Fourteen Documentary Directors are in Contention For the Prestigious Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award at the 2013 MARGARET MEAD FILM FESTIVAL

FESTIVAL TO BE HELD AT THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

“What compelled you to see for yourself?”

To cherish the life of the world…”—Margaret Mead

Margaret-Mead-Festival-Logo-long

Fourteen filmmakers are eligible for the top honor at the 2013 Margaret Mead Film Festival, which runs from October 17 through October 20 (at the American Museum of Natural History NYC) and honors the legacy of groundbreaking anthropologist and Museum curator, Margaret Mead (1901-1978).

mead2013

The Margaret Mead Film Festival encompasses a broad spectrum of work, from indigenous community media to experimental nonfiction and is distinguished by its outstanding selection of titles, which tackle diverse and challenging subjects, representing a range of issues and perspectives, and by the forums for dialogue with filmmakers, invited speakers, and film protagonists.

This year’s theme invites audiences to come to the Museum to engage in the powerful experience of seeing culture on film. It is an invitation to come to the festival to see new reflections of “your” ”self,” to have audiences understand themselves in relation to other individuals and to various communities. It invites viewers to reflect on ways of seeing—how we perceive visual culture and how our identities shape how we look and what we see. The theme also raises questions about what it means to authentically see something for yourself—do you need to be in a place physically to understand a place or its cultures? Or how can we be transported to “see for ourselves” through film?

Tackling diverse and challenging cultural and social issues, the Mead Festival has introduced New York audiences to such acclaimed films as the Oscar-winning documentary The Blood of Yingzhou District (2006), Oscar-winning animated short The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation (2005), The Future of Food (2004), Power Trip (2003), and Spellbound (2002). The Mead Festival has a distinguished history of “firsts,” including being the first venue to screen the now-classic documentary Paris Is Burning (1990) about the urban transgender community.

The 2013 Festival will take place October 17-20 at the American Museum of Natural History (You can view the scedule for the festival here : http://www.amnh.org/explore/margaret-mead-film-festival/schedule

The Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award recognizes documentary filmmakers who embody Mead’s spirit, energy, and innovation by offering a new perspective on a culture or community in their films, which will be making their U.S. or world premieres at the festival. The 2013 winner or winners will be announced at the festival’s closing-night ceremony on Sunday, October 20. The Mead Filmmaker Award jury includes HBO’s Lisa Heller, Columbia University Professor of Professional Studies Jamal Joseph (Drive By: A Love Story), Reel 13’s Richard Peña, and author and filmmaker Sadia Shepard (The September Issue). The Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award winner will be announced on closing night.

The 2013 Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award Contenders, presenting U.S. premieres at the festival, are:

Gerardo Barroso and Lisa Tillinger for Calle López

Vincent Coen and Guillaume Vandenberghe for Cinema Inch’Allah!

Uli Gaulke for As Time Goes By in Shanghai

Sarah Gavron and David Katznelson for Village at the End of the World

Alicia Harrison for Taxiway

Lalita Krishna for Mallamall

Juliet Lamont for Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls

Sebastien Mez for Metamorphosen

Miriam Smith and Christopher Pryor for How Far is Heaven

Kesang Tsetan for Who Will Be a Gurkha

Pegi Vail for Gringo Trails

Cinéma Inch'Allah! By Vincent Coen and Guillaume Vandenberghe

Cinéma Inch’Allah! By Vincent Coen and Guillaume Vandenberghe

Cinéma Inch’Allah!

Vincent Coen and Guillaume Vandenberghe

2012 | 80 minutes | Belgium

U.S. Premiere | Director in Attendance

Cinéma Inch’Allah! is a moving exploration of the struggle of four young Belgian-Moroccan men to reconcile artistic passion with religious belief, family obligations, and their place as Muslim filmmakers in modern Belgian society. Now in their thirties, Reda, Mohamed, Farid, and Nourredine have worked together since adolescence on more than 30 low-budget comic action movies. With infectious enthusiasm, they have thrown themselves into their collective endeavor, often starring in their own films and using their work not only to channel their fears and aspirations but as a way of projecting an image of themselves to their community and the outside world. Cinéma Inch’Allah! captures them at a pivotal moment, when one member of the group decides to radically change his life, threatening their common artistic goals and even their friendship.

Co-presented by Flanders House and Park 51

Gringo Trails by Pegi Vail

Gringo Trails by Pegi Vail

Gringo Trails

Pegi Vail

2013 | 79 minutes | U.S., Bolivia, Thailand, Mali, Bhutan

World Premiere | Director in Attendance

A timely documentary raises urgent questions about how we travel and the unintended cultural and environmental consequences of tourism around the globe. Gringo Trails follows well-worn travelers’ routes through Latin America and beyond to Africa and Asia. The film reveals the complex relationships between colliding cultures, such as the host countries’ need for financial security and the tourists who provide it in their quest for authentic experiences. Through the stories of both travelers and locals, and with stunning footage from Bolivia, Thailand, Mali, and Bhutan, Gringo Trails explores the dramatic impact of travel and tourism around the world over the past 30 years.

