HONOR RIDERS – Now Playing for Memorial Day

Since the American Revolution, American Indians have served in the United States military at a greater proportion than any other ethnic population. The Navajo Hopi Honor Riders are an organization dedicated to honoring the sacrifice, supporting the legacy, and serving the needs of those military families who have served the United States.

In 2018, the Social Justice Film Institute completed a new cut of Ralphina Sorrel’s prize-winning documentary Honor Riders, its first Incubator project.

Today, we are proud to share the completed film in honor of Memorial Day, and to show our gratitude to veterans everywhere who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Now through Wednesday, May 27th, visit our Vimeo page and use the password “memorialday” to watch ‘Honor Riders’ and an accompanying interview with documentarian Ralphina Sorrel on what motivated her to make this compelling film.

Click here to watch Honor Riders. This showcase will end at 12 PM PDT on Wednesday, May 27th.

Introducing the JUSTICE IN MOTION Podcast: Trailer Episode

On this National Superhero Day, April 28 2020

We are excited to announce our newest project, the Justice in Motion Podcast!

Click PLAY below to listen to our trailer episode, hosted by Daniel Swan.




In this episode: what you can expect from our podcast, a primer on social justice film, and a teaser of what’s to come in our first episode on Tuesday, May 5th. (Hint: this trailer is being released on National Superhero Day 2020…)

Welcome to The 2020 Earth Day Celebration

Wherever you are on Earth, explore global justice with us.

Access is now available to our featured films for the Earth Day Celebration.
Click on a still below from one of our films for viewing access.

These films are available to stream now until 5:00 AM, PST on Thursday, April 23.

You can stream as many films as you’d like for the duration of the festival, all on your own schedule!

Some of our filmmakers have requested password protection for their films. To access password-protected films for the Earth Day Celebration, use earthday2020.

Unburied

(Sally Fenaux Barleycorn, 6 min, Spain)

A truly moving and poignant short documenting the heart-wrenching effects that hostile migration policies can have on real people.

The creator of this film will be participating and taking questions in our panel and Q & A on Wednesday at 1:00 PM PST.

Guest House

(Hannah Dweck, Yael Luttwak, 75 min, USA)

This documentary features the lives of three women previously incarcerated for non-violent crimes and now living together.

The creator of this film will be participating and taking questions in our panel and Q & A on Wednesday at 1:00 PM PST.

NOTE: the password for this film is earthday2020

Patrinell: The Total Experience

(Andrew Elizaga, Tia Young, 94 min, USA)

A loving testament to the extraordinary career of singer and choir leader Patrinell Wright.

The creator of this film will be participating and taking questions in our panel and Q & A on Wednesday at 1:00 PM PST.

Harvesting the Wind

(Ann Hedreen, Rustin Thompson, 27 min, USA)

The inspiring story of how a major energy utility in Washington State worked at a grassroots level with a small, economically distressed county to create one of the largest wind producing facilities in the west.

Mi’Gwidelmag Gnitjgamitj (Remembering Our Grandpa)

(Nation Isaac, 7 min, Canada)

A short essay film that captures the beautiful landscapes of Listuguj, and focuses on the experiences and legacy of the director’s grandfather in the 1981 Quebec Provincial Police raid of Listuguj.

The creator of this film will be participating and taking questions in our panel and Q & A on Wednesday at 1:00 PM PST.

Shadow Life: Shining Through Colorism and Depression

(Miranda Kahn, 6 min, USA)

A short documentary that uses stop motion shadow puppetry to bring to life the story of a young woman who has struggled with mental illness.

The creator of this film will be participating and taking questions in our panel and Q & A on Wednesday at 1:00 PM PST.

Safe Passage

(Jessica Plumb, 8 min, USA)

This short documentary profiles two Pacific Northwest tribes that are working to keep traditions alive and to protect the waters they call home.

The creator of this film will be participating and taking questions in our panel and Q & A on Wednesday at 1:00 PM PST.

Return of the River

(Jessica Plumb, 70 min, USA)

A documentary infused with hope, Return of the River explores an unlikely victory for environmental justice and restoration. Reviewed as “hell-raising documentary filmmaking at its best.”

The creator of this film will be participating and taking questions in our panel and Q & A on Wednesday at 1:00 PM PST.

Think Like a Scientist: Renewal

(Jessica Plumb, 8 min, USA)

A follow-up film on Return of the RiverRenewal is a heart-warming story of transformation and restoration.

