- Festival Hub
Director Kimberly Bassford
Duration 68 mins
Teshya Alo is 16 years old and 125 pounds. But on the judo and wrestling mats, she throws women twice her age and pounds heavier. And she beats boys. Now, she has her sights set on taking gold at both the judo and wrestling world championships — and eventually the Olympics. But it won’t be easy.
She is younger and less experienced than her opponents — and lives in Hawaii. The cost of traveling to mainland and international tournaments drains her family’s resources.
Winning Girl follows the four-year journey of this teenaged judo and wrestling phenomenon and her family, and in so doing tells the dynamic story of an elite athlete on her ascent, a girl facing the challenges of growing up and an entire family dedicated to a single dream.
Director Avi Lewis
Duration 90 mins
What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?
Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change. The film presents seven portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.
Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Naomi Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.
Director Kelly Nyks, Jared Scott, Peter Hutchison
Duration 74 mins
Two decades after Manufacturing Consent and ten years after The Corporation, Noam Chomsky now dissects the most dramatic development of our time — the extraordinary consolidation of wealth and power in the hands of a select few.
Filmed over five years, Chomsky unpacks the US policies of the past half-century, laying bare the principles that have led to this worldwide, historically unprecedented concentration of private capital and political influence, favoring a financial aristocracy while relegating the world’s majorities to the margins.
In a profoundly personal way, Chomsky looks back on his own life of political activism and democratic participation — sincere reflections that are not without regret.
Candid, intimate, unforgettable — this is the definitive discourse with arguably the most influential intellectual alive on the demise of democracy in our time — a masterly diagnosis of where we are and where we are heading; the ultimate synthesis of Chomsky’s extraordinary insights and perceptions.
Director Ido Haar
Duration 80 mins
In every corner of the world, at any given moment, random people post personal video clips online — virtual messages in a bottle, tossed into the boundless sea that is the Internet. Most flounder in a sad limbo of indifference and anonymity — unless your YouTube handle happens to be Princess Shaw.
Samantha Montgomery, 38, lives alone in one of New Orleans’ toughest neighborhoods. By day she works as a caregiver for the elderly; at night she transforms into Princess Shaw, belting out soulful originals at sparsely attended open mic nights and posting homemade a cappella clips on YouTube, usually reaching just a handful of viewers. One of her followers happens to be Kutiman, a.k.a. Ophir Kutiel, an Israeli musician living on a kibbutz outside Tel Aviv, who mashes up YouTube videos from all over the world to create new musical pieces. Princess Shaw has no idea that he has found hers.
A rousing documentary crowd-pleaser about a star-crossed singer-songwriter and her crafty secret admirer, Presenting Princess Shaw examines loneliness, anonymity and connectivity in the internet age, where showbiz dreams remain but a mouse-click away for even the most hardscrabble striver.
Director Brent Hodge
Duration 75 mins
When a group of Los Angeles comedians and actresses decided they wanted to play some intramural basketball, it was a shock to find there were no women’s leagues. And no women’s teams at all.
They looked into breaking the gender barrier and joining a men’s league, but the games felt like something was missing (besides lady parts, of course). They were boring as hell! No action. No drama. No play-by-play announcers, mascots or half-time shows.
From here, the Pistol Shrimps were born — a ragtag team of trash-talking, hard-fouling, wise-cracking women who are bringing a needed edge to the game.
Off the court, they are also making it happen. From actors, comedians, writers, models but also mothers, wives and members of the community, they are becoming the best. It’s starting to busy up their schedules… but there is always room on Tuesday nights for a game of pick-up.
Director Brent Hodge, with executive producer Morgan Spurlock, follows the Pistol Shrimps’ 2015 season, and shows us that women coming together can be ballers in sports and comedy.
Director Jake Witzenfeld
Three Palestinian friends explore their national, sexual and cultural identities in Tel Aviv.
Khader is a Tel Aviv “darling” from a prominent Muslim mafia family living with his Jewish boyfriend David and their Dalmatian dog Otis. Fadi is an ardent Palestinian nationalist who finds himself falling in love with an Israeli “Zionist”. Naim must confront his family with the truth about his sexuality. All three are conflicted by their desire for change in the face of a seemingly hopeless situation. Meanwhile, a war is brewing…
Determined to “change their reality”, the three best friends form a group called “Gambuta”, a non-violent, cultural resistance movement fighting for gender and national equality. Through their activism, they address what it means to grow up with the burden of a multi-faceted identity.
Director Hollie Fifer
Duration 86 mins
How can we ethically build sustainable industry in developing countries?
In a David-and-Goliath battle over the land on the luscious mountain peninsula in the centre of Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, Joe Moses, leader of the Paga Hill Settlement, must save his 3,000 people before they are evicted.
Joe may find his community replaced by an international five-star hotel and marina development. But not before he battles it out in the courts.
Director Heidi Ewing / Rachel Grady
Duration 91 mins
Norman Lear is bigger than life. He is arguably the most influential creator, writer, and producer in the history of television. He brought primetime into the present day using comedy and indelible characters. Known for his legendary 1970s shows such as All In the Family, Maude, Good Times, and The Jeffersons, his works refocused American consciousness on topics such as race, class, creed and feminism.
This film is much more than an arm’s length, past tense biopic as it chronicles Lear’s life, work, and achievements. 93 year-old Lear is as vital and engaging as he ever was.
Directors Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (Jesus Camp, 12th & Delaware, DETROPIA) break down the fourth wall, creating an intimate portrait where past and present live together, celebrating a psychologically rich man whose extraordinary contributions emerge from both his personal story and the world he lives in.