Winners for Workers Unite Film Festival 2018!

We are proud to announce the winners for #WUFF7

Special thanks to all the filmmakers who came out to support their films.  We've had another wonderful year, screening at Cinema Village, Empire State College, DC 1707, and other venues across NYC.

Audience Favorite

The Partisans of Athens - Directed by Xenofon Vardaros

Special Jury Award

Detroit 48202: Conversations Along A Postal Route - Directed by Pamela Sporn

Best Documentary Feature

COMPLICIT - Directed by Heather White & Lynn Zhang

Honorable Mention • Documentary Feature (tie)

Charlie vs Goliath - Directed by Reed Lindsay

Adios Amor: The Search for Maria Moreno - Directed by Laurie Coyle

Best Narrative Feature

S|T|R|A|Y|S - Directed by Barnaby Miller

Honorable Mention • Narrative Feature

SINK - Directed by Mark Gillis

Best Narrative Short

Mrs. Schneider - Directed by Michael Matheson Miller

Honorable Mention • Narrative Short

Gabby Antonio Smashes the Imperialist, White Supremacist, Capitalist Patriarchy! - Directed by Dawn Jones Redstone

Best Documentary Short

Scenes From A Protest - Directed by Kevin McCarthy

Honorable Mention • Documentary Short (tie)

Freelance Nation - Directed by Dori Cohen

Knife Skills - Directed by Thomas Lennon

Best Film from the Frontlines

83-85 Bowery, Manhattan Chinatown - Directed by Zishun Ning

Honorable Mention • Film from the Frontlines

UA Local 1 and IBEW Apprentice Citizen Films Showcase - Produced by the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies, SUNY Empire.  Program Coordinator: Barrie Cline.

Best Screenplay

Machismo! - Written by Maja Ramirez

Honorable Mention • Screenplay

The Monkeypod - Written by Dane Krogman

Trailers & Clips Below:


Detroit 48202: Conversations Along A Postal Route

Adios Amor - The Search for Maria Moreno

Charlie vs Goliath

The Partisans Of Athens


Freelance Nation

Gabby Antonio Smashes the Imperialist, White Supremacist, Capitalist Patriarchy!


Scenes From A Protest

Watch for official submission entries to open in early Fall for WUFF 2019!

Life of Paul Robeson explored in "Call Mr. Robeson" this May

The Workers Unite Film Festival has added a live theatrical component over each of the past three seasons ("Every Fold Matters", etc).  This year, we are fortunate enough to partner with the Castillo Theater to co-produce a presentation of "Call Mr. Robeson" on May 11th and May 12th, a special one-man play and musical retrospective based on the life of actor, singer, and progressive activist, Paul Robeson. 

Retelling Mr. Robeson’s story is critical right now as labor unions and workers battle the devastating effects of an anti-worker President, as well as an imminent attack on public sector workers to legally unionize and collect agency fees.

Tickets Available Now! (LINK)

“They say I’m meddling in the foreign affairs of the United States Government. Now, that’s too bad, ‘cause I’m going to have to continue to meddle...”

Paul Robeson is a world-famous actor, singer and civil rights campaigner. When over the years he gets progressively too radical and outspoken for the establishment's liking, he is branded a traitor to his country, harassed, and denied opportunities to perform or travel. Just as physical, emotional and mental stress threaten to push him over the fine line between genius and madness, he is summoned to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee, to give the most difficult and important performance of his career.

Written and performed by Tayo Aluko.  Photo credit: Stuart Hollis

This roller-coaster journey through Robeson’s remarkable and eventful life highlights how his pioneering and heroic (but largely forgotten) political activism led many to describe him as the forerunner of the civil rights movement. It features much fiery oratory and some of his famous songs, including a dramatic rendition of Ol’ Man River.

Tayo Aluko revives one of the 20th Century’s most impressive but overlooked figures in this powerful, compelling tour-de-force performance, which was seen at New York’s Carnegie Hall in February 2012, and in London’s West End in October 2013.    (See the Trailer)

“First-rate ... an admirable introduction to a great pioneering performer" 4 Stars - The Guardian

Photo credit: Carol Rosegg

"A stunning piece of musical theatre.... high quality drama, first class singing" - Fringe Review, Edinburgh Fringe, 2010

"A brilliantly put together history lesson delivered as art." - Dirt & Candy

"Never less than utterly believable" - British Theatre Guide

"Simply told but immensely powerful"  - The Scotsman

“A must-see experience, a treasure of a show. TOP PICK!” - DC Theater Scene

Winner, Best Musical Performance, Atlantic Fringe, Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 2013
Winner, Best Solo Show, Stratford-upon-Avon Fringe, June 2013
Triple Winner (Impresario Award, Best Actor, Best Original Work) London Fringe, Canada, June 2012
Double Winner: Argus Angel Award for Artistic Excellence & Best Male Performer
Brighton Festival Fringe, May 2008

Show length: 80 min (no intermission).  Directed by Olusola Oyeleye.  More info at

Winners for Workers Unite Film Festival 2017!

We are proud to announce the Winners for #WUFF6

Special thanks to all the filmmakers who came out to support their films.  We've had another wonderful year, screening at Cinema Village, Empire State College, Lantern Hall, and other venues across NYC.

