The Janes

SYNOPSIS

In 1972, police raided an apartment in Chicago where seven women, part of a clandestine network, were arrested and charged. Using code names, fronts, and safe houses the accused built an underground service for women seeking safe, affordable, illegal abortions. They called themselves Jane. 

Directed by Oscar®-nominee Tia Lessin and Emmy ®-nominee Emma Pildes, HBO’s The Janes tells the story of a group of unlikely outlaws. Defying the state legislature that outlawed abortion, the Catholic Church that condemned it, and the Chicago Mob that profited from it, members of Jane risked it all to help women in need.

The Janes is a finalist of Project: Hatched 2022

SYNOPSIS

In 1972, police raided an apartment in Chicago where seven women, part of a clandestine network, were arrested and charged. Using code names, fronts, and safe houses the accused built an underground service for women seeking safe, affordable, illegal abortions. They called themselves Jane. 

Directed by Oscar®-nominee Tia Lessin and Emmy ®-nominee Emma Pildes, HBO’s The Janes tells the story of a group of unlikely outlaws. Defying the state legislature that outlawed abortion, the Catholic Church that condemned it, and the Chicago Mob that profited from it, members of Jane risked it all to help women in need.

The Janes is a finalist of Project: Hatched 2022.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Portrait of Tia Lessin, she wears a long-sleeve shirt, medium length hair and looks at the cameraThe Janes Director Tia Lessin has been making films for more than 25 years; she was nominated for an Academy® Award for her work as a director and producer, with Carl Deal, of Trouble the Water, winner of the 2008 Sundance Grand Jury Prize for documentary and the Gotham Independent Film Award. She directed and produced the Chicken & Egg Pictures supported Citizen Koch, which was shortlisted for an Oscar® in 2014. In 2001, Tia received the Sidney Hillman Award for Broadcast Journalism for her short documentary Behind the Labels. Tia was a producer of Palme d’Or winner Fahrenheit 9/11, Oscar®-winner Bowling for Columbine, and Where to Invade Next and line producer of the Grammy®-winning film No Direction Home: Bob Dylan. Her work in television has earned her two Emmy® nominations and one arrest. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Directors Guild of America.

 

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR & PRODUCER

Portrait of Emma Pildes, she has medium length hair, a necklace, a v neck blouse, and her hair is slightly tilted to the left. Emmy®-nominated filmmaker and Director of The JanesEmma Pildes has an extensive background in nonfiction storytelling. As one of Pentimento Productions’ principal producers, Emma produced Spielberg, Jane Fonda in Five Acts, and Very Ralph–all for HBO Documentary Films with premieres at Sundance Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, and New York Film Festival. Spielberg and Jane Fonda in Five Acts were both nominated for Prime Time Emmy® Awards. At PBS’ American Masters, Emma helped to produce the Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning LennoNYC, Emmy® award-winning Inventing David Geffen, as well as American Masters: Billie Jean King.

ABOUT THE PRODUCERS

Profile portrait of Daniel Arcana, he is looking to his left, has a shirt and a jacket, and short hair.

Daniel Arcana is an independent producer, writer, and creative strategist. In addition to co-developing and co-producing The Janes, Daniel is a consulting producer for Doc Shop Productions, where he co-developed TNT’s American Race documentary series featuring Charles Barkley, the Netflix documentary Series Afflicted and the feature film #UNFIT: The Psychology of Donald Trump

Daniel is also the co-founder of Exopolis, an award-winning creative agency, and motion design studio; best known for the network launch of  Nicktoons and its work for Apple, including the global launches of both the original iPhone and the iPod “colors” campaign.

