2013 Films


The following films were screened at the 8th Annual Newburyport Documentary Film Festival, which took place from September 20 to 22, 2013



Best Feature Film
Raw Faith

Best Short Film

Best New England Film

Audience Award
Life According to Sam

Special Mention – Short Film
Solo, Piano — NYC





A2-B-C  Ian Thomas Ash; Japan 70 min
Link to trailer: A2-B-C
Screening Sunday, September 22nd at 11:30 AM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

A2-B-CEighteen months after the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, children who were not evacuated are found to have thyroid cysts and low white blood cell counts. What does this mean for their future?





Gold Star Children Mitty Griffis Mirrer, USA 60 min 

Link to trailer: Gold Star Children
Screening Sunday, September 22nd at 2:30 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts
Gold Star Children
The film follows the parallel journey of two generations; today’s war orphans heal alongside the now adult-children survivors of the Vietnam War A story of hope, the film explores the redemptive power of sharing and the resilience of our nation’s Gold Star Children, who continue to carry the greatest burden of our country’s wars.


Good Ol’ Freda Ryan White, USA 86 min
Screening Friday, September 20th at 7:30 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

Good Ol FredaFreda Kelly was just a shy Liverpudlian teenager when she was asked to work for a local band hoping to make it big. Though she had no concept of how far they would go, Freda had faith in The Beatles from the beginning, and The Beatles had faith in her. In Good Ol’ Freda, Freda tells her stories for the first time in 50 years. One of few films with the support of the living Beatles and featuring original Beatles music, the film offers an insider perspective on the beloved band that changed the music industry.



In Search of Oil and Sand Philippe Dib, Egypt 56 min 
Link to trailer: In Search of Oil and SandOil and Sand
Screening Saturday, September 21st at 11:30 AM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

Fiction meets reality when in 1952 members of the Egyptian royal family make a film just weeks before a Coup d’Etat throws them from power. This film not only predicted their destiny, but also -unknowingly- recorded the final days of a dynasty.


Life According to Sam Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine, USA 90 min
Link to trailer: Life According to Sam
Screening Sunday, September 22nd at 4:30 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

Life SamLife According to Sam is about one family’s courageous fight to save their only son from a rare and fatal disease, progeria. The average age of death from progeria is 13, there is no treatment, and no cure. Dr. Leslie Gordon and Dr. Scott Berns are set on changing this. When their son Sam, now 16 years old, was diagnosed with progeria at age two, doctors told Leslie and Scott to enjoy Sam while they could. They refused to believe this was the answer. In less than a decade, their advances have led to identifying the gene at fault, creating the first drug trials for treatment, and revealing the amazing discovery that progeria is linked to the aging process in all of us.


Martian Mega Rover Mark Davis, USA 50 min MSL_SKY CRANE-small
Screening Saturday, September 21st at 4:45 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts 

Martian Mega Rover (National Geographic Channel 2012) is the story behind the Mars rover, Curiosity, whose harrowing “Seven Minutes of Terror” landing on the Red Planet captivated the world in August 2012.  Emmy winning producer/writer/director Mark Davis, spent years embedded at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, capturing the anxiety, despair, and elation that played out over the decade-long struggle to get Curiosity built, launched, and delivered safely to Mars.


Mommy I’m a Bastard! Max Barbakow; USA 65 min
Link to trailer: Mommy I’m A Bastard!
Screening Saturday, September 21st at 4:30 PM
The Screening Room

BastardA young filmmaker considers his adoption and the three distinct clans linked by his birth. But what begins as a tribute to kinship soon evolves into something different with the emergence of a lingering feud between his biological families. Mommy, I’m a Bastard! is a journey of self-exploration, a vibrant mix tape weaving threads of Hollywood, Cherokee chieftains, Reaganomics, Jews, WASPs, and misunderstanding.




One Day after Peace Erez Laufer, Israel 86 min
Link to trailer: One Day After Peace

Screening Sunday, September 22nd at 11:30 AM
The Screening Room

PeaceCan the means used to resolve the conflict in South-Africa be applied to the Palestinian-Israeli conflicts? As someone who experienced both conflicts firsthand, Robi Damelin wonders about this. Born in South-Africa during the apartheid era, she later lost her son, who was serving with the Israeli Army reserve in the Occupied Territories.. Robi’s thought provoking journey leads from a place of deep personal pain to a belief that a better future is possible.


RawFaith Gregory Roscoe, USA 97 min
Link to trailer: RawFaith
Screening Saturday, September 21st at 2:30 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

Raw FaithIn this incredibly rich story of one family’s relationship with a boat, a mission and each other, we meet the McKay family and RawFaith the 88 foot home built galleon they construct on the shores of the Pleasant River in Down East Maine. What begins as a family focused project ultimately tests the family unity and challenges their individual and collective notions of commitment and obligation to themselves and each other.



