Program 40 - 'Bordertown' and 'The Molly Maguires' - 007 & JLo Undercover to Fight the System!
May
25
7:00pm 7:00pm

Program 40 - 'Bordertown' and 'The Molly Maguires' - 007 & JLo Undercover to Fight the System!

Bordertown - Since 1993, almost 400 women have been murdered in Juarez, Mexico, a factory town that is home to people who toil away at "maquiladoras" (border factories) making cheap consumer goods for the US market. "Bordertown" tells the story of Lauren Fredricks (Jennifer Lopez), an ambitious newspaper reporter, who has been sent to Juarez by her editor (Martin Sheen) to investigate what has happened to these hundreds of women and how the local police and authorities have been covering up the brutal rapes and murders. Lauren looks up her former colleague (and lover) Alfonso Diaz (Antonio Banderas), who now runs the local paper, and they soon uncover one of the hottest stories of the year when they come across the only known survivor of one of these mysterious attacks. The victim is reluctant to speak, but Lauren convinces her to break the silence; yet the real danger is not the murder, but the larger forces who don't want the story told.  (2006, 1 hr 52 min)

Then stay for a labor film classic ...

The Molly Maguires - Set in late 19th century Northeastern Pennsylvania, this social drama tells the story of an undercover detective sent to a coal mining community to expose a secret society of Irish-American miners battling exploitation at the hand of the owners. Partly inspired by a true story, the film portrays the rebellious leader of the Molly Maguires and his will to achieve social justice.  Starring Sean Connery and Richard Harris! (1970, 2 hrs 4 min)

Celebrate the end of WUFF's 6th Annual Festival with us at Lantern Hall.

Join us as we announce the winner of the Working Lives Screenplay Contest at 7:00pm!

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Program 39 - Frontline Films - Starring the Apprentice Plumbers UA Local 1/NYC
May
24
5:00pm 5:00pm

Program 39 - Frontline Films - Starring the Apprentice Plumbers UA Local 1/NYC

The 6th Annual Workers Unite Film Festival and The Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies of Empire State College salute the creative and brave apprentices from the UA Plumbers Local 1 NYC on being the first class to write and film their own movies telling the stories of the true heroes and celebrities of this country - our unionized brothers and sisters, who get up every morning to do the hard work that keeps this country going.

We look forward to screening your films at our Films From the Frontlines program on May 24th, 2017 at Empire State College at 5PM (24 first person short films, approximately 4-5 minutes each).

Thanks for your willingness to try something new! Thanks for your enthusiasm and thanks to UA Plumbers Local 1 NYC Training Center and to The Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies at Empire State College for the opportunity to create this program.

Introduction Screening - UA Standards for Excellence -  The United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters, Sprinkler Fitters, HVAC Service Technicians, and Welders has set the bar for High Quality Standards in the Industry. (2011, 10 min)

These students are both studying and working in the field everyday, while continuing their intensive 5 year program to receive the designation and license to be a Master Plumber. They are also studying to receive their Associates college degrees as well. They have been willing to make the leap into personal filmmaking in order to give each of us the view of what it means to be working hard every day, training for a more secure future and facing the ups and downs of being a unionized worker in the construction trades during this fluctuating economic recovery. Many of these hardworking apprentices travel long distances to and from physically demanding work each day and yet took the time to take part in this project. We are very grateful for their partnership and willingness to tell their stories and look forward to making this type of partnership an annual event, an event that will give an unbiased voice to the often unseen heroes who build our office towers and luxury buildings, make our infrastructure run smoothly and simply want to enjoy a peaceful and secure life in this city that they serve. It's time their voices were heard.

https://youtu.be/ZjEZ7K5Hipg?list=PLB08A495804969218 - Honest Days Pay!

"Plumbers protect the health of the nation and the highly skilled members of Local 1 are no different. We specialize in both commercial and residential work, and also in medical gas certification and back-flow testing. We work on everything from the stadiums to your residential home and small business. Our contractors are available 24-hours a day for all your plumbing needs."  Thanks to Plumber UA Local 1 Website.

Free night - RSVP on Eventbrite here!

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Program 38 - 'Reykjavik Rising: Iceland's Untold Uprising', 'Solidarity' at Penn South
May
23
6:00pm 6:00pm

Program 38 - 'Reykjavik Rising: Iceland's Untold Uprising', 'Solidarity' at Penn South

Reykjavik Rising: Iceland's Untold Uprising - In 2008, Iceland was hit with one of the biggest financial disasters any nation in the world had experienced. In response, citizens took to the streets creating what has been called the “Pots and Pans Revolution”, forcing their government to resign. (2015, 55 min)

Bullies - This fascinating and disturbing animation from the Corporate Campaign veterans, who fought hard to let the world know about the nasty anti-labor practices of Coca-Cola, tells the story of the Real Estate Board of NY and how they manipulate the high rents in the city, as well as siphon tax credits meant for affordable housing into other uses and not more affordable apartments. The film also claims that the REBNY has been instrumental in the explosion of non-union building and construction, much of which has led to unnecessary construction worker deaths due to negligence and lack of safety standards on a union job. (2017, 5 min)

