Workers Unite! Film Festival 2019
Films and Directors

50 Days: The 2018 Chicago Hotel Workers' Strike (16 min)
Directed by: Eve Saxon
Films from the Frontlines (2019)
Programs 2 & 23

The story of how the Chicago hotel workers took on the City's premier hotels in their fight for year round health care benefits - from strike vote to settlement with the last major hotel chain.

Against the Wind (13 min)
Directed by: Ella Weil
Narrative Short (2018)
Programs 6, 20, & 30

Jamie is the world's greatest Uber driver, but his sense of self is challenged the week that self-driving cars are introduced as replacements. He must compete with the superior robots to save his job.

All In A Day's Work (10 min)
Directed by: Krissy Mahan & Patricia Silva
Narrative Short (2018)
Programs 16 & 23

Through a series of comedic vignettes, All In A Day's Work shows the daily life of certain queer women, and how projection and prejudice makes people feel threatened by two queer bodies near each other.  Two queer working class friends make a living in New York City by working in the lower rungs of America's premier online retailer. After a long day at the office and the warehouse, they attend an after-work party, run an errand, end-up at a speed-dating event, and top off the day at their favorite bar.

Autonomous Transit: Fight for Jobs and Safety (4 min)
Produced by: TWU International
Films from the Frontlines (2018)
Program 20

Autonomous vehicles are being tested nationwide, to incredibly dangerous results.  For both jobs and livelihoods.  Join TWU in the fight to maintain safe public transportation and good union jobs in the face of unproven robotic technology invading communities across the US.

Birth Of A Union (20 min)
Directed by: Josh Karan
Documentary Short (2012)
Program 5

Despite being full time employees of the State of North Carolina, wages of many workers have been so low that they have qualified for Federal food stamps. This film chronicles the historic and heroic effort to organize low-wage workers in North Carolina, where it is actually illegal for any State agency to agree to a Union contract. Public sector workers are absolutely forbidden by State law from obtaining such an agreement. A dynamic African-American union organizer helped lead this drive, working with one of the most progressive unions in the country.

Boricua: Shouting on Sunset Park (19 min)
Directed by: Victor Ribeiro
Documentary Short (2017)
Program 11

At Sunset Park, you hear a scream!  Lots of shouting!  The shouting of the drums playing BOMBA on the street.  Cameras all around, cop-watching.  People marching against racism and police brutality.  Dennis Flores and El Grito de Sunset Park are voices of the resistance in the Latin New York.

Buenos Aires, the City At Sleep (50 min)
Directed by: Yamila Rotbart
Documentary Feature (2019) Argentina
Program 12

Every night, hundreds of people change their routine to do night work and fulfill the tasks necessary for the City of Buenos Aires to operate in the daytime.  This documentary shows the life story of these heroes of the night: how important their jobs are and how it is to live upside down from the rest of the population.

Call Me Intern (1 hr 7 min)
Directed by: Nathalie Berger & Leo David Hyde
Documentary Feature (2019) Switzerland/U.S.+
Program 14

Meet the millennials fighting back against unpaid work.  Call Me Intern follows three interns-turned-activists who refuse to accept the idea that young people should have to work for free to kick-start their careers. Their stories challenge youth stereotypes and help give a voice to the growing movement for intern rights across the world.  After David accepts an internship at the United Nations, they move into a small blue tent on the Geneva lakefront and begin documenting his unpaid intern experience. Their action sparks a global press storm, challenging their roles as filmmakers.  Meanwhile, Kyle interns for fortune-500 company Warner Music while living in a homeless shelter in New York City, and Marisa works as an unpaid intern for Obama's re-election campaign.

Councilwoman (57 min)
Directed by: Margo Guernsey
Documentary Feature (2018)
Programs 2 & 23

Politicians aren’t often full-time hotel housekeepers, grandmothers, union members (UNITE HERE!) and immigrants working service jobs.  But Carmen Castillo changes that when she wins a seat on the City Council in Providence, Rhode Island.  Carmen Castillo is a Dominican City Councilwoman who maintains her job cleaning hotel rooms, as she takes on her new role in politics.  She faces skeptics who say she doesn’t have the education to govern, the power of corporate interests who take a stand against her fight for a $15/hourly wage in the City, and a tough re-election against two contenders - all of this while balancing the challenges of managing a full-time job cleaning hotel rooms, and a personal relationship.  It’s a journey behind the scenes of politics after the victory.