 

Portrait of Jessica Levin, she has a v neck blouse, a necklac, medium length hair parted in the middle

Emmy® and Peabody award-winning producer Jessica Levin devoted her career to creating high-quality non-fiction films, bringing to each project her seasoned approach to archival material and inventive storytelling. She collaborated with Susan Lacy on the American Masters documentaries Joni Mitchell: A Woman of Heart and Mind, Judy Garland: By Myself, No  Direction Home: Bob Dylan, Annie Leibovitz: Life Through A Lens, LennoNYC, and Inventing David Geffen. As one of Pentimento’s principal producers, Jessica most recently produced Spielberg, Jane Fonda in Five Acts, Very Ralph, and The Janes–all for HBO  Documentary Films and garnering two Emmy® nominations.

 

Powerlands

SYNOPSIS

Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso, a young Navajo filmmaker, investigates the displacement of Indigenous people and the devastation of the environment caused by the same chemical companies that have exploited the land where she was born. She travels to the La Guajira region in rural Colombia, the Tampakan region of the Philippines, the Tehuantepec Isthmus of Mexico, and the protests at Standing Rock. In each case, she meets Indigenous women leading the struggle against the same corporations that are causing displacement and environmental catastrophe in her own home. Inspired by these women, Ivey Camille brings home the lessons from these struggles to the Navajo Nation.

Powerlands is a finalist of Project: Hatched 2022.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Portrait of Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso. Ivey looks away from the camera, with braided hair and a t-shirt. In the back there are columns with posters pasted that protest the sale of Native land.Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso is an award-winning queer Navajo filmmaker and a Firelight Media Documentary Filmmaker Lab fellow. She started making films at the age of 9, through the Native youth project Outta Your Backpack Media. At the age of 13, she made the award-winning fiction film In the Footsteps of Yellow Woman, based on the true story of her great-great-great-grandmother Yellow Woman, who lived through the Navajo Long Walk of 1864-1868. The film was screened in over 90 film festivals internationally and won 11 awards. Ivey Camille continued to refine her filmmaking craft with a full scholarship at Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. She later returned home to work on films in her community in the Navajo Nation. At the age of 19, Ivey Camille began to work on Powerlands, her first feature.

 

ABOUT THE PRODUCERS

Portrait of Jordan Flaherty, he wears a shirt with a tie, and his eyesight is away from the camera. He has short hair.Jordan Flaherty is an award-winning journalist, producer, and author. He has produced dozens of hours of film and television, including for Al Jazeera’s Emmy®, Peabody, and DuPont-award winning program Faultlines; as well as short and long-form documentaries for Democracy Now and teleSUR, reported for The New York Times and Washington Post; and wrote two books based on his reporting. He began his producing career with the independent feature film Chocolate Babies, which was recently added to the Criterion Collection. You can find more of his work at jordanflaherty.org.

Portrait of Emily Faye Ratner, she looks at the camera, has short hair and sleeveless shirt.Emily Faye Ratner is a media maker and lawyer based in New Orleans, whose work focuses on state violence. She has organized with local groups to challenge law enforcement violence, incarceration, occupation and imperialism, working with organizations including Safe Streets/Strong Communities, the Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition, and New Orleans Palestine Solidarity (NOLAPS). She has also co-convened Patois: The New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival, at times serving as Patois’ Festival Director and as a member of its organizing collective. Her criminal defense practice focuses on finding paths to freedom for people sentenced to life in prison, and her civil rights practice focuses on revealing the everyday violence implicit in American policing and incarceration. Emily is a proud member of the National Lawyers Guild, the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Board of Directors of Junebug Productions.

 

Portrait of Jasiewicz, a photo in a high angle, she has short length hair with fringes, and smiles at the camera.Ewa Jasiewicz is a London-based writer and union organizer. She’s been part of solidarity initiatives on the ground in Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan as well as climate justice, anticapitalist and abolitionist movements in the UK, and no border struggles in Poland. Her first book Podpalic Gaze (Raze Gaza) was nominated for the Beata Pawlak Award. She has written for the Guardian, Independent, Al Jazeera, and Le Monde Diplomatique Polish Edition.