Solidarity - An intimate portrait of two undocumented immigrants in LA, it has screened in competition at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival Emerging Filmmaker Showcase, a BAFTA U.S. Student Film Awards Finalist, and has won numerous awards including the prestigious Kodak Student Film Scholarship. Two undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles, dealing with loss, unknowingly become connected in a mysterious and profound way. (2013, 21 min)

Where's the Fire Engine, Daddy? - Parody on the perils of modern bureaucracy and the privatization of public services in the U.K. (2016, 7 min)

Free WiFi Kiosks in Brooklyn Are Raising Concerns Among the Cyber Expert Community - LINK NYC is providing stations throughout the city that charge phones and provide wi-fi access, all for free.  Cyber activists, tech professionals, and even community members have concerns about the new kiosks, however.  A major consideration is whether personal data will be collected and sold to businesses without the consent of the users. LINK NYC has stated that they do not track or store online activity, and will never sell or share personal information unless lawfully required to do so.  (2017, 5 min)

The Better to Spy You With ... - Google's new smart city initiative, LinkNYC, is masquerading as free public WIFI. With the help of grassroots group RethinkLink.nyc, a kiosk comes to life and passerby’s learn of the mass surveillance hidden inside. (2017, 3 min)

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Program 36 - Oscar Micheaux 'The Symbol Of the Unconquered', 'Within Our Gates' (Silent) with Drummer William Hooker!
May
21
6:30pm 6:30pm

Program 36 - Oscar Micheaux 'The Symbol Of the Unconquered', 'Within Our Gates' (Silent) with Drummer William Hooker!

Drummer, composer, and poet William Hooker has performed as a leader of many ensembles of improvised and new music. [...] His work is frequently grounded in a narrative context. Whether set against a silent film or anchored by a poetic theme, Hooker brings dramatic tension and human warmth to avant-garde jazz. His ability to find fertile ground for moving music in a variety of settings that obliterate genre distinctions offers a much-needed statement of social optimism in the arts. (southhamptonartscenter.org)

Born January 2, 1884 in Metropolis, Illinois, Oscar Micheaux on was an American Author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 films. He is regarded as the first major African-American feature filmmaker, the most successful African-American filmmaker of the first half of the twentieth century and the most prominent producer of what came to be known as "race films", films produced for an all-black audience, featuring black casts.

We are proud to present 'The Symbol of the Unconquered' (aka The Wilderness Trail), a 1920 silent drama (54 min) produced, written and directed by Oscar Micheaux.

Eve Mason (Iris Hall) learns of her grandfather's death, leaves her small Southern town and travels west to inspect her newly-inherited land. With help from her neighbor, Hugh Van Allen (Walker Thompson), she arrives at her grandfather's homestead. When the self-loathing Jefferson Driscoll (Lawrence Chenault) learns that Van Allen's property sits atop a vast oil reserve, he teams up with a group of unsavory criminals to threaten Mason and force Van Allen off his land.

Afterwards, stay for 'Within Our Gates', another one of his earliest surviving works.  Although sometimes considered his response to the film Birth of a Nation, Micheaux said that he created it independently as a response to the widespread social instability following World War I.  (1920, 1 hr 19 min)

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Program 34 & 35 - Third Annual WUFF Activist Filmmaker Bootcamp and After Party
May
20
2:00pm 2:00pm

Program 34 & 35 - Third Annual WUFF Activist Filmmaker Bootcamp and After Party

Program 34 & 35 - Third Annual Activist Filmmaker Bootcamp & After Party

Every filmmaker bootcamp attendee receives a complimentary one year subscription to Videomaker Magazine (a $20 value!), lunch and refreshments.

Do you have an important story to tell to the world about economic and social justice, workers' rights or their fight to organize? Have the equipment and the passion but just not sure where to start? For the third year Workers Unite Film Festival is providing a space for emerging filmmakers to learn information on everything from finding your story to financing, distribution, networking with progressive groups for material and outreach. We are thrilled to have Deirdre Fishel lead this bootcamp to help filmmakers get their ideas onto the screen and out to the public.

Deirdre has a 20 year history of directing both documentaries and dramas which have premiered in competition at Sundance and SXSW and been broadcast in thirty countries worldwide. Her most recent documentary CARE, which looks at the poignant, but hidden world of home elder care was funded by ITVS, as well as the Ford and MacArthur foundations. She is an Associate Professor and the Director of the BFA in Film/Video at the City College of New York.

We will also have Erica Anderson from Seed&Spark and John Trigonis from Indiegogo, to explain the nuances of setting up your crowdfunding site so you have money to make your film. John was a crowd favorite last season and generous with his time and advice in explaining how to raise money to make your film. 

This year we are honored to have Roselly A. Torres Rojas, Distribution & Marketing Director for Third World Newsreel, celebrating 50 years of distributing progressive video and film to universities and libraries across the country. Roselly has kindly agreed to speak about the final part of the production puzzle: distribution! Getting your film seen and recouping your investment.  Roselly holds an MA degree in Cinema Studies from New York University and a BA degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Puerto Rico.

