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Thursday, October 23
 

7:00pm

The Last Patrol

Sebastian Junger

2014 | 86 Minutes | USA

US Premiere | Director in Attendance

Whether fighting or documenting the realities on the ground as a journalist, how does the context of war transform a person’s identity? What happens to that identity when soldiers return home? Sebastian Junger, war journalist and author of The Perfect Storm, explores these questions on a soul-searching journey with three comrades-in-arms. Junger joined by Brendan O’Bryne and Dave Rolsch, protagonists of the Academy Award-nominated documentary, Restrepo, and combat journalist Guillermo Cervera walk along railroad tracks from Washington, D.C. to Pennsylvania. They move with a purposeful invisibility designed to echo the isolation felt by many who return from war. The men live outdoors and discussing the transition from soldier to civilian. With the backdrop of a varied United States revealed by the path of the tracks—ghettos and wealthy suburbs, heavy industry and farm country—the juxtaposition of scenery and conversations uncover diverse and conflicting American perceptions of war and what it means for veterans to come home.



Thursday October 23, 2014 7:00pm - 9:00pm
LeFrak Theater

9:00pm

The Last Patrol Screening and Opening Night Reception
The opening-night sreening will be followed by a reception with the 2014 Mead Festival Filmmakers in the Hall of Gems and Minerals. 

The Last Patrol

Sebastian Junger

2014 | 86 Minutes | USA

US Premiere | Director in Attendance

Whether fighting or documenting the realities on the ground as a journalist, how does the context of war transform a person’s identity? What happens to that identity when soldiers return home? Sebastian Junger, war journalist and author of The Perfect Storm, explores these questions on a soul-searching journey with three comrades-in-arms. Junger joined by Brendan O’Bryne and Dave Rolsch, protagonists of the Academy Award-nominated documentary, Restrepo, and combat journalist Guillermo Cervera walk along railroad tracks from Washington, D.C. to Pennsylvania. They move with a purposeful invisibility designed to echo the isolation felt by many who return from war. The men live outdoors and discussing the transition from soldier to civilian. With the backdrop of a varied United States revealed by the path of the tracks—ghettos and wealthy suburbs, heavy industry and farm country—the juxtaposition of scenery and conversations uncover diverse and conflicting American perceptions of war and what it means for veterans to come home.

Thursday October 23, 2014 9:00pm - 11:30pm
Hall of Gems and Minerals
 
Friday, October 24
 

4:30pm

ThuleTuvalu, preceded by Santa Cruz del Islote

ThuleTuvalu

Matthias von Gunten

2014 | 96 minutes | Switzerland, Greenland, Tuvalu

NY Premiere | Director in Attendance

An elegantly conceived cautionary tale of climate change and how two communities at opposite ends of the Earth share a common—and chilling—bond. The inhabitants of Thule, which lies in the extreme north of Greenland, spend most of the year in temperatures up to 40°F below zero, hunting on dog-drawn sleds as they have for generations. On the narrow coral-reef islands of the small Pacific Ocean state of Tuvalu, fisherman live off the bounty of the sea and the coconuts and vegetables they have cultivated for centuries. In spite of this huge geographical and cultural distance, the two places are intimately connected by a stroke of fate: the ice in Thule retreats ever farther each year, feeding Tuvalu’s perpetually rising sea level. The impact is equally devastating, forcing dramatic shifts in the time-tested ways these communities have adapted to each environment.

Preceded by:

Santa Cruz del Islote

Luke Lorentzen

2014 | 20 minutes | USA, Colombia

NY Premiere

Off Colombia’s Caribbean coast 50 miles from Cartagena in the San Bernardo Archipelago lies the tiny Santa Cruz del Islote, unofficially the most densely populated island in the world. This beautiful depiction of life on the island shows a peaceful community, isolated but increasingly dependent on the outside world for resources and jobs as the environment changes and sea level rises.



Friday October 24, 2014 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Kaufmann Theater American Museum of Natural History

5:00pm

Kismet

Nina Maria Paschalidou

2013 | 57 min | Greece, U.A.E., Turkey, Egypt, Bulgaria

US Premiere

In the last decade, Turkish soap operas have taken the Middle East by storm, becoming one of the country’s greatest economic exports and inspiring cultural shifts across the region. Strong female characters and taboo-shattering plotlines have yielded sharp criticism in some circles, but the resounding response has been an embrace of the stories and characters that transcends religion and politics. Cities used as locations have become tourist attractions, characters’ names have become increasingly common for newborns, and—most remarkably—the region has seen a spike in divorce in the wake of a few highly publicized television divorces initiated by self-actualized women. Kismet offers a behind-the-scenes look at this phenomenon, with unprecedented access to the industry’s key directors, screenwriters, and stars. The film is interspersed with sociological commentary and the personal stories of women who followed in the footsteps of their heroines to fight for their rights.

Online tickets for this film will be available soon.  Please call the Museum's ticketing department at (212) 769-5200 to purchase.


