The Call-To-Action Film Festival, a documentary mini-fest by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, will present a diverse selection of seven thought provoking films starting this Friday, September 28 and running through Thursday, October 4 at Santa Barbara’s Riviera Theatre.
The festival aims to bring communities together in order to spark dialogue on pressing issues using the art of film. Each film screening will be followed by moderated panel discussions with the film’s directors and specialists on the film’s issues.
We are excited to announce that three out of seven presented films at the Call-To-Action Festival are directed by Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported filmmakers.
The Devil We Know, directed by Stephanie Soechtig
Unraveling one of the biggest environmental scandals of our time, a group of citizens in West Virginia take on a powerful corporation after they discover it has knowingly been dumping a toxic chemical – now found in the blood of 99.7% of Americans – into the drinking water supply. This shocking exposé will blow the lid off the chemical industry.
Saturday, September 29 at 7:30 PM and Thursday, October 4 at 5 PM.
Roll Red Roll, directed by Nancy Schwartzman
Go behind the headlines of a notorious sexual assault case to witness the social media-fueled “boys will be boys” culture that allowed it to happen. With unprecedented access to police documents, exhibits, and evidence, Roll Red Roll examines the 2012 assault of a teenage girl by members of an Ohio town’s beloved high school football team—and explores the complex motivations and attitudes of both perpetrators and bystanders.
Saturday, September 29 at 4:30 PM and Tuesday, October 2 at 5 PM. Rape culture panel to follow Saturday screening.
The Pushouts, directed by Katie Galloway (The Return), co-directed by Dawn Valadez*
“Dr. Victor Rios was a high school dropout and gang member with
multiple felony convictions and a death wish. When a teacher’s
persistence, a mentor’s moral conviction, and his best friend’s murder converge, Rios’s path takes an unexpected turn. The Pushouts examines questions of race, class, and power through the lens of Dr. Rios, now a professor at UCSB.”*
Sunday, September 30 at 4:30 PM and Tuesday, October 2 at 7:30 PM. Prison and education panel to follow Sunday screening.
*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support The Pushouts , but supported director Katie Galloway through The Return.
*Synopsis and image courtesy of The Pushouts.
Winners of the 38th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards® were announced this past week, and we are ecstatic to congratulate two of our wonderful supported filmmakers and a friend of our Nest on their wins!
Thank You For Playing, directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall and David Osit (PBS ‘POV’) won for Outstanding Arts & Culture Documentary.
When one-year-old Joel is diagnosed with terminal cancer, his father Ryan begins working on an unusual and poetic video game to honor Joel’s life. Following Ryan’s family through the creation of the game and the day-to-day realities of Joel’s treatment, Thank You For Playing is a thought-provoking testimony to the empathetic power of art, examining how we process grief through technology in the twenty-first century, and the implications of documenting profound human experiences in a new artistic medium: the video game.
(T)ERROR, dir. by Lyric Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe
(T)ERROR, directed by Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe (PBS ‘Independent Lens’) won for Outstanding Investigative Documentary.
(T)ERROR is the first documentary to place filmmakers on the ground during an active FBI counterterrorism sting operation. Through the perspective of “Shariff,”a 63-year-old Black revolutionary turned informant, viewers get an unfettered glimpse of the government’s counterterrorism tactics and the murky justifications behind them. Taut, stark and controversial, (T)ERROR illuminates the fragile relationships between individual and surveillance state in modern America, and asks who is watching the watchers.
And The Armor of Light, (PBS ‘Independent Lens’), directed by our Nest-friend and supporter Abigail Disney, won for Outstanding Social Issue Documentary. The Armor of Light follows the journey of an Evangelical minister trying to find the moral strength to preach about the growing toll of gun violence in America.
Many congratulations to all!
Read more about this year’s awards here.
I’m directing and producing ALWAYS IN SEASON, a documentary that examines the lingering impact of almost a century of lynching African Americans and follows relatives of the perpetrators and victims in three communities who are seeking justice and reconciliation.
The project is particularly relevant in the wake of the grand jury decision not to indict the Staten Island police officer who killed Eric Garner. The turmoil the country now faces after repeated incidents of racial violence gone essentially unchecked powerfully demonstrates the unfinished business of confronting lynching. My goal is that Always in Season will move viewers to begin dialogues in their communities about not only ways to address the historical racial violence of lynching, but also strategies for stopping the killing of unarmed people of color by police and vigilantes that is occurring in numbers comparable to the rate of lynchings per week, at its height, across the country.
The emotional intensity of the subject matter is definitely challenging. When I first began to look at the collection of photographs of men, women and children posing with the tortured bodies of lynching victims, it was deeply troubling. But, if I’d refused to look closer, I wouldn’t have learned who the people were in those scenes. Just as importantly, I’ve gotten to know inspiring people who are featured in the film, like Olivia Taylor, who witnessed a lynching at the age of 3, and is part of a multiracial group of amateur actors who reenact the 1946 lynching of two couples annually in Monroe, GA, (outside of Atlanta) on the very spot where the violence happened. And, Rev. David Kennedy, who has spent almost two decades fighting to close the shop that sells KKK robes and neo-Nazi memorabilia right in the middle of downtown Laurens, SC, and less than a mile from where his great-uncle was lynched in 1913. In Duluth, MN, three men were lynched in 1920 with two thousand spectators watching. The film goes there to follow Don Clariette, a cousin of one of the victims, along with Warren Read and Mike Tusken, relatives of some of the perpetrators, as they attempt reconciliation after the first-ever memorial to lynching victims was erected. These stories, of descendants and others taking action to acknowledge the victims, repair the damage, and reconcile, light a path towards healing.
It also doesn’t get any more motivating than the support I’ve received from Chicken & Egg Pictures. We finished principal filming and have begun fundraising to create a rough cut. In the earliest days of production, shortly after using up my own funds to shoot test interviews, Chicken & Egg awarded us an I Believe in You Grant. The name says it all! Not only did they provide funding at exactly the right time to make it possible for us to film, but Chicken & Egg also continues to support the project, most recently granting funds for editing earlier this year. Mentorship workshops, like the one I attended last spring and co-sponsored by another valuable project funder, Catapult Film Fund, are just as important and have prepared me for the editing that lies ahead with critical feedback on character development and structure from fellow filmmakers. In fact, my editor, Michaelle Stikitch, and I used notes from that workshop to revise the work-in-progress by June, and that cut of the film screened at the Cucalorus Festival last month.
Cucalorus was outstanding! The festival gave the project exposure and the team more input as the film screened several times at different venues during the week to audiences of students and educators, community organizers, filmmakers, and more. The experience showed me that Always in Season resonates with a broad audience eager to see the film completed.
If you would like more information on the Always in Season project, or if you would like to support the project, visit www.alwaysinseason.net.