Friday, June 5th
7:00 PM – Whitney Humanities Center
WE BREAK THINGS, directed by Rebecca Wexler (60 minutes) – Special Work-in-Progress Screening
WE BREAK THINGS peels back the curtain on one of society’s increasingly powerful political forces, which to most people remains a mystery. Meet the hackers who build and break technology to defend civil liberties worldwide. Featuring intimate personal stories from deep inside the hacker community, this film showcases gender, orientation, socioeconomic, and other kinds of diversity among tech activists. Hacker culture, technology, and wit fuse in an electrified movement for digital freedom, as obscure figures behind the screens come forward for the first time to share their loves, losses, and deepest motivations.
Meredith Patterson’s fiery convictions are born of her personal struggles as a scientist living with autism and the specter of lost love. If something is broken she wants to fix it, and breaking things some more is sometimes the best method. Through her participation in the hacker collective TELECOMIX, self-appointed “tech support for the Arab Spring,” she uses obsolete technologies to evade cutting-edge censorship and surveillance in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya; smuggle videos of war crimes out of Syria; and wipe them of identification to protect the lives of their sources.
Stephan Urbach’s tattoos, piercings, and green Mohawk stand out when he is at work in the Berlin State Parliament. Stephan is a leading member of THE PIRATE PARTY, a group of upstart hackers who burst into German politics to win seats in four State parliaments. Stephan leads the Pirates in a campaign for inclusion in the federal Reichstag. After a flourish of support, the tough work of governing hits: they must balance their free speech values (and their belief that even the most odious should be permitted to have their say) against the threat of a Neo-Nazi infiltration of their party. As Stephan navigates a balance between the party’s highest ideals and its practical needs, politics becomes personal.
8:30 PM – Whitney Humanities Center
AMERICAN REDS: WHAT MUST WE DREAM OF? directed by Richard Wormser (85 minutes) – Special Work-in-Progress Screening
American Reds: “What Must We Dream Of?” tells the story of Communist Party USA from its heyday during the Great Depression to its virtual destruction during the Cold War. The program highlights the passions and the idealism that inspired communists and the blindness to the realities of Stalinism and subordination to the Party line that eventually shipwrecked them.
IMDb: Richard Wormser
Amazon Author’s Page: Richard Wormser
Saturday, June 6th
12:30 PM – New Haven Free Public Library
FILM BLOCK #1
TINY MIRACLES . . . AWAKENING MEMORY AND EMOTION IN AN ALZHEIMER’S WORLD, directed by Audrey Appleby (15 minutes)
Dance and Music Specialist Audrey Appleby is approached by the parent of a former student, to create a Dance and Music program for her 84 year old Mother. Audrey has taught everyone from age 1 to 100- except someone like this- a person with Alzheimer’s Disease, with a lifetime of experience and memories locked inside her. What follows is the Alzheimer’s patient, her daughter, and Audrey embarking on an adventure of discovery. Every time the patient meets Audrey, she meets her for the first time…
A FEW MORE MISTAKES: NOEL AT 90, directed by Masha Shpolberg, 2015 (22 minutes)
STAMPER’S LIFE, directed by Sarah Hajtol (8 minutes)
LUTAH: A PASSION FOR ARCHITECTURE, directed by Kum-Kum Bhavnani (65 minutes)
LUTAH explores the life of a little known architect who left a big legacy. She designed iconic buildings such as the Lobero Theater, Vedanta Temple, and the Botanic Garden and was integral to rebuilding a damaged Santa Barbara after the 1925 earthquake. Lutah designed exquisite homes in many styles for some of Santa Barbara’s greatest philanthropists and spent hundreds of volunteer hours laying the foundation for the Santa Barbara Landmarks Commission. She did all of this as an independent woman at the turn of the 20th century. This is the untold story of Lutah Maria Riggs.