Friday October 24, 2014 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Linder Theater American Museum of Natural History

5:30pm

The Corral and the Wind (El Corral y el Viento)

Miguel Hilari

2014 | 54 minutes | Bolivia

U.S. Premiere

Director Miguel Hilari documents his return to his father’s Andean village, Santiago de Okola, which he visited briefly as a child and where his only remaining relative is his uncle. The resulting film is a subtle and deeply personal meditation on the regrets of exile and the fading of culture. Hilari uses his position as part outsider to cast a sharp eye on the campesinos, alternating between criticism and contemplation as his camera observes schoolchildren singing songs of Quechua and Aymara independence, teenagers tending animals, and people going about their daily routines. At once unsettling and beautiful, The Corral and the Wind convincingly captures one individual’s complicated search for a place among his own people.


Friday October 24, 2014 5:30pm - 7:00pm
People Center

6:00pm

Mead Mixer
Admission is free with 2014 Mead Ticket Stub

Continue the conversation! Meet filmmakers and share your Mead experiences with other festival-goers in our new daily happy hour in Café on One, just off the Grand Gallery. Food and drinks are available for purchase at the café.

Friday October 24, 2014 6:00pm - 7:30pm
The Cafe on One

7:00pm

Buckskin and Remembering Yayayi

Buckskin

Dylan McDonald

2013 | 57 minutes | Australia, Kaurna

US Premiere | Director in Attendance

Two hundred years ago, the Kaurna people occupied much of South Australia, including modern-day Adelaide. They practiced fire-stick farming, believed in communal material ownership, and spoke their own Kaurna language. The 1836 arrival of British colonists set in motion a rapid and thorough displacement and the last surviving full-blood Kaurna, a woman named Ivaritji, died in 1931. Now, a cultural and linguistic revival is underway, thanks to Vincent “Jack” Buckskin, the 2011 Young South Australian of the Year, whose efforts are captured by indigenous filmmaker Dylan McDonald. Buckskin has spent his twenties traveling the country to teach seminars in the Kaurna language, thereby offering hundreds of young people access to their roots and reopening questions of aboriginal identity in urban Australia.

Remembering Yayayi

Pip Deveson, Ian Dunlop, and Fred Myers

2014 | 57 min | Australia

US Premiere | Directors in Attendance

In this riveting documentary, charismatic Australian Aboriginal elder Marlene Nampitjinpa reflects on her remarkable history, as she watches rare archival material of her Pintupi childhood from the 1970s, in conversation with anthropologist Fred Myers who she has known since she was a girl .  With film footage shot by filmmaker Ian Dunlop at the remote Aboriginal outstation of Yayayi on the cusp of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act of 1976, Remembering Yayayi shows the value that such work has for contemporary Indigenous people who have few records of their history.

Speakers


Friday October 24, 2014 7:00pm - 9:30pm
Linder Theater American Museum of Natural History

7:30pm

Happiness

Thomas Balmès

2013 | 80 min | France, Finland, Bhutan

New York Premiere | Director in Attendance

Happiness traces the arc of progress that began in 1999 in Bhutan when King Jigme Wangchuck approved the use of television and the internet throughout the largely undeveloped nation. Director Thomas Balmès (Babies, 2010) begins filming at the end of the process in Laya, the last of Bhutan’s villages to be enveloped by roads, electricity, and cable television, as an 8-year-old monk watches the upheaval and longs for a TV set of his own. As the boy embarks on a three-day journey to the bustling capital of Thimphu, the passing countryside reveals the seismic technological shift that has taken place, its layers increasingly intense as the city nears. The cars, colorful lights of clubs, and countless other elements of modern life that the boy encounters for the first time punctuate the stark difference between a more isolated past and the future that is about to eclipse it.

Speakers

Friday October 24, 2014 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Kaufmann Theater American Museum of Natural History

7:30pm

Soul Food Stories

Tonislav Hristov

2013 | 69 minutes | Finland, Bulgaria

New York Premiere | Director in Attendance

The modest Bulgarian village of Satovchka, where Orthodox Bulgarians and Islamic Turks live alongside gypsies and Communists, boasts as many philosophies of life as it does inhabitants. The local populations coexist in peace and harmony, eschewing violent conflicts of the past and united by social clubs celebrating all manner of interests. Soul Food Stories zeroes in on seven members of one of these clubs—a group of men who meet regularly and attempt to solve all the world's problems over a good meal. Their shared good humor and appetites belie divisions though: over acceptance of homosexuality, women’s rights, and a slew of other issues that occasion heated debate. Interviews with this charmingly diverse collection of characters and other aging villagers paint a picture of a quirky place where Old World values and expectations are being reshaped to resist or accept the encroachment of the modern world. 


Speakers


Friday October 24, 2014 7:30pm - 9:00pm
People Center

7:30pm

Sepideh - Reaching for the Stars

Sepideh—Reaching for the Stars

Berit Madsen

2013 | 91 min | Denmark, Iran

Director in Attendance

This is a story of longing, dreaming, and ambition against all odds. When teenager Sepideh discovers an unquenchable interest in astronomy, she finds there are more than a few barriers between her lifestyle in the Iranian countryside and her professional aspirations—including an aggressively conservative uncle, marital expectations, and financial struggles, to name a few.. Yet she is able to peek through the clouds of circumstance at the great beyond, finding inspiration in the work of Anousheh Ansari, the first Iranian woman in space, and expressing herself in a series of letters to her late hero, Albert Einstein. The action on the ground is interwoven with breathtaking shots of constellations, a reflection of Sepideh’s aspirations.