Takeover

SYNOPSIS

Takeover explores the twelve historic hours on July 14, 1970, in which fifty members of the Young Lords Party stormed the dilapidated Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx, drove out their administrative staff, barricaded entrances and windows, and made their cries for decent healthcare known to the world. They raised the Puerto Rican flag atop the building, and a banner reading “The People’s Hospital”–a nom de guerre still used today. Through archival footage, seamless reenactments, and modern-day interviews, we follow the Young Lords’ resistance against institutions curated by wealth and white supremacy and their fight for the most basic human right: the right to accessible and quality healthcare.

Takeover is a participant of Project: Hatched 2022.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Headshot of Emma Francis-Snyder, she looks directly at the camera, has medium length hair, and frames.Emma Francis-Snyder is a New York-based activist and award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her directorial debut, Takeover, was shortlisted for an Academy® Award, the IDA Awards, and Cinema Eye Awards. She was chosen as one of Vimeo’s Best New Creators of the year. Takeover is part of the 2021 New York Times OpDoc series. She is an Open Society and Ford Foundation JustFilms grantee. In 2012 Emma, and co-director, Sara Beth Curtis, received the Rosen Fellowship through CUNY Brooklyn College and traveled to Santiago, Chile, and Montreal, Quebec to film the simultaneous student movements. In 2015 she graduated from the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies  with the self-designed major, “Social Documentation.” Using film she has explored social issues in a creative and critical manner.

 

ABOUT THE PRODUCER

Portrait of Tony Gerber. Tony is in front of a photo call, he wears a jacket, a buttoned shirt, and thick frames. He has short heard, beard, and mustache. He looks directly at the camera and smiles slightly.Tony Gerber is an Emmy® and PGA Award-winning writer, producer, and filmmaker. He is a producer of the film Jane (director: Brett Morgen), about the life and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. For CNN Films he directed and co-wrote with Meryl Streep, We Will Rise, chronicling former First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to Africa, to raise awareness of the importance of girls’ education. The film won an American Television Academy Honors Award and a CINE Golden Eagle Award. In 2005, Gerber co-founded NY-based production company Market Road Films with two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage. Nottage and Gerber Executive Produced Unfinished: Deep South, a 10-part podcast for Stitcher investigating an unsolved 1950s lynching, and are currently developing a feature film, Everlasting Yea!, for Amazon Studios.

Mama Has a Mustache

SYNOPSIS

Mama Has a Mustache is a short, quirky, fully animated documentary about gender and family, as seen through children’s eyes. Driven completely by audio interviews of kids ages five to ten, the film uses these sound bytes combined with clip-art and mixed media to explore how children are able to experience and perceive a world outside of the traditional gender binary.

Mama Has a Mustache is a participant of Project: Hatched 2022.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR & PRODUCER

Headshot of Sally Rubin. Sally smiles slightly at the camera and wears a buttoned shirt, a leather jacket, and a necklace. Sally's hair is short and parted to deright.Sally Rubin is a nonbinary, Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. Her work includes directorial credits such as Hillbilly, Deep Down, Life on the Line, and The Last Mountain, which have broadcast on Hulu, Independent Lens, and PBS nationally. She has done producing, writing, editing, and consulting for LGBT-themed films such as Wu Tsang’s Wildness and Sam Feder’s Disclosure. Rubin has received grants from the NEH, the NEA, Chicken & Egg Pictures, the MacArthur Foundation, the Perspective Fund, and the Fledgling Fund. Her films have screened at top festivals including the LA Film Festival, DOC NYC, Big Sky, MountainFilm, and the American Documentary Showcase, as well as LGBT-focused festivals such as Outfest and Frameline. A graduate of Stanford’s documentary program, Rubin is a judge for the Emmy® Awards, IDA Documentary Awards, and a proudly out, Queer professor at Chapman University.

 

ABOUT THE IMPACT PRODUCER

Portrait of Nick Kelso. He wears a shirt and looks away from the camera, in the background there is a tree. The portrait is taken in a low angle.Nick Kelso’s work in creative distribution for numerous documentaries has led to dozens of conference presentations, three national PBS broadcasts, hundreds of grassroots partnerships, and collaborations with organizations like Toyota, Target, and the Andrew Weil Foundation. Nick entered film distribution unconventionally, with a background in creative marketing, nonprofit work, music education, and arthouse cinema. He also writes and produces music, and has released work on the LA-based label Hit+Run.

