The 2020 Festival is on track for November 2 – 7, 2020
While you wait, don’t forget to check out DOCUTAH’S High Desert Chronicles streaming free.
CAUTION CODES – A – Adult Themes, D – Drug Use, N – Nudity, P – Profanity, S – Sexual Issues, V – Violence, W- War, M – Medical Procedures
Actually Iconic: Richard Estes
Admired by artists ranging from Salvador Dali to Chuck Close, Richard Estes is a humble icon of modern art. He has been called the “king of photorealism,” a movement he helped launch in the late 1960s. His break with abstract, non-representational art transformed modern painting. Now, at 87, he is ready to reveal the techniques and inspiration behind his art. In “Actually, Iconic: Richard Estes” filmmaker Olympia Stone explores a rich survey of Estes’ masterpieces with unprecedented access to the artist including glimpses into Estes’ personal life, from his isolation as a child, always being a little “strange,” to coming out in the early 1960s in NYC and the “total wipeout” of the AIDS epidemic on his intimate and personal friendships. Stone creates a delicate portrait which does more than just explore Estes’ lifetime of creative output; it humanizes it. (A, D, N, P, S)
Run time: 1:08
Director: Olympia Stone
Producer: Olympia Stone
Alexandre the Fool
Fifteen years after a psychotic event on the South China Sea flipped his life upside down, Alex, a sensitive, refined, schizophrenic man is at a crossroads. His grandmother and confidante insists that he finds a girlfriend. His encounter with a young psychotic woman gives birth to an ardently passionate relationship that makes him slowly drift away from his usual emotional boundaries. As the South China Sea’s troubled waters well up in his mind, Alex gradually isolates himself, in danger of being swallowed up by paranoia’s unfathomable abyss.
Run time: 1:05
Director: Pedro Pires
Producer: Pedro Pires
Two Oakland artists, Pancho Peskador, a Chilean studio painter, and Desi Mundo, a Chicago-born aerosol artist, form an unlikely partnership to tackle their most ambitious project to date, a four-story mural in the heart of downtown Oakland. Their site is situated at a unique intersection where Chinese and Afro-Diasporic communities face the imminent threat of displacement and gentrification. Prior to painting, the mural faces numerous obstacles: complex negotiations with profit-minded property owners, satisfying a community of diverse residents, and resolving the artists’ own aesthetic conflicts. As the mural takes shape on the wall, Oakland’s unique cultural legacies come to life through historical flashbacks. Past exclusionary policies replay themselves in the present as gentrification threatens to uproot long-term residents.
Run time: 1:07
Director: Spencer I Wilkinson
Producer: 1852 Media
Spencer I Wilkinson
As a quintessentially American art form, the origins of Tap Dance wind through our history from Congo Square, through Minstrelsy, the Jazz Age, World War II and into modernity. Fueled by genius and challenged by adversity, it has undergone recession and rebirth to emerge vital and relevant in the new century. Not just a dance form, Tap is a mirror through which we can examine and better understand our American cultural heritage. As we dig into the heritage of American tap dancing, we discover that elements of our history which have the potential to tear us apart – the stigma of slavery and the friction caused by immigration – are the same forces which bind us together and fuel our dynamic society. This shared experience is the cultural fire that forged the art form of tap dancing.
Run time: 1:30
Director: Mark Wilkinson
On the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in East Africa, the biggest condominium complex is being constructed on the farmland of 10-year-old Asalif and his mother, leaving them just a tool shed with no electricity or running water. Asalif is caught between the ancient and the new. He creates his own reality and navigates modernization on his own terms, channeling the lion (“anbessa”) to face forces beyond his control. (P)
Run time: 1:26
Director: Mo Scarpelli
Producer: Mo Scarpelli, Caitlin Mae Burke
Ashram Children, The: I am No Body I Have No Body,
For 20 years, Jonathan grew up in Jerusalem and in an Ashram in India, which he had to keep secret. In the Ashram he was taught to dedicate his life to the Guru and to always think of him. That way, one could finally reach his goal in life, awaken from the illusion, realize the “truth”, and become enlightened. Twenty years later, Jonathan sets on a journey to understand the secret he was forced to keep about India, the effect it has on him even now, to find out what happened to the other Ashram children and to finally understand: had he been raised in a cult?