Dad Milks Cows in Texas (8 min)
Directed by: Ramon Galvan
Documentary Short (2018)
Program 15

In the mid 70s, Ramón Galván Palencia left his small town in Mexico for the United States. Over the next decade he crossed many of the borders separating the two countries in search of work. By the 1990s, he settled in Texas as a ranch hand on a dairy farm.  Dad Milks Cows in Texas is a nonfiction portrait of a person that carries out the early morning work on a dairy farm.

Dear Walmart (59 min)
Directed by: Kiley Kraskouskas & Michael Blain
Documentary Feature (2019)
Program 5

An independent documentary film that tells the personal stories of workers across America's largest private employer who are standing up, fighting back, and changing lives.  Walmart workers organize and fight for a historic pay raise. This heartfelt 5 year plus project follows the OUR Walmart workers' alliance as they seek to organize the exploited workers of the largest retailer in the world.

Division Ave (14 min)
Directed by: Tamar Glezerman
Narrative Short (2018)
Programs 1 & 16

A few days before Passover, Fernanda, a young Mexican woman, is hired by a Brooklyn cleaning agency to work in the local Jewish Hasidic community. Despite a prolonged wait for her payment, Fernanda continues to faithfully show up for work each day at Nechama’s house. An unexpected connection between the two leads to a fight for justice against the cleaning agency at fault, bridging the gaps between their very different worlds.  The story behind Division Ave is inspired by true events happening to this day on the corner of Division & Marcy Ave in Brooklyn, NY. 

Don't Give Up Your Voice! (40 min)
Directed by: Melissa Young & Mark Dworkin
Documentary Short (2018) Argentina
Program 12

A look at the widespread and creative resistance to the policies of Argentina's current president, Mauricio Macri, in organized labor, at worker co-ops and street protests, in theater and in music. The film offers instructive parallels with the situation in the U.S., while illustrating the power of collective action.

Final Cutz (1 hr 26 min)
Directed by: Liam Lockhart
Narrative Feature (2019)
Program 6, 22, & 30

Bob Hardlock, the hopeful chairman of a dying arts college, must fend off a hoard of hungry zombies after a fire releases buried nuclear waste onto the campus.  When the Santa Fe University of Art and Design joined the alarming trend of art college closures, the students and faculty banded together to create a collective cinematic catharsis. The subversive “zom-com” social satire Final Cutz finds the Marxist Chairman Bob rallying a beautifully diverse student body to save their Film School from both imminent closure and a zombie invasion!

Flip the Switch (10 min)
Directed by: Dave Moutray
Documentary Short (2018) India, Africa, S. America+
Program 7

From villages that live in darkness at night to villages that have just discovered how solar power can change their lives, Flip the Switch tells the story of Solar Mamas, women from developing countries who have been trained as solar engineers. Starting in India and making their way to Central America and Africa, this film shows how Hogan Lovells, one of the largest law firms in the world, and Barefoot College, the world's largest NGO, came together to empower women and girls as change agents. Their shared journey illustrates that a global effort to inspire similar committed partnerships is needed to make measurable progress toward the UN SDGs -- one woman at a time, one village at a time. 

Freedom to Drive (16 min)
Directed by: Set Hernandez Rongkilyo
Documentary Short (2019)
Program 21

Centering the voices of directly-impacted leaders and advocates, this short highlights how undocumented Californians have been criminalized for driving without licenses, and how the community organized to transform policy.  Freedom to Drive highlights the intersection of immigration, labor, and mobility and how the ability to drive impacts the ability of undocumented people to work.  But more importantly, the film focuses on how a diverse group of immigrants organized to achieve significant policy victories and continue to push forward.

IBEW Local 3 Apprentice Electricians Citizen Filmmaker Showcase (~15 films, 5-6 min each)
Directed by: IBEW Local 3 Electricians (Various)
Films from the Frontlines (2019)
Programs 28

For the 3rd year, apprentice electricians from SUNY Empire State’s Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies are empowered to share a snapshot of their working lives by creating their own short 5-6 min films. Using only a smartphone, they are taught how to shoot and edit video in order to depict a personal truth that might otherwise be framed incorrectly in the mainstream media, where stories about workers and their unions are often distorted and not truthful. Our goal is to create 100,000 Citizen Journalists from the labor union side to help balance the stories about workers and their unions.