Crossings

SYNOPSIS

In Crossings, a group of international women peacemakers sets out on a risky journey across the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, calling for an end to a 70-year war that has divided the Korean peninsula and its people. Comprised of Nobel Peace Laureates and renowned activists, like Gloria Steinem and Christine Ahn, the intrepid team faces daunting logistical and political challenges as they forge a path with their Korean sisters toward peace and reconciliation.

Crossings is a participant of Project: Hatched 2022.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR & PRODUCER

Headshot of Deann Borshay Liem, she wears a black round neck shirt, thin frames, and short hair. She smiles at the camera.Deann Borshay Liem is a Producer, Director, and Writer of First Person Plural, In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee, Memory of Forgotten, and Geographies of Kinship (America Reframed, 2022). She served as Executive Producer for AKA Don Bonus, for which she won an Emmy® Award, as well as Kelly Loves Tony, On Coal River, Ishi’s Return, and Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story. She has contributed as a consultant, story editor, and producer on numerous documentary projects including Special Circumstances, Burqa Boxers, Mimi and Dona, and The Apology. The former director of the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Deann is the recipient of the Women, Peace and Security Fellowship from the San Francisco Film Society for her new film, Crossings, about women peacemakers advocating for peace on the Korean peninsula.

 

ABOUT THE PRODUCERS

Portrait of Ramsay Liem, he wears a checkered shirt, and thin frames. He smiles at the camera. In the background there is a bookshelf and a painting.Ramsay Liem, executive produced the award-winning film, Memory of Forgotten War, an outgrowth of his program of work on Korean American memories and legacies of the Korean War. He is a professor emeritus of psychology and visiting scholar at the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College. His broader interests include the intergenerational transmission of historical trauma and the social and historical contexts of Asian American identity formation. He is responsible for the oral history project Korean American Memories and Legacies of the Korean War and served as project director for the multimedia exhibit Still Present Pasts: Korean Americans and the ‘Forgotten War’. He is the author of numerous articles on the significance of the Korean War in the lives of Korean Americans and the social and psychological impacts of state-sponsored violence.

Portrait of Sarah Kim, she looks away at the camera, wears a shirt and a hoodie, and a cap. Her hair is short. In the background there are plants.Sarah S. Kim‘s producing credits include the critically acclaimed and award-winning film, I was a Simple Man (starring Steve Iwamoto and Constance Wu), which premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and is being distributed by Strand Releasing. It is currently streaming on the Criterion Channel alongside her other film August at Akiko’s, directed by Christopher Makoto Yogi, which premiered at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, and was listed in The New Yorker’s Best Movies of 2019. She’s produced several international co-productions including a North Korean period feature film called The Other Side of the Mountain, included in the National Korean Film Archive, and the documentary short film 9at38 (available through the Atlantic) about a musician’s efforts to put on a joint concert with North and South Korean musicians along the 38th parallel. She has produced documentaries and fiction films that have played at festivals including Tribeca Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, IndieMemphis Film Festival, IndieLisboa International Film Festival, International Film Festival of Rotterdam, Taipei Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, Warsaw International Film Festival, among others. She is a Film Independent Producers Lab fellow and IFP Cannes Producer’s Network fellow.

 

Portrait of Gay Dillingham, she smiles slightly at the camera, has medium length hair, a v neck blouse, and earrings/Gay Dillingham founded two environmental companies and a communications firm, and has directed/produced award-winning films including The WIPP Trail, My Body Belongs to Me, and Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary, a tool for making change around the end of life. In 2010, she traveled with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson on a peace-keeping mission to North Korea, and in 2015 she was one of the thirty international women to travel to North and South Korea calling for an end to the Korean War. Gay is Chair of the Santa Fe Film & Digital Media Commission and Vice President of WildEarth Guardians.