Run time: 1:07
Director: Jonathan Ofek
Producer: Jonathan Ofek, Itamar Luria
Beethoven in Beijing
By 1970, Western music had virtually disappeared from China. Today, classical music is thriving throughout the country as Chinese virtuosos thrill audiences in gleaming new concert halls. The turning point was a breakthrough visit by the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1973, which helped rekindle Chinese interest in classical music and forged a unique connection between China and the Orchestra. Beethoven in Beijing brings this riveting story to life through the memories of the Chinese and American musicians who played together in 1973 and offers a striking look at the cross-cultural power of music.
Run time: 1:28
Director: Jennifer Lin, Sharon Mullally
Producer: Sam Katz, Jennifer Lin
Can Art Stop a Bullet: William Kelly’s Big Picture
William Kelly, widely considered the social conscience of Australian art, once said “Art can’t stop a bullet, but it can stop a bullet from being fired.” Can it? This documentary explores the power of art to influence the violence in our world. It is a tapestry of history and art, drawn from major artworks and photos from the defining conflicts of their times. This immense visual collage allows the audience to navigate through time and place, meeting survivors of these horrific moments in history and the artists who have created work commenting on these periods, some of which have become iconic. (V, W)
Run time: 1:30
Director: Mark Street
Producer: Mark Street
61 402 474472
Can You Hear My Voice?
“Can You Hear My Voice?” is directed by award-winning producer/director Bill Brummel, his first film since having his own voice box removed in 2016.A triumphant documentary about a choir unlike any other in the world – a choir whose singers have no voice boxes. “Can You Hear My Voice?” chronicles the one-of-a-kind Shout at Cancer choir in London, whose members have all had their voice boxes removed, as they prepare for the most ambitious concert they’ve ever performed – a sold-out performance at London’s historic Tabernacle theater. The film includes songs popularized by Nina Simone, Tears for Fears, and Louis Armstrong. Interspersed with the concert preparations are the personal accounts of three members of the Shout at Cancer choir. Their stories reveal themes of self-identity, mortality, adversity, disability, resilience, and courage. Like the choir members, Brummel speaks with the aid of a voice prosthesis. At its heart, this film is about the arduous transition from life with a voice box to one without a voicebox told through the personal stories of members of the Shout at Cancer choir in London. (M)
Run time: 1:27
Director: Bill Brummel
Producer: Bill Brummel
Three women at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease offer their brains and bodies to a medical study. After the deaths of their mothers, these daughters are determined to contribute to find a cure. With nuance and tenderness, the film interweaves the scientific study with the personal ups and downs of these women’s lives. Barb’s family cares for their dying mother in a rural corner of Wisconsin. Sigrid, a retiree in a college town, adopts a lifestyle she thinks can stave off the disease. In Milwaukee, Karen struggles to raise her teenage son after her own mother’s passing. She joins the Community Advisory Board, a watchdog group that works to protect Black lives in the study. The intimate access to all their stories reminds viewers that Alzheimer’s is a disease battled on many fronts: in a lab, in a home, in a marriage, in a community, and in one’s hopes and fears about the future. (P)
Run time: 1:14
Director: Melissa Godoy
Producer: Eileen Littig
On June 12, 1963, an assassin’s bullet ended the life of Medgar Evers, the Field Secretary of the NAACP in Mississippi. From the Emmy-winning director of “The Uncomfortable Truth” comes the incredible true story of one family’s unbreakable love and tragic sacrifice in the name of freedom for everyone. “The Evers” is a powerful testament of love, faith and family in the quest for a better world.
