From the oil fields of Wyoming and New Mexico to the homeless in Oregon, the teens of Montana, and an American family who could be anywhere, the meth amphetamine epidemic is spreading across the United States.
Americana Lost? by Chris Billing DC-area film maker
Americana Lost is a humorous and provocative film that explores growing social isolation in America by looking at the state of four long-standing American activities -- quilting, scouting, square dancing and revival meetings -- and the people who remain devoted to them.
At the Wall by Warren Bass and Zilan Munas
A “people's history” of racial injustice, as protestors clashed daily with the Philadelphia police force in an effort to integrate Girard College, an important milestone of the American civil rights movement.
A Balancing Act by Marc Israel
"Delightful and enormously entertaining, A Balancing Act bursts with the energy and unexpected swerves of a motorcycle joyride." - Davy Rothbart, This American Life
Take a tour of Austin's acclaimed Museum of Ephemerata, soak up the madcap antics of Iowa City Optimist Club founder "Skutter", rub intimate eyeballs with L. A.'s one & only "towel-face artist", then scour & scrutinize the cities & jungles of Cambodia & Vietnam, all in search of a mysterious international motorbike balancing contest! Intoxicated with a "rebirth of wonder" after imbibing copious amounts of mind-altering Kombucha tea, award-winning filmmaker Marc Israel takes us on this wild, epic, & often hilarious journey.
Behind Forgotten Eye by Anthony Gilmore
During World War II, more than 200,000 Korean women were taken into sexual slavery as "Comfort Women" for the Japanese Army. A half century later, some of these women are speaking out for the first time about a past that some would like to stay buried. The film is narrated by LOST's Yunjin Kim.
Big Bucks, Big Pharma by Ronit Ridberg
What are the consequences of relying on a for-profit industry for our health and well-being. An inside look at the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry and how it has shaped the way both patients and doctors understand and relate to disease and treatment. Narrated by Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman.
Bill's Big Pumpkins by Ryan Foss
Bill Foss is a man on a mission: to grow Minnesota’s largest pumpkin. A look at one corner of American gardening and the dedicated, hard-working, quirky people who inhabit it.
Division Problems by Wide Angle Media *DC-area filmmaker
Docs in Progress * DC-area filmmaker A vibrant addition to this year's Utopia program, Docs in Progress will allow audiences to watch and critique a documentary work in progress in an interactive session with the filmmaker. This program has been a popular film series in Washington, DC and we are thrilled to bring it to Greenbelt. The film to be screened is The Fixer by Aaron Rockett, which follows a BBC journalist and his local fixer as they navigate Afghanistan and Pakistan to help western viewers better understand a world that has been defined by war.
D.O.P.E. by Chris Aherns, Brian Stewart, and Scott Yamamura Four legendary skateboarders (Jay Adams from Dogtown's Z Boys, Christian Hosoi, Dennis Martinez, and Bruce Logan) rise to the top of their sport only to descend into drug and crime culture and slowly climb back to life. Narrated by Danny Trejo (Grindhouse, Delta Farce) and featuring the music of P.O.D. and Switchfoot.
Eli’s Liquor Store by Alonzo Jones, Arnold Chun, and Yealee Song. Producer Joseph H. Shim
Cultural identity is at the heart of this story about an African-American man who opens a store in Los Angeles’ Korea town neighborhood.
The Fixer By Aaron Rockett
When foreign journalists are working in hostile environments, they often rely on locals to set up interviews, interpret conversations, and provide links and leads to people and stories. We follow a BBC journalist and his fixer as they navigate Afghanistan and Pakistan to help western viewers better understand a world that has been defined by war.
Frank, Jeffry, Benji & Me by Joshua Wilkinson
Learning how to grow as a father, student director Joshua Wilkinson attempts to understand and reconcile the divide inside his own family going back two generations of fathers and looking ahead at his own son.
A family that preaches peace and justice has been unable to follow the same rules at home, leading to Jeffry’s resentment for being neglected by his heroic father Frank; to Joshua’s pain over his father's physical abuse of his mother; and finally to Benji's (age 6) desire for his father to put down the camera and be a daddy.