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with travel writer Rolf Potts and Costas Christ, National Geographic Editor at Large.

Co-presented by Solimar International and Women Make Movies

How far is Heaven

How far is Heaven

How far is Heaven

How far is Heaven

How Far is Heaven

Miriam Smith and Christopher Pryor

2012 | 99 minutes | New Zealand

U.S. Premiere | Directors in Attendance

This is a story of powerful dualities: Maori and Christian spirituality, gang parties and prayers, pig hunting and perfume appreciation. It unfolds in an isolated village known both as Jerusalem and Hiruharama, home for the last 120 years to New Zealand’s only homegrown Catholic order, the Sisters of Compassion. Through the four seasons, the film focuses on Sister Margaret Mary, the newest sister, as she and the other two remaining sisters engage with the broader community. Conflicting feelings arise as their daily spiritual practices meet those of the Maori community, as the juxtaposition reveals parallel but ultimately fundamentally different approaches to navigating the harsh realities of life.

Plays with Queen of the Desert

Co-presented by Center for Media, Culture and History, NYU

As Time Goes By in Shanghai

As Time Goes By in Shanghai

As Time Goes By in Shanghai

Uli Gaulke

2013 | 90 minutes | Germany, The Netherlands, China

U.S. Premiere | Director in Attendance

As Time Goes By in Shanghai captures a city and a country in flux through the eyes of the venerable Peace Old Jazz Band, a group that has played together for more than 30 years and includes musicians who have been performing since the 1940s. Jazz and their dedication to it have endured as the world around them has continuously transformed, from the Japanese occupation through the Cultural Revolution to today’s turbo-charged capitalist society. As Shanghai remakes itself again and again, and China with it, they watch, and they play. With rare insights into this most mutable city as a backdrop, the film follows the band across the world to the Rotterdam’s North Sea Jazz Festival on a journey that crystallizes the joy and hope they find in their music.

This screening will be followed by a Q&A moderated by Dr. Eugene Marlow, a composer, author, and Professor, Department of Journalism and The Writing Professions, Baruch College.

Co-presented by China Institute

Calle Lopez

Calle Lopez

Calle Lopez

Calle Lopez

Calle López

Gerardo Barroso and Lisa Tillinger

2013 | 80 minutes | Mexico

U.S. Premiere | Director in Attendance

This film occupies an unusual place somewhere between visual anthropology and art-house cinema: it offers up a microcosm of Mexican society, alive with implicit social commentary, but plays as a stunning work of cinematic poetry. Two photographers, Gerardo Barroso and Lisa Tillinger, move with their baby to the busy Calle López in historic downtown Mexico City, a bustling cauldron of everyday life so textured and vibrant that they become inspired to document it. Following the street’s residents with their cameras, they capture a parade of street vendors, beggars, and tequeros that becomes a kind of urban symphony in black and white.

Co-presented by Cinema Tropical

Mallamall

Mallamall

Mallamall

Mallamall

Mallamall

Lalita Krishna

2012 | 74 minutes | Canada, India

U.S. Premiere | Director in Attendance

Mallamall, which literally translated means “bountiful goods,” offers a fascinating look at the struggle playing out on the battlefield of global capitalism. India is in the throes of a retail revolution as a burgeoning middle class looks for more Western goods and services. Modern malls have arrived to meet the demand, radically shifting the shopping culture and threatening the livelihood of traditional merchants. The landscape of retail is transforming from vibrant open-air markets with jewel-colored saris, aromatic spices, and feisty personalities to homogeneous, clean, and meticulously branded chain stores. One set of Indians is jumping on the modern mall bandwagon, enjoying new luxuries and heading up local efforts to further international investment. Another set vehemently protests the forces of globalization, fighting for the rights of thousands of bazaar owners and small farmers, as well as for a centuries-old way of life

Co-presented by Incredible India!

Metamorphosen

Metamorphosen

Metamorphosen

Metamorphosen

Metamorphosen

Sebastian Mez

2012 | 84 minutes | Germany, Russia

U.S. Premiere | Director in Attendance

A harrowing cinematic conjuring of a danger that can’t be physically perceived and of the strength of a people who bear its weight, Metamorphosen chronicles life near the Mayak nuclear facility in Russia’s Southern Urals region. Still in operation, Mayak was the first plant for the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons in the Soviet Union.  Although unknown to the general public, accident upon accident at Mayak repeatedly irradiated the area, affecting the people and nature in the area in untold ways. This carefully constructed documentary, more impressionistic than investigative, explores the impact of those accidents, illuminating along the way the resilience of those who coexist with this constant, invisible menace.