The creator of this film will be participating and taking questions in our panel and Q & A on Wednesday at 1:00 PM PST.

Earth Day Celebration: Featured Films

Wherever you are on Earth, explore global justice with us

Our Best of the Fest Earth Day Celebration begins next Tuesday!

Information about how to access our Mini Festival remotely will be updated regularly on our website and Facebook page.

Schedule of Events

Featured Films — April 21 – 23

Mi’Gwidelmag Gnitjgamitj (Remembering Our Grandpa)

(Nation Isaac, 7 min, Canada)

Inspired by Incident at Restigouche (Alanis Obomsawin, 1984), Mi’gwidelmag Gnitjgamitj is a short essay film that captures the beautiful landscapes of Listuguj, but also a dark side of Canada. The film focuses on the experiences of director Nation Isaac’s grandfather in the 1981 Quebec Provincial Police raid of Listuguj, and on Isaac’s own relationship to her grandfather’s life and legacy.

Mi’Gwidelmag Gnitjgamitj (Remembering Our Grandpa)

Shadow Life: Shining Through Colorism and Depression

(Miranda Kahn, 6 min, USA)

Shadow Life: Shining Through Colorism and Depression is a short documentary that cuts between interview footage of Shaina Simmons, a young woman who has struggled with mental illness, and stop motion animated shadow puppets which tell her story. Shaina is a young performing artist who grew up in New Orleans and suffered from colorism and racism which led to anxiety and depression. With extraordinary strength and clarity, Shaina explains her degrading youthful experiences and through Miranda Kahn’s lyrical puppetry, we come to understand how deeply our perceptions of someone can change how they perceive themselves.

Shadow Life: Shining Through Colorism and Depression

Guest House

(Hannah Dweck, Yael Luttwak, 75 min, USA)

Guest House is a documentary feature that captures a six-month period of life of three women previously incarcerated for non-violent crimes and now living together, taking the viewer through the realities of reintegration from the prison system and dissolving some of the ’otherness‘ that makes us feel more comfortable with our system of justice.

Patrinell: The Total Experience

(Tia Young, Andrew Elizaga, 94 min, USA)

Seattle was a rude awakening for singer Patrinell Wright when she moved here from East Texas in 1964 ‐ far from the bastion of racial tolerance she’d expected. But she did have musical talent, deep faith, and unstoppable drive, which she channeled into founding the Total Experience Gospel Choir, building it into an internationally recognized pillar of Seattle’s black community.

She was not without opposition. Church leaders gave her flak for singing in nightclubs, and then years later for her ordination.

By 1977, the Choir was touring the country and ‐ eventually ‐ the globe. Generous home-movie footage shows the choir’s shrinking, aging, and whitening over its 45 years, a transformation that played out against the Central District’s similar gentrification. Although Wright finally retired the choir in 2018, Patrinell remains as a loving testament to her extraordinary career and the joy and spiritual solace her music brought to thousands.

Harvesting the Wind

(Ann Hedreen, Rustin Thompson, 27 min, USA)

Harvesting the Wind is the inspiring story of how a major energy utility in Washington State worked at a grassroots level with a small, economically distressed county to create one of the largest wind producing facilities in the west.

Harvesting the Wind

Unburied

(Sally Fenaux Barleycorn, 6 min, Spain)

The Central Mediterranean is considered to be the deadliest migration route in the world; since 2014 more than 14,500 people have died trying to reach a safe port. Hundreds continue to die monthly. Spanish and Italian governments have started prosecuting and forbidding navigation to any organizations that try to save lives. Our brothers and sisters keep dying. The seas of the world are filled with black bodies.

Festival Panel — April 22

On Tuesday, April 22nd, you can join us on Facebook for a live-streamed panel and interactive Q&A with some of our featured filmmakers, hosted by the Social Justice Film Festival and Institute, directed by Jody Cole, and moderated by Aurora Martin

Information about joining our panel is available on our Facebook page.

ANNOUNCING THE SJFF EARTH DAY CELEBRATION

Wherever you are on Earth, come celebrate with us.

Mark your calendar for a virtual, ready-when-you-are mini festival featuring some of our favorite films from 2019, and some of the best environmental justice films we have ever screened.

Beginning on Tuesday, April 21st, we will host a selection of films to watch for free online through Thursday, April 23rd, as well as an online panel with some of our featured filmmakers on Wednesday, April 22nd.

