An Act of Worship

SYNOPSIS

The travel ban sent a chilling message throughout America: Muslims are not welcome here. An Act of Worship begins with travel ban protests in airports across the country, then moves to mosques, community centers, and homes, where the urgency to address Islamophobia is becoming more and more palpable. Our story depicts the everyday lives of Muslim women activists across the U.S. as they forge new ways to confront the current political climate and provides an up-close look at a new generation’s attempt to take back control of its own narrative despite decades-long efforts to marginalize and criminalize them.

An Act of Worship participated in the 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Nausheen Dadabhoy An Act of Worship Chicken & Egg PicturesNausheen Dadabhoy is a Pakistani-American director and cinematographer working in documentary and fiction. She received her MFA in Cinematography from the American Film Institute. She’s had an Oscar-nominated film; her work shown at festivals including Sundance, TIFF, AFI Fest, IDFA; and on platforms including Netflix, HBO, and PBS. Nausheen has worked on four continents, speaks three languages, owns two cameras, and she was recently named one of DOCNYC’s “40 Under 40.” She is based in New York, Los Angeles, and Karachi.

Through the Night

SYNOPSIS

To make ends meet, Americans are working longer hours across multiple jobs. This modern reality of nonstop work has resulted in an unexpected phenomenon: the flourishing of 24-hour daycare centers. Through the Night is a verité documentary that explores the personal cost of our modern economy through the stories of two working mothers and a child care provider, whose lives intersect at a 24-hour daycare center in New Rochelle, NY.

Through the Night is a participant of the 2018 Accelerator Lab.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Loira Limbal is an Afro-Latina filmmaker and DJ interested in the creation of art that affirms women of color and builds solidarity across communities. Her first film, Estilo Hip Hop, aired on PBS in 2009. Limbal is currently directing Through the Night, a feature documentary about a 24-hour daycare center in New Rochelle, NY. She is the Vice President and Documentary Lab Director at Firelight Media. She lives in the Bronx with her two children.

 

Number 387

SYNOPSIS

This is the story of a Greek physician who collects pendants and bracelets.
This is the story of an Italian woman who has been fighting for 15 years to “make bodies talk.”
This is the story of those who watch over the forgotten migrants.
Since the beginning of 2016, 3,649 migrants have died while attempting to reach Europe by sea. 3,649 names, the vast majority of which have been diluted in the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean.
What happens to the dead? Who identifies them?
What do the mothers, the brothers do to try to find their missing loved ones?
For years, medical examiners have been trying to give back a name, dignity, a memory to these forgotten souls.
This film tells their story.

Number 387 is a participant of the 2018 Accelerator Lab.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Madeleine Leroyer, 32, graduated from Sciences Po Paris in 2007. In 2016, she trained at Les Ateliers Varan and IDFAcademy. She recently directed Abdelkader from Stalingrad. She co-directed the documentary Putin’s Gulag, which was awarded the jury’s prize at FIGRA in 2014. A freelance correspondent from 2008 to 2014 in Russia for several French media organizations, she is also the author of Une vie de pintade à Moscou, published by Calmann-Levy.

 

Enemies of the State

SYNOPSIS

An average American family becomes entangled in a bizarre web of espionage and corporate secrets when their hacker son is targeted by the US government.

Enemies of the State is a participant of the 2018 Accelerator Lab

 ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Sonia Kennebeck is an independent documentary filmmaker and investigative journalist with more than 15 years of directing and producing experience. She has directed eight television documentaries and more than 50 investigative reports. National Bird, her first feature, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival 2016 and was selected for the Tribeca Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, and IDFA. Foreign Policy recognized Kennebeck as one of “100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2016,” and Filmmaker Magazine selected her as one of “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”

 

A Cops and Robbers Story

SYNOPSIS

Corey Pegues, one of the highest ranking black executives in the NYPD, reveals a few months after retirement that before joining the NYPD he worked the streets dealing crack cocaine for one of the most notorious drug gangs in the US, the Supreme Team. To many he is either a perp in cop costume or a criminal turned hero. But who is the real Corey Pegues?

 A Cops and Robbers Story is a participant of the 2018 Accelerator Lab

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Ilinca Calugareanu is a UK-based Romanian director. Her debut documentary feature, Chuck Norris vs Communism, premiered at Sundance 2015. With a background in anthropology, Ilinca has a skill and passion for melding fiction and documentary into beautiful films. Her credits include VHS vs. Communism (2014, New York Times Op-Docs) and Erica: Man Made (2017, Guardian Documentaries). She is in production with her second feature doc, A Cops and Robbers Story, and she is the 2018 Sundance Institute|National Geographic Documentary Films Further Filmmaker Fellow.

 

Accept the Call

SYNOPSIS

Accept the Call is an unflinching look at the forces that drive one to adopt an extreme ideology. Through the eyes of a father who seeks to understand how his son is radicalized by the propaganda of the Islamic State Army, Accept the Call reveals how a Muslim American family is affected by the geopolitics and polemics that fuel the resurgence of reactionary and right-wing political movements. Through this intimate lens on the Somali community in Minnesota, Accept the Call explores the racism and prejudices against immigrants, the rise of radical Islam, and what it means to be Muslim in contemporary America.