Run time: 1:31
Director: Loki Mulholland
Producer: Loki Mulholland
The tragic, untold story of the high-profile murder trial of Justin Ross Harris following the death of his toddler son in the hot summer of 2014. (P)
Run time: 1:32
Director: Susan Morgan Cooper
Producer: Susan Morgan Cooper
Susan Morgan Cooper
A former journalist for the Chinese Communist Party, living in exile in San Francisco, struggles to settle into life in America while working to heal her family’s wounds from their tragic past. She is seeking justice for the murder of her sister at the hands of the Chinese authorities. Rare undercover footage of a meeting with the director of the labor camp where her sister was killed reveals shocking admissions of torture, slave labor, corruption, and a general disregard for human life pervading the camp system today. Exclusive interviews with former Chinese Communist Party officials provide a unique insight into the hidden world of terror that many Chinese citizens live without ever knowing that life can, and does, exist with freedom outside their world. (A, V, W)
Run time: 1:21
Director: Kay Rubacek
Producer: Kay Rubacek
Yingying Zhang, a 26-year-old Chinese student, comes to the U.S. to study. In her detailed and beautiful diaries, the aspiring young scientist and teacher is full of optimism. Within weeks of her arrival, Yingying disappears from the campus. Through exclusive access to Yingying’s family and boyfriend, Finding Yingying closely follows their journey as they search to unravel the mystery of her disappearance and seek justice for their daughter. Finding Yingying is the story of who Yingying was: a talented young woman loved by her family and friends. (P)
Run time: 1:36
Director: Jiayan “Jenny” Shi
Producer: Diane Quon, Brent C. Huffman
First Swallows, The
The precious few MiG 17 fighter jets provided by the Soviet Union to the Vietnam People’s Air Force were flown by a select group of Vietnamese pilots, trained in China to battle the highly superior US Air Force. The aging MiG 17s were called “Silver Swallows.” The first aerial battles of the war were over the Ham Rong Bridge in April 1965. Here, the First Swallows valiantly flew into their first dramatic dogfights with waves of USAF F-105s sent to destroy the bridge.
Run time: :49
Director: Lê Nguyên Bảo
Producer: Nguyễn Văn Trơừng Sơn
Forever Moore: the Angelo Project
Angelo Moore devotes his life to weaving a legacy; crafting art through spoken word, music, and fashion. Angelo has accepted certain truths using them as inspiration and making beauty out of darkness, all with a sense of humor and smile that could set the world on fire. The film asks many questions about the legacy and process of an artist. Through one-of-a-kind, childlike wonder, this is Angelo Moore of Fishbone. (P)
Run Time: 1:18
Directed and Produced by Tisa Zito
Director of Photography/Editor : Tisa Zito
Trailer – https://vimeo.com/400075397
Contact: Tisa Zito
Gianni Berengo Gardin’s Tale of Two Cities
How can we preserve the endangered city of Venice? Gianni Berengo Gardin, Italy’s most famous living photographer, embraced this challenge with his powerful photographs and controversial exhibition that triggered debate, protests and an international outcry. Gianni Berengo Gardin’s Tale of Two Cities examines the photographer’s commitment to Venice, and the profound impact of globalization on the city, including giant cruise ships traveling through the heart of historic Venice and unsustainable tourism. Tensions explode in the ensuing climactic events as the audience is forced to confront Venice’s uncertain future.
Run time: 1:07
Director: Donna Serbe-Davis
Producer: Donna Serbe-Davis
Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery
Four survivors take us inside the experience of traumatic brain injury (TBI) to reveal their personal stories of devastation, heroism and hope. Called “the Silent Epidemic,” TBI impacts 1.5 million Americans and costs American society $60 billion every year. Going the Distance focuses an intimate lens on the daunting, inspiring journeys of the survivors as well as the people who love and care for them. Produced and directed by three-time Emmy Award winning filmmaker, David L. Brown, Going the Distance promises to be an inspiring and invaluable addition to the media resources on TBI and disability. (M, V, W)
Run time: 1:00
Director: David L. Brown
Producer: David L. Brown
David L. Brown
Hand Drawn Life
The history and influence of newspaper comic strips.
Run time: 1:28
Director: Tom Tanquary
Producer: Tom Tanquary
Iconicity is a voyage into a surprising frontier for creative expression – the Southern California Deserts. Fringe communities of artists and radicals thrive amidst the wide open, lawless spaces of North America’s driest desert. In a brutal land of dust, rust, and concrete, some explore new worlds while others delve into their own darkness, drawing seemingly limitless inspiration from their surroundings. This road trip takes us beyond the reaches of civilization to places that exist out of time. We are treated to in-depth looks at work as diverse as Leonard Knight’s “Salvation Mountain” in the squatter outpost of Slab City, Noah Purifoy’s political assemblages in Joshua Tree, gripping installations by Desert X in the Coachella Valley, and Ricardo Breceda’s gargantuan metal sculptures in Borrego Springs. The film concludes with the Bombay Beach Biennale, a renegade festival of art and music founded in 2016. Set against the Salton Sea’s dying shoreline, artists transform abandoned housing and vacant lots to reveal the beauty in decay. A kaleidoscope of history, art, and personal experience, Iconicity serves as a complex examination of the mark we leave on our environment and the mark it leaves on us. A Film by Leo Zahn. Featuring Randy Polumbo, Bobby Furst, Tao Ruspoli, Stefan Ashkenazy, Bill Ammon, and many others.
