Check out this year’s official trailer, showcasing the 11 fantastic short and feature-length films on the topic of food justice to be screened October 16-17, 2015. Click for the full schedule and to purchase tickets to Friday’s Opening Night.
Are you passionate about food justice and films? So are we. The Social Justice Film Festival is pleased to announce we will be sponsoring a special Food Justice Film Screening on October 16 and 17, 2015 in partnership with Columbia Legal Services—and we want to see YOUR films!
Potential topics include farmworker justice, agribusiness, GMO labeling, food deserts, the industrial food system, food insecurity, sustainable farming (organic, permaculture), animal rights, hunger and poverty, urban farming, water, WTO and global food systems, the Green Revolution, the food/health connection, food sovereignty, school food programs, and more. The event will take place at University Christian Church in Seattle’s University District; details will be posted soon.
Our call for submissions is live. We invite producers and directors of all new films, narrative and documentary, feature and short, that focus on the array of food justice issues to submit your film to this special festival screening event at filmfreeway.com or withoutabox.com by June 1 (regular deadline) or July 1 (late deadline). Contact us at anne@socialjusticefilmfestival if you have any questions.
The next full Social Justice Film Festival will be in 2016—stay tuned for more announcements in coming months.
Hope to see you in October,
The Social Justice Film Festival is proud to announce the winning 2014 films, in the following categories. The 12-day festival, held October 18-30, featured 50 films from around the world, with a special focus on prisoner justice.
Director’s Choice Award: The Vigil, directed by Jenny Alexander
Gina, an undocumented single mother, risks arrest and deportation when she joins an ongoing vigil on the Arizona State Capitol lawn to stop America’s most controversial immigration law, “Papers, Please,” from going into effect.
Gold Jury Prize – Feature – Return of the River, directed by John Gussman and Jessica Plumb
A group of people attempt the impossible: to persuade a town and eventually the nation to bring a dam down. This film shows how the community came to a consensus, setting Washington state’s Elwha River free and showing the way to a more sustainable future.
Silver Jury Prize – Feature – War Against Women, directed by Hernan Zin
The use of rape as a weapon of war is often-ignored crime, which leaves victims unacknowledged and lets criminals go unpunished. Filmed in ten different countries over a span of three years, War Against Women exposes rape as a weapon and uncovers its heartbreaking legacy for victims and their families.
Bronze Jury Prize – Feature – Prison Terminal, directed by Edgar Barnes
At America’s oldest maximum security prison, a terminally ill prisoner spends the final months of his life in hospice. This film breaks through prison walls to recount the story of the prisoner and the hospice volunteers, themselves prisoners, who cared for him.
Gold Jury Prize – Shorts – Mestizo, directed by Talon Gonzalez
Multiethnic individuals express the complexity of identity when confronted with the question ‘What are you?’ Through spoken-word performance and interviews, subjects share their experiences of growing up mixed-race in the 21st century.
Silver Jury Prize – Shorts – L’Efecte Aleatori, directed by Nofre Moya
Economic crisis and overpopulation lead a European country to bankruptcy. Aleix, a biologist, discovers a molecule that causes death randomly among members of a community where it is applied. Will he succumb to political power to release the virus among the lower classes?
Bronze Jury Prize – Shorts – Tears, directed by Yahya Ghobadi
Tears is a short film that mixes animations with found footage of warfare to tell the story of a little girl and her family caught in a war zone as they celebrate the girl’s birthday. This film juxtaposes the innocence of a child in celebration with the atrocities of war.
Special Category Prizes
Prisoner Justice Prize – Natural Life, directed by Tirtza Even
This experimental documentary challenges inequities in the U.S. juvenile justice system by documenting and re-enacting the stories of five individuals who were sentenced to life without parole (natural life) for crimes they committed as youth.
Worker Justice Prize – Wisconsin Rising, directed by Sam Mayfield
In 2011, the people of Wisconsin occupied the State House when Governor Scott Walker introduced legislation that stripped collective bargaining rights from the state’s public employees. Wisconsin Rising tells the story of the largest sustained workers resistance in American history.
Best Narrative Film – Paper Crane, directed by Yu Shibuya
A clinic worker guides a man through three rooms: the room of brightness brings back the man’s happiest memory, the room of shadows brings back his most painful memory, and the room of dreams helps him recall bygone aspirations. But what is the purpose of this facility?
Best Animation – The Box, directed by Michael Schiller
Every year, thousands of teens are placed in solitary confinement cells in juvenile halls, jails, and prisons nationwide. This animation tells the story of Ismael “Izzy” Nazario and the time he spent in solitary confinement in New York City’s Rikers Island jail.
Gold Jury Prize – Youth Visions – Riffing on the Dream, directed by students at Chief Sealth High School
African-American students at a Seattle high school appear on camera to give candid, unrehearsed answers to questions posed by their fellow students. These powerful voices open a doorway into their world that will make you question stereotypes.
Silver Jury Prize – Youth Visions – Out of Focus, directed by Adrian Arce and Antonio Zirion
Out of Focus is a collaborative documentary about arts, culture, and everyday life inside a prison for minors. It was shot during a photography and video workshop with young inmates at the Juvenile Community for Specialized Treatment in San Fernando, Mexico City.