We are also thrilled to have the participation of several established documentary filmmakers, who will screen clips from their most recent projects and answer your questions, give their advice and listen to your ideas about how to proceed and get your film finished and screened. 2017 mentors include: Director Annabel Park (Into The Divide) and Victorious De Costa from both The Love Seat and Can't Wear A Wig Forever.  Dori Cohen and Kelin Long-Gaye are documentary filmmakers, youth media educators, and co-founders of Framing The Cause Pictures, a production company that works with non-profits and NGOs.  Their film about Uber and the gig economy will premiere this Fall.  We want to give each new filmmaker the chance to closely interact with those doc filmmakers who've been through the process and found success.

Lunch and refreshments provided! Afterwards, stay to party at a cool bar down the block! Learn to network with your new filmmaker friends and our wonderful guests!

Filmmaker Bootcamp - 2PM - 6PM.  Save your seat on Eventbrite here!

Program #35 - WUFF After Party @6:30PM to 9PM @ a cool bar down the block.

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 Program 33 - 'TWU Salute', 'A Day's Work', 'The Coal Minority', 'CWA vs. AT&T Mobility'
May
19
5:30pm 5:30pm

Program 33 - 'TWU Salute', 'A Day's Work', 'The Coal Minority', 'CWA vs. AT&T Mobility'

Films from the Frontlines - A Salute to NY District Council of Carpenters ('A Day's Work'), TWU, and CWA.

BulliesThis fascinating and disturbing animation from the Corporate Campaign veterans, who fought hard to let the world know about the nasty anti-labor practices of Coca-Cola, tells the story of the Real Estate Board of NY and how they manipulate the high rents in the city, as well as siphon tax credits meant for affordable housing into other uses and not more affordable apartments. The film also claims that the REBNY has been instrumental in the explosion of non-union building and construction, much of which has led to unnecessary construction worker deaths due to negligence and lack of safety standards on a union job. (2017, 5 min)

TWU Fights for Workers' Rights -  National videographer for the Transport Workers Union, Mary Matthews, travels the country filming important labor organizing stories from the frontlines of the battle. We're honored to screen these stories and know you will learn about why there is strength in unions when you watch them. (2017, 37 min)

TWU Local 100 Organizes National Bikeshare
TWU Local 223: 75 Years
TWU Local 556 Wall Street
TWU GOTV Campaign: Back to Election Day

TWU GOTV Campaign: Real American Voter
TWU Takes on Fast Act

CWA vs. AT&T to keep union jobs secure - CWA: Fighting for a Fair Contract - AT&T Mobility Workers are coming together to fight for a fair contract. (2017, 1 min)

CWA: Sarrah & Cheryce - AT&T Mobility Bargaining - Sarrah & Cheryce work at AT&T Mobility. The company makes billions off their hard work while their families try to get by with less. Stand with them for good jobs & a fair union contract: http://www.GoodJobsATT.org. (2017, 3 min)

The Coal Minority - After years of digging coal to provide for their families, three single mothers struggle to maintain their financial independence as mines shut down nationwide. The film follows Trudy Lund, who was laid off in 2014. Trudy’s struggle to find a job in the disappearing coal industry is contextualized by the stories of two other female miners also disadvantaged by age, gender, and changes in the economic landscape.  (2017, 26 min)

A Day's Work - Ninety minutes before he was killed on his first day of work as a temporary employee, 21-year-old Day Davis texted a picture of himself to his girlfriend, excited for their future.  Now Day's sister, 17-year-old Antonia, searches for answers. An investigation reveals the issues that led to Day's death and how the $100 billion temporary staffing industry is putting millions of American workers at risk.  (2015, 56 min)

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Program 32 - 'On The Bride's Side'
May
17
6:30pm 6:30pm

Program 32 - 'On The Bride's Side'

On The Bride's Side - In Milan, five refugees of the Syrian Civil War and survivors of the October 11, 2013, migrant shipwreck in Lampedusa meet an Italian journalist and a Palestinian-Syrian poet who are eager to help the group reach Sweden, a safe haven for migrants. How can the group traverse the European continent from Milan to Stockholm without being stopped at the borders of Italy, France, Germany, Denmark and Sweden? What if they pretend they are on their way to a wedding party? What border patrol agent would ever stop a bride to check her documents?

With a Palestinian friend dressed up as the bride and more than a dozen Italian and Syrian friends as wedding guests, the group crosses halfway over Europe on a four-day journey of almost two thousand miles. This emotionally charged journey not only brings out the stories, hopes and dreams of the five refugees and their new friends, but also reveals an unknown side of Europe – a transnational and supportive Europe that opposes the restrictive laws that are meant to keep refugees out.

Winner of Human Rights Nights Award at the Venice International Film Festival, ON THE BRIDE'S SIDE is a timely look at the urgent refugee crisis happening in the Middle East and Europe and an irreverent and unexpected take on the immigrant road movie. (2014, 1 hr 29min) 

“A beautiful lesson of humanity and civil solidarity”
- RTS (SWISS RADIO AND TELEVISION)

"These Guys Faked a Wedding to Smuggle Syrian Refugees and Filmed It”
- Mat Nashed, VICE NEWS

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Program 31 - 'Cabuwazi (Circus) Beyond Borders'  Free Early Show
May
17
6:00pm 6:00pm

