Program Schedule

March 21, 22, 23, 2019 Presentation Theater

Free and Open to the Public

Thursday, March 21

11:00 A.M.

Opening Remarks by USF President Rev. Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J.

Student Shorts

Q&A: Student Filmmakers

ROOTS: Abby Asuncion | 6:39 min.
In the third episode of the ROOTS series, Alaina Aflague Arroyo discusses her heritage, what it’s like growing up mixed race, the misconceptions associated with her cultures, and creating spaces for students on campus associated with those cultures.

Gunpowder Girls: Pamela Barajas and Hailey Pope | 8:01 min.
Gunpowder Girls is a documentary that examines and interrogates contemporary concepts of womanhood, femininity, and identity. The film provides an intimate look into the experiences of three young women existing with and resisting societal expectations of women.

Children of Vallejo: Kiko Valle | 7:59 min.
A documentary centered around Benny, a rapper and songwriter from Vallejo, California. Benny delves into the conditions of the environment in which he and his friends grew up in and how it made them the people the are today. Powered by Thizzler on The Roof. GRAPHIC LANGUAGE THROUGHOUT.

Rising: Conni McKenzie | 7:01 min.
Rising is an experimental dance-documentary inspired by the work of Maddy Lawder, Kuan-Hsuan Lee, and Danielle Smith. These women, who are featured in the film, created pieces about idealism, sexualization, and body-politics for their senior projects. The film explores the intersectionality of their experiences and how they’ve coped with sexism.

Borderline: Isabelle Gaus | 4:08 min.
Seeing the highs and lows of Borderline Personality Disorder— a highly stigmatized and silenced mental illness— through a deeply personal lens.

9/11 USF Growing Art Memorial Project: Camille Wilson | 5:01 min.
An Israeli artist’s vision to create a living sculpture of memory and hope from remnants of the World Trade Center, comes to life with the help of students at the University of San Francisco.

Caravan: Kylie Zarmati, 4:50 min.
Caravan is focused on the recent Central American Migrant Caravan that arrived at the Mexico/USA border in November. The short film gives us a little look into the everyday lives of the people making the exhausting trek from the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) only to be denied the chance to seek asylum at the border.

1:00 P.M.

Light in the Water

Filmmaker: Lis Bartlett | 2008 USF Media Studies alum | US | 2018 | 75 min

Q&A: Filmmaker Lis Bartlett

Man swimming underwaterLight in the Water chronicles the birth and life of West Hollywood Aquatics Club, the first openly gay masters swim team. Founded to train for the inaugural Gay Olympic Games, which took place in San Francisco in 1982, the team is another lens through which to study LGBTQ history in America. Through archival footage and intimate interviews with members of the club, some of whom are record setting swimmers, Light in the Water celebrates athletes that happen to be gay. Constantly returning to the theme of water, Light in the Water sheds light on the inclusive team, which today still provides shelter and strength for queer athletes, young and old. A TV version of Light in the Water premiered on Logo TV last summer, and has since played in film festivals in Kansas, California, Scotland, and Paris! Tallgrass International Film Festival winner.

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3:00 P.M.

ARK Anote's Ark'

Filmmaker(s):Matthieu Rytz | Canada | 2018 | 77 min

Q&A: Dana Brechwald, Adapting to Rising Tides Program Manager, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and USF Professor Gerard Kuperus (Philosophy and Environmental Studies)

Old man staring into the distanceWhat if your country was swallowed by the sea? The Pacific Island nation of Kiribati (population: 100,000) is one of the most remote places on the planet, seemingly far-removed from the pressures of modern life. Yet it is one of the first countries that must confront the main existential dilemma of our time: imminent annihilation from sea-level rise. While Kiribati’s President Anote Tong races to find a way to protect his nation’s people and maintain their dignity, many Kiribati are already seeking safe harbor overseas. Set against the backdrop of international climate and human rights negotiations, Anote’s struggle to save his nation is intertwined with the extraordinary fate of Tiemeri, a young mother of six, who fights to migrate her family to New Zealand. At stake is the survival of Tiemeri’s family, the Kiribati people, and 4,000 years of Kiribati culture. Best Feature Award at the Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival.

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5:00 P.M.


Filmmaker: Wanuri Kahiu | Kenya | 2018 | 82 min

Q&A: Professor Kathleen Klaus (Politics and International Studies)

Two women whispering to each otherThis is the first Kenyan film to depict an LGBT romance on the big screen, and to be accepted by the Cannes Film Festival; where they received a 10-minute standing ovation, at their red carpet premiere of the film, which screened as part of the prestigious Un Certain Regard section of the festival. Rafiki tells the story of two young women; Kena and Ziki, who want more from life than the prospect of marriage and becoming a ‘good wife’. A political rivalry between their families suggests that the girls should be enemies. But, when Kena meets the free-spirited and ambitious Ziki, she is drawn to her. This will be no easy love, as the couple face pressure from their families and prejudice from the broader community. The film was banned by the Kenyan Classification board who issued the following reason: “Due to its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya contrary to the law and dominant values of the Kenyans.” Bratislava International Film Festival winner.