Presented in partnership with the  7th annual Imagine Science Film Festival

Preceded by the following short films:

Green Matters (Mia Mäkelä, 2011, Sweden, 11 minutes)

Algae is an essential source of oxygen on earth, yet an excess in the Baltic Sea is leading to eutrophication. Artist and filmmaker Mia Mäkelä takes a close look at algae and some potential and practical uses for it. 

The Lion's Mouth Opens (Lucy Walker, 2013, US, 14 minutes)

A courageous young woman takes the boldest step imaginable to confront her risk of having inherited the fatal, incurable Huntington's Disease.

Deep Weather (Ursula Biemann, 2013, Switzerland, 9 minutes)

Climate change, exasperated by projects such as the Canadian tar sands, puts the life of large world populations in danger, but some Bangledeshi delta communities are finding ways to fight back.

 


Speakers


Friday October 24, 2014 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Space Theater, Hayden Planetarium American Museum of Natural History

9:30pm

Just To Let You Know That I’m Alive
Emanuela Zuccalà and Simona Ghizzoni

2013 | 64 min | Italy, Algeria, Saharwi Arab Democratic Republic

US Premiere | Directors in Attendance

Just to Let You Know I’ve Alive gives a voice to the women of the Saharawi people, who have been subjected to some of the most severe and under-reported human rights abuses in the last thirty years. Degja Lachgare was taken from her home in 1980 and shuttled between prisons for eleven years, most of which she spent blindfolded. Soukaina Jid Ahloud spent nearly a decade of her life naked in a cell, where she watched her daughter die of starvation. Spending time with them in their houses and tents in the desert, director Emanuela Zuccalà was astonished by, “a rare peculiarity of these women: being able to speak about the terrible nightmares they have lived always preserving serenity in their eyes and a sincere hope in a better future.”


Friday October 24, 2014 9:30pm - 11:00pm
People Center

9:30pm

Under the Palace Wall, preceded by Cast in India

Under the Palace Wall

David MacDougall

2014 | 54 min | Australia, India

US Premiere

This keenly observed film explores life in Delwara, a village in southern Rajasthan ruled for centuries as a principality of the former kingdom of Mewar. Delwara’s glittering palace, which looms above the village, has been converted into a luxury hotel; nestled beneath its walls sits the local primary school. Director David MacDougall uses the juxtaposition to enchanting effect, capturing a series of scenes at the school to compose an eloquent, impressionistic portrait of the life of the village, eschewing a linking narrative and recurring characters to convey something more delicate and elusive: the feeling of the place, the sense of the historical past that towers over the village, the vitality and chaos of the daily lives of the villagers.


Preceded by:

Cast in India

Natasha Raheja

2014 | 27 min | USA

US Premiere | Director in Attendance

Cast in India offers a glimpse into the working lives of the men who forge manhole covers—the ubiquitous bits of daily life New Yorkers step on every day without thinking twice. Be transported to the factories where they are produced—bear witness to the pouring of molten metal and the dignity, hard work, and humor of the men who make them. Picturesque and utilitarian, discs that come half way around the world dot our city streets.

Speakers


Friday October 24, 2014 9:30pm - 11:00pm
Kaufmann Theater American Museum of Natural History

10:00pm

Jalanan, preceded by Flor de Toloache

Jalanan 

Daniel Ziv

2013 | 108 minutes | Indonesia

US Premiere | Director in Attendance

Part music documentary and part examination of the frenetically paced megacity of Jakarta, Jalanan tells the captivating story of Boni, Ho, and Titi, three gifted, charismatic street musicians over a tumultuous five year period in their lives. The film deftly uses their experiences as a lens on Indonesia’s teeming capital, conjuring up a striking, moody, and intimate portrait of a place caught in the grip of globalization. Using the powerful soundtrack of the musicians' original compositions to drive the film, director Daniel Ziv traces their elusive quest for identity and love in the day-to-day of a city overrun by the effects of economic expansion and corruption.

Preceded by:

Flor de Toloache 

Jenny Schweitzer

2014 | 4 min | USA

Director in Attendance

In a New York City subway station, a dazzlingly dressed all-female mariachi band brings the platform to life. It’s a four-minute slice of life that captures the women’s bravery as they challenge the gender norms of their favorite music. With their spin, the jovial machismo associated with the folk tradition is re-imagined as brassy and embracing merry-making.

 


Speakers
DZ

Daniel Ziv

Director



Friday October 24, 2014 10:00pm - Saturday October 25, 2014 12:00am
Linder Theater American Museum of Natural History
 
Saturday, October 25
 

11:00am

Discover Pacific Northwest Culture

Admission is free with 2014 Mead Ticket Stub

Learn about Pacific Northwest Native cultures through a variety of hands-on activities, including games and storytelling led by tribal experts. Families will discover together the traditions behind each activity and have the chance to experience the cultures on display in the Museum's Hall of Northwest Coast Indians in dynamic new ways. 