3:00 PM – New Haven Free Public Library
FILM BLOCK #2
TO TOUCH A NERVE, directed by Michael J. Finnegan (13 minutes)
This is a short-filmed documentary of the unbelievably tough life of Michael Lexton Hawkins. Michael is living the ultimate success story. He is a 55-years-old, born and raised in the working class urban city of New Britain, Connecticut. Many of us have known, lived with, or heard of someone who was addicted to drugs. Most people never recover from their addiction. Michael is an exception. He is a recovered drug addict. In addition, he has been living with the AIDS virus since the 1980’s. His life has been tough and full of unbelievable experiences. He successfully kicked a drug habit, survived during the rise of the AIDS virus, with little social or medical support and now supports others who find themselves in situations similar to his own. And wrote and published a book of poems called To Touch A Nerve. His successes deserve sharing and the goal of this film is to do exactly that.
THIS SIDE OF DREAMLAND, co-directed by Joshua Glick and Patrick Reagan (18 minutes)
An evocative documentary portrait of Coney Island banner painter Marie Roberts. The film follows Marie as she shares her artistic craft, her deep familial ties to the area, and her unceasing love for the cultural landscape. This Side of Dreamland offers a unique perspective on an eclectic art form and one of America’s most cherished cultural sites.
A CONJOINING OF ANCIENT SONG, directed by Willie Ruff & Gretchen Berland (32 minutes)
A Conjoining of Ancient Song retraces the trajectory of a rapidly eroding form of congregational singing from Scotland into African-American, Native-American, and white-American religious song traditions. Renowned jazz musician and ethnomusicologist Willie Ruff first began to study the cross-cultural phenomenon of congregational singing several years ago, when he followed up on his friend Dizzy Gillespie’s claim that some remote African-American congregations in the Deep South sang hymns in Gaelic. The film came out of two international conferences organized at Yale by Ruff, which brought together a few of the almost-extinct congregations still practicing the ancient line-singing tradition: The Free Church Psalm Singers of the Isle of Lewis, Scotland; the Indian Bottom Old Regular Baptists of southeastern Kentucky; and the Sipsey River Primitive Baptist Association of Eutaw, Alabama.
AEROMEDICAL, directed by Tim Malloy & Rebecca Abbott (28 minutes)
Aeromedical is an Emmy award-winning documentary about the life-and-death drama that takes place every week in the skies above Europe. The United States Air Force regularly runs aeromedical evacuation missions carrying wounded soldiers from battlegrounds in Iraq and Afghanistan to the military hospital at Ramstein Air Force Base in Landstuhl, Germany, treating their brave but gravely wounded passengers as they fly. These missions take place on C-17 Globemaster military transport aircraft that have been converted into flying hospitals. Every flight is populated with nurses, medics, doctors, pilots, loadmasters and injured soldiers, a spectrum of personalities fused by one extraordinary mission. The situation is intense as doctors and nurses fight to save soldiers’ lives. It is a story of both the heroism of soldiers who have risked their lives on the battlefield, and of the doctors, nurses and technicians – many of them women – who are fighting to keep them alive.
6:30 PM – Whitney Humanities Center
SALAD DAYS, directed by Scott Crawford (Connecticut premiere) (102 minutes)
“Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC (1980-90)” examines the early DIY punk scene in the Nation’s Capital. It was a decade when seminal bands like Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Government Issue, Scream, Void, Faith, Rites of Spring, Marginal Man, Fugazi, and others released their own records and booked their own shows—without major record label constraints or mainstream media scrutiny. Contextually, it was a cultural watershed that predated the alternative music explosion of the 1990s (and the industry’s subsequent implosion). Thirty years later, DC’s original DIY punk spirit serves as a reminder of the hopefulness of youth, the power of community and the strength of conviction.
8:30 PM – Whitney Humanities Center
DANNY SAYS, directed by Brendan Toller (New England Premiere) (104 minutes)
DANNY SAYS is a documentary on the life and times of Danny Fields. Since 1966, Danny Fields has played a pivotal role in music and “culture” of the late 20th century: working for the Doors, Lou Reed, Nico, Judy Collins and managing groundbreaking artists like the Stooges, the MC5 and the Ramones. DANNY SAYS follows Fields from Harvard Law dropout, to the Warhol Silver Factory, to Director of Publicity at Elektra Records, to “punk pioneer” and beyond. Danny’s taste and opinion, once deemed defiant and radical, has turned out to have been prescient. DANNY SAYS is a story of marginal turning mainstream, avant-garde turning prophetic.
