NAMAC 2012: Documentary Screenings, Curated by Aimee Le Duc

Evidence: A Program in Documentary

Purchase $15 Day Passes for the Screening Program

In the Minnehaha Room, the Hyatt Regency, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Afghani women creating schools in quiet corners of their towns; musicians fighting for the rights of young women; Australian sex workers standing up for the disabled — the NAMAC 2012 Evidence Screening Series offers a broad spectrum of intimate stories amid the larger social and political issues of our time. The screening includes films from internationally known filmmakers such as Lynn Hershman and trailblazing organizations such as Women Make Movies, as well as films making their Minneapolis debut and some making their first-ever public appearance!

Meet the Filmmakers

Three filmmakers will be in attendance to take audience questions for their films' Twin Cities debuts, including:

  • Academy Award nominated producer Marc Smolowitz, director of The Power of Two, after his screening on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 4 p.m.
  • Michael Sheridan, producer of Fruits of our Labors, a series of documentary shorts by Afghans, will discuss working in Afghanistan following their screening on Friday, Sept. 7, at 10:45 a.m.
  • Ana Serrano, producer of Prison Dancer: The Interactive Web Musical, will discuss transmedia storytelling, Asian-American pop culture, and musical theater, following her screening at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6.


Thursday, September 6, 3 PM - 5 PM

Note! Thursday screening is in the Mirage Room!


"Prison Dancer: The Interactive Web Musical"
By Ana Serrano, Carmen Leilani DeJesus, and Romeo Candido
Master Class led by Ana Serrano

NAMAC and present the award-winning transmedia musical “Prison Dancer” for the first time in the Twin Cities. Playing to sellout crowds at the New York Musical Theater Festival, “Prison Dancer” is also an interactive musical Web series inspired in turn by the viral video “The Dancing Inmates of Cebu.” Featuring exciting Filipino musical talent from across North America, “Prison Dancer” is filled with catchy pop tunes and star-crossed lovers, combining the best of Broadway with YouTube storytelling.

Producer Ana Serrano will host this master class and screening, share the techniques and challenges of producing a transmedia storyworld, and comment on Asian-American pop culture and musical theater.


Friday, September 7, 10 AM - 7 PM

10 AM

Gravity Hill Newsreel No. 2
By Jem Cohen (39:16 min., 2012)
Video Data Bank

Four short documentaries on Occupy Wall Street's emergence in New York City, at Times Square and Zuccotti Park.


10:45 AM

The Fruit of Our Labor: Afghan Perspectives in Film
By Hasibullah Asmati, Reza Sahel, Zarah Sadat, Aqeela Rezai, Ahmad Wahid Zaman, Mona Haidari, Majeed Zarand, Baqir Tawakoli, Fakhria Ibrahimi, Sayed Qasem Hossaini (114 min., 2011)
Community Supported Film

These films were made by Afghans during an intensive five-week  training in documentary production provided by Community Supported Film. After three weeks each student developed and produced a character-driven short documentary. For many of the trainees, this is their directorial debut as a documentary filmmaker.

Producer Michael Sheridan will be taking questions from the audience after screening.

12:45 PM

Bocas de Ceniza (Mouths of Ash)
By Juan Manuel Echavarría (18 min., 2003–2004)

Colombian artist, Juan Manuel Echavarría, uses video and photography to create a visual requiem to his country, Colombia. Through narrative and powerful imagery, he addresses pain and suffering caused by loss and repression. — Weatherspoon Art Museum


1:10 PM

By Maria Luisa Gambale, Gloria Bremer & Steven Lawrence (60 min., 2011)
Women Make Movies

In this stirring documentary, hip-hop artist Sister Fa fights to stop the practice of female genital cutting (FGC) in her home country of Senegal. From her early days as an unpolished music phenom through a career-reinvention in Berlin, Sister Fa has continually smashed barriers in the male-dominated hip-hop world. But as this intimate film reveals, her strength of character was forged in a journey of hardship and transformation.

2:15 PM

Janie’s Janie
By Newsreel (25 min., 1971)
Third World Newsreel

Janie's Janie is unique in the Newsreel collection. It is a 'personal documentary' that follows a woman who comes to realize that she has to control her own life, after years of experiencing physical and mental abuse. Using both interviews and verité material, it is one of the more complex Newsreel films. —

2:45 PM

Kivalina People
by Gina Abatemarco
Native American Public Telecommunications

An intimate and unique look into the public and private lives of one of America’s last Indigenous cultures trying to survive in the modern Arctic, where struggles of poverty, climate change, and culture are inextricably intertwined.