Saturday October 25, 2014 11:00am - 1:00pm
The Hall of Northwest Coast Indians

12:00pm

Emerging Visual Anthropologists Showcase

In this special showcase we present three exciting new short ethnographic documentaries. Sadia Halima’s Laal Pari introduces us to a resilient and lively woman activist in Bihar, India, who has challenged a patriarchal system. In Christine Mladic Janney’s Living Quechua, a Brooklyn Peruvian woman’s mission to connect speakers of her native Quechua reveals New York City as a bubbling crockpot of linguistic diversity. Neither Here Nor There (Ni Aquí, Ni Allá), by Gabriella Bortolamedi, reveals the complexities and pressures of a young undocumented  “dreamer” who not only makes it to Berkeley but also keeps her family together despite the pressures of living under the radar.

 This screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and Noelle Stout, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, NYU, and Dr. Pegi Vail, Graduate Program in Culture and Media, NYU.


 


Director
NS

Noelle Stout

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology NYU
DP

Dr. Pegi Vail

Graduate Programs in Culture and Media, NYU

Speakers


Saturday October 25, 2014 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Linder Theater American Museum of Natural History

12:00pm

Where God Likes to Be, preceded by Can’t Stop the Water

Where God Likes to Be

Anna and Nicolas Hudak

2014 | 71 min | Germany, US, Blackfeet Nation

New York Premiere | Directors in Attendance

Where God Likes to Be focuses on three young protagonists full of hope and promise—Andi Running Wolf, Edward Tailfeathers, and Douglas Fitzgerald—following them over the course of a summer that marks a turning point in all of their lives. Each grapples with whether to leave, pursuing opportunities far from home, or stay behind with friends and family potentially struggling with limited opportunity and marginalization. A picture emerges of the reservation as a cherished home as and connect with a country that has tried to strip them of their identity.

Preceded by:

Can’t Stop the Water

Rebecca and Jason Ferris

2013 | 33 min | USA, Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw

New York Premiere | Directors in Attendance

"The White Man pushed us to the end of the Earth. Now Mother Nature is pushing us back." —Chief Albert Naquin

The past has always been a liability for the community of Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana. The island was settled by Native Americans fleeing the Trail of Tears. Assimilating into the surrounding Cajun French culture was a matter of survival. Now, as their land washes away and their community faces obliteration once more, reclaiming their culture and attaining federal recognition as American Indians may be the only thing that can save them.


Speakers
Artists


Saturday October 25, 2014 12:00pm - 2:00pm
People Center

1:00pm

28 Up South Africa

Angus Gibson and Jemma Jupp

2013 | 144 minutes | South Africa

US Premiere | Directors in Attendance

Patterned on the acclaimed British documentary project, this South African series follows a group of people filmed first at age seven and then subsequently every seven years. The work offers diverse personal stories that collectively create a unique portrait of the social, cultural, and political history of a country. This fourth installment of the series, directed by Angus Gibson, the Oscar-nominated director of Mandela and Yizo Yizo, captures a group of 28-year-olds, first filmed as children living under apartheid, whose lives reflect the dizzying and complex layers of change their nation has undergone in the two decades since the repressive system’s fall.  

Speakers


Saturday October 25, 2014 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Kaufmann Theater American Museum of Natural History

2:00pm

How a People Live

Lisa Jackson

2013 | 60 min | Canada, Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw First Nation

US Premiere | Director in Attendance

In 1970, a controversial book, entitled How A People Die was published.  It was purportedly based on the lives of the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw First Nation, whom the Canadian government forcibly relocated from their traditional territories on the coast of British Columbia in 1964. This response, chronicled four decades later by award-winning Anishinaabe director Lisa Jackson reverses this narrative. Through candid and moving interviews, striking archival films, photos dating back over 100 years, and a visit to the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw’s “Homelands,” Jackson vividly brings to life a people known for their celebrated art, dramatic dance traditions, spectacular potlatch ceremonies, and their strong connection to the land.

Following Lisa Jackson’s film How a People Live, cultural leaders from the Northwest Coast will hold a public conversation on the critical issues facing various Northwest Coast communities, past, present, and future. 


Speakers


Saturday October 25, 2014 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Linder Theater American Museum of Natural History

2:30pm

Elevator (Elevador)

Adrian Ortiz Maciel

2013 | 72 min | Mexico

New York Premiere

Director Adrian Ortiz Maciel takes us on a poetic trek up and down a historic Latin American high rise, capturing the ebb and flow of tenants entering and leaving. The President Aleman Urban Housing Complex was designed in 1949 to be an emblem of modernity in Mexico City and an oasis for up to 5,000 federal administrators many of whom remain there today. The film weaves together testimonials from operators and residents over the years, who recall the infamous withdrawal of federal support and its impact on their quality of life, alongside personal stories of bustle and community in the complex.

 


Saturday October 25, 2014 2:30pm - 4:00pm
People Center

3:00pm

Northwest Coast: Past Forward

The American Museum of Natural History’s iconic Hall of Northwest Coast Indians, which opened in 1900, is the oldest of all the Museum’s exhibition halls. It showcases the work of the legendary father of American anthropology, Franz Boas, and features a wide variety of collections representing the diversity of the Northwest Coast, including coastal Washington State, British Columbia, and southeast Alaska.  At this year’s Margaret Mead Film Festival, we look back at the history of portraying Northwest Coast cultures on film and in exhibitions, while also recognizing how contemporary Northwest Coast communities are representing themselves.