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7:00 P.M.

Harvest Season

Filmmaker: Bernardo Ruiz | US | 2018 | 82 min

Q&A: Filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz

Man standing in a vineyardThis film delves into the lives of people who work behind the scenes of the premium California wine industry, during one of the most dramatic grape harvests in recent memory. The film follows the stories of Mexican-American winemakers and migrant workers who are essential to the wine business yet are rarely recognized for their contributions. Their stories unfold as wildfires ignite in Napa and Sonoma counties, threatening the livelihoods of small farmers and winemakers who are already grappling with a growing labor shortage, shifting immigration policies, and the impacts of a rapidly changing climate. “Director Bernardo Ruiz gives a first-hand account of small wine producers and the struggles they face both economically and politically in 2018 America. Trump is a cloud hanging over this film, sure, but what makes this such an expert and superlative piece of work is that the focus never loses sight of the minority population which is under attack, telling their stories through a film that’s as beautiful as it is intimate and emotionally moving.”— Joshua Brunsting. Part of the Official Selection of DOC NYC.

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Friday, March 22

11:45 A.M.

The Unafraid

Filmmakers: Anayansi Prado and Heather Courtney | USA | 2018 | 85 min

Q&A: Krsna Avila, Andy Grove Immigrants' Rights Fellow, Immigrant Legal Resource Center Raquel Gonzalez-Villarreal, USF DACA student (Law), and Kenny (Ka Kui) Lee, USF DACA student (MA in Migration)

Woman shouting into megaphoneThe Unafraid High School seniors Alejandro, Silvia and Aldo, like most of their friends, are eager to go to college and pursue their education. However, their home state of Georgia not only bans them from attending the top five public universities, but also deems them ineligible for in-state tuition at public colleges due to their immigration status as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients. In response, these three ambitious and dream-filled students divert their passions toward the fight for education in the undocumented community. As President Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric against immigrants gains momentum, and with the three students under constant threat of losing their DACA status and being deported, The Unafraid follows these inspirational members of the generation of “undocumented, unapologetic and unafraid” young people who are determined to overcome and dismantle oppressive policies and mindsets. Full Frame Film Festival - Winner.

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2:00 P.M.

Te Kuhane O Te Tupuna "The Sprit of our Ancestors"

DEEP WATERS Pacific Film Series at USF

Filmmakers: Leonardo Pakarati, Paula Rossetti | Chile | 2015 | 63 min


Moai sculptureThis documentary film is a journey from Easter Island to London, in search of the lost Moai, Hoa Haka Nanaia, a statue of significant cultural importance. It explores the social and political landscape of the island of Rapanui as the people attempt to claim back what is rightfully theirs: their land and a lava-rock image of tremendous presence, representing one of the world's most extraordinary cosmological views.

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3:45 P.M.

El Cisne/The Swan

Filmmaker: Daniel Chavez-Ontiveros | MEXICO/USA | 2017 | 22 min

Q&A: Sthefany Galante Bautista, Outreach Coordinator, El/La Para TransLatinas and  Luis Enrique Bazán, USF Associate Director for Immersions

Woman singingSthefany Galante is a Mexican trans woman who migrated to the United States after experiencing gender discrimination in her hometown Mixquiahuala, Hidalgo. After being away from home for six years, Sthefany decides to prepare for an imminent trip to Mexico and confront her family about her gender identity. El Cisne (The Swan) arose from the filmmaker’s concern to explore the issue of gender identity as a migration factor in Latin America. It began when the film director arrived to California and noticed that there were many Latina trans women working in different careers. For him, this was a revelation, as there is still a great stigma in Mexico to be transexual, and many cannot find regular and decent jobs. From that moment on, the director began to explore migration for reasons related to gender identity.

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5:00 P.M.

Leitis in Waiting

DEEP WATERS Pacific Film Series at USF

Filmmakers: Dean Hammer, Joe Wilson, Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu | USA | 2018 | 70 min


Women and girls dancingLeitis in Waiting tells the story of Tonga's evolving approach to gender fluidity through a character-driven portrait of the most prominent leiti in the Kingdom, Joey Joleen Mataele, a devout Catholic of royal descent.  Over the course of an eventful year, Joey organizes a beauty pageant, mentors a young leiti who is rejected by her family, and battles with fundamentalist Christians over Tonga's antiquated anti-sodomy and cross-dressing laws. Her story reveals what it means to be different in a deeply religious and conservative society, and what it takes to be accepted without giving up who you are.

