The 40th annual Margaret Mead Film Festival under the theme “Re:Frame,” will open this coming Friday October 13 with the US premiere of A Revolution in Four Seasons. The festival closes on Sunday, October 16 with the NYC Premiere of Indivisible.
A Revolution in Four Seasons directed by Jessie Deeter traces the paths of journalist Emna Ben Jemaa and Islamist politician Jawhara Ettis—two Tunisian women publicly envisioning very different dreams for the future of their nation in the wake of the Arab Spring. In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Tunisia was left with the formidable task of rebuilding a government in a deeply divided nation. The ousting of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and his authoritarian regime was, perhaps, the easy part. Two women, journalist Emna Ben Jemaa and Islamist politician Jawhara Ettis, publicly envision two different dreams for the shape of democracy in their nation. They may disagree on issues of free speech and religion in politics, but Ben Jemma and Ettis find common ground in an urgency of moving swiftly and surefootedly in the critical post-revolution years, lest extremists seize power. This timely and insightful documentary traces their paths from public figures in the Arab Spring to opponents in its wake, and the common obstacles they face as outspoken women.
Indivisible directed by Hilary Linder is an intimate and urgently relevant depiction of the immigration debate and its impact on children caught in the crosshairs, this new documentary tells real-life stories of families who have been torn apart by federal policies. Renata, Evelyn, and Antonio were all small children when their parents brought them to the United States—some looking for work, others fleeing violence—and undocumented teenagers when their parents were forced to leave the country. Now, all three haven’t seen their families for many years, and they are petitioning for waivers that would allow them to visit their families and legally return. They struggle with a daunting bureaucratic process, and inspire hope for the future while living at the center of a fierce national dialogue on the politics of immigration and immigration reform.
The four-day documentary film festival, founded in honor of anthropologist Margaret Mead, will screen 44 documentary films, with over half of the films, including the opening and closing night selections, directed by women.
Opening Night: A Revolution in Four Seasons
Two women publicly envision two different dreams for Tunisia in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race, and America
An African-American musician interviews and befriends members of the Ku Klux Klan in a moving investigation of race relations in the U.S.
A musician and cocoa farmer in a small Afro-Venezuelan village becomes a source of inspiration far and wide.
Best and Most Beautiful Things
Meet Michelle Smith, a bold 20-year-old woman—both blind and autistic— paving her own way in a small New England town.
A young Cuban man with Down syndrome grapples with new responsibilities when his mother falls ill.
Activists fight to provide a proper burial for a young Aché girl who was kidnapped by white settlers in Paraguay in the 19th century.
A Different American Dream
The shale oil industry booms on Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, and tribal leaders fight to save their land and society.
Enter the daily lives and relationships of Tibetan nomads as they struggle with the pressures of modernization and climate change.
Emerging Visual Anthropologists Showcase
In this special showcase we present four of the newest shorts to come out of the Visual Anthropology tradition.
Famous in Ahmedabad
11-year-old Zaid and his group of friends stir up excitement—and a little trouble—during the Kite Festival in Ahmedabad.
Farewell Ferris Wheel
Mexican workers in the U.S. carnival industry weigh opportunity vs. exploitation as they navigate a controversial visa system.
Fishermen Without a Sea
Rio de Janeiro’s fishermen and environmentalists try to maintain their way of life in the face of severe environmental degradation.
A Flickering Truth
A small entourage of brave Afghan cinephiles has preserved thousands of hours of this beloved cultural legacy
A brass band from Benin takes a spiritual journey to Lagos, homeland of Afrobeat, and connects with ideals of contemporary pan-Africanism.
Adults relive their summer-camp experiences and rediscover their identity without cell phones.
Journey into a rehearsal of a Māori rite as performed by a New Zealand rugby team.
A History of Cuban Dance
An immersive virtual reality experience filmed on location captures Cuban dancers in action.
How Sweet the Sound — The Blind Boys of Alabama
The Blind Boys of Alabama have a singular career spanning the ups and downs of gospel music in America from the 1930s to today.
Closing Night: Indivisible
Vivid and relatable stories of families caught in the crosshairs of our national debate on immigration policy
Island to Island
Two men in New York are initiated as kahu oli, caretakers of an ancient Hawaiian chant tradition.
J.C. Abbey, Ghana’s Puppeteer
Ghanaian polymath J.C. Abbey has a singular 50-year career of music-making and puppet-making, chronicling the music of his homeland.
Kolwezi on Air
A TV station in the Democratic Republic of Congo takes great risks to tell critical local stories.
Ladies First: Saudi Arabia’s Female Candidates
Find out what it’s like to be the first women running for public office in Saudi Arabia
The Love Industry
A ghostwriter of online dating profiles and a wedding videographer reflect on romance in the digital age.
Two renowned Hawaiian graffiti artists follow different paths back to their cultural roots.
Nagarjuna Art School
A former Buddhist monk with revolutionary ideas builds a school for Tibetan Thangka art.
Experience the way of life of yak herders on the Mongolian steppes, Maasai in Kenya, and Bajau sea nomads living off the coast of Borneo as they move from place to place across their ancestral territories.
Delve into the art of the Petyarre sisters and see their vibrant paintings come to life.
The Price of Peace
The riveting case of an Indigenous activist embodies the conflict between Māori communities and the New Zealand government.
The Queen of Coney Island
In a six-minute splash of imagery and interview, Monica tells her story of selling goldfish for 45 years at a colorful Coney Island shop.
Reindeer in My Saami Heart
A Saami artist from northern Sweden follows an arduous path to become a voice for her community.
A beautiful and nuanced perspective on the transformation of the world’s largest salt flat, in Bolivia, after the discovery of lithium reserves under the salt.
Seven Songs for a Long Life
Meet patients at a hospice in Scotland who share the stories and feelings of their last days through song and film.
Shásh Jaa’: Bears Ears
Five Native American nations fight for their homeland to be designated a national monument.
Uncover the story of the arms trade through the lens of real people and their interactions with weapons.
Sila and the Gatekeepers of the Arctic
Subsistence hunters and scientists in Greenland bear witness and offer insights from the frontlines of climate change.
The Silence of Nature
The video diary of a teenage Syrian refugee pays tribute to the restorative power of the outdoors.
Sonia’s Dream (El sueño de Sonia)
Follow Sonia Mamani as she takes her passion for Peruvian cuisine on the road, traveling the continent and teaching women how to cook.
Thiaroye by the Sea
A Senegalese woman, living in the sprawl of Dakar, pursues a career as a rapper against all odds.
Train to Adulthood
Follow three teens who seek refuge in the community provided by a railway in Hungary operated entirely by youth.
Under the Clouds (Das Nuvens Pra Baixo)
Five Brazilian women reflect on their lives in a Brazilian slum today vis-à-vis a best-selling diary account of a favela from the 1960s.
Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro
The story of a WWII G.I. and photographer helps us rethink the way we look at photo journalism and contemporary war photography.
Urmila: My Memory Is My Power
A young Nepalese woman overcomes unimaginable challenges to become a human rights activist.
Four international borders illuminate ubiquitous and contentious geopolitical issues between neighboring countries.
A Wife Among Wives
Recently digitally remastered in Turkana with English subtitles, a beautiful and influential film of renowned filmmakers David and Judith MacDougall.
Journey into the musical subculture of the Middle East during the Arab Spring.
An Indigenous Australian boy preparing for an initiation to manhood struggles to find his identity.
Women play a crucial role in one of history’s most successful revolutionary experiments.