Following Anishinaabe filmmaker Lisa Jackson’s moving film on these transformations, How a People Live, cultural leaders from that region will host a conversation on the critical issues facing various Northwest Coast communities, past, present, and future. 


Speakers

Saturday October 25, 2014 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Linder Theater American Museum of Natural History

4:00pm

Culture Labs: Collaborations with Makers, Scholars, and Communities

Admission is free with 2014 Mead Ticket Stub

It is in the DNA of visual anthropology and cultural storytelling to embrace innovation. The ways in which we look and tell, and the evolution of new methods sometimes say as much about the lives they document as the documentation itself. This year, festival participants will discuss their creative collaborations with diverse communities—from cellphone films in Indigenous Australia to the reworking of archival footage from the Amazon to small town efforts to run their own funerals—exploring the possibilities of a range of interactive media practices and research methods. 

The program is introduced and moderated by Dr. Faye Ginsburg, New York University, Center for Media, Culture and History


Director
Saturday October 25, 2014 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Wallach Orientation Center

4:30pm

Invitation to Dance

Invitation to Dance

Christian von Tippelskirch and Simi Linton

2014 | 86 min | USA

Directors in Attendance

At age 23, en route to Washington with her husband for a protest against the Vietnam War, feisty New Yorker and aspiring dancer Simi Linton suffered a car accident that left her a young widow, unable to walk, facing an uncertain future. People with disabilities, she soon discovered, faced enormous discrimination and she joined forces with many others in the emerging U.S. disability rights movement of the 1970s. Invitation to Dance, co-directed by Simi, chronicles her remarkable life of constant activism, along with her determination to make dance a far more inclusive art, offering meditations and cinematic interludes on both the idea of movement and “the movement” for disability rights, reflecting her relentless quest for “equality, justice, and a place on the dance floor!”



Saturday October 25, 2014 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Kaufmann Theater American Museum of Natural History

4:30pm

Madame Phung’s Last Journey (CHUYẾN ĐI CUỐI CÙNG CỦA CHỊ PHỤNG)

Tham N’guyen Thi

2014 | 87 min | Vietnam

US Premiere | Director in Attendance

The feature debut of 29-year-old filmmaker Tham N’guyen Thi, Madame Phung’s Last Journey follows a troupe of Vietnamese cross-dressing singers on their journey through the country’s poor back roads for a year. Their fold-up fairground attractions include a lottery, a miniature train ride, an inflatable house, a merry-go-round, and a shotgun aimed treacherously at members while they are performing songs and sketches. The film is a poignant look at a mostly unglamorous life, featuring the struggles of the head troubadour Phung, a former monk who fell in love with another monk and embarked on his particular brand of migrant work. Amid ups and downs, hostility and discrimination, the touring party makes an honest living and forms a touching bond, captured candidly by Tham.

Speakers


Saturday October 25, 2014 4:30pm - 6:30pm
People Center

5:00pm

Walking Under Water

Eliza Kubarska

2014 | 76 min | UK, Germany, Poland, Malaysia, Badjao

New York Premiere

The historically nomadic Badjao people, a Moro indigenous ethnic group of Maritime Southeast Asia, once spent the majority of their time on the water, living off the sea by trading and subsistence fishing. While the encroachment of modern civilization has caused that way of life to become nearly extinct, vestiges remain. Walking Under Water uses the story of Alexan, the last compressor diver and his nephew Sari on Mabul Island near Borneo, as a window into this disappearing culture. Alexan teaches Sari everything he knows, from dangerous fishing techniques and wisdom about the underwater world to the temptations of the tourist economy. The film creates a hybrid of fantasy, fiction, and fact to spin a magical narrative of the Badjao’s ancient traditions and collective experience. Alexan refuses to accept that the life of his ancestors is gone; Sari longs to be a fisherman like his uncle, but feels the weight of the new reality of his people in the pull of a nearby resort.


Saturday October 25, 2014 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Linder Theater American Museum of Natural History

6:00pm

Mead Mixer
Admission is free with 2014 Mead Ticket Stub

Continue the conversation! Meet filmmakers and share your Mead experiences with other festival-goers in our new daily happy hour in Café on One, just off the Grand Gallery. Food and drinks are available for purchase at the café.

Saturday October 25, 2014 6:00pm - 7:30pm
The Cafe on One

7:00pm

H2O MX

José Cohen & Lorenzo Hagerman

2013 | 82 Mins | Mexico

New York Premiere

The source of life. The building blocks. Access to potable water (and lots of it) is not a luxury but an essential human right. In the largest city in the Americas, though, Mexico City’s 22 million residents are faced with myriad geographical, economic and political obstacles to a consistent water source. H2O MX investigates the daily issues that the megalopolis faces, from dangerous detergent buildup in the clouds to farmers in Mezquital living off wastewater irrigation to Chalco citizens fending off perennial floods. It’s an unsettling but beautiful watch, and a persuasive one, reminding us that sustainability is more than just a buzzword—it’s a philosophy deeply linked to social justice in an urban setting. The film will leave any urban-dweller wondering how a place so massive and unwieldy can find a way to be sustainable.