L'eau Est La Vie: The Fight At Standing Rock Continues In the Bayous Of Louisiana (10 min)
Directed by: Sam Vinal
Documentary Short (2018)
Programs 4, 15, 30, & 31

Energy Transfer Partners‚ the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock‚ is trying to extend that pipeline through the largest U.S. wetland swamp in Louisiana, the Atchafalaya Basin.  L'Eau Est La Vie (Water is Life) Camp is fighting the pipeline despite facing state violence, police that are moonlighting for the pipeline and courts that are protecting corporate interests over public good. The fight for water and life continues!

Lambeth Lights (24 min)
Directed by: Luca Bertoluzzi
Narrative Short (2017) U.K.
Program 14

When an out of work street person falls in love with the blind flower girl, in a modern day homage to Charlie Chaplin's ‘City Lights’, things take an interesting turn.  Shot in the streets where Chaplin grew up. Starring BAFTA-listed Harry Macqueen ('Hinterland'), Imogen Morris and Bill Fellows ('Lady Macbeth').

Listen to My Song (48 min)
Directed by: Danny Mitchell
Documentary Short (2018) Colombia
Program 11 & 30

Esteban escaped poverty in the ghetto when he was thirteen, by running away from home and joining the FARC guerrilla movement in Colombia.  With the peace process underway Esteban's life changes when he performs at a Peace Concert and is spotted by a famous Colombian producer. When he is invited to perform in Bogota, a career as a musician is beginning to look possible.  However, he must first make his own peace with his past and reconnect with his family in Cali.  If this is possible perhaps the country can also move on from its difficult history.

Looking Through The Bamboos (8 min)
Directed by: Mauraya Sharma
Documentary Short (2018) India
Program 21

A quest to understand the source of inspiration and challenges faced by the tribal bamboo jewelry makers of Dangs district, India.

Madrigal for a Living Poet (1 hr 15 min)
Directed by: Adriana Barbosa & Bruno Mello Castanho
Documentary Feature (2018) Brazil
Program 13

The life and personal philosophy of Tico, a gravedigger and writer from Brazil.  A song to life, an aesthetic homage, a filmic reverie about work and life, memory, and the need to reinvent every day life and seek lost senses.

Mancala (3 min)
Directed by: Obediya Jones-Darrell
Narrative Short (2018)
Program 27

After a series of suspicious explosions at various bauxite mining operations around the world, the global industry comes to a standstill.

March (12 min)
Directed by: Ana Bovino
Narrative Short (2018) Argentina
Program 12

Amidst Argentina's economic crisis, the workers of a restaurant resume their activities after an unsuccessful strike in demand for a salary increase. Having no choice but to give up their struggle leaves them speechless, making the previous proximity to their boss impossible. In an atmosphere of impotence, the film explores the limits of human relationships when crossed through power hierarchies.

NYSNA 2018 Year in Review (5 min)
Directed by: Adrianna Hernandez-Stewart & Gabe Kristal
Films from the Frontlines (2018)
Programs 4 & 5

In 2018, the Patient Defenders of the NY Nurses Association accomplished many heroic feats at the bedside and beyond.

Phansi: Down with Labour Brokers (1 hr 14 min)
Directed by: Tariq Richards
Documentary Feature (2018) South Africa
Program 27

A South African story of casual (i.e. temp, contingent/precarious) workers, failed by an outdated industrial union movement. More than twenty years since the end of apartheid, disparate groups of workers for whom very little has changed - failed by the state, betrayed by an outdated and distracted trade union movement and subjugated by modern labor brokering practices (temp agency) – find solidarity through the work of an advice office run by a dying breed of ex-freedom fighters who have stuck to their liberation ideals rather than pursue lucrative positions in government or the private sector.  Through processes of self-education and a sense of collectivism these women take on the might of multi-national corporate greed and through a series of small victories ultimately contribute greatly to rendering this class of cheap labor illegal in South Africa, while serving as a clarion call to similar classes of workers all over the world to stand up and fight for their rights.

