2015 NDFF Official Selections

 

We are excited to announce the Official Selections for the 2015 Newburyport Documentary Film Festival.
Download 2-page summary sheet here.

 

A Farmer’s Road
John Murray; 74 min
afarmersroad.wordpress.com
Sunday, September 20 at 3:30 pm

The Screening Room 

A Farmer’s Road tells the story of how two PhD soil scientists trade the security of academic tenure for the relentless challenges and economic uncertainty of operating a goat dairy and farmstead creamery in central Illinois.  As they engage with the community at farmers’ markets, on-site dinners and agricultural assemblies, their mission to educate the public about the benefits of locally-sourced small farm-products is literally changing the American food system one meal at a time.

 

Angkor’s Children
Lauren Shaw; 66 min
angkorschildren.com
Sunday, September 20 at 1:30 PM
The Screening Room
(Shown with Godka Cirka)

Angkor's Children (1)Angkor’s Children is about three young women who are creating a new cultural identity through their artistic disciplines. Because of their strength, tenacity, and independence, they are putting a new face on women in a traditional society in Cambodia.

 

 

 

 

Archie’s Betty
Gerald Peary; 70 min
Filmmaker Q&A
Sunday, September 20 at 1:30 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts


Were Archie, Betty, Veronica, Moose and Jughead, characters in Archie comics, the influential teen comic strip still popular almost 75 years after its creation, based on actual students the original cartoonist had gone to high school in the 1930s in Haverhill, MA?

 

 

Circus Without Borders
Susan Gray and Linda Matchan; 76 min
Filmmaker Q&A
www.circuswithoutborders.com
Saturday, September 19 at 7:30 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

A film about best friends and world-class acrobats from remote corners of the globe who share the same dream: to bring hope and change to their struggling communities through circus. Their dream unfolds in the Canadian Arctic and Guinea, West Africa where they help Inuit and Guinean youth achieve unimaginable success while confronting suicide, poverty and despair.

Seven years in the making, this tale of two circuses – Artcirq and Kalabante – is a culture-crossing performance piece that offers a portal into two remote communities, and an inspiring story of resilience and joy.

 

Containment
Peter Galison and Robb Moss; 82 min
containmentmovie.com
Sunday, September 20 at 11:30 am
Firehouse Center for the Arts

How should we protect yet-to-come generations of humans on earth— people who will not share our language, our nations, even our civilization?

Can we contain some of the deadliest, most long-lasting substances every produced? Left over from the Cold War are a hundred million gallons of radioactive sludge, covering vast radioactive lands. Governments around the world, desperate to protect future generations, have begun imagining society 10,000 years from now in order to create monuments that will speak across time. Part observational essay filmed in weapons plants, Fukushima and deep underground—and part graphic novel—Containment weaves between an uneasy present and an imaginative, troubled far future, exploring the idea that over millennia, nothing stays put.

 

Dis(Honesty) – The Truth About Lies
Yael Melamede; 90 min
thedishonestyproject.com/film/
Saturday, September 19 at 1:30 pm
The Screening Room

It’s human nature to lie; we all do it! From scandalous headlines to little white lies, Dis(Honesty) – The Truth About Lies is a documentary feature film that explores the human tendency to be dishonest. Inspired by the work of behavioral economist, Dan Ariely, the film interweaves personal stories, expert opinions, behavioral experiments, and archival footage to reveal how and why people lie.

 

Diver
Christoph Gelfand and Caroline Losneck
; 8.5 min
Filmmaker Q&A
Shorts Block #1, Saturday, September 19 at 11:30am
The Screening Room

Diver (1)Diver is a portrait of James Sewell, a scallop fisherman in coastal Maine. Despite an accident that threatened his livelihood, Sewell remains one of only a few fishermen who dive to the ocean floor to harvest scallops by hand. More than a maritime romance, the film is a reflection on Sewell’s existence. His resolve compels him to continue moving forward – venturing to a place most only dream of.