Running For Jim Robin Hauser Reynolds, Dan Noyes, USA 78 min
Link to trailer: Running for Jim
Screening Saturday, September 21st at 1:00 PM
The Screening Room
Running for Jim
This film chronicles the story of Jim Tracy, the deeply dedicated, brutally honest and tough-love coach of the San Francisco University High School cross-country team. In June of 2010, Tracy was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Running for Jim explores how Tracy, once a competitive runner, now faces the greatest challenge of his life.


Secundaria Mary Jane Doherty, USA 100 min
Screening Saturday, September 21st at 7:30 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

SecundariaSecundaria quietly follows one high school class on its journey through Cuba’s world famous National Ballet School. Our teenage dancers love to dance but many of them must dance as the sole way out of poverty and the constraints – visible, and not so visible – that is life in Cuba now.


Stopping for Death Wendy Roderweiss; USA 96 min
Link to trailer: Stopping For Death
Stopping for Death
Screening Sunday, September 22nd at 2:30 PM
The Screening Room

Four nurses at a residential hospice waver between fulfillment and despair, clashing with management and fighting budget cuts while trying to keep life as normal as possible for their dying patients.


Two Who Dared: The Sharps’ War Artemis Joukowsky, USA 76 min
Link to trailer: Two Who Dared
Screening Sunday, September 22nd at 4:30 PM
The Screening Room

TWD-smallThe never before told story of Waitstill and Martha Sharp, an American minister and his wife who boldly committed to a life-threatening mission in Europe to help save imperiled Jews and refugees at the onset of World War II.




Under the Hood Mark Byrne and Rob Dennis – USA 75 min
Link to trailer: Under The Hood
Screening Saturday, September 21st at 11:30 AM
The Screening Room

In Belarus, some battle for democracy, social justice and civil rights, while others struggle just to survive. Under the Hood brings us on a journey through a country where the secret police is still known as the KGB and gathering in public to do nothing is considered a crime.



Shorts Block #1
Screening Saturday, September 21st at 1:00 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

The German Who Came to Tea Kerry Kolbe, UK 8 minGermanTea

After a century on earth, which memories really matter? For Annie Day, who turned 100 in May 2012, it’s the day her young son Brian brought a German prisoner of war to Christmas dinner almost 70 years ago which marked the start of an enduring lesson in love, loss and acceptance.

Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution Matthew VanDyke, USA 15 min
Link to Trailer: Not Anymore

syria-war-documentary-film-nasmaThe story of the Syrian revolution as told through the experiences of two young Syrians, a male rebel fighter and a female journalist, as they fight an oppressive regime for the freedom of their people.



North Pole Promise S Allen Counter, USA 25 min

North PoleNarrator James Earl Jones delves into the secret legacy left behind when American explorers Admiral Robert E. Peary and Matthew Henson discovered the North Pole in 1909. Harvard Professor Dr. S. Allen Counter travels to remote Greenland to uncover the long-buried mystery. In one the northernmost villages in the world, he meets the explorers’ 80-year old Eskimo sons, Kali Peary and Anaukaq Henson, and attempts to fulfill their dream of visiting the land of their fathers. Along the way, Counter also helps history honor Matthew Henson, who never received credit for the discovery of the North Pole because he was African American.


Shorts Block #2
Screening Saturday, September 21st at 2:30 PM
The Screening Room

Bug Music: David Rothenberg’s Insect Choir Jennifer Berglund, USA 5 min

David Rothenberg, a professor of philosophy and music at the NJ Institute of Technology, likes to make music in nature…with nature.

Fowl Play Rob Flaherty, USA 16 min

Ithaca, NY is a city noted for its forward thinking nature. Residents take pride in their progressive activism. But one law in the city prevents citizens from keeping chickens in their backyards. In a form of avian civil disobedience, dozens of Ithacans keep small fowl in their backyard, fully aware that they are practicing under the cover of darkness.

Cavedigger Jeffrey Karoff, USA 39 min
Link to trailer: Cavedigger

CaveRa Paulette digs cathedral-like, ‘eighth wonder of the world’ art caves into the sandstone cliffs of Northern New Mexico. Each creation takes him years to complete, and each is a masterwork. But patrons who have commissioned caves have cut off nearly all of his projects due to artistic differences. Fed up, Ra has chosen to forego commissions altogether and create a massive, 10-year project, his Magnum Opus.


Shorts Block #3
Screening Sunday, September 22nd at 1:00 PM
The Screening Room

Solo, Piano – NYC Anthony Sherin, USA 5 minsolopiano

On a cold winter morning, a lone piano stands outside in New York City. This is a five minute film of the last 24 hours of a once-wanted piano.



Learning To Live Katie Wise, Malina Fagan and Ashley Moradipour, USA 18 minLearning to Live

An inspiring and motivational documentary, Learning to Live shows how a week long science camp can affect an inner city 6th grade boy’s life.



School’s Out: Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten Lisa Molomot; USA 36 minSchools Out
Link to trailer: School’s Out

No classroom for these kindergarteners. In Switzerland’s Langnau am Albis, a suburb of Zurich, children 4 to 7 years of age, go to kindergarten in the woods every day, no matter what the weatherman says. This eye-opening film looks into the important question of what it is that children need at that age. There is laughter, beauty and amazement in the process of finding out.