Cinematic Art Awards
2020 Official Selections
We Will Always Be Here - 8:00 - Non-fiction
Amidst a global pandemic and a national uprising towards racial justice, We Will Always Be Here is a call-and-response from Indigenous Nations across Turtle Island to protect the sacred and all living things.
by Ty Defoe and Katherine Freer
Spokespeople - 23:30 - Non-fiction
For Los Angeles natives living in the early 1900’s, bicycles and streetcars shared the road as our primary modes of transportation. But the arrival of the freeway effectively wiped them out. Today, a collective of cycling communities fight for protected bike lanes and road safety; determined to bring a new era of mobility justice to the city.
by Ryan Mekenian, MFA Candidate, University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts
Remembering Beyond / Kukumbuka Mbele - 22:46 - Non-fiction
https://vimeo.com/400014090 - password: arusha
'Shot over the course of ten months in Tanzania’s Arusha Region, Kukumbuka Mbele is an experimental documentary film about energy and innovation. In one sense, the film rejects common development sensibilities that marginalize Tanzania in discussions of the scientific, the technological, and the innovative. In another, the film explores forms of energy that sit at the intersection of material, spiritual, animal, and human worlds – suggesting that renewed conceptions of the energetic are in order.'
by Turner Adornetto
Mazanal - 6:51 - Non-fiction
Nearly 40 years later, 12 Latinx millennials bear witness to Rufina Amaya's grave testimony about what happened at El Mozote.
by Jon Ayon Alonso, MFA Candidate, Stanford University
Sankara is Not Dead - 1:49:00 - Non-Fiction
https://vimeo.com/353323578 - password: sankara
After Burkina Faso’s October 2014 popular uprising, the young poet Bikontine starts to question his dreams of seeking a better life in the West. He decides to go meet his fellow citizens along the country’s only rail line. From South to North, through cities and villages, he learns about their dreams and disappointments, confronting his poetry with the realities of a rapidly shifting society. His journey ultimately reveals the enduring political legacy of storied former president Thomas Sankara, assassinated in 1987 and known as the “African Che Guevara.”
by Lucie Viver - email@example.com
RKLSS - 5:07 - Animation
Tank, a natural artist who is always drawing, runs into trouble with the law with his gang of friends. Tank is convicted, jailed, and subjected to solitary confinement and intense brutality. His art allows him to escape his terrible conditions. He discovers his own native spirituality while in jail, and through his art, finds a way to be in the world, and to reflect on his own reality.
by Tank Standing Buffalo - https://www.instagram.com/tankstandingbuffalo/
Our Great Day 1967 - 2:53 - Non-fiction
https://vimeo.com/476797087 - password: no download
Comprised of found footage from apartheid era South Africa, "Our Great Day 1967", imagines what a day would look like if black and coloured South Africans had the same rights and privileges afforded to white citizens of the time.
by Roger Horn - http://www.roger-horn.com/
O' America, I'll Never Be Your Son - 14:33 - Non-fiction
Created during the protests following the murder of George Floyd, this experimental, non-fiction piece examines the prolonged, constant fear, ire, and melancholy of being an African-American in America.
by Mordecai Lecky - https://www.instagram.com/muhmorty/
Eyes of a Survivor - 18:00 - Non-fiction
https://vimeo.com/336499760 - password: eyesofasurvivor25
An experimental intake of Ojore Nuru Lutalo as he recounts the 22 years he spent in political isolation, and the flourishing camaraderie he built with prison abolitionist, Bonnie Kerness, whose work supported him and other prisoners.
by Daryl Brown
https://www.darylbrownfilm.com/ - @eyesofasurvivor
Elephantbird - 15:00 - Fiction
https://vimeo.com/286763515/ - password: Elephant-bird2019
A mini-bus is on a journey across the mountains to Kabul. Each person on the bus has a reason to take this journey. An old man is traveling to give a turkey to his grandchild, as his last wish before dying. However, the main road is blocked by insurgents. They decide to use an alternative road, which is not very secure, and there is still the possibility of getting caught by insurgents.