Program 31 - 'Cabuwazi (Circus) Beyond Borders' Free Early Show

Cabuwazi (Circus) Beyond Borders - In the summer of 2015 thousands of refugees arrive in Berlin. Amongst them are many children. Behind them lie long and, in some cases, difficult journeys. Friends and family are gone, everything is different, everything foreign. For a Berlin based child and youth circus, Cabuwazi, it is immediately clear that something must be done. An independent team named “Cabuwazi Beyond Borders” is established and travels directly to the refugee centres. The children and young people longingly await their circus classes. One young man from Tempelhof is so enthusiastic that he himself wants to become a trainer. The climax of the 3 month long course is the final circus show in a real life circus tent. A charming and important film for these difficult and often too angry times. (2016, 30min)

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Program 30 - 'Gideon's Army'
May
16
7:00pm 7:00pm

Program 30 - 'Gideon's Army'

Gideon's Army - Follows the personal stories of Travis Williams, Brandy Alexander and June Hardwick, three young public defenders who are part of a small group of idealistic lawyers in the Deep South challenging the assumptions that drive a criminal justice system strained to the breaking point. Backed by mentor Jonathan “Rap” Rapping, a charismatic leader who heads the Southern Public Defender Training Center (now known as Gideon’s Promise) they struggle against long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads so common that even the most committed often give up in their first year. Nearly 50 years since the landmark Supreme Court ruling Gideon vs. Wainwright that established the right to counsel, can these courageous lawyers revolutionize the way America thinks about indigent defense and make “justice for all” a reality? (2013, 1 hr 35min) 

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Program 29 - Shorts Program: Last Call Lenny, Punk Rock Politics, Bullies, Stream of Doubts, and Skywriters
May
16
6:00pm 6:00pm

Program 29 - Shorts Program: Last Call Lenny, Punk Rock Politics, Bullies, Stream of Doubts, and Skywriters

Bullies - This fascinating and disturbing animation from the Corporate Campaign veterans, who fought hard to let the world know about the nasty anti-labor practices of Coca-Cola, tells the story of the Real Estate Board of NY and how they manipulate the high rents in the city, as well as siphon tax credits meant for affordable housing into other uses and not more affordable apartments. The film also claims that the REBNY has been instrumental in the explosion of non-union building and construction, much of which has led to unnecessary construction worker deaths due to negligence and lack of safety standards on a union job. (2017, 5 min)

Last Call Lenny -  An enterprising entrepreneur has combined his estate antiques business with a willingness to help those depressed by life to arrange an early departure. However, events don't always go the way one plans. (2016, 12 min)

Punk Rock Politics - The Revolution Starts Here. Punk rockers in the UK decide to join the electoral fight against Brexit. They learn that politics can be a bit less glamorous than they might have thought. (2016, 10 min)

Karma Account - A man is heading ruthlessly towards his goal and loses connection to what he once was: A child! (2015, 1 min)

Stream of Doubts  - A young woman needs your help to find her life's purpose. (2016, 10 min)

Skywriters - High up in the sky: Right here, one of the oldest and last remaining skywriting families is working everyday. This documentary takes you on a vivid ride through more than 90 years of aviation history written on likely the largest canvas in the world. (2016, 27min) 

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 Program 27 - Workers Unite Second Annual Music Nights in Brooklyn! Part 2
May
14
6:00pm 6:00pm

Program 27 - Workers Unite Second Annual Music Nights in Brooklyn! Part 2

Join Workers Unite film Festival and friends, filmmakers and other creative folks, while we celebrate and dance our asses off for a cause. 4 great music acts each evening, rock and blues on Saturday, May 13th and folk and jazz on Sunday May 14th, Mothers Day - with a special brunch menu to be served as well.

6:30PM - Brian Detliefs - (musical political satire) - very funny and talented!

7:00PM - Raymond Nat Turner and Upsurge (spoken word poetry and an amazing jazz band)

8:00PM - The Boobies - Pop Rock with political humor

9:00PM - Hnry Flwr - (solo pop rock)

Perfect for an afternoon and evening for Mother's Day brunch or early dinner.

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Program 26 - Workers Unite Second Annual Music Nights in Brooklyn! Part 1
May
13
to May 14

Program 26 - Workers Unite Second Annual Music Nights in Brooklyn! Part 1

Join Workers Unite film Festival and friends, filmmakers and other creative folks, while we celebrate and dance our asses off for a cause. 4 great music acts each evening, rock and blues on Saturday, May 13th and folk and jazz on Sunday May 14th, Mothers Day - with a special brunch menu to be served as well.

8:00PM - Kiyo Cato (acoustic solo pop rock)
9:00PM -Color Collage, led by Shane Doherty
10:00PM - Dear Georgiana (American Folk Rock)
11:00PM - Little Racer - (Cali Surf Rock)
12:00AM - Caged Animals

Plus cool films projected all evening to celebrate workers! Including:

Hand Werk (2015, 7min) - Two young laborers search for human contact in a mechanical world.

Rebellion (1998, 2min) - Claymation animation about the little fish standing up to the big fish.

The Cave (2017, 10 min) - An investigative journalist explores life in an electronics sweatshop.

Bullies (2017, 5 min) - Sharply worded commentary on how the Real Estate Board of NY seems to conspire to keep rents high, pocket taxpayer money aimed at building affordable housing and allows unsafe working conditions through use of non-union and temp labor.

Sure to be a fun night and all funds raised go to help keep the Workers Unite FIlm Festival growing and evolving. More acts on Sunday May 14th.