Saturday October 25, 2014 7:00pm - 9:00pm
People Center

7:00pm

The Return, preceded by A Correspondence

The Return

Adam Zucker

2013 | 85 min | USA, Poland

US Premiere | Director in Attendance

Kasia, Tusia, Maria, and Katka are four Polish women in their 20s, raised Catholic in the last few years of the Soviet Era. Only with the fall of Communism and ensuing cultural shift was their Jewish heritage revealed—a long-buried identity in a country that was the epicenter of the Jewish world before the Holocaust. Yet these four women set out to become strong, dynamic leaders in their newfound Jewish enclaves, faced with the unique task of building an identity without the usual input from parents, grandparents, and family friends. The Return follows the women across three continents, two weddings, two babies, a new citizenship, and a conversion, as they delve into the past and present of their cultural and religious community.

Preceded by:

A Correspondence

Leili Sreberny-Mohammadi

2014 | 16 minutes | USA, UK

Director in Attendance

Director Leili Sreberny-Mohammadi’s experimental documentary brings to life the year-long correspondence between her grandparents, both Holocaust survivors, during the post-war years. Their story is pieced together through photographs, letters, telegrams and archival footage from the era, revealing love across distance and the search for a partner during troubled times.

Director

Saturday October 25, 2014 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Kaufmann Theater American Museum of Natural History

7:30pm

Tender, preceded by Vultures of Tibet

Tender

Lynette Wallworth

2014 | 73 minutes | Australia

US Premiere | Director in Attendance

An hour south of Sydney in the industrial town of Port Kembla, the local community center embarks on a noble and atypical quest: to serve the townspeople with a not-for-profit funeral service. Disillusioned by costly and impersonal funerals that don’t always embrace the wishes of grieving families, the vision was to bring the process of honoring the dead back to the community level. Flowers are hand-picked, coffins are hand-painted, and just as plans begin to proceed, the funeral home is unexpectedly confronted with the illness of one of their own. Featuring music from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, Tender is a funny, beautiful, and life-affirming film that delves into the rituals of death with heartbreaking delicacy. Director Lynette Wallworth returns to the museum after her 2011 premiere of Corals: Rekindling Venus in which she transformed the Hayden Planetarium into an immersive undersea environment.

Preceded by:

Vultures of Tibet

Russell Bush

2013 | 21 min | US, Tibet, China

Director in Attendance 

This deeply affecting film illustrates the ideological issues facing modern Tibet through the sacred funeral tradition of Sky Burial, in which Tibetans ritually feed their dead to wild Griffon Vultures. Rampant commercialization of culture has led to visitors photographing and filming private ceremonies against families’ wishes; a portrait emerges of a country caught in the crossfire of tradition and tourism.

Director

Saturday October 25, 2014 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Linder Theater American Museum of Natural History

9:00pm

Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award Ceremony

Admission to the Awards Ceremony is Free with any 2014 Mead Ticket Stub!

The Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award recognizes documentary filmmakers who embody the spirit, energy, and innovation demonstrated by anthropologist Margaret Mead in her research, fieldwork, films, and writings. The award is given to a filmmaker whose feature documentary displays artistic excellence and originality of storytelling technique while offering a new perspective on a culture or community remote from the majority of our audiences’ experience. Filmmakers with works making their U.S. premieres at the festival are eligible.

The contenders for this year’s Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award are:

  • Angus Gibson and Jemma Jupp, directors, 28 Up South Africa (US Premiere)
  • Simona Ghizzoni and Emanuela Zuccalà, directors, Just to Let You Know That I’m Alive (US Premiere)
  • Sebastian Junger, director, The Last Patrol (US Premiere
  • Tham N’guyen Thi, director, Madame Phung's Last Journey (US Premiere)
  • Daniel Ziv, director, Jalanan (US Premiere)
  • Adam Zucker, director, The Return (US Premiere)
  • Lynette Wallworth, director, Tender (US Premiere)

 The 2014 Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award Jury

The Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award winner(s) will be announced in an awards ceremony on Saturday night.  The winning film will be shown in an encore presentation on Sunday evening.

Saturday October 25, 2014 9:00pm - 10:00pm
Wallach Orientation Center

10:00pm

Master and Divino (O Mestre e o Divino)

Tiago Campos

2013 | 85 min | Spain, Brazil, Xavante

New York Premiere | Director in Attendance

Adalberto is an eccentric German missionary with a passion for film. Divino (Xavante) is a young indigenous Amazonian filmmaker in his Brazilian village of Sangradouro, Mato Grosso where Adalberto has lived for over 50 years. Both have been devoted to filming everyday life among the Xavante; the film reveals their congenial and sometimes fractious relationship, shaped by humor, competition, criticism, and ultimately mutual affection. It’s the story of a dynamic duo with different histories and equally different personalities, with lives brought together in this Amazonian village, all captured by yet a third filmmaker, Tiago Campos, who works with the well-known film collective Video nas Aldeias along with Divino. In the whirlwind of cameras, Campos weaves together archival footage—humorous and serious—and the long relationship between these two men and the cultural worlds they represent. Step into the Amazon valley for an absorbing and whimsical look at the intertwined histories of Catholic missionaries and indigenous activists.

