SHORT DOCS BLOCK: THEIR SHOES

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.