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Program 25 - $6 Short Films Show at Empire State College - 'Working Poor', 'Fare Share' & 'Biographies Of Struggle'
May
12
6:30pm 6:30pm

Program 25 - $6 Short Films Show at Empire State College - 'Working Poor', 'Fare Share' & 'Biographies Of Struggle'

Working Poor - When the rent comes due and his bank account has been tapped out, a single father goes to extraordinary lengths to make a life for himself and his young daughter in his working class neighborhood. This touch narrative film feels real in its story of struggling to survive on the edge. (2016, 25 min)

Fare Share -Through the personal experiences of four Uber and Lyft drivers, this short documentary explores the complexities of Seattle’s burgeoning ride-share industry, revealing the challenges of protecting workers’ rights at a time when the nature of work is rapidly changing. (2016, 30 min)

Biographies of Struggle - A documentary about the longest steelworkers strike in Italy since the last labour unrest wave of the 80s. The ThyssenKrupp factory threatened by 550 job cuts and a partial closure is the framework were 11 participants express their thoughts and opinions about the on-going 7 months dispute and 45-days-long strike. Drawing on their biographies and work experiences, they depict a portrait of one of the oldest Italian working class communities, while defending the local labour from the multinational’s capitalistic profit logic. The film combines the participants’ footage and the anthropologist’s participant observation in order to create a visual representation of the workers’ community, their rituals and “passages” during the unfolding dispute aimed to defend their jobs, while questioning their working history and constructed identities. (2016, 43 min)

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 Program 24 - Free Early Show at Empire State College - 'Love & Solidarity' with 'Be Ethical Always'
May
12
5:30pm 5:30pm

Program 24 - Free Early Show at Empire State College - 'Love & Solidarity' with 'Be Ethical Always'

Be Ethical Always - One hapless employee's struggle to complete online ethics training after his job has been outsourced.  Touches on surveillance and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Hypocrisy en masse from a soulless corporation with numerous ethical violations, which has employees take a phony and hypocritical online ethics course every few months. (2016, 16 min)

Love & Solidarity - An exploration of nonviolence and organizing through the life and teachings of Rev. James Lawson. Lawson provided crucial strategic guidance while working with Martin Luther King, Jr., in southern freedom struggles and the Memphis sanitation strike of 1968. Moving to Los Angeles in 1974, Lawson continued his nonviolence organizing in multi-racial community and worker coalitions that have helped to remake the LA labor movement. Through interviews and historical documents, acclaimed labor and civil rights historian Michael Honey and award-winning filmmaker Errol Webber put Lawson's discourse on nonviolent direct action on the front burner of today's struggles against economic inequality, racism and violence, and for human rights, peace, and economic justice. (2016, 38 min)

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'A Day's Work' Screening at Local 3 IBEW Electrical Industry Auditorium, Queens
May
12
5:30pm 5:30pm

'A Day's Work' Screening at Local 3 IBEW Electrical Industry Auditorium, Queens

A Day's Work - Ninety minutes before he was killed on his first day of work as a temporary employee, 21-year-old Day Davis texted a picture of himself to his girlfriend, excited for their future. Now Day's sister, 17-year-old Antonia, searches for answers. An investigation reveals the issues that led to Day's death and how the $100 billion temporary staffing industry is putting millions of American workers at risk. (2015, 56 min)

CWA: Fighting for A Fair Contract - AT&T Mobility Workers are coming together to fight for a fair contract. (2017, 1 min)

CWA: Sarrah & Cheryce - AT&T Mobility Bargaining - Sarrah & Cheryce work at AT&T Mobility. The company makes billions off their hard work while their families try to get by with less. Stand with them for good jobs & a fair union contract: http://www.GoodJobsATT.org.  (2017, 3 min)

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Program 23 - 'Northern Girl' & 'August Lucey'
May
11
10:15pm10:15pm

Program 23 - 'Northern Girl' & 'August Lucey'

Northern Girl - Middle class Emma has everything; the undervalued degree, a job of last resort and a growing cloud of debt.  A 'northern girl', this ultimate achiever gets her big break in London, where the daily montage of life consists of clinging to the greasy career ladder. When Emma meets her partner, they escape back up north, but a directive from London makes Emma realize there's no class to being the middle; it's just them and us. (2016, 6 min)

August Lucey - A satire about a young man trying to find his political identity. A frustrated poet working in pharmaceutical advertising becomes a whistleblower to expose unethical drug testing, then leaves his job to live in the woods with a group of radicals who have gone off the grid and removed themselves from society. (2016, 1 hr 16 min)

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Program 22 - 'Sunflowers Of Nicaragua' - Sex Workers Organize!
May
11
9:00pm 9:00pm

Program 22 - 'Sunflowers Of Nicaragua' - Sex Workers Organize!

Sunflowers of Nicaragua - Sixteen female sex workers have been named judicial aides by Nicaragua’s Supreme Court to facilitate the resolution of conflicts that come up in their work. It is the first time in the world that sex workers have had access to this function. The film accompanies some of these women in their mediation work and in the actions they promote through their association, Girasoles (Sunflowers) of Nicaragua, to gain recognition and regulations for autonomous sex work (2017, 1 hr 10min) 

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Program 21 - 'City of Joy' - a Special Night of Celebration and Support
May
11
7:30pm 7:30pm

Program 21 - 'City of Joy' - a Special Night of Celebration and Support

City of Joy - Devastated by 20 years of violence, the eastern part of The Democratic Republic of Congo is often referred to as "The worst place in the world to be a woman."  This film brings a very different story from the region.  

