HAPPY LABOR DAY! We Salute workers and their unions today by opening up submissions to the 6th Annual Workers Unite Film Festival in NYC

Today is seen by most Americans as the end to their long summer holiday season, with the return to major work projects and their children's new school terms right around the corner. But many of us forget to salute the brave workers and their unions, who fought and died for what we now consider normal workplace existence. The 8 hour day was a huge and bitter fight, the weekend off was the same, any kind of grievance procedure, protected wages and benefits - all these were hard fought gains made by folks just like you and me. who decided the time had come to fight back against excessive greed and exploitation. Many victories were won and we enjoy the fruits of those victories even today. 

This remains true even after several years of direct assault on workers and their unions by a hard-core right wing partnership between huge employers and their Republican puppets in Congress. These ignorant and often lazy elected officials have spent the last eight years blocking every single pro-worker effort by the Obama administration, healthcare obviously being the main effort. We have seen the GOP repeatedly attempt to repeal Obamacare and now we see their corporate partners, like Humana and Aetna, trying to harm the American people by doing their best to damage this historic program to bring healthcare to millions of working Americans who had not been previously able to see a doctor due to the expense.

Workers and union members must remain vigilant in not only protecting workplaces that have already been unionized, but must continue the Fight for $15 nationwide, as well as directly organizing workers in every single workplace we can. Data from several academic studies in the past weeks has shown that the corporate/right-wing attacks against unions and workers has had a devastating effect on the earnings and economic well-being of the 99%. This must be reversed in order for a real, long-term, widely distributed economic recover to take place.

As we get ready to launch our 6th season of the Workers Unite Film Festival, we are thrilled with the films and the efforts we see all over the world to build worker consciousness, to build worker power and to make all workers understand that it is not somebody with different colored skin, or a different religion, or different sounding last name that is the cause for their feeling powerless and cast aside in this increasingly high tech society. It is directly because of a concerted attack by the 1% ownership class on their existing legal rights to organize into unions, to fight for what is fair and equitable at work and to live lives with dignity and respect for that work, that they have fallen so far behind where they expected to be.

Please send in your films and screenplays so we can keep telling the world about your brave and courageous efforts to fight back against injustice and greed. We have several special events planned for this season - a mobile phone film contest for students and over a week of community outreach with a powerful and touching multi-media production, Every Fold Matters.

More on these projects soon. Enjoy your day off and see you on September 10th at the NYC Labor Day Parade!




We Are Proud to Announce our Winners for the 5th Annual Workers Unite Film Festival – 2016

June 15th, 2016

This fifth season of the Workers Unite Film Festival was the biggest and best yet, with more attendees, more venues, more creative energy and many more submissions (nearly 160 projects on workers, their lives and their efforts to build their unions). With over 40 programs all over NYC and over 80 films and events, #WUFFNYC has grown to be one of the largest worker/labor dedicated cultural events in the country.

This year we made an effort to include a major multi-media piece – Every Fold Matters, which played to sold out crowds every night at our wonderful partner’s space in Brooklyn – Union Docs. We also included two music nights, with many talented performers and partnered with Local 802AFM to help raise awareness about the union in these burgeoning music clubs in Brooklyn and with performing artists who had not yet joined Local 802AFM. We expanded to both Queens and The Bronx with community screenings, and will continue these year round.

But our main focus remains films and we received so many excellent ones this season it was very difficult to reject several of the good ones and even harder to pick winners in each category. We love all our filmmakers and their amazing dedication to telling such important stories, stories almost continually ignored by the mainstream media. These "Best Of" and "Honorable Mention" designations, then, are the films that really stood out, both as audience favorites, but also for the skill and passion with which they tell these important stories of struggle and perseverance in societies where workers and their unions are under constant attack (including our own!).

Congratulations to all our filmmakers and screenwriters and to all of our wonderful attendees and sponsors who help make this the largest worker/labor film festival in the country. We are thrilled to have made it to 5 and with all your help (we do have some amazing festival tee shirts still available for a small donation!) – Workers Unite Film Festival 6 will be even better!

