Written by: FFT Webmaster | September 7th, 2010
Program includes 42 films from six continents, K-12 student art exhibit, panel discussions and a street fair and the International Pet Parade for Peace
Orlando, FL – August 26, 2010 – The 8th Annual Global Peace Film Festival (GPFF) is proud to announce the films and events for the 2010 season, set for September 21st through September 26th in locations in downtown Orlando and Winter Park. The GPFF is a celebratory event and a place to honor those who promote global and community awareness of peace and environmental sustainability through the most powerful form of communication in the world today. It draws together filmmakers and filmgoers from all walks of life into a community of people inspired to take action in their daily lives to leave the world a more peaceful place than they found it.
The film program begins on September 21st, the United Nations International Day of Peace, with screenings in the Bush Auditorium and Sun Trust Auditorium at Rollins College and in the community room of the Winter Park Public Library in Winter Park. In downtown Orlando, films will be shown at the Plaza Cinema Café and the Gallery at Avalon Island. A special screening and panel discussion will be held at the Orlando Science Center on Saturday, September 25. It is made up of forty-two films from six continents as well as several films from local Florida filmmakers.
“The program this year brings stories from around the globe that represent the hopes and aspirations for peace and justice and that show audiences that everything they do can make a difference – in their lives and in their communities,” said Nina Streich, Executive Director and co-founder of the Global Peace Film Festival.
The film festival opens with a free outdoor screening on the lawn at Rollins College of Throw Down Your Heart (USA, 2008, 97 mins.), that charts the journey to Africa of American banjo virtuoso to explore the little known roots of the instrument and to record an album. There will be live music, spoken word and a drumming circle to celebrate the International Day of Peace before the screening begins.
Cross-cultural understanding features prominently in this year’s line-up. Egyptian-American comedian Ahmed Ahmed uproots the widely held misconception that Arabs have no sense of humor in Just Like Us. Through Their Eyes (USA/Vietnam, 2009, 75 mins.) gives an inside look into the lives of victims of Agent Orange decades after the end of the war in Vietnam and My Kidnapper (UK/Colombia, 2010, 83 mins.) tells the remarkable story of Mark Henderson who returns to the place he had been held hostage to meet his kidnappers and discover the truth behind what happened to them.
Narrative films in this year’s program include the acclaimed drama Entre Nos (USA, 2009, 80 mins.) about an immigrant mother struggling to keep her family together and the quirky Here and There (Serbia/Germany, 2009, 85 mins.). Six disparate people inching their way toward understanding and connection in Baraboo (USA, 2009, 99 mins.) and Dog in the Manger (Peru/USA, 2009, 89 mins.) is a comedy about an indigenous artist’s attempts to organize his community against an American oil company.
Spirituality is touched on in many films and in different ways. The Invocation (France/USA, 2010, 90 mins.) features such luminaries as The Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra and Archbishop Desmond Tutu in its exploration of notions of “God” and “Peace,” while in The Edge of Dreaming (UK, 2010, 73 mins.) a woman is led to an eminent neuroscientist in her quest for answers about life and death. In Lessons for the Living (USA, 2010, 53 mins.) we discover that the dying have a great deal to offer the living.
Films about the environment and sustainability are showcased each year in the GPFF. The floods that are devastating Pakistan speak to the urgent timeliness of Climate Refugees (USA, 2010, 89 mins.) that was shot on four continents and puts a human face on the issues of climate change. Percy Schmeiser: David versus Monsanto (Germany, 2009, 65 mins.) pits a small farmer against industrial giant Monsanto in a dispute over genetically-manipulated seeds that blew into his garden. Shades of Green (USA, 2010, 75 mins.) illustrates how individuals, businesses and governments can save resources, energy and money – while benefiting the environment and health of all living things. And crisis of over-fishing that will see the end of most seafood by 2048 is brought to light in The End of the Line (UK, 2009, 90 mins.).
13 Pueblos (Mexico, 2008, 119 mins.) tells the story of indigenous people struggling to preserve their natural resources and their cultural identity. Shot on four continents, Another Planet (Hungary/Finland, 2008, 95 mins.) contemplates global moral crisis through seven interwoven stories of the everyday lives of child laborers, child prostitutes and child soldiers who accept their fate with humility. In Garden at the End of the World (Australia, 2009, 49 mins.), the audience is introduced to stories and images of the complexities of war torn Afghanistan that have rarely been seen before. The fragilities of freedoms of speech and assembly are examined in Speakers Corner: You Have the Right to Remain Vocal (USA/UK, 2009, 59 mins.), that takes the audience to the small area of Hyde Park, London, which was protected by a British Act of Parliament in 1872, and to this day allows people complete freedom of speech in a public place.
