DOCUMENTARY WEEK Martha’s Vineyard
Documentary films have become the conscience of the nation, providing a deeper study of contemporary, and often unnoticed, social issues. By using the unique medium of film, documentarians are able to cultivate more compelling and fruitful discussion by mixing strongly-driven narratives with vivid imagery. In recognition of the rising importance of documentaries to public dialogue, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society is proud to announce its third annual Documentary Week from July 31st through August 4th, 2017.
Documentary Week allows established documentarians to screen and discuss works of importance with audience members and each other. The filmmakers have the opportunity to engage audience members in fervent discussion about social, humanitarian, and environmental themes. The ultimate goal of the festival is to raise awareness of issues, while engaging audiences in proactive and constructive dialogue.
THE 2017 DOCUMENTARY WEEK LINE-UP:
MONDAY, July 31 at 6:30pm – Opening Reception
Opening reception in the Film Center Lobby with live music and more.
7:30pm — I AM JANE DOE
The film will be accompanied by a panel discussion featuring director Mary Mazzio, Yiota Souras, and more.
I Am Jane Doe chronicles the epic battle that several American mothers are waging on behalf of their middle-school daughters, victims of sex trafficking on Backpage.com, the classified advertising website that for years was part of the iconic Village Voice. Reminiscent of Erin Brockovich and Karen Silkwood, these mothers have stood up on behalf of thousands of other mothers, fighting back and refusing to take no for an answer.
The Jane Doe plaintiffs featured in the film include middle school girls from Boston, a 15-year-old violinist from Seattle, and a precocious 13-year-old girl from St. Louis. The documentary follows the journey of these young girls and their mothers in real time as they run headlong into a collision course not only with Backpage but with judges, special interest groups, and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, an internet freedom law that provides a safe haven for website publishers to advertise underage girls for sex.
The film also features the attorneys involved in the various lawsuits, including a criminal defense lawyer working out of a strip mall in Washington State and a senior partner in one of the oldest white-shoe law firms in the country (Ropes & Gray) from Massachusetts. The film includes interviews with Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), as well as former editors and writers from the Village Voice, ex-CIA analysts, FBI agents, and others involved with these cases.
I Am Jane Doe is a provocative human story and fresh look at a social and legal issue that affects every community in America.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 1 at 7:30pm – I AM ANOTHER YOU
Director Nanfu Wang will join us after the film for a Q&A discussion.
When Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang first came to America, Florida seemed like an exotic frontier full of theme parks, prehistoric swamp creatures, and sunburned denizens. As she travels wide-eyed from one city to another, she encounters Dylan, a charismatic young drifter who left a comfortable home and loving family for a life of intentional homelessness. Fascinated by his choice and rejection of society’s rules, Nanfu follows Dylan with her camera on a journey that takes her across America and explores the meaning of freedom – and its limits.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 2 at 7:30pm – CITY OF GHOSTS
Director Matthew Heineman will join us via Skype after the screening for a Q&A discussion of the film
CITY OF GHOSTS is a documentary that follows the efforts of “Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently,” a handful of anonymous activists who banded together after their homeland was taken over by ISIS in 2014. With deeply personal access, this is the story of a brave group of citizen journalists as they face the realities of life undercover, on the run, and in exile, risking their lives to stand up against one of the greatest evils in the world today.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 3 at 7:30pm – TICKLING GIANTS
Director Sara Taksler will be joining us via Skype after the film for an interview led by Kate Davis
TICKLING GIANTS tells the story of Dr. Bassem Youssef, the “Egyptian Jon Stewart”, who decides to leave his job as a heart surgeon and become a late-night comedian. The movie is about how he finds creative, non-violent ways to protect free speech and fight a president who abuses his power.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 4 at 7:30pm – DATELINE-SAIGON
Special Guest: Director Thomas D. Herman will join us for a discussion of the film
DATELINE-SAIGON profiles five Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists — The New York Times’s David Halberstam; The Associated Press’s Malcolm Browne, Peter Arnett, and the legendary photojournalist Horst Faas; and United Press International’s Neil Sheehan.