CITY OF JOY, directed by first-time director Madeleine Gavin, follows the first class of women at a revolutionary leadership center in eastern Congo called City of Joy, from which the film derives its title, and weaves their journey as burgeoning leaders with that of the center’s founders (Dr. Denis Mukwege, 2016 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, women's rights activist Christine Schuler-Deschryver and radical feminist Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues) - three individuals who imagined a place where women who have suffered horrific rape and abuse can heal and become powerful voices of change for their country.

A story about the profound resilience of the human spirit, CITY OF JOY witnesses Congolese women's fierce will to reclaim hope, even when so much of what was meaningful to them has been stripped away.  (2016, 1 hr 16min) 

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Program 20 - 'Gaining Ground' (US), 'The FoodBank Film' (UK) & 'Working Together for A Cooperative Future' (EU)
May
11
5:30pm 5:30pm

Program 20 - 'Gaining Ground' (US), 'The FoodBank Film' (UK) & 'Working Together for A Cooperative Future' (EU)

Working Together for A Cooperative Future - The experiences, challenges and motivations of young cooperators in 9 worker and social cooperatives from 9 countries worldwide. (2015, 15min)

The Foodbank Film - A group of food bank users in South London have made a film about using a food bank -they interviewed food bank users to find out why they were living in food poverty and how they felt about using a food bank-their stories are both shocking and sad. (2016, 15 min)

Gaining Ground - A feature-length documentary film by Elaine Velazquez and Barbara Bernstein, tells personal stories of farmers making extraordinary changes in their farming practices to feed their local communities sustainably grown produce and grains. The documentary interweaves experiences of urban farmer-activists in inner city Richmond, California, a small family farm in rural Oregon converting from commodity dairy to chemical-free produce and a large farm in the Willamette Valley transitioning from grass seed to organic grains. The film personalizes class, gender, race and environmental justice issues by rooting them within narratives of compelling individuals. As these stories unfold, the film explores the devastating effects of the 2012 Chevron Richmond refinery fire on Urban Tilth in inner city Richmond and the impact of the 2013 discovery of GMO wheat in Eastern Oregon on Stalford Seed Farms in the Willamette Valley. While the movie is sober about the obstacles to creating change, at the same time it points the way toward hope. GAINING GROUND instills in its viewers the potential to create change on a personal, local and global scale. (2015, 1 hr 16min)

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Program 19 - 'Solidarity' & 'Migrant Dreams'
May
10
9:15pm 9:15pm

Program 19 - 'Solidarity' & 'Migrant Dreams'

Solidarity - An intimate portrait of two undocumented immigrants in LA, it has screened in competition at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival Emerging Filmmaker Showcase, a BAFTA U.S. Student Film Awards Finalist, and has won numerous awards including the prestigious Kodak Student Film Scholarship. Two undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles, dealing with loss, unknowingly become connected in a mysterious and profound way. (2013, 21 min) 

Migrant Dreams - A powerful feature documentary by multiple award-winning director Min Sook Lee (El Contrato, Hogtown, Tiger Spirit) and Emmy award-winning producer Lisa Valencia-Svensson (Herman’s House), tells the undertold story of migrant agricultural workers struggling against Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) that treats foreign workers as modern-day indentured labourers. Under the rules of Canada’s migrant labour program, low wage migrants are tied to one employer. (2016, 1 hr 30 min)

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 Program 18 - 'Nobody Dies Here' & 'Stones In The Sun'
May
10
7:00pm 7:00pm

Program 18 - 'Nobody Dies Here' & 'Stones In The Sun'

Nobody Dies Here - Perma gold mine, Benin. Some dream to find something, others realized there was nothing to be found. Some dig relentlessly hoping to become rich, others die in the process. And a few of them say that here, nobody dies. (2016, 24 min) 

Stones In the Sun - It’s seldom we get to see authentic, complex and tactful character representations from the West Indies on the screen, especially in cinema. In her compelling and heartfelt feature film debut, Haitian filmmaker Patricia Benoit follows three Haitian immigrant families seeking refuge in Brooklyn NY from the sociopolitical upheaval surrounding them in their native country during the 1980’s. Benoit – who also wrote the screenplay – has crafted a movingly poignant and observant film in "Stones in the Sun."

Raw and understated, "Stones in the Sun" is handled with sensitivity in regards to its subjects. The well-developed drama has plenty of powerful performances and climactic scenes to keep you on the edge of your seat. But aside from that, you will hopefully come out of this experience with a new appreciation and respect for Haiti, its culture and the many realities its immigrants have undergone here in the USA.

