When Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American collapses upon arrival at the Murtala Mohammed International airport in Lagos, Nigeria, he is taken to Fiest Consultants Hospital, where he is admitted with fever like symptoms. Against his denial of contact with any Ebola victim in Liberia, the team at First Consultants, led by doctor Stella Ameyo Adadevoh, quickly deduce that there is more to his case than malaria. Suddenly they are in a race against time to contain a very deadly disease from breaking out and spreading in a mega city with a population of over 20 million people and beginning what could be the deadliest disease outbreak the world has ever known.
Directed by Steve Gukas
Runtime: 118 Minutes
Bending the Arc
Thirty years ago, as much of the world was being ravaged by horrific diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, three remarkable young people, barely out of their teens—Jim Yong Kim, Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl—came together in a squatter settlement in Haiti. Determined to provide the same world-class level of medical care they would expect for their own families to the Haitians that soon became their friends, they faced obstacles so enormous they weren’t even considered surmountable by the rest of the world. And most remarkably—despite enormous resistance from the outside world—they treated diseases that the experts had determined could not or should not be treated in the poor because of expense and difficulty. The groundbreaking work they began in Haiti—creating a remarkable model of how to deliver the highest-quality care in the most unlikely places—would eventually grow to have massive global effects.
Directed by Kief Davidson and Pedro Kos
Runtime: 102 minutes
The Skin You’re In
African Americans live sicker and die younger than any other ethnic group in the nation. Why is this happening? In this feature documentary, The Skin You're In, we will investigate this disturbing phenomenon: the astonishing disparity between Black and White health in America, find out why it exists and discover what can be done about it.
The film will take viewers on a journey of exploration of this problem. We will talk to leading experts and researchers from around the country who will explain the problems and what can be done. But mostly we will see the problem first hand in the everyday lives of African American families telling their stories, and meet people who are making a difference.
Directed by Dr. Thomas Laveist
Runtime: 47 minutes
The powerful and shocking documentary Amá (Navajo for Mother) from Lorna Tucker (Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist) exposes the forced sterilization of thousands of Native American women by the USA Government.
Made alongside a group of incredible Native producers, consultants and the survivors themselves, Tucker travels across some of the loneliest parts of the USA meeting the brave survivors, doctors, politicians and whistle-blowers who have brought to light this horrifying scandal.
Amá uncovers the grotesque abuses of power in modern American history.
The film’s release has encouraged women to come forward to share their stories of being subjected to the violence of forced sterilization suggesting that this abuse continues to persist in the U.S and around the world posing the question: when will this suffering end?
Directed by Lorna Tucker
Runtime: 73 minutes
America’s 325 million residents own an estimated 347 million firearms. Not surprisingly, gun violence has become one of the most urgent public health issues facing Americans today. Holster Films and John Richie, the creator of Shell Shocked, are embarking on their next film project, 91%, which examines the national conversation surrounding gun legislation by looking at the failure to pass a universal background check.
In 91%, a handful of U.S. gun violence victims tell their heartbreaking stories of loss, pain, and a heroic search for hope in a nation stalled in a senseless gun control debate. Throughout these otherwise unrelated shootings, we find a common thread – the gunmen had all-too-easy access to the virtually untraceable, high-powered weaponry used in their attacks.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, a 2013 poll revealed that 91% of Americans support comprehensive background checks - a factor that could prevent thousands of similar gun violence tragedies nationwide. Yet, divisive political rhetoric and congressional gridlock continues to perpetuate a flawed system that hurts communities across the country.
Moving beyond the confusing gun control politics and avoiding any discussion about the often-unpredictable motivations of rampage killers, 91%shows that Americans almost unanimously support both 2nd amendment rights and common sense regulation. The film finds a shared language between citizens on both sides of the issue, encouraging them to move common sense policy forward by speaking up in a conversation typically dominated by firearm lobbyists and manufacturers.
By highlighting the impact of unregulated gun sales on schools, families, and communities across the country, 91% addresses the real problems and possible solutions to gun violence in America. It’s something we all agree about, we just don’t know it yet.
Directed by John Richie
Runtime: 74 minutes
Living Positive +
Living Positive + is an educational film that follows three characters overcoming adversity after being diagnosed with HIV. Filmed in New Orleans by New Orleanians, this narrative short demonstrates how those living with HIV can live the same quality and quantity of life as those without the infection. It also shares the message of U=U: if someone is undetectable for HIV, then the HIV virus is untransmittable. It is through this knowledge that we can Get to Zero HIV Transmissions.
Directed by David Julius Roston
Runtime: 25 minutes
Bayou Bridge Pipeline: Stories of Defending Water and Culture
From the filmmaker behind Big Charity comes a new triptych, the Bayou Bridge Film Series, presented by The Louisiana Bucket Brigade. The films explore the communities in the bull's eye of the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline.
