Brooklyn Arts Council Presents a survey of new short documentaries on current political and social struggles, all by local filmmakers and videojournalists. Includes new work produced by the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective and Storyhunter. Curated by Nick Shimkin
Total run time: 66min
In No Place (World Premiere)
Directed by Gabriel Long,
In 1966 Stephen Oleskey was working on a civil rights campaign in Mississippi, when four state policemen pulled him over and forced him to stand trial in a barn in the middle of the woods. The experience was both terrifying and formative, powerfully illustrating the importance and reach of the constitution and directing him toward a career that would include advocacy work. In 2008, as an attorney, Stephen represented six men being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison. The case ended up before the Supreme Court, where Stephen and his team successfully argued that the men had the right to a trial. By exploring these interconnected stories, the film offers a personal and unique look at elements of the constitution and the law that are often obscured or forgotten despite their fundamental importance to our society.
The Last Homecoming
Directed by Nathan Fitch
When Maryann and Brightly found out that their son, Sapuro Nena had been killed in Afghanistan, they knew immediately that they wanted to have his body returned to his native island of Kosrae in the Federated States of Micronesia. Citizens from the Federated States of Micronesia serve in the US Military at a rate that is approximately twice that per capita of US citizens from any US state. The Last Homecoming explores the impact that this service is having upon a small community in the Pacific, and is the subject of a feature length documentary ISLAND SOLDIER by Nathan Fitch (currently under production).
Coney Island: The Darker Side of Dreamland
Directed by Nathan Fitch
Along with many neighborhoods in New York, New Jersey and the eastern seaboard, Coney Island was gravely affected by flooding during Hurricane Sandy on October 30th, 2012. In the aftermath of Sandy, lower income communities such as Coney Island struggled to rebuild and resume normal life again. Among the stories in this short film is that of Adeline, an 81-year old Coney Island native who lived for 40 days and nights without heat or electricity, and of an immigrant family who’s landlord never showed up to renovate their apartment after the storm. Primarily known for providing New Yorkers and visiting tourists with amusement and thrills, this is the Darker Side of Dreamland in the days after Hurricane Sandy.
A Voice for Vacancy (Picture the Homeless)
Directed by Alex Mallis
In collaboration with Ahmed Tigani, Rached Mullen and Ryan Daniels
A documentary about the efforts of Picture the Homeless, a homeless rights group, in their struggle to properly identify vacant properties in NYC – vacancies they argue could and should be reclaimed by communities and put to use.
For more information click here.
A Short Film About Guns
Directed by Minos Papas
8min/2013/USA and UK/English
Four experts share firsthand experiences that illuminate the global unregulated arms trade
and how the illegal flow of weapons facilitates loss of life and local devastation. With fewer regulations than bananas, small arms are in constant worldwide circulation, crossing borders thanks to tacit nods and winks among government officials. The UN just passed the first Arms Trade Treaty. “A Short Film About Guns” examines the global effects of the unholstered arms trade that called for this momentous agreement.
The Hunted and the Hated: An Inside Look at the NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk Policy
Directed by Ross Tuttle
Featuring the only known audio of an actual stop, the short documentary “The Hunted and The Hated” offers a troubling look at the NYPD practice that’s occurred more than five million times on New York City streets in the past decade; and for the first time, viewers can get a real sense for why the practice, as it’s carried out by New York’s Finest, is engendering so much anger in communities across the City. The video includes the unprecedented audio and a critique of the practice from unlikely sources: cops currently on the beat, who offer insights into the pressures driving officers to be hunters and not helpers.
Police on Playback: Copwatch in New York City
Directed by Nate Lavey, Rachel Tomlinson, Martyna Starosta,
Stories of police brutality are often told in a way that casts victims as helpless bystanders of cops run amok. We met with Sean Pagan, a recent victim of police violence, and found that his story changes how we think about policing in New York. Sean’s story shows that communities are finding new and innovative tactics for dealing with discriminatory policing, beyond waiting for legislative reform. One such tactic is copwatch, where individuals or teams film officers making arrests. But what’s the history of the tactic? What are the risks, limitations and impact of filming the police? And how do these videos change the way we understand narratives of police violence?
Produced for Waging Nonviolence by the New York Video League. The New York Video League was founded this summer by Nate Lavey, Rachel Tomlinson and Martyna Starosta.
Mexican Families Affected by Hurricane Sandy
Directed by Livia Perini
Three Mexican families recount the night Hurricane Sandy hit Staten Island, New York, flooding their homes and changing their lives for the foreseeable future.
Founded in 1966, Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) is the leading nonprofit organization serving Brooklyn artists and cultural groups in the visual, performing, media and literary arts, and ensuring Brooklyn residents have access to affordable arts experiences. We give grants, present free and affordable arts events, train artists and arts professionals, teach students, incubate new projects and promote artists and cultural groups in all disciplines across our borough. We are the go-to service group for Brooklyn artists, and for finding out about the wide array of cultural groups and projects in our area. We’re also one of the main organizations working to preserve the arts in Brooklyn schools, after school programs and community centers. Our leadership has helped Brooklyn become home to more artists than any other borough, and for the arts to flourish in Brooklyn’s amazing diversity of neighborhoods.