DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

Contigo

Contigo is a waltz with family and tradition, close to the South Texas border. While the Alamo has been designated, by the United Nations, as a World Heritage site, equally noteworthy is the cultural heritage in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Contigo is a Sunday afternoon in San Antonio and a weekend at a conjunto music festival in San Benito. The project is based on a song written by one of the pioneers of conjunto music, Don Santiago Jiménez. It is performed in this video by his son, Santiago Jiménez Jr.

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Crime of the Big Leagues

As virtually everyone knows, Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, and broke the color ban in baseball. But few Americans know Lester Rodney — the sports editor of the Daily Worker, New York’s Communist Party newspaper, who prepared the ground, repeatedly calling the ban “un-American” and “the Crime of the Big Leagues.” . For over ten years, Lester Rodney’s columns put unrelenting pressure on baseball’s establishment. Who would have thought that a communist writer would become the loudest voice in the fight to desegregate America’s national pastime?

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Dakota’s Pride 2.0

From the dark depths of the moment you learn that your child has Down Syndrome, tough questions arise. This engaging, character-driven documentary aims to celebrate differences, spread understanding, and highlight the raw beauty within every individual with special needs. Those featured in the film have distinct hardships, dreams, and paths of achievement. Now, a decade after the first film, their vast array of milestones and accomplishments will warm your soul. The outstanding individuals are able to graduate college, drive cars, receive recognition, find love, and show great courage. Dakota’s Pride 2.0 isn’t all blue skies, but it highlights that every individual with Down Syndrome is unique and special, just like the families they are born into. The film allows viewers to form a first-hand understanding of the reality of raising a child with Down syndrome, all while eliminating the broad and damaging stereotypes too often assigned to people with special needs.

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Jammin’ Shanghai

The glamorous and colorful Jazz scene of Shanghai has been long forgotten.Alec Haavik, an American Saxophone player, came to Shanghai in 2002 and joined The JZ Club – founded by local jazz bassist Ren Yuqing, which has revived the jazz culture in the bustling city. However, following twelve happy years at its location, it has to move out, but not before one last commemorative gig.In this film, all the local and international musicians and audience gather together to celebrate the last night of JZ Club. The owner of the JZ Club Ren Yuqing reveals some important question: Why Jazz? Why Shanghai? And how to restore the Jazz culture.

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KOJO: A Short Documentary

KOJO is a short documentary on gifted twelve year old jazz drummer Kojo Odu Roney. In this candid interview, Kojo reflects on his tireless work ethic, the current state of Jazz music, learning from his mentor and father, Jazz saxophonist Antoine Roney and much more. Kojo’s charisma, sensibility, and passion are as mesmerizing as his drum skills and for the first time in this documentary he shares it with you.

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Joan

A portrait of a resilient woman reflecting on her life’s adversity. A portrait of a woman whose grit and disposition conquer great adversity. At a young age, Joan always wanted a big family and a place on the ocean. By the age of 20 she was diagnosed with sarcoma and had to face hard choices. After 60 years, 22 surgeries and a beautiful life, she reflects on her incredible journey.

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Langston’s Lawrence

While at Lawrence’s Central Junior High School, Langston Hughes challenged his teacher when she seated all the Black children in a single row, at the back of the classroom. In an act of civil disobedience, he made and placed cards on the Black students’ desks that said “Jim Crow Row.” Assisted by a friend, he threw the extras out of the window and onto the school yard. In retribution, the school expelled him and his co-conspirator.

Langston’s Lawrence explores the meaning of this event for Hughes’s development as writer, social activist, and champion of human rights.

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Montage: Great Film Composers and the Piano

The stars of this film have been nominated for 73 Academy Awards and won 9. Their films have grossed over $20 billion worldwide. You know their work. But do you know them? Montage: Great Film Composers and the Piano chronicles what happened when celebrated pianist Gloria Cheng challenged the world’s greatest film composers – Williams, Newman, Giacchino, Broughton, Desplat and Davis – to write original pieces for solo piano. No movie. No orchestra. Just a composer and the blank page. Be a fly on the wall for these once-in-a-lifetime recording sessions that profile these titans of film music like we’ve never seen them before.

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Les Cloÿs

Aly, Azzedine, Nadir, and Sophiane are friends who spend time in a park in the 18th arrondissement of Paris on a street called Rue des Cloÿs. They communicate with each other through the universal languages of soccer and a collaborative form of slang called Verlan and Argot. The movie uses playful animations to illustrate the transformation of traditional words into Verlan and Argot words. The protagonists are of immigrant descent and belong to a demographic that is sometimes stereotyped as being violent and criminal. In “Les Cloÿs,” they tell their own stories with their own words.