“Stones in the river cannot know the problem of stones in the sun." (2014, 1 hr 35 min)

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 Program 17 - 'iAm' & 'The Long Ride'
May
10
5:30pm 5:30pm

Program 17 - 'iAm' & 'The Long Ride'

iAm - During these especially troubled times for immigrants and immigration, this short film really hammers home how we are all so much more the same, than different. We take a deeper look at the JAYU film festival's initiative  that empowered 25 newcomer youth from the Middle East in Toronto to share their versions of home, both at the iAm Gallery and in this short documentary. Eye-opening and touching. (2016, 13 min)

The Long Ride - A timely new documentary about the historic 2003 Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride that sparked the birth of the new Civil Rights Movement for immigrant workers in the U.S. and the ongoing fight to fix the broken immigration system. More timely now than ever. (2017, 1 hr 17 min)

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Program 16 - 'Oiltowns' & 'The Coal Minority'
May
9
9:00pm 9:00pm

Program 16 - 'Oiltowns' & 'The Coal Minority'

With A Special Salute to the National Writers Union (UAW)

Oiltowns - Oiltowns traces boom and bust cycles in and around the Bakken formation in western North Dakota. Interviews with oil workers, longtime residents, ranchers and the homeless focus on changes that have animated the small towns. This is a sobering and poignant look at what happens to workers caught in a corporate race for quick profits. (2016, 42 min)

Director Mark Street will attend a Q&A afterwards.

The Coal Minority - After years of digging coal to provide for their families, three single mothers struggle to maintain their financial independence as mines shut down nationwide. The film follows Trudy Lund, who was laid off in 2014. Trudy’s struggle to find a job in the disappearing coal industry is contextualized by the stories of two other female miners also disadvantaged by age, gender, and changes in the economic landscape. (2017, 25 min)

Trudy Lund will attend a Q&A afterwards.

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Program 15 - 'Detroit Dog City'
May
9
7:30pm 7:30pm

Program 15 - 'Detroit Dog City'

With A Special Salute to the National Writers Union (UAW)

Detroit Dog City - Detroit, in parts, is a ghost town. Bankruptcy left the city with 78,000 deserted buildings. Thousands of stray dogs—mostly bully breeds known as “Detroit Specials”—roam the streets and hideout in abandoned spaces. This is the story of how a wealthy nation, the U.S. lets a working class city drift into despair.

Meet Detroit Dog Rescue, a homegrown pack of friends and family fueled by a passion to clean up Detroit … one dog at a time. With a tight-knit clan of volatile personalities, the DDR crew braves rough streets, dingy buildings and gnashing teeth to rescue former fight dogs, territorial mutts and fetching pups from the wreckage of Detroit’s economic collapse.

As tough and resilient as the dogs they try to save, this maverick group of optimists brings compassion to a city that continues to spiral downwards. In the process, they rescue not only severely neglected and abused dogs but also the isolated and forgotten people in the decaying neighborhoods of Detroit. It is a story of life in one of America’s most unique and illustrious cities. (2015, 1 hr 12 min)

And Then We Marched - Experimental Filmmaker Lynne Sachs (Your Day is My Night, Tip Of My Tongue) went to the Women's March with her young neighbor, who was attending her first ever political march and demonstration. The results remind us that you're never to young to speak truth to power. (2017, 3 min)

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Program 14 - 'CARE' - The Homecare Story & 'Holding Out' (Anti-Gentrification in SF)
May
9
6:00pm 6:00pm

Program 14 - 'CARE' - The Homecare Story & 'Holding Out' (Anti-Gentrification in SF)

With A Special Salute to the National Writers Union (UAW)

Holding Out - With an eviction crisis reaching epic proportions in San Francisco, the city's residents must navigate changing landscapes and communities, while also facing the loss of their homes. Using storytelling to explore themes of memory, history, and community, Rebecca’s current documentary project, Holding Out, follows four embattled tenants as they reflect on their lives and fight eviction. Questioning the relationship between developers and City Hall, Holding Out exposes what is at stake, and who stands to lose, in San Francisco’s determined quest to assert its role as the tech capital of the world. (2016, 20 min)

Bullies - An animated short about how the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) seems to conspire to raise rents, pocket tax payer money, and allow unsafe working conditions on construction sites across the state.  (2017, 5 min)

CARE - Care delves deep into the world of home elder care through the eyes of both paid caregivers and their elderly clients. Undocumented Vilma, cares for Dee, 92, an active businesswoman until dementia ended her work life. With her only family 3,000 miles away, Vilma is her lifeline. In an isolated rural area, Laurie cajoles Larry to do his exercises and have hope while he waits for a lung transplant. Larry’s wife Tiff says, “This is the hardest job in the world. The film reveals that despite long days taking care of others, care workers often struggle to feed their own families. Laurie can’t pay her rent, Vilma can’t process her green card, and Delores winds up in a women’s shelter. On the flip side, middle class Toni and Peter are going broke paying for the 24/7 care Peter needs.

