Welcome to the Workers Unite Film Festival, the full schedule will cover May 7th until May 28th but here is a preview.
After many long winter months of screening submissions, talking to organizers and filmmakers and forming partnerships with unions and worker centers around the city, The Fourth Annual Workers Unite Film Festival is ready to roll out our new slate of films for the new 2015 season.
While the full schedule will be posted by April 17th, and ticket sales online will start by April 23rd, we are previewing a few of our coming events that you hopefully will find as exciting as we did when we saw these films.
This year our festival takes place in the midst of the national Fight for $15, the struggle to insure that anyone who works a full-time job receives decent pay that allows him or her to live with the dignity that having a full-time job should provide. This fight is directly connected to our need to stop the expansion of “right to work” laws across the country, a complete and utter lie perpetrated on workers at the urging of right-wing corporate owned puppets, such as Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Right to work is a lie, and we are screening the excellent film, We Are Wisconsin, twice this season, with speakers, to highlight this fight. (May 18th at the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relation/ Workers Institute and May 21st at the auditorium of the Amalgamated Lithographers Union)
Our opening night films on May 8th@ Cinema Village in NYC look into the battle to save historic and quality jobs in NYC – the horse carriage industry in Working Horses, (you can find more info about schedule here) a world premiere. Later that evening we probe into the life threatening issue of poorly trained temp workers, now a $100 billion industry in the U.S., in an emotionally powerful film, A Day’s Work. (More info here)
Our themes this season are linked not only to decent wages and workplace rights and dignity, but also to the fight for gender equality in the workplace and passage of the long delayed Equal Rights Amendment for women in this country. While many of our films highlight this struggle, we are particularly proud to be screening She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, for a screening at 6:30 (link here) and one at 9 (link here) screenings on Saturday, May 9th @Cinema Village in NYC. This major history of the Women’s Liberation Movement will be paired with several short documentaries on the most recent struggles of women from all backgrounds to claim their equal rights.
We also believe in fair treatment and just processing of all those new immigrants to our country, immigrants who have often been forced to leave their native country due to our country’s exploitative foreign economic policies – policies which help destroy the natural organic development of local economies, in favor of a global economy dominated by huge multi-national corporations. These struggles are often highlighted by issues in the Food Chain justice movement, which fights for the work place rights and dignity of workers from the fields to fast food restaurants. We have picked Thursday May 14th to highlight all these issues with several new, powerful and award winning films: The Hand That Feeds, Food Chains, Connected by Coffee and Judith: Portrait of a Street Vendor.
Two of our not to be missed special events are on May 22nd at the Joseph F. Murphy Institute for Labor Studies/CUNY – when we will screen Blood Fruit (link here), a real-life David and Goliath story, of twelve brave unionized grocery clerks in Ireland, who when fired for refusing to handle South African “blood fruit” during the last days of apartheid, went on strike, did not give up and turned all of Ireland against South Africa after a two year struggle. We are honored to have the original members of this group join us in NYC for this screening event.
Our Gala closing night event this season, May 26th at the Anthology Film Archives is with a brand new film, co-produced by part of the team involved in the recently Oscar nominated Fracking film, called Blood on the Mountain (link here). This film is being hailed as “the new Harlan County,” and details the complete pillaging of West Virginia once the 1% corporate control types and their GOP lackeys gain control of the state. This film is being supported by both the AFL-CIO (with President Richard Trumka in the film) and the Sierra Club as one of their first joint efforts to address the issues of climate change together with transitioning to good jobs in a green economy. Do not miss this event.
These are just a few of the over 25 programs and nearly 45 films and events throughout May. Please check online at www.workersunitefilmfestival.org for the most recent schedule and ticket information. Ticket prices are kept low so workers and their families can attend. We hope to see you this May!