BEBA

SYNOPSIS

Rebeca “Beba” Huntt undertakes an unflinching exploration of her own identity in the coming-of-age documentary/cinematic memoir BEBA. Reflecting on her childhood and adolescence in New York City as the daughter of a Dominican father and Venezuelan mother,  tough, raw, stubborn, and powerful Beba stares down the curses of her ancestry, probing the psychic wounds she has inherited, while simultaneously embracing the vastness of her multitudes.

BEBA is a participant of Project: Hatched 2022.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR & PRODUCER

Portrait of Rebecca Huntt sat on a chair, crossing her hands on her lap, she wears a crop top and long hair braided in multiple braids.Rebeca Huntt is an Afro-Latina Writer/Director born and raised in New York City. She wrote and directed her first feature-length film, BEBA, which premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival and will be released by NEON in 2022. She premiered her short film 1-800 Lovable at the 2020 BlackStar Film Festival and has also screened at the Oaxaca Film Festival (Mexico), The TIDE Film Festival, Athena Film Festival, Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, and The Fader Magazine. Rebeca was recently included in DOC NYC’s 40 under 40 list and was a participant in The Gotham Documentary Lab. Rebeca is currently represented by UTA.

 

ABOUT THE PRODUCER

Portrait of Sofia Geld sat and folding her hands in a table, wearing an embroidered shirt, and smiling slightly at the camera, she has medium long hair.Sofia Geld is a Brazilian producer and director interested in telling personal stories that have the power to ripple through society and create change. Most recently, she produced the feature-length documentary BEBA, (TIFF 2021, Berlinale 2022). Sofia has produced for the celebrated directors Chai Vasarhelyi, Petra Costa, and Kristi Jacobson for platforms like NYTimes Opdocs and Netflix. Sofia has directed and produced several short films, music videos, and installations which have been exhibited internationally. She worked as an impact producer at Skylight Pictures on the feature films Rebel Citizen and Disruption. She directed the monthly human rights themed screening series #RESIST in collaboration with UnionDocs, Skylight, WITNESS, and Remezcla. Sofia received her BA from Bard College and was a 2014 UnionDocs Collaborative Studios fellow and a founding member of the Brazilian Filmmakers Collective. She is a co-founder of the production company Uvaia Filmes.

ABOUT THE IMPACT PRODUCER

Profile picture of Mia Bruno, she has long hair, and thick frames, the background is a textured paperwall.Mia Bruno combines an intricate knowledge of film distribution, impact, and sales with a skill for innovative and effective marketing and audience-building strategies. She works with filmmakers and content creators as a distribution strategist, impact producer, and grassroots marketer, marrying a nuanced understanding of the marketplace with creative campaigns designed to connect meaningfully with audiences. Some of her recent work include Jamila Wignot’s Ailey, Shalini Kantayya’s Coded Bias, and Rebeca Huntt’s BEBA.  Mia has worked with film organizations Cinereach, The Gotham, and DOC NYC, and consults on content strategy for brands like AAA and Meow Wolf.

A Woman on the Outside

SYNOPSIS

After watching nearly every man in her life disappear to prison, Kristal Bush channels that struggle into keeping families connected, both as a social worker and through her van service that transports riders–mostly women–to visit loved ones in faraway prisons. But when her father and brother come home after decades behind bars, Kristal confronts the challenge of rebuilding her family and making a home for her nephew, Nyvae. Interweaving intimate vérité with Kristal’s own archive, A Woman on the Outside is a tender portrait of a family striving to love in the face of a system built to break them.

A Woman on the Outside is a participant of Project: Hatched 2022.