Through these personal stories, Care reveals the deep humanity and poignancy of care work, as well as the challenges faced by elders, their families and their care workers. It also reveals the beginning of a movement to improve how we care—both for the growing number of older adults and for those who make their lives livable. At a moment of great division in our country, Care highlights an issue that affects us all – urban and rural, immigrant and native born, red state and blue. Providing quality care for an aging population will require reimagining how we value and compensate care workers and how we support families who need their services. (2016, 1 hr 10 min)

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 Program 13 - 'American Socialist: The Life & Times of Eugene V. Debs'
May
8
9:00pm 9:00pm

Program 13 - 'American Socialist: The Life & Times of Eugene V. Debs'

American Socialist: The Life and Times of Eugene V. Debs - Presidential candidate Eugene Debs (early 1900's) is ousted for running a socialist campaign, then imprisoned as a traitor for his opposition to WWI. This encyclopedic documentary of Deb's life and times details the rise in a Socialist Party that garnered a serious percentage of the vote and the constant repression against Debs, Socialists and leftists by the United States government, both during WWI and after. A fascinating look at an important time in our history.  (2017, 1 hr 38 min)

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Program 12 - CWA Fights for Fairness, 'Ludlow, Greek Americans in the Colorado Coal War'
May
8
7:30pm 7:30pm

Program 12 - CWA Fights for Fairness, 'Ludlow, Greek Americans in the Colorado Coal War'

CWA, proudly fighting for workers' rights against AT&T, helps sponsor this evening of the film festival.

CWA Fights for Fairness Against AT&T & Bargaining with AT&T Mobility & Why A Union? - We're all in for a fair contract at AT&T Mobility. Bargaining starts January 25 and we are united and ready to do whatever it takes for good jobs, fair wages, and real job security. CWA international president Chris Shelton came to San Jose, California at an AT&T Mobility store protest on April 9, 2017. It was the one year anniversary of the expiration of the contract for 17,000 CWA District 9 AT&T workers who are trying to negotiate a new contract without concessions on healthcare, outsourcing and pensions.  (2017, 5 min)

Ludlow, Greek Americans in the Colorado Coal War - The story of Greek immigrants who were brought to the Colorado coal mines to work under inhuman conditions and who, together with immigrants from 22 other countries, revolted and wrote a proud page of American labor history, known as the Colorado Coal War of 1913-14. (2017, 1 hr 11 min)

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 Program 11 - NY Labor History Association Salutes Pare Lorentz - 'The River' & 'The Plow that Broke the Plains'
May
8
6:00pm 6:00pm

Program 11 - NY Labor History Association Salutes Pare Lorentz - 'The River' & 'The Plow that Broke the Plains'

The NY Labor History Association Salutes Pare Lorentz - Iconic Documentary Filmmaker of The New Deal

Street Vendors - Street vendors face many problems in New York City. One of those issues is the cap that limits the number of licenses given to them since 1981, provoking a significant increase in black market deals. (2016, 10 min)

The River - This documentary short film looks at the devastating and costly problems, including seasonal flooding and erosion of precious topsoil, associated with the Mississippi River system and promotes more Federal projects to remedy the situation. (1938, 31min)  

The Plow That Broke The Plains - This documentary is about what happened to the Great Plains of the United States when a combination of farming practices and environmental factors led to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.  (1936, 25 min)

Post film discussion on Lorentz and The New Deal with members of the NY Labor History Association.  

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Program 10 - Denial - An Unexpected Hero Has a Plan to Stop Climate Change ... And Save Himself.
May
7
8:30pm 8:30pm

Program 10 - Denial - An Unexpected Hero Has a Plan to Stop Climate Change ... And Save Himself.

Workers Unite Film Festival is proud to co-present Denial with NewFest: New York's LGBT Film & Media Arts Organization (newfest.org).

Denial - Derek Hallquist is an earnest young filmmaker who wants to get to the bottom of the energy debate. How is the world going to become a truly responsible consumer of energy? Is it even possible? While searching for answers to these burning questions, Derek decides to make a film about power and the ways it is generated, transmitted, consumed, and misused. He is motivated by the incredible access he has through his father, David, the CEO of a Vermont electric utility and a growing presence on the national energy scene. David is obsessed with transforming the very foundation of power distribution in the United States… the Grid, an outdated and incredibly inefficient means of delivering energy. Together, father and son film at coal plants, walk through wind farms, visit Congress, and reveal fundamental flaws in America's energy system. But what begins as a straightforward exploration of energy use and abuse is soon derailed by a staggering family secret, one that forces Derek and David to turn their attention towards a much more personal crisis.

Denial tackles two of today's most controversial and topical issues, at first glance seem miles apart, but ultimately united by the struggles of one man confronting problems everyone else would rather ignore. With stunning access to intimate family moments and behind-the-scenes energy deals, and with unique humor in the face of overwhelming events, Denial manages to present an important topic through a funny, informational, and enormously compelling personal narrative. (2016, 1 hr 32 min)

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Much appreciation to The Sierra Club for helping to sponsor this evening.  More info: www.sierraclub.org/labor and/or www.sierraclub.org/gender.

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 Program 9 - 'Woman On Fire' - The First Trans Woman in the FDNY
May
7
7:00pm 7:00pm

Program 9 - 'Woman On Fire' - The First Trans Woman in the FDNY

Workers Unite FIlm Festival is proud to co-present Woman On Fire with NewFest: New York's LGBT Film & Media Arts Organization (newfest.org).

Woman On Fire -  This portrait of courage under fire celebrates NYC’s first openly transgender firefighter. For Brooke Guinan, fighting fires runs in her blood – both her father and grandfather served in the FDNY. But as a transgender woman, her path to service has not been without obstacles. Transitioning from male to female in what is still an overwhelmingly macho profession proves a challenge for her coworkers and her family, while her boyfriend reckons with the impact of Brooke’s newly public profile on his parents. (2016, 86 min)

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