Speakers


Saturday October 25, 2014 10:00pm - 11:30pm
Linder Theater American Museum of Natural History

10:00pm

My Prairie Home

Chelsea McMullan

2013 | 77 minutes | Canada

New York Premiere

By turns melancholy, meditative, and playful, this is a road movie, a coming-of-age story, a musical, and a clever subversion of all these genres. My Prairie Home follows transgender singer/songwriter Rae Spoon on a cross-country journey punctuated by Greyhound Bus rides, cheap motels, and the vast open plains and depthless skies of the Canadian western prairies where Spoon grew up and lives. A poetic combination of interviews, performances, and delicately rendered musical sequences create an impressionistic atmosphere where Spoon’s struggles with an evangelical father and evolution as both an artist and a person are revealed in intimate, quirky, and moving detail, with Spoon’s beloved prairie home playing a prominent role in shaping their music and life.

Saturday October 25, 2014 10:00pm - Sunday October 26, 2014 12:00am
People Center
 
Sunday, October 26
 

12:30pm

Let's Get the Rhythm

Irene Chagall and Steve Zeitlin

2014 | 53 min | USA

World Premiere | Directors in Attendance

Discover the power of Miss Mary Mack! Let’s Get the Rhythm invites the view to explore the history of hand-clapping games on playgrounds around the world. Through wars and migrations, across language barriers and oceans, young girls connect with each other through thousands of variants—ancient as they are global—the film chronicles these rhythmic and recreational practices. Guided by three eight-year-olds from diverse cultural backgrounds in the New York area, it is a charming and beautiful survey with universal insight into the budding social mind.

Speakers


Sunday October 26, 2014 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Kaufmann Theater American Museum of Natural History

12:30pm

Robert Gardner Tribute: Dead Birds and Dead Birds Re-encountered

In honor of preeminent filmmaker Robert Gardner, who died on June 21, 2014, this year’s retrospective screening will feature Gardner’s iconic ethnographic film Dead Birds (1964, 85 min). Made 50 years ago, it focuses on the Dani people of the Grand Valley of the Baliem in the mountains of West Papua, and their elaborate system of ritual warfare and revenge.  The program will also screen the New York premiere of Gardner’s last film, Dead Birds Re-encountered (2013, 46 min), chronicling his 1989 return to revisit the Dani he had met decades earlier and to share the film he had made about them.

The screenings will be followed by discussion of Gardner’s work and influence with acclaimed photographer Susan Meiselas, who traveled with and photographed Gardner on his return trip to New Guinea and who wrote Encounters with the Dani (2003), showing the traces of Dani encounters over six decades.

Photo Caption: Filmmaker Robert Gardner shows some of the Dani who participated in his film "Dead Birds”, 27 years after it was made, Baliem Valley, 1989. Photograher: Susan Meiselas


Artists


Sunday October 26, 2014 12:30pm - 3:30pm
People Center

1:00pm

The Venice Syndrome

Andreas Pichler

2013 | 80 minutes | Germany, Italy

New York Premiere

The well-documented reality that Venice is sinking into the sea has an equally unsettling parallel: it is drowning in tourists—21 million of them per year at last count. Twenty years ago 125,000 people lived there, but the permanent population is now less than half that, and by some estimates actual Venetians will have disappeared completely by 2030. Those who remain are living in a very different place from the Venice of romantic imagination: today, Venice is a city defined almost wholly by its subculture of tourist industries, by oblivious daytrippers, by the massive cruise ships that darken its port and dwarf its crumbling but still-glittering palaces. This film documents the decline of a once-great bastion of culture with nuance and compassion, giving the enduring denizens of the city a voice. The result is daunting, but alive with humor and compassion.


Sunday October 26, 2014 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Linder Theater American Museum of Natural History

2:30pm

Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz

2014 | 66 minutes | USA

Director in Attendance

Lacey Schwartz was raised in a typical upper-middle-class household in Woodstock, NY, with two loving parents and an emphasis on Jewish tradition and heritage. She has dark skin, but it has always been attributed to the complexion of her Sicilian grandfather. Only as a college student does Lacey begin to piece together a very big family secret, and her own racial identity; Lacey’s biological father is in fact a black man with whom her mother had an affair. Little White Lie documents the fallout from Lacey’s discovery, and the set of universal questions she has to address head on: how do we forgive our parents for the mistakes they made raising us? What is it that determines our identity—our bloodline or our cultural environment?

Artists


Sunday October 26, 2014 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Kaufmann Theater American Museum of Natural History

3:30pm

¡Kachkaniraqmi! (I'm Still)
Javier Corcuera

2013 | 120 mins | Spain, Peru

New York Premiere

"¡Kachkaniraqmi!” is a greeting among old friends in Ayacucho Quechua (a Peruvian dialect), is roughly translatable as “I am still here!” It’s an expression of inner stability, perhaps a bit of machismo, and perseverance against the odds through a long and winding life. The film, which explores the musical traditions in every nook and cranny of Peru, formally reflects its catchphrase: through all the social and economic struggles of the nation, through rugged mountains, idyllic rain forests, and the bustling streets of Lima, the human musical spirit remains constant. The mise-en-scène is stunning, aspiring to capture the whole of a diverse nation in only two hours. Filmmaker Javier Corcuera was born in raised in Peru but spent the last thirty years in Spain, lending the film a sense of journey to the source.

