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2017 Human Rights Film Series

Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA (2016)

Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and The NRA tells the stories of how guns, and the billions made off of them, affect the lives of everyday Americans. It features personal stories from people across the country who have been affected by gun violence, including survivors and victims' families. The film exposes how the powerful gun companies and the NRA are resisting responsible legislation for the sake of profit - and thereby putting people in danger.  The film looks into gun tragedies that include unintentional shootings, domestic violence, suicides, mass shootings and trafficking - and what we can do to put an end to this profit-driven crisis. Through this film and campaign, Brave New Films will work with partners to fight for a country where public safety is more valued than profit. (Source: Official film site, http://www.bravenewfilms.org/makingakilling)

Salam Neighbor (2015)

Salam Neighbor is an award-winning feature documentary and campaign to connect the world to refugees. Our goal is to tell the stories of our refugee neighbors with the dignity they deserve and the depth the world needs. We hope you'll join this effort by watching the film, sharing these stories and getting involved. This is a critical moment, with more refugees today than any time in the last century. More than 4.8 million people have fled Syria alone to escape the atrocities of war. Right now, we are at risk of losing a generation of youth, further destabilizing the region, and perpetuating a cycle of violence and poverty. In an effort to better understand refugee life, we spent one month living alongside displaced families in the Za'atari refugee camp. As the first filmmakers ever allowed by the United Nations to be given a tent and registered inside a refugee camp, we were able to get a never before seen look into the world's most pressing crisis. Our experience uncovered overwhelming trauma but also the untapped potential our uprooted neighbors possess. With the right programs we can support healing, ease the burden on host countries and even empower the disenfranchised by unleashing people's creativity." (Source: Official film site, http://livingonone.org/salamneighbor/)

Time to Choose (2015)

Oscar-winning documentary director Charles Ferguson captures the urgency and innovation of this critical moment [climate change] in his new film, Time to Choose, which takes audiences on a journey from the threats we face to the remarkable stories of people changing our world for the better. Time to Choose also delivers a clear message to audiences: we can take action to stop this global threat. It is the first major film to offer compelling stories of the innovators, leaders and average people fighting on the front lines for a cleaner, more sustainable world. Its scope is truly global, with footage and interviews from five continents. The film's investigation of the true costs of fossil fuels and industrialized agriculture takes audiences inside the drivers of these global phenomena. Audiences meet Appalachian residents suffering from coal-poisoned waters, descend into the dangerous coal pits of China, see the red night skies of Nigeria's oil and gas lands, and hear from courageous officials fighting corruption and deforestation in Indonesia. Through these portraits and more, Ferguson shows the toll the status quo is taking on human lives and the world around us. But Time to Choose also features world-renowned entrepreneurs, innovators, and thought leaders who point the way to a better world. Time to Choose leaves audiences understanding not only what is wrong, but what needs to be done to fix it. It looks squarely at our unique common moment on earth, with an eye to helping change the course of human history.  (Source: Official film site, http://www.timetochoose.com/)

The Homestretch (2014)

The Homestretch follows three homeless teens as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future. Each of these smart, ambitious teenagers - Roque, Kasey and Anthony - will surprise, inspire, and challenge audiences to rethink stereotypes of homelessness as they work to complete their education while facing the trauma of being alone and abandoned at an early age.Through haunting images, intimate scenes, and first-person narratives, these teens take us on their journeys of struggle and triumph. As their stories unfold, the film connects us deeply with larger issues of poverty, race, juvenile justice, immigration, foster care, and LGBTQ rights.  With unprecedented access into the Chicago Public Schools, The Night Ministry's Crib emergency youth shelter and Teen Living Programs' Belfort House, The Homestretch follows these kids as they move through the milestones of high school while navigating a landscape of couch hopping, emergency shelters, transitional homes, street families and a school system on the front lines of this crisis. The film, a co-production between Spargel Productions and Kartemquin Films, examines the struggles these youth face in obtaining a high school level education, and then follows them beyond graduation to focus on the crucial transition when the structure of school vanishes and homeless youth struggle to find the support and community they need to survive and be independent. A powerful, original perspective on what it means to be young, homeless and building a future in America today. (Source: Official film site, http://www.homestretchdoc.com/)

East of Salinas (2016)

East of Salinas takes us to the heart of California's "Steinbeck Country," the Salinas Valley, to meet a bright boy and his dedicated teacher-both sons of migrant farm workers. With parents who are busy working long hours in the fields, third grader José Ansaldo often turns to his teacher, Oscar Ramos, for guidance. But José is undocumented; he was born in Mexico. Like many other migrant children, he is beginning to understand the situation-and the opportunities that may be lost to him through no fault of his own. East of Salinas follows José and Oscar over three years: the boy is full of energy, smarts, and potential, while his teacher is determined to give back to a new generation of migrant children.  Many of the students who enter Oscar's third grade class at Sherwood Elementary School in Salinas have never been to the beach, even though it's only twenty miles away. Their parents work from sunup to sundown. They live in cramped apartments in neighborhoods plagued by gang violence. The kids take on the day-to-day stresses of their parents: making ends meet, dealing with acute health issues, fearing deportation. In the face of these challenges, Oscar gives his student's access to a world that often seems beyond their reach. José is one of Oscar's most gifted students. Despite having moved between seven different schools in three years he still excels in math. But Oscar can only do so much. For José, a student with such promise, East of Salinas demonstrates the cruelty of circumstance-a cruelty that touches on the futures of millions of undocumented kids in America.  (Source: http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/east-of-salinas/)

Human (2015)

"I am one man among seven billion others. For the past 40 years, I have been photographing our planet and its human diversity, and I have the feeling that humanity is not making any progress. We can't always manage to live together. Why is that? I didn't look for an answer in statistics or analysis, but in man himself." Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Director  Human is a collection of stories and images of our world, offering an immersion to the core of what it means to be human. Through these stories full of love and happiness, as well as hatred and violence, Human brings us face to face with the Other, making us reflect on our lives. From stories of everyday experiences to accounts of the most unbelievable lives, these poignant encounters share a rare sincerity and underline who we are-our darker side, but also what is most noble in us, and what is universal. Our Earth is shown at its most sublime through never-before-seen aerial images accompanied by soaring music, resulting in an ode to the beauty of the world, providing a moment to draw breath and for introspection.  Human is a politically engaged work which allows us to embrace the human condition and to reflect on the meaning of our existence. (Source: Official film site, http://www.human-themovie.org/)