Thursday, November 2, 2017

Video documentary "Rising Voices / Hótȟaŋiŋpi - Revitalizing the Lakota Language"

Watch "Rising Voices / Hótȟaŋiŋpi - Revitalizing the Lakota Language" (57 minutes 2016)
Award-winning documentary movie which profiles the history of Lakota cultural identity changes tied to the Lakota language's loss, reinvigoration and revitalization. "Rising Voices/Hótȟaŋiŋpi" aired on public television across the USA. Story wise this film supports our ancient voices being heard, and respected, in present time. The documentary covers the Lakota people's cultural history, cultural identity, impact of manufactured pop culture on public image and cultural appropriation trends. The Lakota language was also severely impacted due to the deliberate post-colonization language erasure in the residential school system and popular mass media business. This story tells of the challenges and fight to revitalize the Lakota language before the Elders pass, and the children grow up without their language. Our world thrives at it's depth through ancient languages gifting cultural diversity.

Watch the short film "Tradition Transformation" by Lakota filmmaker Dana Claxton.

Florentine Films/Hott Productions, in association with The Language Conservancy, presents this new documentary project: "Rising Voices/Hótȟaŋiŋpi". Five years in the making, this multi-platform project tells the story of a powerful threat to a Native culture. This threat is an insidious, impersonal villain – one that comes through TV sets and social media sites, through Tweets and comic strips and the daily news. The menace is the English language, and the victim seemingly marked for extinction is the Lakota language itself – the language of the Lakota nation, once usually called the Sioux. For the Lakota people, it’s a local problem, but it’s just one instance of a massive global one – a worldwide epidemic of language extinction.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Video animated short: "Cosmos Laundromat"

Watch "Cosmos Laundromat" (12 min 2016)
On a desolate island, suicidal sheep Franck meets his fate in a quirky salesman, who offers him the gift of a lifetime. Little does he know that he can only handle so much lifetime.

About: "Cosmos Laundromat" started in 2014 as an experimental feature film, in which an adventurous and absurdist love story is being told by multiple teams - each working in their own unique style. The opening of the film, the 10 minutes pilot "First Cycle", has been made in the Netherlands by the studio of Blender Institute in Amsterdam. The film itself and all of the artwork files were made with free/open source software and are available under a permissive license. Free to share, free to remix and free to learn
ABOUT the filmmaking TEAM

Monday, June 26, 2017

Video Short Documentary: 4.1 Miles by Daphne Matziaraki (Winner of 2017 Student Oscar Academy Award and 2017 British Academy BAFTA Student Award for Best Documentary)

Watch full documentary "4.1 Miles" by Daphne Matziaraki (2016 21 minutes)
A coast guard captain on a small Greek island is suddenly charged with saving thousands of refugees from drowning at sea. Daphne Matziaraki is a Greek documentary filmmaker who lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her student documentary has won multiple international awards.  Watch the Trailer

The story of her documentary by Daphne Matziaraki 
(as published in the New York Times Op-Docs forum for short documentaries
"When I returned home to Greece last fall to make a film about the refugee crisis, I discovered a situation I had never imagined possible. The turquoise sea that surrounds the beautiful Greek island of Lesbos, just 4.1 miles from the Turkish coast, is these days a deadly gantlet, choked with terrified adults and small children on flimsy, dangerous boats. I had never seen people escaping war before, and neither had the island’s residents. I couldn’t believe there was no support for these families to safely escape whatever conflict had caused them to flee. The scene was haunting.

Regardless of the hardship Greeks have endured from the financial crisis, for a long time my home country has by and large been a peaceful, safe and easy place to live. But now Greece is facing a new crisis, one that threatens to undo years of stability, as we struggle to absorb the thousands of desperate migrants who pour across our borders every day. A peak of nearly 5,000 entered Greece each day last year, mainly fleeing conflicts in the Middle East.

The Greek Coast Guard, especially when I was there, has been completely unprepared to deal with the constant flow of rescues necessary to save refugees from drowning as they attempt to cross to Europe from Turkey. When I was there filming, Lesbos had about 40 local coast guard officers, who before the refugee crisis generally spent their time conducting routine border patrols. Most didn’t have CPR training. Their vessels didn’t have thermal cameras or any equipment necessary for tremendous emergencies.

Suddenly, the crew was charged with keeping the small bit of water they patrolled from becoming a mass grave. Each day, thousands of refugees crossed the water on tiny, dangerous inflatable rafts. Most of the passengers, sometimes including whoever was operating the boat, had never seen the sea. Often a motor would stall and passengers would be stranded for hours, floating tenuously on a cold, volatile sea. Or the bottom of a dinghy would simply tear away and all the passengers would be cast into the water. The coast guard felt completely abandoned, they told me, as if the world had left them to handle a huge humanitarian crisis — or allow thousands to drown offshore.

I followed a coast guard captain for three weeks as he pulled family after family, child after child, from the ocean and saved their lives. All the ones in this film were shot on a single day, October 28, 2015. Two additional rescues happened that same day but were not included.

 The problem is far from over. Many of the refugees come from Syria, where Russia is intensifying bombings that are killing thousands of civilians and devastating Syrian cities. The United States is planning to respond. According to the Greek Coast Guard, thousands of families with children are lining up along Turkish shores to make the unsafe crossing to Greece.

In making this film, I was struck by the fine lines that separate us, the moments when our paths cross fleetingly, and we look at one another for the first time and sometimes for the last. This film shows that crucial moment between life and death, where regardless of political beliefs, fears or preparation, some people will go beyond themselves to save a stranger.

And it raises questions about our collective responsibility — the choices we all make for ourselves, and for others. We don’t all confront the refugee crisis with the same immediacy as the coast guard captain portrayed here. But as our world becomes more interconnected, and more violent, we do all face a choice — would we act as he does, to save the life of stranger? Or would we turn away?"
by Daphne Matziaraki 
(as published in the New York Times Op-Docs forum for short documentaries

(website list is not up to date does not include the 2017 Student Oscar and the 2017 BAFTA Student Award for Best Documentary)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Video short documentary: International Indigenous Youth Council (IIYC) "Meet the youth at the heart of the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline" by ABC News

The International Indigenous Youth Council (IIYC) seeks to empower youth to become leaders of their indigenous communities. Through action and ceremony, the IIYC inspires generations of today to progress humanity forward, taking into consideration the implications our society has on those future generations. The IIYC acts in alignment with the following virtues: Perseverance, Respect, Love, Sacrifice, Truth, Compassion, Bravery, and Wisdom. The International Indigenous Youth Council was formed at and in response to the call of Youth from the Sacred Stone Camp resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
IIYC Contact and IIYC online Donations: Go Fund Me campaign

Feb 25, 2017 ABC News Article "Meet the youth at the heart of the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline"