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2014 New York Peace Film Festival
March 22 – 23, 2014
New York, NY – The Seventh Annual New York Peace Film Festival (NYPFF) starts with a kickoff party Friday, March 21 at 7pm at All Souls Unitarian Church, 1157 Lexington Avenue (between 79th & 80th Streets), followed by two days of screenings at the same location. The Peace & Justice Task Force of All Souls Unitarian Church is co-sponsoring the festival again this year. The opening gala will feature trailers of all the films to be screened and a number of the filmmakers whose works will be screened in the festival will be speaking about their films. The public is invited free of charge to the kick-off party, but an RSVP for attending the party is requested and should be sent to [email protected] or by calling 917-692-2210.
The following two-day festival will screen 11 films, including two animated shorts, 7 full-length documentaries, a 26 minute documentary, and the 1952 French anti-war classic, Forbidden Games (Jeux intedits). Saturday’s screenings start with films focused on social justice issues and then move to the nuclear issue. Sunday the films are a world-wide response to the issues of the day with films from France, Iran, the Gaza strip, Japan, and the U.S.
Saturday’s screenings begin at 12 noon with Occupy Love by Velcrow Ripper, a passionate and thoughtful documentation of the Occupy movement world-wide. The filmmaker expertly weaves the many connecting themes of the Occupy movement with the concept of love—for the earth, for each other, for our society. Velcrow Ripper will be on hand for a Q&A following the screening. At 1:50pm we screen two films by Manhattan based filmmaker Bill Kavanagh: Brick By Brick and A Matter of Place. Both films deal with discrimination in housing—the 30 year struggle in Yonkers for affordable housing to be built throughout the city’s communities, and discrimination by NYC realtors by steering people of color to select neighborhoods and the non-profit organization that seeks to expose those tactics. Mr. Kavanagh will be present following the screenings to talk about the films and answer questions. We then move from the violence done to people of color in the housing market to the violence done in large part to poor people including a disproportionate number of people of color by the high incarceration rate in the U.S. Broken On All Sides by Philadelphia filmmaker Matthew Pillischer, is a damning indictment of a penal system wildly out of control. Spurred on by strict enforcement of drug laws primarily in low-income neighborhoods, the U.S. incarceration rate has quadrupled in 20 years. With only 5% of the world’s population, the U.S. has 25% of the world’s prison population. Dead-on analysis by scholars and advocates point to another possibility. Mr. Pillischer will join us via Skype to answer questions following the screening. Traveling half way around the world lands us in Okinawa where U.S. military bases have been a flash-point of civilian protest for decades. The Targeted Village, to be screened at 5:20pm in its U.S. premier, follows the deceptive introduction of the Osprey military helicopter onto a major base and the opposition it aroused in the local community, which eventually extended throughout the island. Though the protests were large and sustained, and the tactics to break the will of the protesters reprehensible, the Osprey is currently being operated from that base. But the love, spirit, and solidarity of the protesters highlights the positives from such an action. Filmmaker Chie Mikami will join us for a Q&A from Japan via Skype. Our final film on Saturday begins at 7:30pm and commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Lucky Dragon fishing vessel and a half dozen other ships that were inadvertently within the Bikini atoll when the nuclear testing began in 1954. X Years Later by Hideaki Itoh, documents one man’s tenacity to uncover the truth about what actually happened, the effects of radiation on the fishermen, and the systematic cover-up by the U.S. military in collusion with the Japanese government of those facts. This is its NY premier. The filmmaker will join us from Japan via Skype for a Q&A following the screening.
Our second day of films continues on Sunday, starting at 1pm with the French classic film from 1952, Forbidden Games (Jeux intedits) by Rene Clement. Acclaimed world-wide, the film clearly illustrates the devastating effect war has on innocent children. Then, at 2:30pm, Tears, in its world premier, is an animated short by Iranian filmmaker Yahya Ghobadi. Like Forbidden Games its focus is on the struggle of a child to survive the onslaught of war. The filmmaker will join us from Iran via Skype. All too real was the Israeli onslaught into Gaza in 2008 during operation Cast Lead. Filmmaker Fida Qishta documents much of the invasion in her hometown of Rafah in her recently released Where Should the Birds Fly? to be screened at 3:05pm. For a good portion of the film the focus becomes a 12 year old girl, Mona, who lost dozens of family members, including her parents, and the emotional toll the war has taken on her. Fida Qishta will be on hand for a Q&A following the screening. At 4:30pm we feature another animated short, this time from Japan. 663114 by Isamu Hirabayashi tells the story of a cicada that has a 60 year cycle. The number as title has contemporary numerological significance: 66 years after Hiroshima; 311: March 2011, the date of the Fukushima disaster; and 4 crippled reactors at Fukushima. The filmmaker will join us for a Q&A from Japan via Skype. Beginning at 5pm Bidder 70, our final festival screening, tells the story of Tim DeChristopher, the young man who went into a restricted land auction and purchased land parcels laden with mineral deposits in order to stop the Bush administration’s illegal sale of the land. Members of the production team will join us following the screening for a Q&A.
Ticket prices for the Saturday and Sunday festival are $12 in advance for one entire day’s screenings, and $15 at the door (again for as many screenings as you wish to see that day). Advance tickets can be purchased through http://nypff2014.eventbrite.com/. Cash only at the door.
The complete festival schedule is:
Saturday, March 22
12noon Occupy Love by Velcrow Ripper; Q&A with filmmaker Velcrow Ripper in person.
1:50pm Brick By Brick by Bill Kavanaugh
2:45pm A Matter of Place by Bill Kavanaugh; Q&A with filmmaker Bill Kavanaugh in person.
3:40pm Broken On All Sides by Matthew Pillischer; Q&A with filmmaker via Skype.
5:20pm Targeted Village by Chie Mikami; US Premier; Q&A with filmmaker from Japan via Skype.
7:30 pm X Years Later by Hideaki Itoh; New York Premier; Q&A with filmmaker from Japan via Skype.
Sunday March 23
1pm Forbidden Games by Rene Clement
2:30 pm Tears by Yahya Ghobadi; World Premier; Q&A with filmmaker in Iran via Skype.
3:05pm Where Should the Birds Fly? by Fida Qishta; Q&A with filmmaker Fida Qishta in person.
4:30pm 663114 by Isana Hirabayashi; Q&A with filmmaker from Japan via Skype.
5pm Bidder 70 by Beth Gage and George Gage; Q&A with production team members in person.