The award-winning film Budrus (Israel/Palestinian territories, 2009, 82 mins.) tells the story of a Palestinian community organizer who unites Palestinians along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier. Sayed Kashua – Forever Scared (Israel, 2009, 53 mins.) introduces us to outspoken Israeli-Arab author and scriptwriter Sayed Kashua who is viewed skeptically by both Arabs and Jews – and is always scared. Contemporary people of faith, promoting the values of democracy and tolerance are the subject of Out of Cordoba: Averroes and Maimonides in Their Own Time and Ours (Palestinian Territories/Spain/USA, 2009, 90 mins.), as the director travels around the Mediterranean after the attacks of 9/11.
Closer to home, a teacher in Charlottesville, VA, transforms children from students to citizens of the world in the inspiring World Peace and other 4th Grade Achievements (USA, 2010, 57 mins.). In Anita’s Wake (USA, 2010, 70 mins.), from local fimmaker Vicki Nantz, explains that Florida is the only state to explicitly ban gay and lesbian people from adopting children and exposes the irrational war against Florida’s gay families. And Gerrymandering (USA, 2010, 81 mins.) exposes the most effective form of manipulating elections short of outright fraud. This is the 50th anniversary of Hawaii’s statehood, a subject examined in State of Aloha (USA, 2009, 77 mins.) and Healing Neen (USA, 2010, 54 mins.) introduces the audience to the joyous spirit of Tonier “Neen” Cain, a former crack addict who, realizing she was a victim, began to heal and reclaim power over her own life.
Many filmmakers will be on hand to answer questions after the screenings of their films. In addition to the films, there will be discussion panels throughout the week. Topics include “What is Peace?” (9/23, 4pm.); “Making Films that Make a Difference,” (9/24, 4pm.) featuring local and visiting filmmakers; “Peace Pitch,” (9/25. 4pm.) with Dan Beckmann, author and columnist Greg Dawson, his wife Candy and their daughter Aimee discussing the documentary work-in-progress, “Sharing the Spotlight,” based on Greg’s book about his mother’s experiences during the Holocaust; and an Issues Forum on Media Coverage of Peace & Environment issues (9/25, 11am). These four panels will be in the Bush Science Building, Room 120 at Rollins College.
Two other panel discussions will take place following screenings: Claire Lewis, producer of “The End of the Line” and Dr. Noel Brown, President of Friends of the United Nations and a former Director of the UN Environment Programme, will speak after the film at the Orlando Science Center (9/25, 2pm). And on Sunday (9/26, 5:30pm.), Michael Nash, director of “Climate Refugees” will be joined by faith leaders in Central Florida, brought together by the Interfaith Council of Central Florida, to discuss his film.
OTHER GPFF EVENTS:
Sunday, September 19th – 3rd Annual Global Peace Street Fair and International Pet Parade for Peace. Morse Blvd. between Park Ave. & Knowles Ave. Street Fair runs from 10am – 3pm. Live acoustic music. Pet Parade starts at 11am. FREE.
Monday, September 21st – For the fifth year, the OCPS Service Learning/GPFF Peace Art Exhibit by K-12 students from over 30 schools in Orange County will be on dispay in the Rotunda of Orlando’s City Hall. There will be a reception/awards ceremony in the Rotunda at 5pm. FREE. The exhibit will be on display throughout the festival.
Tuesday, September 21st – United Nations International Day of Peace, a global holiday when individuals, communities, nations and governments highlight efforts to end conflict and promote peace. The GPFF opens with a free Outdoor Screening at Rollins College on Mills Lawn. 8pm. Indoor venue in case of rain.
Tickets to GPFF screenings are $8 each, and are on sale now. Tickets may be purchased online at www.peacefilmfest.org/films/2010-films.html, through the Red Chair Project at http://www.redchairproject.com/redchair/orgDetail.aspx?id=227 or in person at The Doggie Door, 102 North Park Avenue, Winter Park. Tickets are also available at all festival venues during festival hours. Patrons may purchase a Silver Pass for $99 or a Gold Pass for $199 at http://redchairproject.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=296155, at The Doggie Door or during the festival. A Sampler Pass is available for $25 for any four films.
The Global Peace Film Festival is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program, by the Florida Film Commission and by the Thomas P. Johnson Visiting Scholar and Artist Fund. The GPFF is proud to be carbon neutral for the third year thanks to our sponsor, Southeast Carbon. Other sponsors include the Orlando Weekly, IDEAS, Moore Stephens Lovelace PA, TheDailyCity.com, Dandelion Communitea Café, Women in Film & TV Florida and the OCCVB.