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6:45 P.M.


Filmmaker: Steve Loveridge | UK/USA/Sri Lanka | 2018 | 97 min

Q&A: USF Professor Monisha Bajaj (International and Multicultural Education - IME)

Rearing horseDrawn from a cache of personal video recordings from the past 22 years, this film is a startlingly personal profile of the critically acclaimed artist, chronicling her remarkable journey from refugee immigrant to pop star. She began as Matangi, the daughter of the founder of Sri Lanka’s armed Tamil resistance, when her family fled to the UK she became Maya, and finally, the world met her as M.I.A. when she emerged on the global stage. Her identity became a sonic sketchbook that blended Tamil politics, art school punk, hip-hop beats and the unwavering, ultra-confident voice of a burgeoning multicultural youth. This film provides unparalleled, intimate access to the artist in her battles with the music industry and mainstream media as her success and fame explodes, becoming one of the most recognizable, outspoken and provocative voices in music today. Sundance Winner: World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award.

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Saturday, March 23

12:00 P.M.

Don't give up your voice

Filmmakers: Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young | Argentina/US | 2018 | 40 min

Q&A: Filmmakers Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young

Women MarchingIn 2015, a year before Trump was elected in the U.S., Argentina elected president Macri. These two are remarkably similar in how they campaigned and the policies they are promoting once in office. But Argentines are resilient, and they have fought right wing governments before. They have mounted creative resistance - worker coops, street protests, theater and music - that offer lessons for us in the North. Don’t Give Up Your Voice! looks at the widespread and creative resistance to Macri's policies. The film offers instructive parallels with the situation in the US, while illustrating the power of collective action.


1:30 P.M.

The Cleaners

Filmmakers: Hans Block and Moritz Riesewiek | Germany/Brazil | 2018 | 88 min

Q&A: USF Professor Tamara Kneese (Media Studies)

Man in a crowdSocial media sites — particularly Facebook and YouTube — have been under intense pressure to monitor and delete offensive, pornographic, and incendiary posts. Compassionately portraying the Filipino workers who comb through thousands of online images in the dark of night, this film exposes the dark side of information technology. Who controls what you see on the internet? Welcome to a hidden industry of digital cleaning where content determined as inappropriate is deleted from the internet. The film exposes the extreme and often life-threatening impact of censorship capable of disappearing entire conversations, perspectives and events from world view. “The companies have more and more power… They take advantage of our desire for ease, our resistance to effort, our resistance to challenge, and I think, over time, if we’re not already there, it will interfere with our ability to have critical thinking.”- David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression. Moscow Film Festival Prize for Best Documentary Film.

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3:45 P.M.

Tre Maison Dasan

Filmmaker: Denali Tiller | USA | 2018 | 94 min

Q&A: Ivan Corado-Vega, Violence Intervention Facilitator, Men Allied Nationally Against Living In Violent Environments (manalive), Restorative Justice Advocate and Dr. Reggie Daniels, Social Justice Practitioner, USF Alum

Little girl wearing headphonesTre, Maison, and Dasan are three boys who all share something in common – one of their parents is in jail. Following their separate lives through boyhood and weaving their stories together, the film approaches the issue of mass-incarceration by exposing the effects of the criminal justice system on young men. “Working closely and hands-on with Tre, Maison, and Dasan, the film [is intended to] be an immersion into how they see themselves, how that is affected by the way they are seen by the systems they live within, and their individual potentials to break the barriers and confinement of stigma and generational trauma to succeed in their own ways. It is important to us that ‘success’ is defined more critically in American society, and for that reason this is not a Homeless-to-Harvard story. Not until children like Tre, Maison and Dasan can see and understand themselves to be important and necessary in the fabric of America, can we be comfortable with the world we expect them to grow into.” – Denali Tiller. Rhode Island International Film Festival winner.

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6:00 P.M.

The Silence of Others

Filmmakers: Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar | Spain | 2018 | 96 min

Q&A: USF Professor Pedro Lange-Churión (Modern & Classical Languages, Latin American Studies, Film Studies, Urban Studies) and USF Professor Susana Kaiser (Media Studies & Latin American Studies)

Floral bouquetA 1977 amnesty law in Spain known as “the pact of forgetting” prohibits legal action related to the oppression, torture and murder of an estimated 100,000 people during Franco’s 40-year dictatorship. But for much of the population – including the survivor who passes his torturer’s home every day on the way to market, the children of forcibly disappeared parents found buried in mass graves, and parents still searching for their children seized at birth and handed to Franco’s allies – there is no peace in silence. This is the fight to get recognition and admissions of guilt against state-imposed amnesia. From award-winning directors and Executive Producer Pedro Almodovar comes a powerful film about a country still divided four decades into democracy. Berlin International Film Festival Best Documentary and Peace Film Prize winner.

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