Plant the Seed (11 min)
Directed by: Taína Asili
Music Video Documentary Short (2019)
Program 23

Black farmer and educator Leah Penniman and her journey to become the co-founder of Soul Fire Farm, a national leader in the food justice movement. Leah Penniman is the author of Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land.  Part of the Resiliencia Documentary Series featuring music by Taína Asili.

Plenty to Say: The Radical Murals of Mary Perry Stone (9 min)
Directed by: Ramie Streng
Documentary Short (2018)
Program 31

Why show a protest artist's 1990s radical murals?  Are they still relevant today?  Mary Perry Stone, a former WPA sculptor, didn't drink, smoke, or lead a wild life.  Her passion was being a social protest artist; it remained so throughout her life.  When she was in her eighties and early nineties, Mary painted many murals depicting what she deemed the horrors of Capitalism.  Her art was her own, expressive and powerful.

Putting Out Fires: The School Bus Crisis of Richmond County (12 min)
Produced by: TWU International
Films from the Frontlines (2019)
Program 10

TWU Local 239 in Augusta, GA is fighting back against environmental hazards that are plaguing school bus drivers, mechanics, monitors and school children.

Resiliencia (11 min)
Directed by: Taína Asili
Music Video Documentary Short (2018)
Program 23

In January 2018, just four months after Hurricane Maria landed in Puerto Rico, Taína Asili travelled to the island to document the devastation and interview women about their experiences during and post hurricane. The 11 minute music video documentary Resiliencia features the composition Taína Asili created as inspired by this journey, blended with an interview with Yasmin Hernandez, an artist and mother residing in Moca, Puerto Rico.

Rice (32 min)
Directed by: David Blamey
Documentary Short (2017) India
Program 19 & 30

Otherworldly documentation of a rice mill drying process by agricultural workers in India who create geometry from the inanimate food staple.

Run The Meter (38 min)
Directed by: Rebecca Blandon
Documentary Short (2019)
Program 21

In a time when their livelihood is threatened by the proliferation of app cars roaming the streets, New York City's yellow taxi drivers are being driven to do whatever it takes to cope with an unexpected turn after decades of riding their own American Dream.

Somewhere To Be (1 hr 16 min)
Directed by: Peter Odabashian
Documentary Feature (2018)
Program 1 & 31

Aging.  People.  Caring.  Kindness.  Somewhere To Be is an eye-opening look behind the doors of a Greenwich Village senior center.  Every New Yorker over sixty is welcome to come to the Center On The Square between 9 and 5, Monday to Friday and take an Italian class, have some lunch, write a poem, paint a picture, or make a friend.  Using a mix of vérité and interviews, this funny and moving documentary explores the human need to be with others.  Veteran filmmaker Peter Odabashian's intimate camera style reveals that it’s possible to have a good life if you’re able to become part of a community, if you can find somewhere to be.

Sorry to Bother You (1 hr 51 min)
Directed by: Boots Riley
Narrative Feature (2018)
Program 3 & 18

In an alternate reality of present-day Oakland, California, telemarketer Cassius Green finds himself in a macabre universe after he discovers a magical key that leads to material glory.  As Green's career begins to take off, his friends and co-workers organize a protest against corporate oppression.  Cassius soon falls under the spell of Steve Lift, a cocaine-snorting CEO who offers him a salary beyond his wildest dreams.

Tantalum (5 min)
Directed by: Johannes Richard Voelkel
Narrative Short (2018)
Program 27

A film against children's slavery in rare earth mines in the Republic of Congo, digging for materials that are needed for cell phones and other electronic devices.  Two raw material traders have a negotiation of prices on the phone.  Little by little, they get disturbed in a strange and unexpected way …

That One-Tenth of Good (7 min)
Directed by: Dan Pavlik
Narrative Short (2018)
Program 8

A man loses his home, his family, and his job due to extreme medical bills and finds refuge in the most unlikely place.  One Tenth is both a cautionary tale of America's inadequate healthcare system, and a story of optimism and love. Inspired by the growing homeless conditions in the San Francisco Bay Area, this short illustrates that things can always be worse.