Run time: 1:28
Director: Leo Zahn
Producer: Leo Zahn
In Glorious Smell-O-Vision! The True Story of The Godfather of Scented Cinema
In Glorious Smell-O-Vision! tells the story of the precipitous rise, terrible fall and ultimate redemption of Hans Laube, the Swiss scientist who invented scented cinema. The debut of his Smell-O-Vision! process in a big-budget Hollywood production starring Elizabeth Taylor was a spectacular flop. But why? Smell-obsessed Australian filmmaker Tammy Burnstock gets to the bottom of what went wrong, along the way uncovering a very human story of scientific innovation, heartbreak and redemption.
Run time: 1:00:30
Director: John Anderson, Tammy Burnstock
Producer: Tammy Burnstock
Kingdom of Archers
When the Kingdom of Bhutan joined the United Nations in 1971, archery was designated as its national sport. Archery in Bhutan is a rich part of the cultural fabric. But both internal and external factors have begun to change the face of traditional game in Bhutan. Kingdom of Archers explores the many facets of archery in Bhutan and addresses the challenges of cultural preservation against the forces of modernization, westernization, and economic development.
Run time: 1:17
Director: Robert Hixon Hanson
Producer: Robert Hixon Hanson
Robert Hixon Hanson
One in five Americans is taking a psychiatric medication. While these drugs sometimes provide effective short term relief for emotional distress, pharmaceutical companies have hidden dangerous side effects and long term harm from both doctors and patients. Medicating Normal follows the stories of five diverse Americans who were harmed by prescribed medications they took to feel better. (P)
Run time: 1:16
Director: Lynn P Cunningham,
Producer: Muffie Meyer
Merely Marvelous: The Dancing Genius of Gwen Verdon
Broadway’s greatest dancing star, Gwen Verdon, who overcame many obstacles, including rickets, the Hollywood system, a loveless first marriage and a difficult second marriage to choreographer Bob Fosse, to become a multi-Tony Award-winning performer. Her life is told through interviews with family members and colleagues as well as a mine of rare footage from her Broadway and film careers including Chita Rivera, Tab Hunter, as well as Gwen’s son and daughter.
Run time: 1:23
Director: Chris Johnson, Ken Bloom
Producer: Chris Johnson, Ken Bloom
Every year, millions lose billions in Las Vegas, but after Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 and killed 58 people, the town’s image as a safe adult playground was put in jeopardy. With billions on the line, the corporations that run Las Vegas use their power to get America’s mind off the shooting, leaving the victims feeling forgotten. Money Machine exposes a rigged game of corrupt policing and corporate cover-ups and how the deadliest mass shooting in US history became one of the most forgotten. (P, V)
Run time: 1:14
Director: Ramsey Denison
Producer: Doug Blush
A generation ago, Murghab, the highest town in the former Soviet Union, enjoyed ample provisions from Moscow brought in via the Pamir Highway. It had electricity around the clock, an airport, a movie theatre, and a hospital with central heating. Since then, Murghab and its people have weathered several storms and the Soviet hallmarks are crumbling away. Yet, life goes on and, with wit and improvisational skills, the ruins of Socialism afford a plethora of new but precarious ways to make do.
Run time: 1:21
Director: Martin Saxer, Marlen Elders, Daler Kaziev
Producer: Marlen Elders, Martin Saxer
Oceans Without Limits
Embark on a voyage of discovery into the Western Indian Ocean and find out how plastic pollution is impacting this tropical paradise. Oceans Without Limits is an epic and cinematic oceanic adventure with an element of science. A crew, made up of a Skipper, a Pro Diver, a Marine Biologist, and a Filmmaker, go way off the beaten track to document their findings. Their discoveries are both unexpected and shocking!