The Bayou Bridge pipeline is a project of Energy Transfer Partners, the same company behind the controversial Dakota Access pipeline. As envisioned, it would be at the terminus of a network of pipelines carrying oil from North Dakota to Texas and south Louisiana.
As with the Dakota pipeline, which generated high-profile protests, the Bayou Bridge pipeline has prompted concern over potential environmental and health impacts on communities in its shadow.
"I want a third-party environmental impact report," said Jessi Parfait, the archivist of the United Houma Nations, who are among the 300,000 people who get their drinking water from Bayou Lafourche, which is in the path of the pipeline. "If you're trying so hard to skate around that, what are you trying to hide?"
Directed by Alexander Glustorm
Runtime: 20 minutes
Period. End of Sentence.
The documentary short covers the taboo topic of menstruation in rural India. The film follows a group of Indian women as they learn how to operate a machine that creates low-cost, biodegradable sanitary pads, which they sell to other women at affordable prices. This not only helps to improve feminine hygiene by providing access to basic products but supports and empowers the women to shed the taboos in India surrounding menstruation — all while contributing to the economic future of their community.
Directed by: Rayka Zehtabchi
Run time: 26 minutes
Beneath layers of history, poverty and now soaring HIV infections, four Americans redefine traditional Southern values to create their own solutions to survive. 'deepsouth' is a documentary about the new American South, and the people who inhabit its most quiet corners. Josh, a college student, seeks the support of an underground gay family hours away from his suffocating Mississippi Delta hometown. With no funds and few resources, Monica and Tammy try to unite reluctant participants at their annual HIV retreat in rural Louisiana. Kathie, an Alabama activist, spends 120 days a year on the road fighting a bureaucracy that continues to ignore the South.
Directed by Lisa Biagiotti
Runtime: 72 minutes
Katie and The Black Robin Hood
Katie Carter is a Public Defender in New Orleans who makes sentencing films on behalf of her clients. When she screens her short documentaries during sentencing at trials, even the harshest judges show leniency. One client, Christopher Simms has spent most of his life since age thirteen incarcerated. After being repeatedly failed by the criminal justice system, Simms, who calls himself “The Black Robin Hood,” robbed 13 banks in 10 States with the intention of going to Federal Prison. Katie and the Black Robin Hood follows Katie as she attempts to use her innovative approach on Chris’s behalf, demonstrating the power of empathy to reform our justice system.
Directed by John Richie and Alessandra Giordanno
Runtime: 23 minutes
Our Bodies Our Doctors
“Our Bodies Our Doctors” tells the story of a rebellion in the field of medicine as a cohort of physicians faces abortion stigma within their own profession and confronts religious control over health care decisions. Their fight takes them into a larger struggle over the heart and soul of American medicine.
It was not very long after the passage of Roe v Wade in 1973 that abortion clinics and doctors came under attack by anti-abortion activists. With clinic bombings, death threats, and harassment targeting providers and their families, it appeared by the 1990s that few doctors were willing to provide this service. But beneath the surface, a quiet rebellion was taking place in the field of medicine. A number of doctors came out publicly as abortion providers, even as the larger medical community often viewed them as “rogue physicians.” This rebellion depended heavily on working with women’s freestanding clinics and their feminist allies. “Our Bodies Our Doctors” takes viewers into the lives of these providers and their struggles to provide abortion procedures. It explores the importance of settings founded on feminist principles and their profound impact on models of patient care in mainstream medicine.
The documentary features a cadre of these “rogue” physicians––doctors of different generations who came to train in Oregon and Washington, states with some of the most liberal abortion laws. Their stories are as deeply personal as they are political. As we follow them in their daily work lives, we get a feeling for their deep connections with patients and other practitioners and how those connections sustain them.
Directed by Jan Haaken
Battlefield: Home - Breaking the Silence
Winner: 2018 Best Documentary Winner SAMSHA Voice Award for Mental Health Awareness
From Vietnam to the battlefield of Iraq and Afghanistan, this intimate insight into the lives of veterans and their caregivers conveys the harsh realities of war. The film covers the long-term affects of battle, combining interviews with medical and psychological experts and the veterans themselves to dive deeper into PTSD and traumatic brain injury.
Directed by: Anita Sugimura Holsapple
Run time 68 minutes
Fear No Gumbo
Kimberly Rivers Roberts turns her video camera on herself and community over a decade after America's worst man-made disaster, Hurricane Katrina, giving her viewers a rare behind-the-scenes look at how some of the residents recovered from the storm. The film looks in-depth at Kimberly's community fighting to keep its culture alive.
Directed by Kimberly Rivers Roberts
Runtime: 90 minutes