Sunday October 26, 2014 3:30pm - 6:00pm
Linder Theater American Museum of Natural History

4:00pm

Dr. Sarmast's Music School

Polly Watkins and Beth Frey

2012 | 97 minutes | Australia, Afghanistan

New York Theatrical Premiere | Director in Attendance

Is there a place for art in a conflict zone? Dr. Sarmast’s Music School tells the remarkable story of Afghanistan’s first National Institute of Music (ANIM), established into a creative vacuum in 2009, eight years after the Taliban was toppled from power. In a country where no orchestra was capable of playing the national anthem, the road is long and bumpy, but over two years ANIM and its implacable leader Ahmad Sarmast chip away at their dream of a safe space filled with fine instruments and aspiring musicians. Occasional interjections by choppers overhead serve as a reminder that this newfound creativity must be nurtured with great care, as the school’s 150 pupils persevere and—through music—find their lives transformed.

Speakers


Sunday October 26, 2014 4:00pm - 6:00pm
People Center

4:30pm

Hi-Ho Mistahey!

Alanis Obomsawin

2013 | 99 min | Canada, Attawapiskat First Nation

US Premiere | Director in Attendance

Celebrated Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, renowned for her courageous efforts chronicling the lives of Canada’s First Nations for over four decades returns to the Mead this year. Her film Hi-Ho Mistahey! (“I love you infinitely” in the Cree language) follows the remarkable story of First Nations teenager Shannen Koostachin, who launched an educational reform campaign on her Attawapiskat reserve in northern Ontario, demanding rights for herself and all First Nations’ youngsters to a decent education. Shannen’s elementary education took place in makeshift portable classrooms with no library or computers, inconsistent heat in the winter, and a black mold problem. She had the courage to challenge the situation in newspapers, at conferences, and on the steps of Parliament Hill, catalyzing young people across Canada to protest on the behalf of their First Nations’ counterparts as “Shannen’s Dream,” as the cause came to be known, makes it to Parliament.


Sunday October 26, 2014 4:30pm - 6:15pm
People Center

6:00pm

Mead Mixer
Admission is free with 2014 Mead Ticket Stub

Continue the conversation! Meet filmmakers and share your Mead experiences with other festival-goers in our new daily happy hour in Café on One, just off the Grand Gallery. Food and drinks are available for purchase at the café.

Sunday October 26, 2014 6:00pm - 7:30pm
The Cafe on One

6:30pm

Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award Winner Encore Screening

The Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award winner(s) will be announced in an awards ceremony on Saturday night.  The winning film will be shown in this encore presentation on Sunday evening.


Sunday October 26, 2014 6:30pm - 9:00pm
People Center

7:00pm

Seeds of Time

Sandy McLeod

2014 | 77 minutes | USA

New York Premiere | Director in Attendance

As the global population increases exponentially and the accelerating effects of climate change impact affect farmers on every continent in more and more significant and tangible ways, a battle is unfolding behind the scenes to protect the future of our food. Starvation-inspired rioting brought on by crop failures is dramatic; —less immediate acute yet more dangerous , and little discussed outside agricultural circles, are the deteriorating state of plant gene banks and the dramatic decline of crop diversity around the world. This riveting film follows former executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust Cary Fowler as he races against time, from Rome to Russia and, finally, to a remote island under the Arctic Circle, on a quest to create a sustainable framework for the global food system. Paralleling Carey’s Fowler’s efforts is the that of activist Alejandro Argumedo, who advises “The Potato Park” in Peru, where a group of indigenous farmers work to preserve over 1,500 native varieties of potato. Both are engaged in finding the key to saving the one resource we cannot live without: our seeds.

Speakers


Sunday October 26, 2014 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Linder Theater American Museum of Natural History

7:30pm

The Darkside--Closing Night Film

Warwick Thornton

2013 | 94 min | Australia

Director in Attendance

A fisherman in checkerboard shorts recalls a mostly pleasant run-in with the ghost of a young aboriginal girl; a mischievous youngster tries his best to be spooky; and a celebrated author discovers the archive where she is working has a sordid history as an institute of anatomy where Indigenous skeletons were housed. These are just a few of the stories featured in The Darkside, award-winning Indigenous director Warwick Thornton’s plunge into the “other side.” This atmospheric hybrid documentary explores how Aboriginal people in Australia live on the threshold of two worlds–one of everyday reality and the other of spirits and ancestors. Thornton assembles a collection of poignant, funny, and absurd ghost tales from across Australia and sets them elegantly to film with some of Australia’s most iconic actors. These storytellers are framed in settings that are alternately lush, surreal, or theatrical invoking a sense of the uncanny long associated with Australia.

Speakers


Sunday October 26, 2014 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Kaufmann Theater American Museum of Natural History