 

 

Fishing for Unicorns
Chris Rady; 30 min
Filmmaker Q&A
fishingforunicorns.tumblr.com
Shorts Block #1, Saturday, September 19 at 11:30am
The Screening Room

Fishing for Unicorns tells the story of Joe Everett, a surfboard maker whose passion for fishing has led to an obsession with catching the world record largemouth bass.  His obsession has taken over his life.

 

Food Fight: The Battle for Market Basket (Work-in-Progress)
Jay Childs and Tom Bennett
foodfightfilm.com
Saturday, September 19 at 10:00 AM
The Screening Room

FOOD FIGHT is the remarkable story of Market Basket and the power of ordinary, passionate people to rewrite corporate history.

Join Jay Childs (director) and Tom Bennett (Associate Producer) to view selected scenes from the film as a work-in progress, and offer audience input as they provide a first look as what promises to be a much anticipated film due for release later this fall.

 

Godka Cirka (A Hole in the Sky)
Alex Lora; 10 min
alexlora.es/godkacirka/
Sunday, September 20 at 1:30 PM
The Screening Room
(Shown with Angkor’s Children)

Young Alifa looks up at the Somali sky. She thinks about her daily life as a shepherdess. She knows that the day that will change her life forever is about to come.

 

Gutenberg in the Cyberstorm
Susanne Lenz-Gleissner; 26 min
Shorts Block #1, Saturday, September 19 at 11:30 am
The Screening Room

Gutenberg In Cyberstorm (3)

What is the value of the book in the digital age?

A film team visits Germany, where Gutenberg invented the printing press over 550 years ago, and the United States, the hub of digital innovation. Leading experts reflect on the history of the book, the future of the book and the current debate over the power of giant online companies and the future of digitalization.

 

Human Nature
Casey Atkins; 14 min
Filmmaker Q&A
caseyatkins.com/plumisland/
Shorts Block #2, Sunday, September 20 at 11:30 am
The Screening Room

Human Nature (1)Coastal erosion on Plum Island, Massachusetts causes chaos and controversy as residents struggle to save their homes as they tumble into the ocean.

 

 

 

 

J Street: The Art of the Possible
Ken Winikur and Ben Avishai; 71 min
Filmmaker Q&A
artofthepossibledoc.com
Sunday, September 20 at 3:30 pm

Firehouse Center for the Arts

J Street (2)J Street is on the frontlines of the world’s most “intractable” problem. An upstart lobby in Washington, D.C., J Street dares to assert what to many seems obvious: that a two-state solution is Israel’s only future, and any peace deal will require robust American participation. It sees itself playing David to the Israel Lobby’s Goliath, and, less than five years old, has been making surprising gains.  It is at once a gripping story about the desperate need for a two-state solution and an insightful document of the American political process at work.

 

 

Love Between the Covers
Laurie Kahn; 95 min
Filmmaker Q&A
lovebetweenthecovers.com
Friday, September 18 at 7:30 pm
Firehouse Center for the Arts

Love Between the Covers is a feature-length documentary film about the little-known, surprisingly powerful community of women who read and write romance novels.

Love stories are universal. Love stories are powerful. And so are the women who write them. While romance novels and their signature covers are ubiquitous around the world, the global community of millions of women who read, write, and love them remains oddly invisible. Love Between the Covers is the fascinating story of five very different authors who invite us into a vast female community, running a powerhouse industry that’s on the cusp of an irreversible power shift.

 

Poverty, Inc
Michael Matheson Miller; 94 min
Filmmaker Q&A
povertyinc.org
Sunday, September 20 at 5:30 pm
Firehouse Center for the Arts

The West has positioned itself as the protagonist of development, giving rise to a vast multi-billion dollar poverty industry — the business of doing good has never been better. Yet the results have been mixed, in some cases even catastrophic, and leaders in the developing world are growing increasingly vocal in calling for change.

Drawing from over 200 interviews filmed in 20 countries, Poverty, Inc. unearths an uncomfortable side of charity we can no longer ignore. From TOMs Shoes to international adoptions, from solar panels to U.S. agricultural subsidies, the film challenges each of us to ask the tough question: Could I be part of the problem?

