2016 Winning Films Announced


It was definitely not easy, but the awards panel has made its decision about this year’s crop of films. The Social Justice Film Festival 2016 is proud to announce the following films as very well-deserved award winners:


Director’s Choice Award

East of Salinas, directed by Laura Pacheco (USA)

The story of an undocumented 3rd grader whose dreams are threatened by deportation and gang violence.

Gold Jury Prize – Feature

Jackson, directed by Maisie Crow (USA)

An intimate look at the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi, and the struggles of three women caught up in the abortion issue.

Silver Jury Prize – Feature

The Good Mind, directed by Gwendolen Cates (USA)

The leaders of the Onondaga Nation in New York strive to protect their sovereignty and culture within a state that stole most of their land.

Bronze Jury Prize – Feature

In Our Son’s Name, directed by Gayla Jamison (USA)

A couple who lost their son on 9/11 choose to seek reconciliation over revenge, and find their lives are changed by their decision.

Gold Jury Prize – Short

Transit Zone, directed by Frederik Subei (Scotland/UK)

Set in the ‘jungle’ in Calais, this is the story of a young man fleeing the regime of Sudan and dreaming of a new life in the UK.

Silver Jury Prize  – Short

Surviving International Boulevard, directed by Sian Taylor Gowan (USA)

Through the experiences of two women in Oakland CA, this film explores the complex realities of domestic child sex trafficking.

Bronze Jury Prize – Short

Safe Passage, directed by Jessica Plumb (USA)

Two Pacific Northwest tribes endeavor to save the Salish Sea and protect their traditional fishing grounds from fossil fuel exports.

Best Narrative Feature

On the Farm, directed by Rachel Talalay (Canada)

The story of the women of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside during the reign of serial killer Robert Pickton.

Inspirational Justice Award

Truth Seekers, directed by Lani Cupchoy (USA)

A student-driven social justice movement tries to change educational courses and textbooks in California to include the 1930’s ‘Mexican Repatriation’.

Best Narrative Short

Tadaima, directed by Robin Takao D’Oench (USA)

A Japanese-American family returns home from an internment camp after World War II and attempts to pick up the pieces of their lives.

Best Documentary Micro-Short

Invisibility, directed by Sarah Emery (Australia)

4 people who identify as having a mental illness work with a costume designer to create outfits that represent how their illness makes them feel.


We wish to extend a sincere thank you to the hard-working crews behind every film we screened this year. The strength of the filmmaking, as well as the sheer breadth of topic and style, made this an incredible year for the festival.

As ever, we want our festival to be a jumping off point for discussion and action, and are confident that this year many eyes were opened and many hearts were inspired around some very important topics.

Roll on 2017!

The SJFF Team

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