Accept the Call is a participant of the 2018 Accelerator Lab

ABOUT THE DIRECTORS

Eunice Lau is an independent filmmaker and former journalist with a propensity toward stories concerning social justice. After years of reporting on Cambodia, she wrote and produced The Trouble with Waiting, which won the Grand Jury award at Busan Asian Short Film Festival 2008. Eunice has an MFA from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where her short documentary Through the Fire was nominated for the Student Academy Awards 2012. Between filming, she teaches documentary film at Baruch College.

 

Arthur Nazaryan was born in Russia and came to the United States at the age of five. He currently works as a writer, photographer, and filmmaker. His work has appeared in the New York Times, BBC, Guardian, Christian Science Monitor, British Journal of Photography, and The Atlantic. He is also a regular contributor to Public Radio International.

Electric Malady

SYNOPSIS

Director Marie Lidén grew up with a mother who suffered from an illness that the world did not recognize—Electrosensitivity. Years later, in a technologically advanced world, Marie gives a poignant account of the lives of two electrosensitives: William, a 41-year-old Swedish man, and Tyler, a 13-year-old Canadian boy. Using Marie’s own family story as a thread, the film explores William and Tyler’s isolated worlds and their families’ unrelenting commitment to help their children.

Electric Malady is a participant of the 2018 Accelerator Lab.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Writer/Director Marie Lidén is a Swedish-born filmmaker and animator based in Glasgow, Scotland. Graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 2011 with a degree in animation, she went on to direct music videos, shorts, and animations before focusing her practice on documentaries. Since then she has built a strong portfolio, working on over 10 independent and broadcast commissions. She is currently developing two international feature documentaries: Electric Malady (Aconite Productions) and Girls Of Cults (The Forest Of Black).

 

Writing With Fire

SYNOPSIS

In one of the most socially oppressive and patriarchal states of India emerges a newspaper run entirely by rural women. Meera, its popular reporter, decides to magnify the paper’s impact with an audacious move—to transform from print to a digital news agency. Working in media dark villages, mocked and discouraged, this is the story of a visionary woman’s feisty spirit in building what will probably be the world’s first digital news agency run entirely by rural women.

Writing With Fire is a participant of the 2018 Accelerator Lab.

ABOUT THE DIRECTORS

Rintu Thomas is an award-winning director-producer whose films have been used as advocacy tools for social impact, included in the curriculum of global universities, and used by governments as policy tools. Her work has been supported by The Japan Foundation, Bertha Foundation, and the Sundance Institute. Rintu enjoys producing films that have transformative social impact and has had these films screened at key global platforms and broadcast on international television networks. Rintu loves bookshops, dogs and seashores.

Sushmit Ghosh has directed and shot several award-winning shorts, many of which have been used globally as education and social impact tools. Winner of the National Film Award of India, Sushmit’s work is also supported by the Sundance Institute and Bertha Foundation. His interest lies in using new technologies and creative strategies to enhance both the visibility and impact that storytelling can create in the digital era. In his spare time, Sushmit enjoys biking and trekking in the Himalayas.

 

People’s Hospital

SYNOPSIS

As Chinese society criticizes dysfunctional hospitals, a doctor’s daughter revisits the small-town hospital where she grew up—this time with a camera, in the middle of a chaotic ER. 

People’s Hospital is a participant of the 2018 Accelerator Lab

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Siyi Chen is an aspiring documentary filmmaker and journalist from China. She holds a M.A. in News and Documentary from New York University and a B.A. in World History from Peking University. Her short documentaries have appeared on CNN, Quartz, and PBS. Among her works, Siyi profiled a unique Jewish community in Morocco, featured sex workers in legal brothels, and covered the thriving new industry of professional cuddling. People’s Hospital is her feature documentary debut.

 

Reentry (working title)

SYNOPSIS

Women are now the fastest growing population in the U.S. criminal justice system, increasing at nearly double the rate of men. The majority of women going into prison are serving time for drug-related charges. This immersive, character-driven film follows three women—who are part of a new reentry program in Cleveland, Ohio—as they prepare to leave prison, reunite with their children, and find jobs after serving time for drug-related charges.

Reentry is a participant of the 2018 Accelerator Lab.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Jennifer Redfearn is an Academy Award-nominated director with a filmmaking style the press has called “beautifully cinematic” and “intensely human.” She directed and produced the Oscar-nominated film Sun Come Up, about a small island community losing their homeland to rising seas, and Tocando la Luz (Touch the Light), an intimate character driven film about three blind women from Havana, Cuba. She was also a field director and additional camerawoman for the SXSW film Landfill Harmonic. In her client work, she has directed and produced documentaries for PBS, the BBC, National Geographic, CNN, and Discovery, as well as several short films for MediaStorm.