold classes twice a week at Chashama in Jamaica, Queens. For more information email Adele at adelepham[at]gmail.com. Camera: Sha Peterson and Messiah Rhodes. Rhodes is working on a full-length feature about the movement; please support his efforts here.
The Tax Dodgers [9:06]
Dir. Z.S. Grant
Gan Golan, street theater artist and co-author of bestsellers “Goodnight Bush” and “The Adventures of Unemployed Man,” leads a mock baseball team called “The Tax Dodgers.” Golan developed his guerrilla art tactics through his student-activist years at MIT, battling the World Trade Organization in Cancun, Mexico, and eventually taking on powerful corporations alongside Occupy Wall Street.
Created and produced by Z.S. Grant and John Carr. Executive Producers: Pharrell Williams, Coleen Haynes and Tom Dunlap. Editor: Brian Kind. Camera: Brian King and Z.S. Grant. i am OTHER entertainment – General Manager: Caron Veazey, Creative Director: Mimi Valdés, Executive Producer: Robin Frank, Associate Producer: Bethany Gould, Assistant Producer: Alexandra DePersia.
The Greek Revolt [7:28 min]
Dir. Brandon Jourdan/Marianne Maeckelbergh
While the government of Greece strangles public spending following European Union and IMF bailouts, large anti-austerity protests continue to spread across Greece. This film details how the people are resisting the troika’s brutal structural adjustment programs.
Brandon Jourdan, an award-winning independent filmmaker, journalist and writer, and Marianne Maeckelbergh, Lecturer in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University, have been traveling, researching, and making short films about responses to the economic crisis and current uprisings in Spain, Greece, the UK, the US, and Egypt at Global Uprisings.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 7:30 PM
Occupy Economics [3:16]
Dir. Jordan Karr-Morse
On November 13th 2011, economists from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, drafted an open statement to the Occupy Wall Street movement pledging their support. “We are economists who oppose ideological cleansing in the economic profession,” they wrote. “Equally, we oppose political cleansing in the vital debate over the causes and consequences of our current economic crisis.” Since then, more than 400 economists from around the world have added their names. Softbox is a video production company in Portland, Oregon.
Jordan Karr-Morse is a director and co-founder along with Sam Hull of Softbox, a Portland, Oregon, production company that strives to produce substantive, highly accessible, and visually dynamic films that contribute to broader social change. Karr-Morse earned a B.A. (Hons.) degree in visual communication from the Edinburgh College of Art and went on to work as a freelance cinematographer and editor on feature films, commercials and documentaries that have screened at festivals across the globe.
Default: The Student Loan Documentary [26:42]
Dirs. Serge Bakalian and Aurora Meneghello
This powerful film chronicles the stories of borrowers from different backgrounds affected by the student lending industry and their struggles to change the system. In 2005 private student loans were exempted from most consumer protections. Many borrowers find themselves repaying several times the original amount borrowed, with no bankruptcy protection, no cap on fees and penalties and no recourse to the law. The consequences are dire, with stories of borrowers in financial and emotional ruin, who are unable to lead the lives they thought their education would provide them.
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