With all the high-stakes drama of ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, the film chronicles their controversial and groundbreaking reporting during the early years of the Vietnam War as President Kennedy is secretly committing US troops to what is initially dismissed by some as a “nice little war in a land of tigers and elephants.” Five young reporters took on a superpower — and who won?
Involuntarily, they are drawn into a war of their own that pits the journalists against government officials and ushers in a new era of journalism that seeks to hold the government accountable.
Today we know the story’s end, but few realized then how important their reporting was, and how our protagonists and their colleagues continue to serve as role models for today’s front-line reporters around the globe.
DATELINE-SAIGON illuminates the difficulties of reporting war by focusing on America’s most important and controversial case study: Vietnam, the war that established many of the ground rules for coverage of wars that followed and ignited an antagonism between the media and the military that unfortunately endures. The parallels to the challenges journalists face in reporting today’s conflicts — and the consequences of not getting the story out — will become disturbingly obvious to the viewer.
DATELINE-SAIGON is geared to generations born after the Vietnam War as well as to the generation that lived through it but never knew the personal sacrifices made to report the truth — a struggle today’s reporters continue to face. The “Saigon Boys” have much to teach us about reporting the truth in the face of government resistance.
DATELINE-SAIGON was filmed over a 12 year period in the United States, the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Vietnam, and Iraq. The film features multiple interviews with key characters, some of whom are no longer living, and rare archival motion picture and still photographs, some of which come from private archives and will be seen publicly for the first time.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 6TH AT 1:00 PM – FREE CHILDREN’S EVENT
Join Mr. Bunni, a door-to-door vegetable salesman, as he journeys beneath the earth, into the sea, and even to outer space in search of carrot customers. Will he ever sell enough to please his boss? Or will his new friends teach him a valuable lesson about being true to himself? This imaginative table-top performance features colorful paper puppets and plenty of audience interaction. After the show there will be a meet-and-greet upclose of the puppets and performers for children who are interested!
BRAD SHUR is a versatile puppeteer who has created and performed characters made of everything from pixels to papier mache. As the Resident Artist at Puppet Showplace Theater he performs regularly and teaches puppetry classes to students of all ages, Pre-K to adult. As protégé of master puppeteer Paul Vincent Davis, Brad trained extensively in glove puppetry and currently performs two of Davis’ classic shows at venues across New England. Brad’s original works include “Robin Hood,” “The Carrot Salesman,” “Dr. Doohickey and the Monster Machine,” “Tall Tales ” and “The Magic Soup and Other Stories,” featured at the Puppeteers of America National Festival 2013. In January 2016, he also debuted “Cardboard Explosion!” an interactive puppetry performance made entirely from cardboard. Prior to becoming the Resident Artist at Puppet Showplace, Brad toured the country as a performer with Big Nazo (Rhode Island), Wood & Strings Theatre (Tennessee) and The PuppeTree (Vermont). As a builder Brad has designed and fabricated puppets for American Idol, Dollywood, Avenue Q, and the U.S.S. Constitution Museum. He is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.
CHRIS MONTI is a writer, singer, and musician based in Providence, RI. He has released three records: Home, Locust Grove, and Swampland Flowers on CMO Records. Chris has opened for and toured with country-blues great Paul Geremia, and has had the pleasure of playing music with the Providence Wholebellies (led by harmonica wizard Chris Turner), with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, and with composer Steve Jobe (playing the gigantic Bosch Hurdy-Gurdy). Monti regularly performs for children all over New England in schools, hospitals, and community settings. In addition to guitar, Monti plays harmonica, banjo, mandolin, dobro, piano, lap steel, and kazoo.
Tickets are $15 for General Admission and $12 for MVFS Members
ALL-ACCESS PASS: $65 for non-members/$55 for members
CLICK ON MOVIE TITLES FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION ON EACH DOCUMENTARY WEEK FILM AND TO PURCHASE TICKETS
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