The Black Mountain (15 min)
Directed by: Anton von Heiseler
Documentary Short (2018) India
Program 19

The Black Mountain is Delhi's largest landfill, dominating the lives of those who live off it and nearby.  This film tells the stories of people evicted from their homes and transferred to the fringes of the landfill, forced to eke a living by collecting waste there.  It shows how they live without safe water, shelter or drainage and examines the effects of this polluted environment on their mental and physical health.

The Devil We Know (1 hr 35 min)
Directed by: Stephanie Soechtig & Jeremy Seifert
Documentary Feature (2018)
Program 4

The chemistry of a cover-up.  Unraveling one of the biggest environmental scandals of our time, a group of citizens in West Virginia take on a powerful corporation (Dupont, makers of Teflon) after they discover it has knowingly been dumping a toxic chemical – now found in the blood of 99.7% of Americans – into the drinking water supply.

The Green Book (1 hr 20 min)
Playwright: Calvin Alexander Ramsey
Play/Concert Staged Reading (2018)
Program 24

A play that sheds light on a time in America when Jim Crow and ‘separate but equal’ was the law of the land.  Travel and accommodations for African Americans was complex and full of uncertainties.  Where a person or family could eat, sleep, buy gasoline or use restrooms was never without tension and, in some cases, was a life and death struggle.  The Green Book allows those who were born after the landmark civil rights bills were passed to look back upon a not so pleasant time in American History, but also to see a people who looked out for one another and provided a safe harbor in a swirling storm.  A Jewish concentration camp survivor enters the play and the complexities of the times play out.

The Manhattan Front (1 hr 26 min)
Directed by: Cathy Lee Crane
Narrative Feature (2018)
Program 17

Women, anarchists, and spies conjure the fantastically true story of how America entered World War I.  Once upon a time, in 1915, a German saboteur arrived to Manhattan to interrupt the export of American munitions to Britain.  He soon finds a collaborator in a wayward stevedore who unwittingly leads him to a group of labor anarchists.  Sabotage and betrayal soon turn these bedfellows into agents of the other's tragic end.  In the spirit of a silent film from the era, this musical melodrama plays itself out through the interaction of archival images and the theatrical rendition of lives as they might have been lived on The Manhattan Front.  Interweaving color live action with black and white (never-before-seen) archival material from 1915, the film tells the story of how the IWW interrupted the export of munitions during WWI.

The Mayor's Race (1 hr 20 min)
Directed by: Loraine Blumenthal
Documentary Feature (2018) U.K.
Program 10

A mixed-race child, Marvin grew up with his single mother in Bristol's ghettos in the U.K. with prostitution, violence and poverty as a daily occurrence.  Ever since, Marvin had the desire to go against the injustices he experienced and decides to run for mayor.  Despite his charisma and intellect, his biggest battle is believing anyone will take this black guy from the ghetto seriously.  Will he manage to break the circle of history and become the first mayor of African decent of a city in Europe?

The Nuns, The Priests, and The Bombs (1 hr 46 min)
Directed by: Helen Young
Documentary Feature (2017)
Program 8

Nuclear disarmament activists, including Catholic nuns and priests, challenge the security and legality of America's nuclear weapons when they break into two top-secret facilities: The "Fort Knox" of Uranium and a U.S. Navy Trident nuclear submarine base.  Are they criminals or prophets sending a wake-up call to the world?

The Reason We’re Still Here (15 min)
Directed by: Sofia Smith Hale
Documentary Short (2018)
Program 4

Residents of Youngstown, Ohio, take on the fracking companies that have poisoned their drinking water and destroyed their economy.  Over the last decade, the Rust Belt city has become increasingly divided between those in support of job development and those who seek to protect access to clean drinking water. The Reason We're Still Here provides a unique window into the lives of union members, community organizers and residents on each of these conflicting sides, raising the question of whether economic livelihood must exist in opposition to a healthy and safe environment.

The Washing Society (44m)
Directed by: Lynne Sachs & Lizzie Olesker
Narrative Short (2018)
Program 16

When you drop off a bag of dirty laundry, who's doing the washing and folding?  The Washing Society brings us into New York City laundromats and the experiences of the people who work there.  Collaborating together for the first time, filmmaker Lynne Sachs and playwright Lizzie Olesker observe the disappearing public space of the neighborhood laundromat and the continual, intimate labor that happens there.  With a title inspired by the 1881 organization of African-American laundresses, this film investigates the intersection of history, underpaid work, immigration, and the sheer math of doing laundry.