Free Spirits: The Birth, Life & Loss of a New Age Dream by Bruce Geisler
Beginning with a Hell's Angels dropout and eight friends in a tree house in 1968, the Renaissance Community grew into the largest, most controversial New-Age commune of its era. At its peak, it boasted 400 residents, its own airplane, national rock band, and a million dollar yearly income. The commune's story, both humorous and tragic, and that of the rise and fall of founder, Michael Metelica, reflected a generation.
Freedom Dance by Steven Fischer and Craig Herron Freedom Dance' chronicles the extraordinary sketchbook journal of a young artist's life-altering escape from Soviet-occupied Hungary during the riotous 1956 Hungarian Revolution.
From Fire: An Odyssey of Glass by Karen Lavender
From Fire: An Odyssey of Glass is a documentary with an unusual approach. It introduces you to the inner world of a leading female glass artist: a woman practicing one of the most dangerous glass techniques in a largely male-dominated field. This “artumentary” sweeps you along a wave of rich musical imagery, ending in a poetic crescendo that leaves you grasping for more.
Greetings From the Shore by Greg Chwerchak Still reeling from the death of her father, a young girl spends one last summer at the Jersey Shore before heading off to college. But when her plans fall apart, the girl stumbles into a mysterious world of Russian sailors, high-stakes gambling, and unexpected love. Starring Paul Sorvino and Kim Shaw.
In Good Conscience by Barbara Rick
A most unlikely and very funny rebel — an American nun — finds herself at the center of a human rights storm with leaders of one of the world's most revered institutions, the Roman Catholic Church. The film chronicles the true story of Sister Jeanine Gramick, who is defying a Vatican edict that she shut down her compassionate ministry to gay and lesbian Catholics, and silence herself permanently on the subject of homosexuality. Her battle takes her all the way to Rome where she attempts an audience with her key adversary over the years — none other than Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — the Inquisitor who would become Pope Benedict XVI.
Komsomolsk mon Amour by Alexander Gershtein, Thomas Lahusen, and Tracy McDonald
How does a utopian city struggle with its past and future? The city is not Greenbelt, but rather Komsomolsk, founded around the same time at in the Russian Far East. This town which started as a socialist experiment later became a major site of the Soviet Gulag and one of the most important hubs of the Soviet military-industrial complex. Today teenagers practice break-dancing and motocross in the shadows of monuments to the city's first builders. We take a trip into the city's history through the eyes of young people, aging Communists, former labor-camp prisoners, and a local avant-garde theater company.
Land's End by Ruth Torjussen
In this British road movie, Clare is a new mother facing postpartum depression and a cheating husband. On Christmas Eve, she enlists the help of two homeless men to drive her and her baby from London to her father's house in Cornwall.
Made in L. A. / Hecho en Los Angeles by Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar
Made in L. A. follows the remarkable story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles garment sweatshops as they embark on a three-year odyssey to win basic labor protections from a mega-trendy clothing retailer. In intimate verite style, Made in L. A. reveals the impact of the struggle on each woman’s life as they are gradually transformed by the experience. Compelling, humorous, deeply human, this is a story about immigration, the power of unity, and the courage it takes to find your voice. In Spanish and English with subtitles.
Made in L. A. ("Hecho en Los Angeles") documenta la extraordinaria historia de tres inmigrantes Latinas, costureras en talleres de explotación en Los Ángeles, que se embarcan en una odisea de tres años para conseguir protecciones laborales básicas de una famosa tienda de ropa. Con un estilo de cine directo e intimista, Made in L.A. revela el impacto de esta lucha en la vida de las tres mujeres, a medida que la experiencia las transforma. Conmovedora, simpática y profundamente humana, Made in L.A. es una historia sobre la inmigración, el poder de la unidad, y el valor que se necesita para encontrar tu propia voz. En español y inglés con subtitulos.
Mother Jones: America's Most Dangerous Woman by Laura Vazquez and Rosemary Feurer
A biopic of the famed labor organizer of the early 20th century who was born in Ireland and passed away at age 100 in Adelphi, Maryland. The film looks at how she transformed personal and political grief and rage about class injustices into an effective persona that led workers into battles that changed the course of history.
The Mother Road by Lauren Cardillo
Irene was born the same year as Historic Route 66. So it is appropriate that she heads out on a road trip along the famed byway, coming face to face with Americana, aging, and her relationship with her filmmaker daughter.