Until She is Free

SYNOPSIS

Until She is Free connects women’s struggle for power, personal and political with the suppression of their human right to be sexual. A “culturally cliterate” world offers an alternative narrative of power to the one that promotes the notion that women are sex objects who take direction from male power and accept all with little resistance. In a culturally cliterate world, a woman defines sex according to her own values, desires, and pleasures, settling for nothing less than personal autonomy.

Until She is Free was produced as part of Docs by the Dozen, in partnership with LUNAFEST®. Since 2001, LUNAFEST® has been flipping the script, creating opportunities for women in film. Watch the 2021 season here.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Maria Finitzo is a two-time Peabody Award-winning filmmaker who has won every major broadcast award including most recently the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award for her directing on the series Hard-Earned. She is an associate of four-time Oscar nominated Kartemquin Films. Finitzo is also a screenwriter and fiction film director. Her most recent film, The Dilemma of Desire, explores female sexual desire and women’s equality.

Overexposed: Filming An Arctic Odyssey

SYNOPSIS

Filmmaker and author Holly Morris (Exposure, The Babushkas of Chernobyl, Globe Trekker, Adventure Divas) has spent her career telling the stories of women who chase their potential in the crucible of the natural world.  So when she learned that polar explorer Felicity Aston was recruiting for the “Women’s Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition,” she knew she had to make a film about it.

 Morris and her all-woman film crew undertook an ambitious polar production: no snowmobiles, no dogs….no craft services. Nowhere to hide from the -40 temperatures or polar bears, and no way to avoid the open leads of water in the semi-frozen Arctic Ocean over which they laboriously pulled sledges, leaden with hundreds of pounds of camera equipment.

Narrated by director Morris, this behind-the-scenes short film (companion to the feature film Exposure, release 2021) captures the gravitas and debacle of an epic filmmaking undertaking, as well as the indomitable spirit of the expedition team itself—novice explorers from who trained for 2 years to become the last over-ice expedition to reach the fast-melting North Pole.

Overexposed: Filming An Arctic Odyssey was produced as part of Docs by the Dozen, in partnership with LUNAFEST®. Since 2001, LUNAFEST® has been flipping the script, creating opportunities for women in film. Watch the 2021 season here.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Black and white headshot of Holly Morris from the waist up with relaxed crossed arms and closed mouth, wearing a cargo jacketFor two decades Holly Morris has told pro-woman stories on the global stage. She’s an internationally-known filmmaker, author, and presenter (Adventure DivasGlobe Trekker). Her new feature documentary, Exposure, about novice explorers from the Arab World and the West who attempt to reach the North Pole, will be released in 2021.  Her acclaimed The Babushkas of Chernobylabout a defiant community of women who live inside Ukraine’s radioactive “Exclusion Zone,” premiered at LA Film Festival and won the Jury Award for Directing—the first of more than two dozen awards on the film circuit—before broadcasting around the world.

The Scientists Versus Dartmouth

SYNOPSIS

Young women scientists are told that the best way to create lasting change for women is to keep your head down, do your work, and wait until you’re in a position of power. But after a neuroscience Ph.D. student is assaulted by a respected Dartmouth professor, she bands together with the other women in her department to file a lawsuit against the school—and together, the women make the brave choice to reveal their names to the public.

The Scientists Versus Dartmouth was produced as part of Docs by the Dozen, in partnership with LUNAFEST®. Since 2001, LUNAFEST® has been flipping the script, creating opportunities for women in film. Watch the 2021 season here.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Sharon Shattuck looks directly at the camera. Portrait in black and white.

Sharon Shattuck’s latest feature documentary film, Picture A Scientist, was an official selection of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and will be released worldwide in spring 2021. Her film From This Day Forward broadcast nationally on POV in 2016 and was a New York Times Critic’s Pick. She’s the co-host of the podcast Conviction: American Panic from Gimlet/Spotify, and the co-creator of the Emmy-nominated The New York Times: Op-Docs science series Animated Life. She has degrees in forest ecology and journalism.