Tick Tock (15 min)
Directed by: Morgan Fics
Narrative Short (2018) Canada
Program 3 & 30 

Post merger, Justine Jason is tasked with the systematic resizing of the newly formed company, but when she fires company veteran Mitchell Lamb he does the unthinkable and the outcome pushes her over a psychological tipping point.  Starring Tattiawna Jones (‘The Handmaid’s Tale’).

Tito and The Birds (1 hr 13 min)
Directed by: Gabriel Bitar, André Catoto, & Gustavo Steinberg
Narrative Feature (2018) Brazil
Program 7

Reflecting the scope of political unrest in Brazil and abroad, this brisk, gorgeous, endlessly inventive hybrid of oil painting and digital animation packs thrills and heart in equal measure. In a society plagued (literally) by mass hysteria, young Tito invents a machine to help humans communicate with birds, believing he can execute a plan to save the city and his ailing mother. But first he must face up to a rich, reactionary TV personality capitalizing on the chaos.  (This film will be dubbed into English.)

Triangle Fire (4 min)
Directed by: Joan Stein Schimke
Documentary Short (2019)
Programs 5, 10, & 31

Remembering the 1911 NYC factory fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company that led to major labor reforms.

Trouble Finds You (31 min)
Directed by: Stephanie Tangkilisan
Documentary Short (2019)
Program 11

An intimate portrait of a young man swept up in New York’s biggest untold criminal justice story.  An excellent student halfway in and out of gang life in the Bronx, Kraig Lewis was in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was caught in a bust conducted by 700 FBI, NYPD and ICE officials and prosecuted by Preet Bharara.  Lewis, along with 119 others, were prosecuted under a law originally designed to target mobs but are now increasingly used against low-income neighborhoods of color in New York.  Trouble Finds You explores not only race, the effects of incarceration on Lewis’s life and family after jail, but also how this little-known conspiracy law called the RICO Act can derail promising futures, wrecking families and communities.

UA Local 1 Apprentice Plumbers Citizen Filmmaker Showcase (15-20 films, 5-6 min each)
Directed by: UA Local 1 Plumbers NYC (Various)
Films from the Frontlines (2019)
Program 26

For the 3rd year, apprentice plumbers from SUNY Empire State’s Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies are empowered to share a snapshot of their working lives by creating their own short 5-6 min films. Using only a smartphone, they are taught how to shoot and edit video in order to depict a personal truth that might otherwise be framed incorrectly in the mainstream media. The goal is to have 100,000 citizen journalists from the labor movement tell our stories online everyday.

UberLand (54 min)
Directed by: Nick St. Charles
Documentary Feature (2018)
Program 20

The David vs. Goliath story of the Uber drivers who took on America's most valuable startup.  A first-of-its-kind feature length documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the labor issues surrounding Uber and the gig economy.  It’s the story of a scandal-ridden startup that upended transportation, defied regulators, decimated the taxi industry, and ended up cannibalizing its own drivers.  The film follows San Francisco Uber drivers Eric, Robin, Antonio and Xavier as these independent contractors navigate the gig economy where many workers have meager earnings and few labor protections.  UberLand features interviews with workers and Silicon Valley thought leaders and asks us to consider the true cost of the gig economy.

Undeterred (1 hr 16 min)
Directed by: Eva Lewis
Documentary Feature (2019)
Program 15

Undeterred tells the story of the build up of militarization along the U.S./Mexico border, how it has affected and changed life in one small town and how local residents have organized to push back against those changes.  Since NAFTA, 9/11 and the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations border residents have been on the front lines of a humanitarian crisis that has caused over 8,000 immigrant and refugee deaths. Undeterred is an intimate and unique portrait of how residents in the small rural community of Arivaca AZ, caught in the cross hairs of global geo-political forces, have mobilized to respond to this crisis.

Union Time: Fighting for Workers' Rights (1 hr 10 min)
Directed by: Matthew Barr
Documentary Feature (2018)
Program 29

The story of the successful 16-year fight to organize a union at the world's largest pork slaughterhouse, operated by Smithfield Foods in Tar Heel, NC.  There aren't many films about organized labor with happy endings!  This happens to be one of them. The perseverance of a courageous group of workers, their guts and determination, form the core of this film. 'Union Time' contextualizes this victory -- the largest labor victory in the U.S. in the 21st Century -- within a backdrop of fervent anti-unionism in the South, and focuses on the interconnections between the labor and the civil rights movements in the U.S.