by Masoud Soheili - https://www.facebook.com/Elephantbirdshortfilm/
Frontera - 20:08 - Non-fiction Animation
The documentary animation, Frontera! Revolt and Rebellion on the Río Grande, traces the seminal events and colonial entradas that have shaped the deeply contested territories of the US-Mexico borderlands. Native and Chicana narrators recall this living history through humor, music, hip hop, and cartoons.
by John Jota Leanos - http://leanos.net/frontera/
Muntu Child - 7:17 - Fiction
Two afro-indigenous Americans embark on a time traveling journey to search for freedom with the help of their egúns (ancestors) and the Orishas (African deities).
Natalie Marx - https://www.natytechnicolor.com/video-art
The Music Box - 11:29 - Animation
An animated short film based on a real story set in China during the Cultural Revolution in 1967. The film mirrors tragedies that befall children and families who are forced to leave their homes, due to war, colonization and political campaigns - unfortunately a situation which is all too common today.
Directed by Joe Chang.
Vimeo page with trailer: https://vimeo.com/283725644
Atena/Nets - 6:30 - Fiction
A site-specific contemporary dance set in Jamestown, a traditional fishing community in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Rising stars in Ghana’s dance community, Julius Yaw Quansah and Sena Atsugah are enmeshed in the challenges of daily life. Drawing from Ghanaian customs and traditions, they cast a wide net, remaking their world.
by Julius Gaw Quansah and Mark Freeman - markfreemanfilms.org
U- Street Contested - 30:19 - Non-fiction
https://vimeo.com/477858489 - password: CONTESTED19MB
Through interviews with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Dr. Derek Hyra, Maze Tesfaye, Layla Nielsen, and Funk Parade Organizer Chris Naoum, this film explores the ways in which Washington D.C.'s U-Street has changed, its vibrant history, and how we can all work to create a better, more equitable community.
by Michael T. Barry Jr. - mtbarryproductions.com
Juskatla - 14:00 - Non-fiction
From industrial loggers who harvest trees from ancient forests, to Sphenia Jones, a Haida matriarch who bears an intimate knowledge of her People’s territories, Juskatla meditates on the divergent ways of being that shape the islands and its people.
Georg Koszulinski is Associate Professor of Film Studies at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Footloose in Lockdown - 3:19 - Non-Fiction
Conceived as a social artistic experiment, in which invited artists, indigenists, therapists, black dancers, "brincantes populares", teachers, researchers and their babies in quarantine dance their dance, whatever it may be. The provocation is inspired by the popular "Cavalo Marinho." Move the feet! Heal the soul!
by Leticia Braga, Brasil
Indebted to All Women - 1:00:17 - Non-fiction
Abortion in El Salvador is punished with 20-40 years in prison. Indebted to All Women wants to give voice to those women suffering and struggling to change one of the most restrictive law in the world for sexual & reproductive rights.
by María Lobo and Roi Guitián - www.agareso.org/es/que-hacemos/proyectos-audiovisuales/en-deuda-con-todas/
Full Documentary: https://youtu.be/UcanNtb_woM
Otanimm/Onnimm (Daughter/Father) - 3:31 - Non-fiction, animation
A short animation based on the relationship of an artist and his daughter, and their deep connection to one another. Using dialogue, music, traditional animation, stop-motion, experimental DIY photography using Caffenol (coffee/vitamin C developer) and 2D rotoscoping, Terrance and his daughter Neko share a unique look at an indigenous father/daughter story.
by Neko Wong-Houle and Terrance Houle - https://ghostdays.com/
ReConstruct: Five Confederates and a Tennis Player - Interactive VR
https://vimeo.com/406953706/610eae650e - (preview)
Confederate statues share a street with tennis great Arthur Ashe, on Richmond, Virginia's Monument Avenue -- and are finally coming down, as the country struggles to come to grips with its racist origins. Through virtual reality, explore what you think of these statues, and how you might "reconstruct" them.