2019, F-South Africa
Run time: 1:30
Director: Mark van Wijk
Producer: Gert Muller
Mark van Wijk
Pedro Opeka declined an opportunity to play professional soccer in his native Buenos Aires to become a missionary and live in one of the poorest countries in the world. The son of a bricklayer, he convinced destitute families living in Madagascar’s largest landfill that he could teach them how to build their own houses and, in the process, build their dignity. After 30 years of construction, fighting increasing poverty and political instability, Opeka has created a highly functional city within this dysfunctional African nation.
Run time: 1:29
Director: Cam Cowan
Producer: Cam Cowan, Tiffany Peckosh-Soffrin
Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique has become one of Africa’s most celebrated wildlife restoration stories. After a decade of renewed protection, Gorongosa’s large mammal population has increased 10-fold to over 100,000 animals. But the Park must also find a way to co-exist with the 200,000 people living in surrounding communities. Dominique Gonçalves, a young African elephant ecologist shares the inspiring story of how Gorongosa is becoming a new model for wildlife conservation and community development.
Run time: 1:00
Producer: James Byrne, Gráinne Keegan, Carla Rebai
Pilgrims of Divine Mercy
In this road movie four repeat offenders, who converted in prison, set off on foot to the Vatican, drawing a special trolley with a gift for the pope – a painting of Merciful Jesus. What they have in common, apart from their criminal past, is faith and hope that their effort will help them to forget about the demons of the past. Heavy physical exertion will put their notions of community and faith to the test. (P)
Run time: 1:23
Director: Przemysław Jan Chrobak
Producer: Przemysław Jan Chrobak
Przemysław Jan Chrobak
Playing for Keeps
Playing for Keeps examines the importance of play and downtime for all of us – children, adults, seniors, and animals. It is a tapestry of interwoven characters that takes a look at the science behind and health benefits of the play state as well as its recent decline in our lives. It shows us that staying playful is a powerful aspect of a happy life.
Run time: 1:02
Director: James Redford
Producer: Karen Pritzker
Point of Light
Adam Tousley is an Iraq combat veteran whose childhood ambition was to be a policeman in his home town of Zionsville, Indiana. The trajectory of his life changed dramatically after his Army discharge. Adam travelled with a mixed group of veterans to the historic battlefield of Khe Sanh, Vietnam and silently vowed to return someday to Iraq. The path of that return led through brutal genocide in Myanmar and crowded refugee camps of Bangladesh and culminated with Adam managing a humanitarian mission in Iraq where he interacted as an unarmed civilian with hostile militias determined to kill Americans.
A point of light is only visible against a dark background and courageous action in troubled times leads each of us to reach our own higher natures. Adam’s story is one of these inspiring points of light. (V, W)
Run time: :59
Director: Luke L Hansen
Producer: Luke L Hansen
Prophets, Teachers and Kings
An inside look at the dark and sometimes violent world of one of Los Angeles’s oldest graffiti crews and their 35 year rise from juvenile delinquency to urban art infamy. (A, P)
Run time: 1:06
Director: Devin A. Rice
Producer: John Carswell, Abigail Carswell
Return of Elder Pingree, The — Memoir of a Departed Mormon
Lapsed Mormon Geoff Pingree retraces the steps he took twenty-five years earlier in Guatemala as a devout missionary. Combining archival material and contemporary footage it moves from jungle village to national capital. The young Elder Pingree’s earlier, single-minded journey is paired with the older Geoff Pingree’s ambivalent return to Guatemala as he seeks to discover what has become of the Guatemalans who once trusted him with their religious faith, attempts to understand the violent and unsettling political conditions of which he was ignorant as a regimented missionary, and grapples with the basic human dilemma of how one might do good in the world.