ABOUT THE DIRECTORS & PRODUCERS

Headshot of Lisa Riordan Seville, a woman with medium length hair, smiling and looking at the camera.Lisa Riordan Seville is an award-winning reporter and independent filmmaker whose stories explore how money, power, and policy shape the lives of everyday people. Her investigative and enterprise work has appeared across NBC News platforms, on BuzzFeed News, The Guardian US, Lifetime/A+E Networks, and WNYC Radio. Lisa’s work has been recognized with a Peabody Award, a Hillman Prize, and a Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, among others. In 2021, she wrote a cover story for New York Magazine about the deaths of 15 men in New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex.

 

Portrait of Zara Katz, a woman with medium hair, wearing a black shirt with a necklace and looking to the left away from the camera.

Zara Katz is a filmmaker and photo producer for editorial, documentary, and branded content, specializing in crafting character-driven visual stories. Katz is currently Photography Director at NBC News and has worked with media outlets including The New York Times Lens blog, Time magazine, Medium, The Guardian US, Pop-Up Magazine, and Lifetime/A+E Networks. She was the Senior Photography Producer on Project #ShowUs, a Getty Images/Dove campaign, in which more than 100 women and nonbinary photographers participated. The campaign won the Silver Glass Lion at Cannes 2019. 

In 2014, Katz and Riordan Seville co-created Everyday Incarceration, an Instagram account featuring visual stories of 40 years of mass incarceration. Their work has been exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Photoville, and FOTODOKS, and was featured on The New York Times’ Instagram account. A Woman on the Outside is their first feature documentary.

 

ABOUT THE PRODUCER

Portrait of Kiara C. Jones, a woman looking to the right, away from the camera, with curly medium hair, wearing a no-sleeve tank, a long necklace and round big earrings.Kiara C. Jones is an award-winning producer, director, writer, and proprietor of Cultivated Films LLC, a New York-based production company that champions diverse storytelling and focuses on creating sustainable financial models for independent filmmakers. Kiara’s filmmaking has been widely celebrated including an Independent Spirit Award nomination for producing Anja Marquardt’s She’s Lost Control and The Directors Guild of America Grand Jury Award for her debut feature Christmas Wedding Baby. Kiara produced the 2019 Sundance premiere Premature, directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green, and has been an IFP/Blackhouse Producing fellow, a Trans Atlantic Partners International Co-Production Symposium fellow, a 2019BRIO Award winner, and an inaugural fellow of the WGA-E Inclusive Screenwriters Workshop mentored by Scott Frank.

Any Given Day

SYNOPSIS

Filmmaker Margaret Byrne follows three formerly incarcerated Chicagoans–Angela, Dimitar, and Daniel–as they manage their respective mental illnesses while searching for stability in their families, friendships, jobs, and housing. Over the course of five years, while documenting their rarely seen struggles, Byrne faces her own challenges and reckons with her own history of mental illness. Any Given Day intimately captures the hard-fought triumphs and struggles of living at the intersection of mental illness, poverty, and addiction, providing deeply personal insight into the necessity of caring relationships, especially when life is at its most difficult.  

Any Given Day is a participant of Project: Hatched 2022.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR & PRODUCER

Headshot of Margaret Byrne. A woman looking at the camera with long hair parted in the middle and slightly smiling at the camera.Award-winning filmmaker Margaret Byrne directed and produced Any Given Day (America Reframed, 2022) and Raising Bertie (POV, 2017). She is in the production of Corruption Capital, a series that follows a retired homicide detective and dozens of men that were allegedly framed for murder. She has worked as a cinematographer on over a dozen films including Surge (2020), Generation Wealth (2018), and American Promise (2014). She is the founder of Beti Films, a film collective based in Chicago.