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Make Them Believe

A Russian wrestler enchanted by the United States plays the ultimate villain as the stars and stripes-clad character “American Hope” in Moscow’s underground wrestling ring. It’s a Kremlin-run world far from the pageantry of USA pay-per-view popularity where the star-spangled red, white, and blue means the evil enemy and wrestlers slam into decrepit mats located in dingy basements. But Tim Maltser still dreams of becoming an American wrestling star like the larger-than-life WWF heroes of his childhood – and now he finally has his chance to gain notoriety by performing in a critical match for the coveted Moscow Championship Belt.

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A Doll’s Eyes

In his personal essay film, filmmaker Jonathan Wysocki searches for the meaning behind his lifelong obsession with the movie ‘Jaws.’ Wysocki recounts the terror that kept him out of the ocean during his childhood and the dark desire that drew him back as an adult. He returns to the ocean to discover a fear deeper than the shark stalking his imagination.

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Amazing Grace

“Amazing Grace” explores the treatment of women in the legal industry from the 1940’s through today. Specifically, peers, professors and law firms told Grace Day that women weren’t welcome in the field of law. She was the lone woman in her law school class in 1948 and endured torment from fellow students and teachers who believed women did not belong in the classroom or the courtroom. A number of Missouri attorneys and judges are featured in this trailblazer film. You’ll fall in love with St. Joe’s Grace Day, a woman who beat the odds and won over her enemies.

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Portraits of Fright

Horror tells us that our belief in security is delusional, and the monsters are all around us. At least, that’s what Horror Photographer, Joshua Hoffine believes and after seeing his work, I am compelled to agree. Joshua has been featured by The Huffington Post, he’s worked with actors like Doug Jones and is a pioneer of Horror photography using practical effects. Take an exclusive look at the process behind the scenes of this delightfully grotesque horror photography.

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Out Here in Kansas

Why would someone choose to be gay? And why would they do it in Kansas, a state notoriously tough on gay people? “Out Here In Kansas” is the directorial debut of a longtime journalist who explores the tumultuous relationship between Christians and the LGBT community in America’s heartland. The film takes a turn when the filmmaker himself unexpectedly becomes part of the story.

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Soy Cubana

Winners of the 2016 CUBADISCO Award for best vocal group, the Vocal Vidas are a female a cappella quartet from Santiago de Cuba – the cradle of Afro-Cuban music. This documentary explores their unique sound and tells the story of crafting a musical career in a society in which artistic merit is not measured solely by economic success.

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The Bus Trip

Sarah is invited to show her film in Israel as part of a film festival bus trip. She is hoping for political discussions and friendship, except the conversation stops each time she brings up the occupation of Palestine. So instead, Sarah talks to her dead dad over a noisy phone line.

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The Radical Jew

Baruch Marzel is one of the leaders of Israel’s far-right. Living in Hebron, the most violent city in the Israel-Palestine conflict, his activism and antics have made him a household name within Israel, yet he remains relatively unknown outside the region. In this Errol Morris-esque film, Baruch invites us into his psyche, sharing with us the viewpoints and life experiences that have led the United States and Israeli governments to label him a terrorist.

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Town Teams: Bigger than Baseball

Town Teams: Bigger than Baseball, is a documentary short which shines the spotlight on the game in the late 1800s and early 1900s. ‘Town Teams’ examines why amateur and semi-pro baseball exploded in popularity in Kansas and across the U.S. The film explains how baseball became the ‘social media’ of its time. It connected people through athletic competition. But it grew to become much ‘Bigger than Baseball’ as towns across the state competed for highways, county seats, and economic development.

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To Serve and Protect?

We see it all over the media, but excessive use of force by police isn’t new. We’ve known about the killings of men, women, and children of color too many times over the last few decades as a result of interactions with law enforcement. The only thing that is new is the video camera. Gandhi Brigade Youth Media worked with nine high school students to produce this documentary during a six week period over the summer of 2016.

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The Grand Illusion

35 years ago The Miami Hurricanes baseball team executed one of the all time great plays in College World Series history, the hidden ball trick! That never works. Especially in the College World Series, on national television, facing the greatest base stealer in NCAA history- Wichita State Shocker Phil Stephenson. The ‘Grand Illusion’ helped underdog Miami beat the powerhouse Wichita State Shockers team and propelled them to their first NCAA National Championship.

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There Were Giants

The city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has had an important yet largely unknown significance in the history of both race relations and baseball. In 1867, Harrisburg hosted a conference held by the Philadelphia ‘Base Ball’ Association which became the first baseball league to officially segregate black and white players. However in 1954, a Negro League team in Harrisburg called the Harrisburg Giants, became the first team in the Eastern Negro League to integrate white players on their team. This is their story.

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The LaRosh Harvest Legacy

Farming is more than a job, it’s a legacy. For 145 years, LaRoshes have been farming this land in north-central Kansas. Jhan LaRosh tells the story behind the harvest. Family, faith, and even the farm dog all have a prominent place. Wheat harvest is the culmination of the year’s work. In this film, the scenic beauty of the Sunflower State in summer is on full display. And when the classic combine comes out to play, you can see 55 years of grain harvesting technology running together.

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