Official Selection, 2014 Film Festival

The following 12 films, which are listed below in alphabetical order by title, were shown at the CSWE 2014 Film Festival during the 60th Annual Program Meeting in Tampa, FL, on October 24–26, 2014.

 

American Heart (dir. Chris Newberry) 96 min. 

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Seven years in the making, this award-winning documentary takes viewers on an intimate journey into the lives of three refugees who now call America home. Each of them confronts life-threatening health emergencies throughout the course of the film, and their trajectories prove surprising even to their doctors.

 
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A Civil Remedy (dir. Kate Nace Day, Film and Law Productions) 24 min. 

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Within the United States, tens of thousands of girls are trafficked for sex each year. In the shadow of the law, traffickers, pimps, and "johns" commit brutal crimes, while victims are treated as criminals. A Civil Remedy—a civil action for money damages—may empower survivors and hold perpetrators accountable.

 
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Cyber-Seniors (dir. Saffron Cassaday) 52 min.

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The film Cyber-Seniors chronicles the extraordinary journey of a group of senior citizens as they discover the world of the Internet through the guidance of teenage mentors.

 
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Homegoings (dir. Christine Turner) 56 min.

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African American funeral rites draw on a rich palette of tradition, history, and celebration. These rites are examined in Homegoings. The film will resonate with those familiar with the traditions as well as move and inform the uninitiated who want to understand how specific cultures deal with death and mourning.

 
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Humble Beauty: Skid Row Artists (dir. Letitia Popa Schwartz and Judith Vogelsang) 57 min.

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Humble Beauty: Skid Row Artists is the true story of how art saved the lives of talented homeless and indigent finearts painters in the worst area of LA, America's homeless capital. They were mentored by artists/social workers in free workshops, transforming their lives in empowering and inspirational ways through the process of making art.

 
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The Invisible War (dir. Kirby Dick) 55 min.

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A groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of our country's most shameful and best-kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within our U.S. military. Focusing on the powerfully emotional stories of several young women, the film reveals the systemic cover-up of the crimes against them and follows their struggles to rebuild their lives and fight for justice.

 
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Kids' Rights: The Business of Adoption (dir. Michael Dudko and Olga Rudnieva) 94 min.

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In Kids' Rights, a husband and wife ask themselves if they are fit for parenthood after they personally witness Elton John's failure to adopt. They speak with experts around the world and learn there is a flawed system in place that deprives children of basic human rights.

 
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My Name Was Bette: The Life and Death of an Alcoholic (prod. Sherri VandenAkker and Josh Hays) 60 min.

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This award-winning documentary examines women's risk factors for developing alcoholism, barriers to treatment, and risk factors for relapse by chronicling the progression of the disease in Bette—the filmmaker's mother who died in 2007—through interviews with Bette's friends and family, her medical and arrest records, and family photographs.


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The New Black (dir. Yoruba Richen) 53 min.

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The New Black analyzes the changing attitudes about LGBT issues in African American communities. The particular role of the Black church in shaping beliefs is looked at as well as the legacy of stigmatization of Black sexuality. Familial conflicts and affirmations, as well as same-gender marriage, are examined.

 
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Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience (dir. Audrey Geyer) 57 min.

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This 1-hour documentary by an MSW graduate dispels the myth that American Indians have disappeared from the American horizon and reveals how they continue to persist, heal from the past, confront the challenges of today, keep their culture alive, and make significant contributions to society. Their experiences will deeply touch both Natives and non-Natives and help build bridges of understanding, respect, and communication.

 
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Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall (dir. Edgar Barens) 40 min.

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The Oscar-nominated Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall breaks through the walls of one of America's oldest maximum security prisons to tell the story of the final months in the life of a terminally ill prisoner and the hospice volunteers, who also are prisoners and care for him.

 
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The Sunnyboy (dir. Kaye Harrison) 91 min.

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The Australian film The Sunnyboy follows 50-year-old Jeremy Oxley, enigmatic frontman of the much-lauded 1980s band The Sunnyboys, as he emerges from a 30-year battle with schizophrenia. An enlightening exploration of one man's experience of a misunderstood and stigmatized condition, The Sunnyboy is an inspiring story of hope and survival.