Welcome to the Fifth Annual Workers Unite Film Festival - #WUFF2016. Our team of activists and film buffs have been viewing films over the last eight months to bring you the best and most exciting films from the U.S. and worldwide that tell the stories of workers, their daily lives and their efforts to save and build their unions. We are proud to honor the courageous efforts of all the CWA and IBEW locals and all the workers out on strike to stop the corporate greed of Verizon.
We will show a short film made by and about these strikers every day of the festival. Join us in supporting them at all their picket lines across the city.
In this crazy election season, when a billionaire Republican presidential candidate shouts about sending millions of hard working immigrants home to Mexico and states that American workers are being paid too much! It is more necessary than ever to remember what the reality is for workers here and globally. #WUFF2016 will screen over 80 films, from shorts to features, that creatively show the state of worker unity and labor union struggles over the last year.
While the labor movement has been divided in its support for the two Democratic presidential candidates, both union leadership and rank and file know full well that the election of a GOP candidate would be far more dangerous to the interests of working people all across the country. Senator Sanders has given voice to many millions of new voters and voters angry at the status quo of inequality. Secretary of State Clinton offers her vast experience, from over thirty years in leadership positions, as well as the historic fact of being our first woman President. This election is crucial to the future of workers and their unions.
Workers Unite Film Festival has worked hard to insure a fascinating, informative and motivating mix of films and topics that cover all facets of workers organizing to fight back against workplace exploitation and fighting for lives with fair pay, good healthcare and dignity on the job. Too many labor activists have been murdered with impunity worldwide and it is time for this to stop.
#WUFF2016 kicks off our first week on May 5th with the stunning and original multi-media performance – Every Fold Matters, which tell the story of immigrant workers who found their way into NYC life through their work in NYC’s laundromats. This performance will repeat five times over the course of the festival. Our first night at Cinema Village opens with SiriusXM political commentator and comedian, John Fuglesang and his new documentary about the derailing of the “American Dream,” Dream On. This is followed by Michael Moore’s overseas journey to know Where to Invade Next. in order to discover and take home solutions to todays’ many deep social crisis issues, such as mass incarceration, women’s reproductive rights, legalizing immigration, the Fight For $15, the Black Lives Matter movement and many issues of workplace justice.
We salute both the history of the Black Lives Matter movement, by screening the rarely seen film, I Heard It Through the Grapevine, with James Baldwin in the host and narrator seat, taking a look back from the early years of Reagan, at what had become of the 60s Civil Rights Movement. This film is so prescient of our current political and social climate and helps explain exactly why wide support for the Black Lives Matter is critical to the success of our whole workers’ rights movement.
This screening happens on Saturday May 7th and is followed by the NYC premier of Profiled, a new documentary by WUFF alumni, Kathleen Foster. Profiled examines the issue of racial profiling, especially in the African American and Hispanic communities of NYC, while directly connecting these issues of race to how they were used to divide the working class. Our powerful Saturday line-up hits another high point with the NYC area premier of City of Trees, Set during the recession, the film follows three trainees and the director of a stimulus-funded green job-training program designed to put unemployed people back to work by planting trees in Washington, DC. This is a powerful look at what’s possible when we provide good quality jobs and training.
Mother’s Day brings in a new film from Israel that takes a brilliant new look at the Mideast conflict through the eyes of Tel Aviv’s LGBT community. This is a not to miss screening. Oriented is an inventive and touching look at a part of the Holy Land we have not seen before on film.
There are so many fascinating films it is hard to detail them all here. Please go to our schedule on our website: www.workersunitefilmfestival.org, or to our Eventbrite listing: Eventbrite/workersunitefilmfestivsl.org to see all the incredible films and programs and to purchase tickets for this coming week. We are the film festival for the 99%!