Liberation Heroes: The Last Eyewitnesses –
In association with USC Shoah Foundation, Vanessa Roth, Director
Vanessa Roth (USA), Liberation Heroes: The Last Eyewitnesses, Doc Feature – Oscar® and Emmy®-Award-winning filmmaker Roth’s deft direction delivers a stunning, heart-stirring and chilling cautionary tale for our times. Heroic World War II veterans vividly share their liberation journeys, drawing parallels between the past and present. These powerful eyewitness accounts from Steven Spielberg’s USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive®, share a cautionary tale and compelling reminder of what can happen when insidious hatred remains unchecked. With antisemitism and xenophobia on the rise worldwide, this film serves as a call to action to stand against hatred in all its forms. These soldiers were not prepared for what they would encounter as they uncovered the Nazi atrocities both in the field and the concentration camps. As Alan Moskin, a featured Liberator in the film, says to a group of young cadets, “There’s over 800 hate groups in the United States of America – the hate is still out there…It’s up to your generation to change that.” Brilliant pacing, gripping commentary and exceptional editing. Executive Producers Mickey Shapiro, Ceci Chan, Stephen D. Smith, and Andi Gitow. Produced by June Beallor, a Founding Executive Director of USC Shoah Foundation, whose films have garnered an Oscar® and numerous Emmys®, and produced by veteran Emmy®-nominated TV and news producer and executive Andy Friendly, a member of the Institute’s Board of Councilors. Aired on Discovery Channel 2019.
Mandy Jacobson (South Africa), The Trials of Winnie Mandela: Who holds 100% of sainthood?, Doc Feature – Two-time Emmy winner Jacobson’s expert direction uncovers the essence of Winnie Mandela in this enlightening series covering a fearless revolutionary and whose indominable spirit helped shape South Africa. A complex and intricate portrait creatively told through her determined granddaughters.
Michael Wech (Germany), Resistance Fighters – The Global Antibiotics Crisis, Doc Feature – A docu science thriller painting a chilling portrait of an impending global health crisis. Accomplished award-winning Wech travels the world and presents doctors, scientists, patients dying from resistant germs and diplomats working for solutions. Brilliant and sobering giving insight to a global challenge of our time: Antibiotic resistance.
Jacoba Atlas, Monique W. Morris, Denise Pines, Women in the Room Productions (USA), PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, Doc Feature – Emmy and Peabody Award winner Atlas’s potent film confronting the education of African American girls – with alarming dropout and juvenile justice system rates. Impactful commentary weaves a tight narrative and heart warming views of the girls.
Klaus Scherer, ARD/NDR-TV (Germany), The Untold Story Of Otto Warmbier: What Happened In North Korea?, Doc Feature – Scherer’s skillful doc reveals the truth of the shocking story of Warmbier – held in North Korea and ultimately died of his injuries sustained there. He uncovers the prolific lies of the US and North Korean administrations, their appalling friendship and the tragic consequences that follow.
Philippe Blanc (Switzerland), The Bridge, Doc Feature – Blanc’s treatment of the tragic collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Italy is an excellent example of contemporary documentary filmmaking skillfully weaving testimony of technical experts and intertwined with the stories of the survivors, relatives of the victims and people forced to leave their homes. Excellent journalism and craft..
Cruz Angeles (USA), Valiant, Doc Feature – A powerful story of a desert-based ice hockey team that, in its very first year, helps heal and unify Las Vegas after a horrible tragedy. The authentic spirit of the Golden knights propels them to the Stanley Cup Final. A well-paced, emotional and beautifully crafted doc and a testament to the power of heartfelt actions to heal ourselves and each other.
Deepti Gupta (India), Shut up Sona, Doc Feature – A sassy take at feisty singer’s unrelenting fight for an equal space in modern day India, a country deeply uncomfortable with her emancipation. Shot over three years, the film gives an insider account of how singer Sona Mohapatra, one of the leading figures of the country’s #MeToo movement, is forcefully demanding gender equality in the music business.
Erin McGoff (USA), This Little Land of Mines, Doc Feature – This Little Land of Mines is an independent feature documentary about the resilience of the Lao people as they live among and work to clear 80 million unexploded bombs from when the United States secretly bombed Laos more heavily than any country on earth. A nuanced, cinematic and enlightening expose touchingly shared by the Lao people.
Bernard Attal (Brazil), RESTLESS, Doc Feature – In 2014, Geovane, a young man from a poor neighborhood in Brazil, was arrested by the military police and never seen again. His dad would not rest until he found the whereabouts of his son. A moving story of a desperate family set amidst the backdrop of systemic and epidemic police brutality. A moving story expertly unfolding.
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Andrii Andreiev (Ukraine), THE SONGS of LOVE, Documentary Short
Angela Asatrian (USA), Never Events, Documentary Feature
Ashley Maria (USA), Pioneers in Skirts, Documentary Feature
Bryan Reinhart (USA), The Valley, Documentary Feature
Chris McIvor (Canada), Fostering Hope, Documentary Feature
Craig Norton (USA), Rhythms of Life, Documentary Feature
Cristian Gugu (Romania), Moldova – Laborator Experimental, Documentary Feature
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Gary Rottger (USA), Indigenous: Fight for Survival, Documentary Feature
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James Anaquad Kleinert, Horse Medicine Productions (USA), Mustangs & Renegades, Documentary Feature
James Appleton (United Kingdom), Vitamin Sea, Documentary Feature
James Purpura (USA), Perception: Seeing Is Not Believing, Documentary Feature
John Banovich (Canada), Rocky Mountains Encounter, Documentary Short
Jonathan Ofek (Israel), The Ashram Children: I am No Body, I Have No Body, Documentary Feature
Julian Biba (USA), AKA: DR HOPE, Documentary Feature
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Mark Pearce (Australia), Pilliga Rising, Documentary Short
Mark Street (Australia), CAN ART STOP A BULLET: William Kelly’s Big Picture, Documentary Feature
Martin Boudot (France), PARAGUAY : POISONED FIELDS, Documentary Feature, Nature / Environment / Wildlife
Matt Blyth and Alaneo Gloor (Australia), Sea Rogue, Documentary Short
Mike Johnston (Canada), Synnopsis, Documentary Short
Monalisa Mukherji (India), Who Is This Women’s Day For?, Documentary Short
Nitsan Tal (USA), 8000 Paperclips, Documentary Feature
Odette Schwegler (South Africa), Tin Soldiers, Documentary Feature, Disability Issues, Health / Medicine / Science, Use of Film / Video for Social Change, Women Filmmakers
Produced by The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Directed by Josh Burstein and Georgia Koch, (USA), Together, We Rise, Documentary Short, Public Service Programming / PSA, Use of Film / Video for Social Change
Samuel George (USA), Swing State Florida: The Fields of Immokalee, Documentary Short
Sophie Guerra and Clement Guerra (Germany), THE CONDOR & THE EAGLE, Documentary Feature
Teenergy Productions, Hassan Lakhdar (Switzerland), The call of the glacier, Documentary Short