3:30 PM

Native Daughters: The Road Home
by Princella Ann Parker

Part of a series from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln: "Native Daughters is a collection of stories, profiles and multimedia projects about a diverse group of Native American women. They are healers and warriors, story tellers and law makers, leaders, environmentalists and artists. It is our intention that these stories are just a starting point to learn about Native American women and we hope women across the country will join in and share their voices.

4 PM

C Red Blue J
Chris Sollars (78 min., 2009)
Independent production

An experimental documentary feature that illustrates the complications of division during the 2004 presidential election as it is manifested in one family. Director Chris Sollars, an artist living and working in San Francisco, sets out to try and bridge the political gaps in his own family between a younger sister who works for the Bush Administration, a Born Again Christian father, and Lesbian mother ... C RED BLUE J is pieced together through an archive of family super-8 films, photos, interviews, and art videos. The story personalizes the political division of the 2004 Presidential campaign as gay marriage is tactically used to split the nation’s vote and the director’s family. — Winkleman Gallery, New York.

5:30 PM

I Am
by Sonali Gulati (71 min., 2011)
Independent production

I Am chronicles the journey of an Indian lesbian filmmaker who returns to Delhi, eleven years later, to re-open what was once home, and finally confronts the loss of her mother to whom she never came out. As she meets and speaks to parents of other gay and lesbian Indians, she pieces together the fabric of what family truly means, in a landscape where being gay was until recently a criminal and punishable offense.

6:45 PM

575 Castro Street
by Jenni Olson (7 min., 2008)
Focus Features

Shot on the set of Focus Features' MILK, director Jenni Olson effectively employs archival recordings of Harvey Milk describing the events he would like to take place in the event of his assassination.


Saturday, September 8, 10 AM - 7 PM

10 AM

Everybody Lives Downstream
by Anna Scime with Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER (28 min., 2011)
Squeaky Wheel

 Everybody Lives Downstream examines the history of Buffalo's complicated relationship with the Buffalo River — the way we continue to alter this body of water through industrial exploitation as well as remediation and restoration efforts.

10:30 AM

You Are Where You Live
by Vincenzo Mistretta and Clean Air Coalition of WNY (23 min., 2011)
Squeaky Wheel

Three stories of community efforts to hold local polluters accountable, and the nonprofit coalition supporting their efforts.

11 AM

!W.A.R. (Women Art Revolution)
by Lynn Hershman Leeson (83 min., 2010)
Women Make Movies

Forty-two years in the making, !W.A.R. charts the history of the Feminist Art Movement in America from the 1960s to the present and deftly illuminates how this under-explored movement radically transformed the art and culture of our times. —

12:30 PM

Scarlet Road
By Catherine Scott (106 min., 2011)
Women Make Movies

Impassioned about freedom of sexual expression, Australian sex worker Rachel Wotton has become highly specialized in working with clients with disability. Rachel’s philosophy, that human touch and sexual intimacy can be the most therapeutic aspects to our existence, is making a dramatic impact on the lives of her clients. The depth, humor and passion in this documentary will transform the way you see sex workers and people with disabilities forever. —

1:45 PM

Love and Diane
By Jennifer Dworkin (116 min., 2002)
Women Make Movies

A frank and astonishingly intimate real-life drama of a mother and daughter desperate for love and forgiveness, but caught in a devastating cycle. During the 1980s, a crack cocaine epidemic ravaged and impoverished many inner city neighborhoods. As parents like Diane succumbed to addiction, a generation of children like Love entered the foster care system. Shot over ten years, the film centers on Love and Diane after the family is reunited and is struggling to reconnect. —

4 PM  

The Power of Two 
By Marc Smolowitz (94 min., 2011)

An intimate portrayal of the bond between half-Japanese twin sisters Anabel Stenzel and Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, their lifelong battle with the fatal genetic disease cystic fibrosis, survival through miraculous double lung transplants, and improbable emergence as authors, athletes and advocates for organ donation.

The film has garnered ten awards and screened at 30 film festivals and numerous community screenings in five countries and three continents. This screening at NAMAC 2012 is the Minneapolis premiere for The Power of Two.

Director / Producer Marc Smolowitz will be in attendance to introduce The Power of Two and to answer audience questions in a post-screening discussion.

6:15 PM

Gravity Hill Newsreels Series One
By Jem Cohen (27:01 min., 2012)
Video Data Bank

First of two series in of short documentaries on Occupy Wall Street's emergence in New York City, at Times Square and Zuccotti Park.


All Screenings to take place in the Minnehaha Room at The Hyatt Regency
300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Purchase $15 Day Passes for the Screening Program