White Sauce Hot Sauce (19 min)
Directed by: Salah Anwar
Documentary Short (2017)
Programs 18 & 19

An exploration of New York City's famous Halal street carts, the immigrant visionaries behind them, and the marriage of Arab & American culture packed into every gyro.  The food vendor narrative in New York is not a new one, but a constantly evolving one.  Despite the difference in culture and food, these vendors' food has become a staple of New York City life.  From Kosher Hot Dogs and Pretzels to Greek Souvlaki and now Middle Eastern, "Halal" styled food, these vendors depict what it truly means for America to be a melting pot.  Their stories depict an immigrant narrative full of heartbreak and hardship in a country that welcomes only bits and pieces of their traditions and culture while leaving others stuck in a game of political tug-of-war.

Who Killed Lt. Van Dorn? (1 hr 20 min)
Directed by: Zachary Stauffer
Documentary Feature (2018)
Program 9

An intimate portrait of a deadly 2014 Navy helicopter crash that exposes how military, political and business leaders have failed our men and women in uniform.  Lt. Wes Van Dorn, a 29-year-old United States Naval Academy graduate and the married father of two young sons, died when the helicopter he was piloting crashed off the coast of Virginia during a 2014 training exercise.  Motivated by her grief, his wife Nicole sought an explanation for the cause of the disaster.  Her efforts spurred an investigation that uncovered a long history of negligence and institutional failings around the 53E helicopter, the model Van Dorn was piloting when he was killed, and the deadliest aircraft in the U.S. military. Through incisive reporting and interviews with Van Dorn's colleagues and family, Who Killed Lt. Van Dorn? is at once a poignant picture of one family's tragedy, as well as a revelatory inquiry into the murky inner-workings of the American defense establishment.

Work (13 min)
Directed by: Gamar Markarian
Documentary Short (2018)
Program 26

The camera captures the everydayness of labor while observing workers at the Hudson Yards development, the largest construction site currently in the United States. Hudson Yards, until recently, had been the site of large protests by the #CountMeIn movement, to protest the union bashing tactics of the wealthy Hudson Yards developer, Steve Ross and Related Properties.  The constant pressure applied by local unions, especially Local 3 IBEW, has recently brought The Related Company back to the bargaining table.

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Written by: Daniel Abrams
The Working Lives Screenplay Competition (2019) U.S.

Set in the near future, when his ex-girlfriend's research lab is on the cusp of an Artificial Intelligence breakthrough - enabling the human mind to be immortally preserved, idealistic hacker Stu is compelled to infiltrate her company and then steal the invention for a rival tycoon.

The Fourth Psalm
Written by: John Martins III

The Working Lives Screenplay Competition (2019) U.S.

Dire consequences ensue when two Catholic priests clash during the 1980s Sanctuary Movement involving the lives of three innocent Central American refugees.

Henryk in Camouflage
Written by: Jason Chertoff

The Working Lives Screenplay Competition (2019) U.S.

Based on the true story of Henryk Siwiak, a Polish immigrant and dedicated family man described as ‘the last person killed and sole New York City murder victim of 9/11’, who, while traveling to work on the night of the 9/11 attacks, was randomly gunned down in an overlooked and still unsolved murder.

Lindsay Waite
The Working Lives Screenplay Competition (2019) U.S.

From the moment of the death of his father, twelve year old James vows revenge on Pinkerton guards and scabs. As an adult steelworker on strike, his time comes when Andrew Carnegie's henchman Henry Clay Frick plans to destroy the union. Armed Pinkerton guards arrive in the stealth of night, traveling in covered barges. The result of this clash is a fiery battle between these guards and many people of Homestead, Pennsylvania.

Union Made
Rikki Bleiweiss
The Working Lives Screenplay Competition (2019) U.S.

Four immigrant, teenage girls rise to become the leaders of one of history's greatest revolutions: the American Labor Movement. Based on the true historical figures of Clara Lemlich, Fannia Cohn, Pauline Newman, and Rose Schneiderman.