Festival Year: 2020

Five Years North
Zach Ingrasci, Chris Temple

Luis, an undocumented Guatemalan teenager living in New York City, has prioritized work over school to help support his family back home. Judy, a Cuban-American ICE agent in the Bronx, is grateful for a stable job but struggles with changing priorities in her longtime line of work. With outstanding access and character development, their stories come together in this nuanced account of immigration in the United States today.

Garage People
Natalija Yefimkina

On the outskirts of a mining town in northern Russia, above the Arctic Circle, men create alternative living spaces—“garages”—that reflect their dreams and passions and offer a retreat from the struggles of everyday life.

The Giverny Document (Single Channel)
Ja’Tovia Gary

A striking cinematic essay on the autonomy of the black female body that incorporates footage of the filmmaker in Monet’s garden, cell phone footage of Philando Castile’s murder, and careful sound design to reflect on self-identity and ideas of safety in a white, patriarchal world.

Giving Voice
James D. Stern, Fernando Villena

Six passionate, ambitious high school students compete in an annual monologue competition on Broadway in honor of renowned playwright August Wilson. Intercutting the students’ meticulous preparation with interviews that explore Wilson’s chronicling of the African American experience, Giving Voice is a vibrant living history of theater’s past and present.

The Harvest
Misho Antadze

This vérité meditation on the non-virtual world of bustling cryptocurrency production in Tbilisi, Georgia, examines how machines and nature are intertwined, revealing a drastically changing human landscape.

How To Fix A Primary
Brittany Huckabee

This remarkable film follows the campaign of political newcomer Abdul El-Sayed, taking us behind the scenes of the Michigan Democratic primary election as the gubernatorial hopeful and his team of young visionaries maneuver around bureaucratic obstructions within their own party.

I Am Not Alone
Garin Hovannisian

In this inspiring account of the 2018 Armenian Revolution, parliament member and activist Nikol Pashinyan embarks on a two-week cross-country walk to protest the possible election of president Serzh Sargsyan as prime minister—a move to avoid term limits and solidify power. Interviews with Pashinyan, other activists, even Sargsyan, revisit the events of this successful activist uprising (underreported in America).

The Infinite Race
Bernardo Ruiz

The annual Ultra Maratón Caballo Blanco, a spectacular fifty-mile race in Mexico’s Copper Canyon, was created as a way for indigenous Rarámuri endurance runners to preserve their culture. With stunning cinematography and access on all sides, The Infinite Race employs personal testimonies to examine the underbelly of an event marred by appropriation and exploitation.

La Mami
Laura Herrero Garvin

In the Barba Azul Cabaret in Mexico City, “La Mami” reigns as the benevolent, calm center of the legendary nightclub. Night after night, she presides over the hard-working female dancers and hostesses in their communal haven—the bathroom—often silent but always watchful. Gradually, a beautiful friendship develops between La Mami and a new, hopeful hire.

Marina Zenovich

This absorbing film charts the meteoric rise and eventual downfall of cycling champion Lance Armstrong after doping charges stripped him of his numerous medals. Expertly weaving accounts from family, friends, and cycling professionals with Armstrong’s own forthright reflections, LANCE contemplates the harm caused by the drive to win at all costs.

The Last Painting
Tom Salt

In the English countryside, a painter meticulously replicates a photograph from his American past. Without dialogue, this luminous short film captures his process, juxtaposing his current landscape with the panorama on his canvas.

Love Fraud
Rachel Grady, Heidi Ewing

For two decades Richard Scott Smith seduced women by preying upon their profound desire for companionship in order to commit identity fraud and theft, leaving them emotionally and financially devastated. This four-part series shares the stories of Smith’s wives as they come together, with the help of a bounty hunter named Carla, to reclaim their savings and their dignity.

David Osit

This captivating portrait of life in Palestine under Israeli occupation follows Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of Ramallah, over the course of his second term as he navigates civic responsibilities in a volatile political climate.

Mirador (Lookout)
Antón Terni

In the lovely and magical world of Pablo, Valeria, and Oscar, time is spent camping, swimming, drinking and talking, and going to concerts along the Uruguayan coast. Their reverie, shared through poetic imagery and Pablo’s insightful musings, is a sensory experience in which the three friends navigate their blindness while foregrounding their connection with each other.

The Mole Agent
Maite Alberdi

In this astutely shot thriller, octogenarian Sergio is a newly minted spy planted between the walkers and lunchtime gossip of a Chilean nursing home to report on the well-being of a fellow resident. And the cameras? There to film an ordinary story about the organization, or so it seems. This tale navigates the charming rapport between characters while weaving together profound truths about aging, loneliness, and compassion.

Mother, I Am Suffocating. This Is My Last Film About You.
Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese

Anger and longing suffuse this searing, poetic, highly personal response to the legacies of colonialism. The filmmaker, currently exiled in Berlin, pairs experimental black-and-white footage from the streets of his native country, Lesotho, with lyrical, raw audio that speaks to the sorrow of separation.

Mucho Mucho Amor
Cristina Costantini, Kareem Tabsch

Legendary Puerto Rican astrologer Walter Mercado graced the airwaves for decades, donning elegant robes and broadcasting his charming, comforting presence to millions of viewers. A foundational figure in Latin American television, his popular shows were a cultural mainstay until he mysteriously disappeared in 2007. Now, with this intimate invitation into Mercado’s world, the dynamic, gender-fluid icon returns to the screen in a humorous and touching examination of a life fully lived.

My English Cousin
Karim Sayad

Since 2001 when he left Algeria, the filmmaker’s cousin Fahed has lived in Grimsby, England, and steadily worked two jobs, gotten married, and picked up the distinct accent of the region. In this quietly executed story of a man straddling two worlds—his place of birth and his adopted country—Fahed’s understanding of origin and identity are tested in this affectionate look at how one defines home.