Sunday, June 7th
1:00 PM – Whitney Humanities Center
FILM BLOCK #3
THE NEW HAVEN GREEN: HEART OF A CITY, directed by Karyl Evans (30 minutes)
Narrated by Paul Giamatti, this documentary explores the rich history of the New Haven, Connecticut Green which continues to be the center of civic, religious, educational, and commercial life in the city. The film reveals unique stories including the presence of over 5,000 bodies buried on the Green, and the fact that a witchcraft trial took place on the Green 50 years before the Salem witchcraft trials. The Amistad captives trial, the British invasion during the Revolutionary War, President John F. Kennedy’s speech, and Glenn Miller’s music on the Green are also featured. With a treasure of rarely seen archival photographs and paintings from the Yale Archives, and rare film footage of the May Day Protest, along with interviews and an original score, this film brings to life New Haven’s remarkable history.
HERE: ONE SMALL BLUE STATE’S STRUGGLE WITH IMMIGRATION, directed by Jamie Almodovar (40 MINUTES)
A liberal East Coast state is an unlikely setting for turmoil over immigration. But shocking developments, including illegal federal raids and police brutality, brought controversy and national attention to Connecticut in recent years. In this documentary, witnesses and players in this drama tell their stories from the conflicts around immigration in our communities and share their efforts to fight for justice and effect change. These personal stories are then placed in the context of our broken federal system, the hotly debated issue of immigration reform, and the international forces propelling foreigners across our borders.
2:45 PM – Whitney Humanities Center
LABELED: EXPLORE WHAT LIFE IS LIKE FOR LGBT YOUTH, directed by Adina McCray, Alana Hylton, Chanelle Clarke, Chelsea Martin, Dante Petti, Harry Kelley, Jarod Simmons, Julie Vargas, Kelvin Payton, LaRaja Bidon, Marvinasia Ogman, Nicole Martin Samantha Ortiz, Stephen John, Teayana Howard, and Victor Juarez (28 minutes)
According to the Human Rights Campaign, 4 in 10 LGBT youth – 42% – say the community in which they live is not accepting of LGBT people. Labeled, a documentary by Youth Rights Media, explores what life is like for LGBT youth, taking an incisive look at the roles media, school, family and faith play in their lives.
3:45 PM – Whitney Humanities Center
STUDENT SHORTS FILM BLOCK
THROUGH THE ARTISTS EYES, directed by Stan Grunder (4 minutes)
WIZARD FARM MUSIC, directed by Cassia Armstrong (4 minutes)
“Wizard Farm Music is a quirky, three-piece band based in Hartford, Connecticut. From learning how to play an instrument to moving across the country, this documentary discusses the failures and successes that brought these individuals together.”
HAVEN, directed by Mike Morrone (18 minutes), from Quinnipiac Unniversity
We are a group of senior film students at Quinnipiac University. We share a passion for documentary filmmaking and have decided to come together to produce a documentary for our capstone project. With the support of the Quinnipiac Film Department, we have set out to restore the identity of the homeless, starting in our own community.
Haven sheds a light on overcoming homelessness in New Haven, from the perspective of a man who has found himself down on his luck.
WHAT WILL YOU BE? directed by Alex Ingber (8 minutes)
LEGACY: WOMEN’S SPORTS AT YALE, directed by Kristi Wagner (20 minutes)
COACHING COLBURN: A MEMOIR (15 minutes) from Trinity College
GOONERS, directed by Jen Calhoun (12 minutes)
7:00 PM – Whitney Humanities Center
A DOG NAMED GUCCI, directed by Gorman Bechard (East Coast Premiere) (84 minutes)
From survivor to rock star, A Dog Named Gucci is the story of a puppy set on fire and the brave man who came to his rescue. But for Doug James saving Gucci was just the beginning. Together they would forge a forever bond of devotion and perseverance and work to change the non-existent animal cruelty laws in their home state, proving that justice is a dog’s best friend.
Because admission is free, we ask that everyone attending this screening of A Dog Named Gucci bring a donation of pet food or a pet toy. These will go to benefit the Friends of the New Haven Animal Shelter.