Films about walking the streets of New York, human trafficking, and a tragic mass shooting at a South Carolina church are all part of the 2019 Greater Farmington Film Festival, presented March 7-9 by Farmington-Hills based nonprofit kickstART farmington.
These recently released films were chosen because they engage the heart and mind, explore important contemporary issues, and inspire action: good films for a better world:
Thursday, March 7
7 p.m. – “The World Before Your Feet,” directed by Jeremy Workman, 95 mins.
There are 8,000 miles of roads and paths in New York City and for the past six years Matt Green has been walking them all – every street, park, cemetery, beach, and bridge. It’s a five-borough journey that stretches from the barbershops of the Bronx to the forests of Staten Island, from the Statue of Liberty to Times Square, with Matt amassing a surprisingly detailed knowledge of New York’s history and people along the way.
9 p.m. – “The Rescue List,” directed by Alyssa Fedele & Zachary Fink, 81 mins.
Native Michigander and co-director Zachary Fink will join us for this film.
In a Ghanaian safe house, a team works to rehabilitate two boys who were trafficked into slavery to fishermen on Lake Volta. As it moves from rescue operation to healing process, this riveting film follows the boys through their recovery and reveals the extraordinary dedication of their rescuer.
Friday, March 8
7 p.m. – “Intelligent Lives,” directed by Dan Habib, 70 mins.
“Intelligent Lives” stars three pioneering young American adults with intellectual disabilities – Micah, Naieer, and Naomie – who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce. Academy Award-winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of these central characters through the emotional personal story of his son Jesse, as the film unpacks the shameful and ongoing track record of intelligence testing in the U.S.
9 p.m. – “Emanuel,” directed by Brian Ivie, 90 mins.
On June 17, 2015, national headlines blazed the story: Churchgoers gunned down during prayer service in Charleston, South Carolina. After a 21-year-old white supremacist opened fire in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, nine African Americans lay dead, leaving their families and the nation to grapple with this senseless act of terror.
Featuring intimate interviews with survivors and family members, Emanuel, from Executive Producers Stephen Curry and Viola Davis, is a poignant story of justice and faith, love and hate, examining the healing power of forgiveness.
Saturday, March 9
10:30 a.m. (free admission) – The Best of the 2018 New York International Children’s Film Festival
This program provides a warm welcome to all budding cinephiles with this lively international lineup of fun. Kick off the festivities with good hygiene and great dubstep in Party Mouth (USA), then let your hair—or,er fur—down and hang loose in I Want to Live in the Zoo (Russia). And, even if you get into a tangle, there will be someone to catch and cheer you on with the charming If You Fall (Canada).
7 p.m. – “Midnight Traveler,” directed by Hassan Fazili, 90 mins.
When the Taliban puts a bounty on Afghan director Hassan Fazili’s head, he is forced to flee with his wife and two young daughters. Capturing their uncertain journey, Fazili shows firsthand the dangers facing refugees seeking asylum and the love shared between a family on the run.
Touching on topics of broad political interest like the refugee crisis in Europe, the film puts a human face on these issues by providing first-person access to one family’s choices, anxieties, and hopes as they try to survive deportation, a life in hiding, and the smuggling route to Europe.
9 p.m. – “The Devil We Know,” directed by Stephanie Soechtig, 95 mins.
When a handful of West Virginia residents discover DuPont has been pumping its poisonous Teflon chemical into the air and public water supply of more than 70,000 people, they file one of the largest class action lawsuits in the history of environmental law.
As the citizens of Parkersburg rise up against the forces that polluted their town, the story builds out to dozens of other American cities. In fact, as many as 110 million Americans may be drinking water tainted with PFAS chemicals. Exposure to this class of chemicals has even become a global phenomenon, spreading to places like Italy, the Netherlands, and China.
For more information, individual tickets, or full festival passes, visit gffilmfest.com. All films will be shown at the Farmington Civic Theater, 33332 Grand River in downtown Farmington.