Great crowds to see EUGene V. Debs biopic - Hendrik Hertzberg from the New Yorker graciously answered questions with Director Yale Strom.  Ludlow: Greek Americans in the Colorado Coal War sold out! Thanks to Producer Frosso Tsouka for an incredible film!  Instagram: @workersunitefilmfest

Audience Favorite

American Socialist: The Life and Times of Eugene Victor Debs - Directed by Yale Strom

Special Jury Award

Ludlow, Greek Americans in the Colorado Coal War - Directed by Leonidas Vardaros

Best Documentary Feature (tie)

Detroit Dog City - Directed by Candace Barbot

Woman On Fire - Directed by Julie Sokolow

Honorable Mention • Documentary Feature (tie)

Denial - Directed by Derek Hallquist

Mike Morningstar: Here's to the Working Man - Directed by Richard Anderson

Best Narrative Feature

Thirsty - Directed by Margo Pelletier

Honorable Mention • Narrative Feature

August Lucey - Directed by Dylan Latimer and Jesse Karch

Best Narrative Short

Working Poor - Directed by Steven Bozga

Honorable Mention • Narrative Short (tie)

Marx Is Back - Violeta Bruk, Dolores Contreras, Javier Gabino, Jorge Gallardo, et al, TVPTS Contraimagen Group (Argentina)

Transport Workers Union (TWU) GOTV: Back to Election Day - Directed by Mary Matthews, TWU International

Best Documentary Short (tie)

Holding Out - Directed by Rebecca Gourevitch

The Coal Minority - Directed by Helen Butcher

Honorable Mention • Documentary Short

Oiltowns - Directed by Mark Street

Best Film from the Frontlines (tie)

Paulie - Directed by Paul Tropiano (UA Local 1 NYC Plumbers)

Some Dumb Plumbers - Directed by Luigi J. Fuschetto and Antonio D. Antonaros (UA Local 1 NYC Plumbers)

Honorable Mention • Film from the Frontlines

My Story - Directed by Nelium Hannibal (UA Local 1 NYC Plumbers)

Best Screenplay

Farm Fresh - Written by Jon Schabl

Honorable Mention • Screenplay

Flintown - Written by Cory Huizar

Now onto an amazing Season 7 in 2018 -- and some individual screenings planned throughout the year!  Official submissions open again in early Fall.

Save The Dates! May 5th to May 25th, The Sixth Annual Workers Unite Film Festival returns to NYC. TICKETS ON SALE NOW ON EVENTBRITE.COM

This season #WUFF6/2017 is thrilled to partner with The Radical Film Network, based in the UK, Third World Newsreel - on their 50th Anniversary of distributing progressive films, The Joseph F. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies and The National Writers Union (NWU/UAW) to open our festival season with A Global Gathering - The Radical Film Network in NYC. This conference, as well as the whole festival, is the perfect way to fight back against the radical right-wing, anti-worker trump regime. Over 100 filmmakers, academics from cultural programs, film festivals and cultural activists will meet to discuss and plan ways to help build the growing progressive resistance around the world, by assisting organizing and mobilization drives both here in the U.S., as well as with out progressive partners worldwide.

A Global Gathering takes place just before the Workers Unite Film Festival, May 3rd to May 5th, hosted at The Joseph F. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, 25 West 43rd Street, 18th floor. Please sign up for the conference on Eventbrite here:

WUFF2017 kicks off on May 5th at Cinema Village in NYC (22 East 12th Street) with an exciting opening night program, including Killing The Black Snake - a look at the anti-DAPL fight from the POV of our Native American Brothers and Sisters, Generation Revolution - where we see how Black Lives Matter struggles are organizing in the UK. This is followed by the just released feature - In Dubious Battle, directed and starring James Franco, with Selena Gomez, Zach Braff, Ed Harris, Vincent D'Onofrio, Sam Shephard, Robert Duvall and Nat Wolf, in the John Steinbeck classic about a radical organizer who heads to the Pacific Northwest to help 900 apple orchard farmworkers organize a strike during the Great Depression. We end the evening with Marx Is Back, a charming mini-series of fiction based on the Communist Manifesto.

May 6th is Music Day at the festival, with films about how creative artists are workers too and how their struggles often presage the fights of all workers in a society - such as in the amazing film, They Will Have to Kill Us First, about musicians in Mali facing mutilation and death from Jihadist occupiers, simply for doing their jobs - playing music. Saturday will also see Cab Elvis, two wonderful films about the sometimes hard road an artist must take to create their music - in 25 Tracks & Mike Morningstar: Ballad of A Working Man.   Not to be missed! Only the second screening in NYC of the beautiful new musical, Thirsty,  that tries to answer the question, where does a drag queen come from?

May 7th is our salute to LGBTQ and Trans rights are workers rights are civil rights! We have a full day and evening of films, both touching and powerful to celebrate our brothers and sisters once again under attack by the right-wing radical fringe, who have no idea of what Jesus meant when He said, "Love They Neighbor."

Anchovies, a touching short film about identity, leads us into Free Cece, a transgender woman of color who was arrested and plead guilty to second degree manslaughter for defending herself against a racist and sexist man who attacked her. Don't miss the captivating Out Run, from the Philippines, about the first Trans political party - amazing!

Our evening is anchored by Woman on Fire, the story of the first openly trans female firefighter in the FDNY. Incredible bravery on display here. And we are honored to end the night with one of the most touching films you will ever see, about climate change and trans rights, with a hero who you will wish was in your own neighborhood too, Denial.

These are just the first few days out of nearly three weeks of festival. we have music, theater and over 50! films about workers, their lives and their fight to save and build their union movements, here and world wide. Keep your eyes coming back to as we update the calendar daily with more films, more clips ticket purchase ability through Eventbrite (by next week).


T  he WUFF Team has been hard at work since the Summer of 2016, writing grants, soliciting films and planning for the biggest & best Workers Unite Film Festival yet. It arrives May 5th to May 25th

The WUFF Team has been hard at work since the Summer of 2016, writing grants, soliciting films and planning for the biggest & best Workers Unite Film Festival yet. It arrives May 5th to May 25th

New tee design for 2017

New tee design for 2017

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 and

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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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