We hope that, wherever you are on Earth… Day, you’ll be able to join us online to celebrate the goal of environmental justice and equity around the world!


Global images of Earth from NASA’s Galileo orbiter on December 11, 1999. In each frame, the continent of Antarctica is visible at the bottom of the globe.

Information about how to access our Mini Festival remotely will be updated regularly on our website and Facebook page.

2020 FESTIVAL EARLYBIRD ENTRY FEES EXTENDED

In light of the pandemic, we are extending our earlybird entry fee pricing through the regular deadline, April 30. We are already in the midst of viewing this year’s earlybird entries and we are so grateful to everyone who sent us their film in this time of increased uncertainty.

We hope you and yours stay safe and healthy, and we look forward to seeing you in the fall.

Important Dates

April 30, 2020: Regular Deadline
May 31, 2020: Late Deadline
September 1, 2020: Notification Date
October 1 – 10, 2020: The Social Justice Film Festival

Click to submit on FilmFreeway

COMING SOON



We may be social distancing, but we are still hard at work.

We have an exciting new project that we cannot wait to share with you.

Can you guess what we are working on?

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 magnifies the injustices and inequities of our age, and we are committed to standing by the social justice film makers who challenge these systems.

We currently plan to move forward with the Social Justice Film Festival in Seattle, Washington, from October 1-10, 2020, in the hope that gatherings will be safe by then. We are tracking developments, have back-up plans, and will adjust as the situation continues to unfold.

If you are a filmmaker in the United States whose livelihood has been impacted by the pandemic, there is assistance and relief available from the US Government. Please visit the Filmmakers Guide to Applying for US Coronavirus Federal Relief, released by the International Documentary Association, for more information.

Thank you to everyone who is working to protect health, rights, and justice around the world, now and always.

Wishing you health, safety, and strength,

The Social Justice Film Institute Team

BEST OF THE FEST – Spokane 2020

This Saturday and Sunday, be sure to check out Social Justice Film Festival’s “Best of the Fest” in Spokane, WA. 

Don’t miss the Oscar winning documentary short, “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If you’re a girl)”

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15 & SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16
2:30 PM and 6:30 PM
MAGIC LANTERN THEATER
25 W Main Ave. #125, Spokane, WA 99201

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 18
6:00 PM

GONZAGA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL (Barbieri Courtroom)
721 N Cincinnati St, Spokane, WA 99202

A Special Encore Screening of “True Justice,”
A documentary about the life of Legendary Alabama Lawyer,
Bryan Stevenson – author of “Just Mercy.”

VIEW THE BEST OF THE FEST PROGRAM HERE



2019 Prize Winners

Congratulations to our award winning films for 2019.

This year brought us an abundance of captivating films that pushed the boundaries of creative filmmaking and shone an important light on the issues, struggles, and lives that exemplify this year’s theme, #StoriesOfCourage. Some straddled the boundaries of narrative and documentary, entering the realm of lyrical poetry. We even were honored to host a 3D virtual reality experience through #oculusvrforgood.

We are incredibly proud of all the films we shared with audiences this year, and the talented filmmakers behind each of them. It was difficult to make a choice among them, but here are our jury prizes for #sjff2019.  

Gold Jury Prize – Feature
Hurdle

Silver Jury Prize – Feature
Condor and the Eagle

Bronze Jury Prize – Feature
Primas

Directors’ Choice
Patrinell: The Total Experience

Gold Jury Prize – Documentary Short
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)

Silver Jury Prize – Documentary Short
Mi’Gwidelmag Gnitjgamitj (Remembering Our Grandpa)

Bronze Jury Prize – Documentary Short
Shadow Life: Shining Through Colorism & Depression

Gold Jury Prize – Narrative Short
Bomi

Silver Jury Prize – Narrative Short
Unburied

Best Microshort
Elegy Ending with a Cell Door Closing

Youth Visions Prize
Lights, Camera, Representation

Prisoner Justice Prize
Guest House

Art & Activism Prize
The Observer

COURAGE: The 2019 Social Justice Film Festival

Mark your calendars and join us for films, food, and conversation at COURAGE: the 8th Social Justice Film Festival, screening at venues around Seattle this October 3-12. This year’s films will showcase fresh voices and brave storytelling that demonstrate courage in action.

Screenings will take place at the Duwamish Longhouse and the Northwest African American Museum, as well as several (possibly new!) locations in the University District and Capitol Hill.

Stay tuned for more details and the full program, coming this summer!

– The SJFF Team