Sanctuary

SYNOPSIS

Extreme Risk Protection Orders, otherwise known as “red flag” laws, give state authorities the ability to temporarily seize guns from someone deemed to be an immediate threat to themselves or others. On January 1, 2020, Colorado became the 17th state in the US to pass a ‘red flag’ law, provoking a number of county sheriffs opposed to the law to declare their counties “2nd Amendment sanctuaries.” “Sanctuary” follows a handful of Coloradans on multiple sides of this controversial issue as the bill comes into law, including a state legislator and domestic abuse survivor, a member of a local militia, and a Colorado county sheriff. As these individuals address the threats, real and imagined, that the law responds to or poses, “Sanctuary” offers a timely meditation on the meaning of safety in America today.

“Sanctuary” was produced by Chicken & Egg Pictures through Docs by the Dozen, in partnership with Mother Jones. Watch the short film here.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Portrait in black and white. Brett Story looks at the camera and smiles.Brett Story is a filmmaker and writer based in Toronto. Her films have screened internationally at festivals such as CPH-DOX, the Viennale, SXSW, True/False, and Sheffield Doc/Fest. Her 2016 feature documentary, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes, was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award, and her most recent feature documentary, The Hottest August, continues to screen around the world. She is an assistant professor in the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University. 

One Shot One Kill

SYNOPSIS

“One Shot One Kill” is an immersive verite documentary that follows a father and his two sons as they embark on their annual deer hunting trip in rural Tennessee. This family tradition connects the Neal family to the beauty of the land, the tradition of hunting, and what it means to be both a hunter and gun owner in the United States today.

“One Shot One Kill” was produced by Chicken & Egg Pictures through Docs by the Dozen, in partnership with Mother Jones. Watch the short film here.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Nancy Schwartzman smiles at the camera. Black and white portrait.Nancy Schwartzman is a Peabody-nominated filmmaker who uses storytelling and technology to create safer communities for women and girls. Her debut feature, Roll Red Roll, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and screened at over 40 film festivals worldwide, garnering seven best documentary awards. The film was a New York Times Critics’ Pick, with 100% on Rotten Tomatoes; played on POV and BBC; and is streaming in 190 countries on Netflix. She is currently directing an investigative documentary with  The Center for Investigative Reporting, developing nonfiction series with XTR and Blumhouse Productions, and publishing a book with Hachette Book Group.

I am not going to change 400 years in four.

SYNOPSIS

When Satana Deberry took the oath of office as district attorney of Durham County, North Carolina on January 1, 2019, it was a momentous occasion—for the city of Durham and for her, as a Black woman elected to an office historically held by white men whose “tough on crime” policies have devastated communities of color for decades. Now, she faces the complicated realities of seeking to reform a deeply flawed criminal justice system, and a community ravaged by gun violence. Her story is at once inspiring and empowering—and also a call to action, for voters across the nation.

I am not going to change 400 years in four. was produced by Chicken & Egg Pictures through Docs by the Dozen, in partnership with Mother Jones. Watch the short film here.

ABOUT THE DIRECTORS

Angela Tucker smiling and looking directly at the camera. She has long braided dreadlocks and wears thin hoops. Portrait in black & white.Kristi Jacobson slightly smiling and looking directly at the camera. She has medium curly hair and wears a jacket, thin hoop earrings, and a necklace. Portrait in black and white.Angela Tucker and Kristi Jacobson teamed up to co-direct this powerful short documentary, a natural evolution of each of their bodies of work. Angela Tucker is a New Orleans-based writer, director and Emmy nominated producer. Her latest films include Belly of the Beast, which will broadcast on PBS’ Independent Lens in fall 2020, and All Skinfolk, Ain’t Kinfolk (2020, PBS), a short about a mayoral election in New Orleans. Earlier films include narrative feature All Styles (2018, Amazon); Black Folk Don’t, a doc web series that was featured in Time Magazine’s “10 Ideas That Are Changing Your Life”; and (A)sexual (2012, Netflix/Hulu). Kristi Jacobson is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, working as a director and producer of features, series and short-form content. Some of her films include Solitary (2017, HBO), which takes an unprecedented look at life inside a supermax prison and is winner of an Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Documentary and Independent Spirit Truer Than Fiction Award nominee; Take Back the Harbor (2018, Discovery); A Place at the Table (2012, Magnolia Pictures/ Participant Media); and Cartel Bank, an episode of the hit Netflix Original series Dirty Money (2018).