 

Red Planet Rover
Mark Davis; 45 min
Filmmaker Q&A
Shorts Block #2, Sunday, September 20 at 11:30 am
The Screening Room


Take an incredible ride with the smartest, most complex robot ever launched from Earth – a one-ton, nuclear powered, all-terrain vehicle, part geologist, part chemist, part photographer – and follow Curiosity’s mission to explore the Gale Crater on Mars.

 

 

Right Footed
Nick Spark; 82 min
Q&A with Jessica Cox
rightfootedmovie.com
Saturday, September 19 at 1:30 pm
Firehouse Center for the Arts

Born without arms as the result of a severe birth defect, Jessica Cox never allowed herself to believe that she couldn’t accomplish her dreams. An expert martial artist, college graduate and motivational speaker, Jessica is also the world’s only armless airplane pilot, a mentor, and an advocate for people with disabilities. Directed by Emmy Award winning filmmaker Nick Spark, Right Footed chronicles Jessica’s amazing story of overcoming adversity and follows her over a period of two years as she becomes a mentor for children with disabilities and their families, and a disability rights advocate working in the U.S.A. and abroad.

 

Seeds of Time
Sandy McLeod; 77 min
seedsoftimemovie.com
Saturday, September 19 at 3:30 pm
Firehouse Center for the Arts
(Shown with Nike Chariot Earring)

A perfect storm is brewing as agriculture pioneer Cary Fowler races against time to protest the future of our food.  Seed banks around the world are crumbling, crop failures are producing starvation and rioting, and the accelerating effects of climate change are affecting farmers globally.  With little time to waste, Fowler embarks on a passionate and personal journey that may save the one resource we cannot live without: our seeds.

 

 

Spearhunter
Adam Roffman and Luke Poling; 14 min
Shorts Block #1, Saturday, September 19 at 11:30 am
The Screening Room


Deep in the wilds of rural Alabama, a spear-hunter proclaims the world’s greatest and erects a museum dedicated to his own bizarre obsession.  In the atmospheric and darkly funny documentary, an offbeat cast of lovers, acolytes, and critics of the megalomaniacal spear-hunter remember his distinctive tactics both for killing and for leaving a legacy.

 

The Nike Chariot Earring
Karen Audette; 14 min
Filmmaker Q&A
karenaudette.com/home.html
Saturday, September 19 at 3:30 pm
Firehouse Center for the Arts
(Shown with Seeds of Time)


A half-century ago a priceless treasure was stolen from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  This is the remarkable story of its recovery and the woman who found it.

 

The Way We Talk
Michael Turner; 80 min
thewaywetalk.org
Saturday, September 19 at 3:30 pm
The Screening Room

Director Michael Turner struggles with one of medical science’s most baffling and enduring disabilities—he stutters. But as he illustrates in the film, stuttering is like an iceberg, with the major symptoms below the surface. Turner explores his own experiences and the stories of others who are part of the self-help movement—stories that are relatable to anyone who has experienced feelings of separateness, isolation or inadequacy and are trying to make the most of who they are.

 

… and a Special Anniversary Screening – Shown the 1st year of the Festival

Tupperware 
Laurie Kahn; 63 min
Filmmaker Q&A
www.thetupperwarefilm.com
Saturday, September 19 at 11:30 am
Firehouse Center for the Arts

Tupperware tells the remarkable story of Earl Silas Tupper, an ambitious but reclusive small-town inventor, and Brownie Wise, the self-taught sales-woman who built him an empire out of bowls that burped. Brownie was an intuitive marketing genius who trained a small army of Tupperware Ladies to put on Tupperware parties in living rooms across America in the 1950s. Narrated by Kathy Bates, this film includes rare footage collected from basements, attics, and back rooms: color home movies taken by Tupperware Ladies and Jubilee footage shot by Tupperware Home Parties, as well as ads and television excerpts from the period.