Run time: 1:24
Director: Geoffrey Pingree
Producer: Lisa Abend, Geoff Pingree
When charismatic, seemingly happy Air Force recruit CJ Twomey ended his own life at age 20, his family was plunged into unrelenting grief and guilt. Years later, tormented by the feeling that she had somehow let her son down and driven by a need to sustain the memory of how he lived, not how he died, his mother, Hallie, put out an open call on Facebook. In this moment of desperate inspiration, she asked a handful of world travelers to help fulfill her son’s ambition to see all the corners of the Earth by scattering some of his ashes in a place of beauty or special meaning to them. It was a call that would resonate beyond her wildest hopes — one that would move tens of thousands of people to answer.
Run time: 1:03
Director: Andrea Kalin
Producer: Andrea Kalin, David Lobatto
Story Beyond a Cup of Sake, The
The Story Beyond a Cup of Sake is a tale that features the rice wine “sake” produced by a small brewery in Japan and “passion” how people love it.
Run time: 1:02
Director: Hironori Sakurai
Producer: Hironori Sakurai
The award-winning feature documentary That’s Wild tells the inspiring journey of three troubled teenage boys from Atlanta, Cliff (16), Ahmani (13) and Nicholas (13), who attempt to climb four 12,000 ft snow capped peaks in the heart of the Colorado wilderness, all while overcoming their own personal mountains.
Run time: 1:03
Director: Michiel Thomas
Producer: Michiel Thomas, Ben Severance, Mathew Perez-Mora, Ricardo Rivera
In a collection of intimate interviews with some of America’s most provocative black conservative thinkers, Uncle Tom takes a different look at being black in America. Featuring media personalities, ministers, civil rights activists, veterans, and a self-employed plumber, the film explores their personal journeys of navigating the world as one of America’s most misunderstood political and cultural groups: The American Black Conservative. In this eye-opening film from Director Justin Malone and Executive Producer Larry Elder, Uncle Tom examines self-empowerment, individualism and rejecting the victim narrative. Uncle Tom shows us a different perspective of American History from this often ignored and ridiculed group.
Run time: 1:46
Director: Justin Malone
Unfinished Fight of Seldom Seen Sleight, The
Ken Sleight watched the place he called home, Glen Canyon, slowly drown under the waters of Lake Powell. That loss changed him from an old-school conservative into a radical environmental activist who will do anything to protect the canyons of the Southwest. He’s faced down raging bulldozers from the back of his horse. Monkeywrenched? He’ll never tell – but he was the inspiration for Seldom Seen Smith in his buddy Ed Abbey’s classic book The Monkey Wrench Gang. Now 90, he’s still fighting for Glen Canyon Dam to be brought down and the river freed.
Run time: :45
Director: Chris Simon
Producer: Chris Simon
Weirdos: A Homeschool Documentary
Weirdos: A Homeschool Documentary looks into the lives of homeschool families and why they would choose to dedicate their time, resources, and hearts to this lifestyle. Discussing topics of child development, struggles, passion-led learning, misconceptions, freedom and more, all while following the story of one town’s journey to build a thriving homeschool community and the benefits that having a strong support system provides to the individual families.
Run time: 1:36
Director: Matthew Black
Producer: Amanda Black
Wings of Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is home to the Tien Shan, the “Celestial Mountains” which tower above the lush pasture land that is home to thousands of animals and the semi-nomadic herders of Central Asia. As much a song poem as a film, Wings of Kyrgyzstan is a kaleidoscope of life in the magnificent high steppe of Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, where alongside the mythology of the horse, the harsh realities of subsistence life and the loneliness of routine in remote regions causes tension and heartache. Here, horses are considered the “wings of man”. The rhythm of rural life underscores this reverent cinematic journey, where vivid portraits of young men and women, semi-nomads and their elders share their personal stories and aspirations.
Run time: 1:15
Director: Sophie Dia Pegrum
Sophie Dia Pegrum
Women of Earth
Mayara grew up in Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil and Latin America. She was a teenager surrounded by millions of people, technology, and everything the modern world could offer but she still felt empty. In search of someone who could answer her questions, she went back to the roots of Brazil, to indigenous quilombolas and rural communities. On this journey, she met women who showed her how the wisdom of the past can heal the future. They are traditional midwives, healers, and community leaders. They are keepers of an ancient knowledge that we can’t afford to lose. She calls them Women of Earth. (N, Child Birth)
Run time: 1:11
Director: Isadora Carneiro, Katia Lund, Mayara Boaretto
Producer: Jon Wilcox, Kirk Bowman