by Chuck Cummings - https://chuckcummings.info/
Images for a Film - 27:00 - Non-Fiction
https://vimeo.com/455333140 - password:RIFF4view
Images for a Film explores the use of police images. Produced in Brussels, the film examines Belgium’s Colonial past through its archival images and the images collected by the police at its Bureau des Étrangers. Informed by Alan Sekula's classic essay, The Body and the Archive, Images for a film looks to the historic scientific racism embedded in the Bertillon system of forensic photography. After interviewing an asylum seeker from Sudan, it questions the future of images with the coming facial recognition technology.
by Richard Robinson - https://www.robinsonphoto.com/
Inbetweenness - 5:30 - Non-fiction 360
Migrations, borders, and citizenship are central canons of state sovereignty, imperialism, and colonization. The necessity of displacement in search of a better life is often due to sociopolitical subjugation rooted in colonial structures, religious fundamentalism, and economic instabilities. Inbetweenness alludes to the ambiguities of deterritorialization and of hybrid cultural identity. It navigates a destabilizing state of diasporic existence by reimagining and experiencing childhood home through digital mapping tools. Searching for traces of the past within satellite imagery, aerial photography, and 360 photography, Kasra yearns for a sense of belonging to her homeland.
by Mona Kasra, Assistant Professor of Digital Media Design at the University of Virginia - https://www.monakasra.com/
Breaking Bread - 22:00 - VR Documentary
https://vimeo.com/364854458 - password: bread
A virtual reality documentary exploring the multifaceted stories of refugee communities who have recently arrived in Cleveland. The film brings the audience inside the homes of four refugee families, as we share a traditional meal. These families are Burmese, Eritrean, Syrian and Afghan refugees who have recently settled in Cleveland.
by Cigdem Slankard - http://www.cigdemslankard.com/breaking-bread.html
ReleaseD - 13:00 - Non-fiction
Filmed entirely in Suriname, the short film "ReleaseD" highlights six women of Afro-Surinamese descent who passionately express themselves through the traditional performance arts, martial arts, and visual arts. Their modes of creative self-expression contradict the original intent of the colonizers who brought Africans to Suriname’s shores centuries ago. The film's depictions of strength, independence, and liberation directly counter the portraits of slaves from Suriname that were distributed throughout Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries; fueling stereotypes that linger still today.
by Keoni Wright - https://www.keonikwright.com/
How to Tell A True Immigrant Story - 12:57 - VR Documentary
https://vimeo.com/316494214 - password: truestory
Responding to increased ICE activity, racial profiling, and xenophobia across Saratoga County after the 2016 election, this poetic and participatory metanarrative aims to expand public understanding of experiences otherwise reduced to politically expedient constructs while marshaling the surveillance logic of 360 video to illustrate and interrogate ways that documentary itself has potential to operate, like a customs interview, to “make accessible” (Trinh T. Minh-ha) those who are otherwise marked other.
by Aggie Ebrahimi Bazaz - https://aggiebazaz.com/true-immigrant/
Purple Dictatorship / Ditadura Roxa - 23:00 - Fiction
https://vimeo.com/matheusmourasam/purpledictatorship - password: curta
Yeda, the green-faced woman, sells homemade bread and cookies to support the house where she lives with her sick husband. Through the context of green-faced people, we know the reality of those who live on the fringes of a purple-faced society.
by Matheus Moura - https://www.instagram.com/ditaduraroxa/
Hop Along, Hang On - 4:16 - Animation
A blend of spoken word poetry, music and animation exploring and acknowledging the deeper history and long-term effects of the removal of culture within Indigenous peoples of Canada. Through the narrator’s personal lens “Hop Along, Hang On" offers a glimpse into the difficulties and trauma surrounding the Sixties scoop and subsequent ongoing hardships faced by Indigenous people who have found themselves on the outside of their culture. Let Rose tell you how she found her way home, in hopes that we can all build a better tomorrow, together.
by Cobra Collins - https://www.instagram.com/kingofthesnakes/