The following NYWIFT members have films screening at the 2018 DOC NYC taking place November 8-15. Read more about the films below, and get tickets for the festival at www.docnyc.net.
For a Better Life
Directed by Yasmin Mistry
Edited by Maxine Trump
Sold for $100 at the age of 5, Fekri suffers through years of abuse before his plight is discovered. After almost a year of hospitalization and therapy Fekri moves into a group home where he finds support, mentorship, and eventual forgiveness towards the family which sold him.
Executive produced by Abigail Disney
WORLD PREMIERE Ofra Bloch, a New York-based psychoanalyst specializing in trauma, was born in Jerusalem to a Jewish family that emigrated to Palestine in the 1920s. Disturbed by the resurgence of fascism and anti-Semitism around the world, Ofra travels to Germany, Israel, and Palestine to confront her own deep-seated feelings about Germans and Palestinians, and the tensions between the Holocaust and the Nakba. In the process, she explores the nature of resistance and the possibility of hope.
Executive Produced by Sheila Nevins
Produced by Ilan Arboleda and Tom Donahue
WORLD PREMIERE Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the US. Comedic director Steve Burrows’s mom is a victim of this sloppy medical system when a routine hip replacement surgery lands her in a coma with permanent brain damage. Seeking justice, her son takes on the Goliath of corporate medicine in this legal drama meets medical mystery. Bleed Out is a cautionary tale about the future of our profit-driven healthcare system.
Cooked: Survival by Zip Code
Executive Produced by Abigail Disney and Gini Reticker
WORLD PREMIERE In July 1995, Chicago was hit by a record heat wave that claimed the lives of 739 residents, primarily among the elderly, African Americans and those living in poverty. Using this tragedy as a jumping-off point, but referencing other extreme weather catastrophes like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, Cooked provocatively reframes the politics of disaster to encompass extreme inequity, arguing that economically disadvantaged communities should be preventatively treated as disasters taking place in slow motion.
Executive produced by Abigail Disney
NYC PREMIERE In 2006 a rush of molten mud exploded in East Java, Indonesia, flooding 16 villages and displacing more than 60,000 people; 12 years later the hot sludge is still flowing. Grit profiles one girl’s awakening to activism as her family campaigns against the corporation responsible for the man-made catastrophe. Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander spent six years capturing the unworldly reality of East Java’s ecological disaster with breathtaking cinematography and a patient eye for the youth coming of age amid the mudflow.
I Am The Revolution
Cinematography by Lea Khayata
WORLD PREMIERE Three determined women in the Middle East lead the fight for gender equality and freedom in this empowering portrait of three agents of change. Politician Selay must travel through Afghanistan with armed security to protect her while educating other women about their rights. Yanar pushes for parliamentary reform in Iraq while running shelters for abused women. And Rojda is a commander of the Syrian Democratic Army, leading 60,000 troops to defeat ISIS, including freeing their hold on Raqqa and rescuing its people.
Lessons From a School: Notes From Dunblane
Executive Produced by Nick Stuart and CarolAnne Dolan
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting, local priest Father Bob Weiss connects with Father Basil O’Sullivan of Dunblane, Scotland, from a community which could uniquely relate to Newtown’s trauma. Kim A. Snyder’s film explores the power of resilience through the bond forged between these two priests.
Produced by Jane Rosenthal
For six decades, Quincy Jones has made lasting musical contributions across genres from jazz and soundtracks to pop and hip hop. This intimate portrait by the filmmaking duo of Rashida Jones (his multi-talented daughter) and Alan Hicks (Keep On Keepin’ On) follows the now 85-year-old producer over three years on the road. He shares reflections on numerous collaborators, from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson. The film culminates with emotional performances that exemplify Quincy’s impact and legacy.
Directed by Betsy West, Julie Cohen
Executive produced by Amy Entelis
This vital portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg traces her history from trailblazing ACLU lawyer to becoming an outspoken, dissenting liberal voice on the conservative-leaning Supreme Court. The film also portrays a moving love story between Ruth and her husband, Martin Ginsburg. He was far ahead of his time in supporting his wife’s career. As the push for gender equity grows stronger, we witness how a younger generation has embraced the passionate advocate for equality for all and dubbed her “The Notorious RBG.” Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures/Participant Media/CNN Films.