Audience Favorite

Every Fold Matters (multi-media production) - Produced and Directed by
Lynne Sachs & Lizzie Olesker

Special Jury Award

Finish Line: The Rise and Demise Of Off-Track Betting – Directed by Joseph Fusco

Best Documentary Feature

Profiled – Directed by Kathleen Foster

Documentary Feature • Honorable Mention

A Bold Peace – Directed by Matthew Eddy

Best Narrative Feature

Psychos (Russia) – Directed by Aleksey Kitaytsev

Honorable Mention • Narrative Feature

Human Resources – Directed by Keil Troisi

Best Narrative Short

Sista In the Brotherhood – Directed by Dawn Jones Redstone

Honorable Mention • Narrative Short (tie)

Wall (Greece) – Directed by Maya Tsamprou, Harris Tsambas & Mark Sargent

Under Skin In Blood (Australia) – Directed by Larissa Behrendt

Best Documentary Short

Every Row A Path – Directed by Jill Freidberg

Honorable Mention • Documentary Short

Waiting for the (T)rain (France) – Directed by Simon Panay

 Best Film from the Frontlines

The Learning Alliance (Pakistan) – Directed by Muhammad Umar Saeed

Honorable Mention • Film from the Frontlines

A Piece of The Dream Series: Amanda/Dominisha/Jahmeera –

Produced by The Workers Development Institute – Directed by: Darian Henry & Maya Suchak

Best Screenplay

Shula Sees the Light – Written by Laura Kelber

Honorable Mention – Screenplay

Slavecatcher – Written by Matthew Pillischer

Special Preview Screening of "Profiled" Jan 26th & 27th

Don't miss this special free screening of Profiled, held at The 8th Floor Event Gallery on Wednesday, January 27th, 2016 at 6:30pm (17 West 17th St).

The Workers Unite Film Festival is honored to preview this powerful and important film dealing with the issues of #BlackLivesMatter and police violence against working people of color.

There will also be a preview screening of Profiled on Tuesday, January 26th at 6:30pm (2B Community Room at 339 West 24th St, Penn South), in association with The Workmen's Circle and Penn South LEAPS.

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Join 1199SEIU, Workmen's Circle, Others in MLK Day "Fight for 15" March

Monday, January 18th
March begins: 3:15pm
Meet 2pm at National Action Network House of Justice 106 W. 145th St, marching to the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building

On Monday, Jan. 18, hundreds of low-wage workers will march with Rev. Al Sharpton through Harlem in support of the $15 New York State minimum wage to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “No work is insignificant,” King famously declared. “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance.”

A $15 minimum wage would raise up more than 3 million working people and make New York a national leader in the effort to reward hard work with fair pay.  Workers will be marching in the spirit of King’s egalitarian vision, to make sure all New Yorkers can have dignity, security and the opportunity to build a better future for their children.

(United Healthcare Workers 119SEIU)

Film Festival Submissions Open for 5th Workers Unite Film Festival

Film Festival Submissions Open for 5th Workers Unite Film Festival

Submissions for the 5th Annual Workers Unite! Film Festival is now open! The festival will take place from May 4th to May 17th. The Workers Unite Film Festival highlight the struggles and successes of workers in their efforts to unite and organize for social justice in the USA and worldwide. Submission of films for the 2016 season are open starting on October 1st, 2015 – with submissions possible online through Withoutabox.com and FilmFreeways.com.

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2015 Workers Unite Film Festival Winners

2015 Workers Unite Film Festival Winners

After much deliberation among the judges, we have finalized the list of Best of Festival winners for the 2015 Workers Unite Film Festival. A highlight of some of the honorees is below with the full list at the bottom of this article. Stay tuned for details about a special Awards Ceremony which we will host in the Fall.

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Screening at NY Taxi Worker Alliance

Screening at NY Taxi Worker Alliance

The Workers Unite Film Festival's "Spring into Action Film Series" continued in March with a screening focused on the struggles of garment workers historically in the United States and now around the world

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Spring Into Action to Raise Wages Film Series

Spring Into Action to Raise Wages Film Series

Workers Unite Film Festival is pleased to announce our collaboration with The Workmen's Circle, the NYC based 100 year old Jewish progressive social organization, on a labor film series called: Spring Into Action to Raise Wages. This film series will start on February 13th and run through April, leading up to the full Workers Unite Film Festival in May.

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Labor Film Festival Organizers Convene to Expand Labor Film

Labor Film Festival Organizers Convene to Expand Labor Film

The Workers Unite Film Festival went to the AFL-CIO headquarters for the Global Labor Film Festival where we met with Labor Film festival organizers from around the country and the world. We shared ideas about how to expand labor film and the possibility of collaborating on major labor film screenings. Check out the article for more information about the conference and a special message from Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO.

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Submissions open for Workers Unite Film Festival 2014

Submissions open for Workers Unite Film Festival 2014

Submissions are now open for the Fourth Annual Workers Unite Film Festival. Films can be submitted in various categories for the festival which will be in May. The film festival is open to both professional filmmakers, students and workers who are focused developing films about the plight of working people

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New Economy Film Festival 2014

New Economy Film Festival 2014

The New Economy Film Festival is a two-day event that brings four award-winning documentaries, four creative film shorts, and post screening interactive panels to Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV) 87 Lafayette Street in New York City. The festival showcases films that address both the challenges or our current economy and pioneering efforts to build a more just, inclusive, and ecologically regenerative system.

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