Bronze Jury Prize – Youth Visions – Lie, directed by Lisa Jiang
Ying is an illegal immigrant struggling to make it in America. When she applies for a job in the fashion industry, it is with the naive hope of gaining a work visa. However, being so used to hiding, she has spun a web of lies that ultimately puts her daughter, and her freedom, in danger.
Be sure to check out the official trailer, featuring a sampling of this year’s 51 films!
Be sure to check out their great line-up: a warmup for our festival which starts on the 18th!
We particularly recommend the International Rights Shorts Program that will be screening on Monday October 13 at 5pm at the Northwest Film Forum.
Description: Although LGBT people enjoy more legal protections in some parts of the world, in others they are not so lucky. This collection of shorts shows some of the courageous struggles being fought.
Get tickets here.
Compelling visions. Pathbreaking films. Stories to change the world. Those are the themes of the 2014 Social Justice Film Festival, once again taking place in Seattle in October. A notable feature this year: More than 40% of the festival’s official selections, including a U.S. premiere, have women directors, several from the Seattle area.
Films by women filmmakers based in or near Seattle include:
• Oil and Water – Francine Strickwerda and Laurel Spellman Smith explore the fortitude of two boys who seek to counteract one of the world’s worst toxic disasters (Sat., Oct. 25, 7 pm, Northwest Film Forum).
• One Generation’s Time – Shannon Gee looks at the lives of two murdered Filipino-Americans who played key roles in the Seattle labor movement (Wed., Oct. 22, 7:30 pm, UW Ethnic Cultural Center Theater).
• Unified Struggle – Christy X explores deportation under the Obama administration, channeling the voices of those who are deemed un-American because of corrupt U.S. policies (Sun, Oct. 26, 3 pm, Northwest Film Forum).
• A Dose for Dominic – Ruth Gregory examines the lives of two struggling parents raising their severely autistic child, and the decision to treat their child’s autism with cannabis (Sun., Oct. 26, 3 pm, Northwest Film Forum).
• Maikaru – Amanda Harryman depicts a man whose mother was kidnapped and forced into prostiution at the age of twelve. Trapped in a world of drugs, human trafficking, and violence, Maikaru shines through the darkness (Sun., Oct. 19, 6 pm, Northwest Film Forum).
• Return of the River – Co-director Jessica Plumb of the Olympic peninsula deftly shows the tenacity of Washingtonians striving to restore an ecosystem by persuading a community to take down a dam (Tue., Oct. 21, 7 pm, UW Ethnic Cultural Theater).
New women-directed films from outside Seattle to be showcased by SJFF:
• Invitation to Dance – At our festival kickoff party, Simi Linton, a disability rights advocate, proves that you don’t have to march to be politically engaged. All she asks is justice, equality, and a place on the dance floor (Sun., Oct. 19, 6 pm, NW Film Forum).
• Natural Life – In an experimental film,Tirtza Even challenges the U.S. criminal justice system for sending five young individuals to prison for the rest of their lives (Mon., Oct. 27, 6:30 pm, UW William Gates Hall #138).
• On the Side of the Road – The U.S. premiere of this film by Israeli former settler Lia Tarachansky brings an unflinching look at the origin of Israel and the destruction of 500 Palestinian villages (Thu., Oct. 30, 6:30 pm, UW Ethnic Cultural Center Theatre).
Join us at the Social Justice Film Festival (October 18 – October 30) to appreciate our talented filmmakers, women and men, and a slate of extraordinary films.
We are excited to announce a fantastic line-up of films for the 2014 Social Justice Film Festival!
Check out a full list of feature films here, the film’s three special events here, and the schedule here. Tickets for the Kickoff Party with Invitation to Dance and the Special Evening on Immigration with Jose Antonio Vargas are anticipated to go quickly, so be sure to purchase in advance.
Tickets are now on sale: get them while they last at Stranger Tickets.
We have several sizes of 100% organic cotton Social Justice Film Festival T-shirts available for $15 each! To order or pick up, please contact us at email@example.com.
Highlights of the Social Justice Film Festival
In 2013, we produced a ten-day film festival that:
- screened more than 50 films to about 1,500 attendees
- received sponsorships from more than 30 non-profits and businesses, including SEED Arts, the WA ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, the Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative, Occupy.com, and the Southern Poverty Law Center
- was featured more than 30 times in local media, including The Seattle Times, City Arts, The Stranger, Real Change News, the UW Daily, KBCS 91.3, KEXP 90.3, City Living, The Seattle Weekly, the Seattle PI, KOMO news, to mention a few
- hosted two of the most notable U.S. prisoner justice advocates, Sister Helen Prejean and Danny Glover
- provided an artistic forum to filmmakers from all over the world
- is innovative in the U.S. where no other such festival is know to have taken place. According to the UW Daily, the “Social Justice Film Festival (SJFF) uses film not only as an art form, but as a platform for social change…[it can] bring vital social justice issues to light and raise awareness of the problems spotlighted through the accessibility and relatability of film.” Full article
- created a space for speakers, discussions, and Q&A segments with high-profile activists, prior prisoners, falsely incarcerated individuals, and more
- provided the Seattle community with a badly needed forum for conversation, education, and creative problem solving around the challenges of prisoner justice
We’re excited to share the news that Barzan, one of our 2013 feature films, will be screening again in Seattle this weekend as part of the film series “Made in Seattle: Homegrown Documentaries.”
April 5th, 5pm
The Rainier Valley Cultural Center
Check out the full line-up of films here.
We hope you can make it!