Executive Produced by Gina Dwyer
WORLD PREMIERE Raf’aa flees Syria in the midst of the war, leaving behind her husband, Nazem, and their two sons in order to seek asylum in Europe. The family plans to follow her to Germany, but by the time Nazem and the boys make it to Greece, they find the borders closed. Confined to the stark conditions of a refugee camp while Raf’aa copes with the trauma she experiences on her own journey, will Nazem be able to safely reunite his family?
King of the Night
Executive produced by Anne Holloway
Born in Lebanon to Palestinian refugees, Imad Khachan came to New York to study English Literature, but became the steward of Chess Forum, now the last surviving chess shop in the city. As public gathering places in NYC become increasingly endangered, the Forum represents a crucial community space – a respite from the elements, commercial concerns and isolation. Through interviews with Imad and regulars – many of whom take refuge in the shop for over 35 hours a week – King of the Night tells the story of a man whose personal sacrifice has touched the lives of some of NYC’s most vulnerable.
Directed by Kavery Kaul
NYC PREMIERE In Havana, a leading artist of the new generation, Roger Toledo Bueno mines the past through the masters who started their careers before him — Manuel Mendive, Rocio Garcia and Roberto Diago. With his contemporary Ariamna Contino, he looks to the future. This intriguing inter-generational story captures intense color and textured patterns, ingenious materials and bold vision. It opens a rare window on rich experimentation with form and content as it connects the lines between art and life in Cuba today.
Rx Early Detection: A Cancer Journey with Sandra Lee
Executive produced by Sheila Nevins
Edited by Paula Heredia
Stunned when an annual screening delivers a cancer diagnosis, Emmy®-winning TV host and home lifestyle expert Sandra Lee embarks on a voyage from treatment and recovery to changing laws and saving lives.
Stars in the Sky: A Hunting Story
Executive Produced by Lydia Tenaglia
WORLD PREMIERE Hunting is a divisive issue, raising a host of moral and ethical concerns for some, and celebrated as a primal and pragmatic activity by others. Following hunters in the Alaskan wilderness, Steven Rinella’s eloquent exploration of the sport doesn’t shy away from its inherent controversies or contradictions. Diving into the history, psychology and sociology of the hunt, this thought-provoking film attempts to engage in a productive dialogue between both hunter and non-hunter.
Take Back the Harbor
Produced by Carolyn Hepburn
On Governor’s Island, an ambitious program works to restore once-bountiful oysters and the environmental benefits they bring to New York Harbor. Take Back the Harbor highlights students at a remarkable public high school where environmental stewardship is part of the curriculum.
This Changes Everything
Directed by Tom Donahue
Executive Produced by Madeline DiNonno, Simone Pero, Regina K. Scully (Muse Award Honoree)
Produced by Ilan Arboleda
NYC PREMIERE This Changes Everything gathers a who’s who of female actors and directors for a powerful call to action on elevating women’s roles in film and television, both on and off screen. Meryl Streep, Sandra Oh, Jessica Chastain, Shonda Rhimes, Reese Witherspoon, Taraji P. Henson and executive producer Geena Davis are among the many powerful agents of change in this rousing documentary full of fresh revelations about Hollywood’s insidious and systemic sexism.
Jane Fonda in Five Acts
Directed by Susan Lacy
As the daughter of Hollywood royalty, Jane Fonda has been in the public eye from a young age. Through the decades, she has taken on many roles, both on screen and in real life—sex symbol, Academy Award winner, controversial activist, tycoon’s wife and fitness mogul. This candid and entertaining portrait explores her many facets, the impact of the men in her life and how she has reinvented herself in her golden years to enjoy a career resurgence. Courtesy of HBO Documentary Films.
To Kid or Not To Kid
Directed, shot, and edited by Maxine Trump
WORLD PREMIERE Filmmaker Maxine Trump turns the camera on herself and her close circle of family and friends as she confronts the idea of not having kids. While exploring the cultural pressures and harsh criticism child-free women regularly experience, as well as the personal impact this decision may have on her own relationship, Maxine meets other women reckoning with their choice: Megan, who struggles to get medical permission to undergo elective sterilization, and Victoria, who lives with the backlash of publicly acknowledging that she made a mistake when she had a child.
View the full festival schedule and purchase tickets online.