 

ABOUT THE PRODUCER & IMPACT PRODUCER

Headshot of Margaret Byrne, a woman looking at the camera with short curly hair, wearing a pull-over.Latesha Dickerson, Producer/Impact Producer, is an independent filmmaker currently working on her first documentary project Teaching While Black, which explores the lives of Black teachers in Chicago’s public schools. She is a Kartemquin Films’ 2017 Diverse Voices in Docs Fellow and a Kartemquin Films’ 2019 Diverse Voices Accelerator Fund and Emerging Storyteller Fund grantee. She served as an impact coordinator for the short documentary ‘63 Boycott (Kartemquin Films). Latesha is a former educator with over twenty years of experience working in and with Chicago’s public schools. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Chicago State University and a Master’s of Education in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

I’m Free Now, You Are Free

SYNOPSIS

I’m Free Now, You Are Free is a short documentary about the reunion and repair between Mike Africa Jr and his mother Debbie Africa—a formerly incarcerated political prisoner of the MOVE9. In 1978, Debbie, then 8 months pregnant, and many other MOVE family members were arrested after an attack by the Philadelphia Police Department; born in a prison cell, Mike Africa Jr. spent just three days with his mother before guards wrenched him away, and they spent the next 40 years struggling for freedom and for each other. In 2018, Mike Africa Jr. successfully organized to have his parents released on parole. “I realized that I had never seen her feet before,” was a remark he made when he reflected on Debbie’s homecoming. This film meditates on Black family preservation as resistance against the brutal legacies of state sanctioned family separation. 

I’m Free Now, You Are Free is a participant of Project: Hatched 2021.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Ash Goh Hua looking straight ahead. She has shoulder-length dark hair partially tied up in a bun. Black and white portrait.Ash Goh Hua (any pronouns) is a filmmaker and cultural worker from Singapore, based in New York. They create documentary and experimental based work informed by the politics of abolition and autonomy, utilizing a subversively collaborative filmmaking process to build collective power. By challenging and exposing dominant ideologies in their storytelling, often through intentional usage of archives and anachronistic formats (Super8, VHS), Ash’s films show different imaginations to demonstrate the possibility of liberated futures.

Ash has been supported by programs and fellowships by Sundance, Jacob Burns Creative Culture, NeXtDoc, If/Then, and NYFA. Their films have screened and won awards at film festivals internationally. They are also a Common Notions collective member.

Storm Lake

SYNOPSIS

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Art Cullen and his family fight to unite and inform their rural Iowan farming community through their biweekly newspaper, The Storm Lake Times—even as the paper hangs on by a thread. Twice a week, they work as civic watchdogs to protect their hometown and the legacy of credible journalism, at large—come hell or pandemic. 

Storm Lake is a participant of Project: Hatched 2021.

ABOUT THE DIRECTORS

Beth Levison headshotBeth Levison is an independent Emmy and Peabody-winning filmmaker based in NYC.  Her most recent film, Storm Lake, which she directed alongside director/DP Jerry Risius and also produced, premiered at the 2021 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and won the Audience Award at AFI DOCS and the NYWIFT Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking Award at the Provincetown Film Festival.  It is about one family’s efforts to protect their Iowan farming town through their biweekly newspaper—come hell or pandemic.  Prior to that, she produced Women In Blue (2020 Tribeca Film Festival) about gender, violence, and race in American policing, and the Emmy-nominated Made in Boise (AFI DOCS 2019), about four women who carry babies for strangers in Boise, Idaho – the unofficial surrogacy capital of the U.S.  Additional producing credits include the Emmy-nominated Personal Statement (PBS 2018), 32 Pills:  My Sister’s Suicide (HBO 2017), and her documentary directorial debut Lemon (PBS 2011).  Levison is the founder of Hazel Pictures, a co-founder of the Documentary Producers Alliance (DPA), producing faculty with the School of Visual Arts MFA program in Social Documentary Film, and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Jerry Risius headshotWith over 25 years experience as DP on such projects as The Kingmaker (Toronto International Film Festival 2019), Generation Wealth (Sundance 2018), Seeing Allred (Sundance 2018/Netflix), Brave New Voices (HBO 2009), The Devil Came on Horseback (Sundance 2007), and more recently, as a Field Producer/DP on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and Parts Unknown series, Brooklyn-based Jerry Risius grew up on a hog farm about an hour from Storm Lake and brings a depth of filmmaking experience along with a local perspective that very few can.