Co-presented by CEC Artslink

Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls

Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls

Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls

Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls

Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls

Juliet Lamont

2012 | 75 minutes | Australia, Burma

U.S. Premiere | Director in Attendance

How many films combine the giggly fun of an all-girl pop group with rare insights into a country in the throws of transition from military dictatorship to civilian government? In September 2010, oppositionist leader Aung San Suu Kyi would be barred from the general election and a military regime would almost certainly return to power. Against this bleak backdrop an unlikely all-girl group arises when Australian free spirit Miss Nikki May meets hard-headed Burmese entrepreneur Peter Thein. Initially packaged for pop stardom, The Tiger Girls, recently renamed the Me N Ma Girls, begin a long and rocky journey toward self-expression, and with every step the women take toward freedom and actualization—the lyrics of their pop confections often brandishing a surprising feminist edge—Myanmar’s political situation marches in tandem. The film, which we are thrilled to present to opening night of the 2013 Margaret Mead Film Festival, ultimately tells two interwoven stories of remarkable change and courage.

Co-presented by the Asia Society

Taxiway

Taxiway

Taxiway

Taxiway

Taxiway

Alicia Harrison

2013 | 60 minutes | France, U.S.

U.S. Premiere | Director in Attendance

What does it mean to try to become who you want to be? How do you choose your life instead of letting it be shaped by circumstance? French-American director Alicia Harrison’s documentary poses these universal questions from an unlikely place: the interiors of taxicabs across New York City. She weaves together immigrant drivers’ stories of struggle, resignation, and hope, opening a rare window into the lives of the taxi drivers so many of us interact with regularly without ever really knowing. Harrison grew up in the city, and her sharp eye for people and place and sympathetic questioning help shape an intimate portrait of contemporary New York City as seen through its streets and the cab drivers who navigate them.

Co-presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy

Village at the End of the World

Village at the End of the World

Village at the End of the World

Village at the End of the World

Village at the End of the World

Village at the End of the World

Village at the End of the World

Sarah Gavron and David Katznelson

2012 | 76 minutes | U.K., Greenland (Denmark)

U.S. Premiere

Village at the End of the World presents a rich real-life human drama, full of humor and hope, set against a backdrop of steadily melting ice that portends larger ecological changes for the whole planet. The Inuit village of Niaqornat in Northern Greenland grapples with many of the same challenges as other small communities around the world: a dwindling population; a lack of industry and jobs threatening the local economy; traditional ways of life giving way to modernity. It also happens to be one of the most remote human habitations on Earth. Lars, the only teenager in town, dreams of a different life and plans his escape even as the community pulls together to try to reopen the fish factory and revive its prospects for the future.

Co-presented by Scandinavia House

Who Will Be a Gurkha

Who Will Be a Gurkha

Who Will Be a Gurkha

Who Will Be a Gurkha

Who Will Be a Gurkha

Kesang Tseten

2012 | 75 minutes | Nepal

U.S. Premiere

Sam Manekshaw, former chief of staff of the Indian Army, once quipped: “If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha.” The prestigious, centuries-old Nepali mercenary unit features prominently in the imaginations of young Nepali boys, but the inner workings of the Gurkha tradition and its trials remain obscure in America. Enter Kesang Tseten, whose new film Who Will Be a Gurkha depicts the fiercely competitive training and recruitment of new cadets with lucidity and poetry. At the British Gurkha Camp in Pokhara, the struggle sets the stage for introspection, hot tempers, caste prejudices, and occasionally, rambunctious singing.

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with Ashok Gurung, senior director, India China Institute.

Co-presented by the Rubin Museum

The winner(s) will be announced on closing night.

Other noteworthy films to be screened at the festival includes:

And Who Taught You to Drive?

And Who Taught You to Drive?

And Who Taught You to Drive?

And Who Taught You to Drive?

And Who Taught You to Drive?

Andrea Thiele

2012 | 84 minutes | Germany, India, Japan

New York Premiere

Driving lessons become life lessons in this poignant and funny documentary, which turns the efforts of three people attempting to get their local licenses in foreign countries into a sly and warmhearted exploration of cultural difference and acceptance. American Jake in Japan; Mirela, transplanted from Germany to India; and Hye-Won, recently arrived in Germany from South Korea—each of these charming protagonists illuminates the joys and frustrations of navigating new rules of the road, revealing along the way much of themselves and of their adoptive homes. German-born and U.S.-based filmmaker Andrea Thiele was inspired by her own experience with driving tests in other countries, and she infuses her film with deft touches to which anyone who loves to travel (or hates to drive) will relate to.

Co-presented by the Asia Society

The Beautiful Game

The Beautiful Game

The Beautiful Game

Victor Buhler

2012 | 84 minutes | U.K., U.S., Cote D’Ivorie, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Egypt, Nigeria

New York Premiere | Producer in Attendance

“Soccer,” Desmond Tutu says in this inspiring documentary, “isn’t like a religion in Africa. It is bigger than religion.” Uniting the continent in a passionate common dialogue, the game has the power to unite, uplift, heal—and corrupt. The Beautiful Game tells dynamic stories from six countries—Kenya, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast—ranging in tone and theme from inspirational to tragic, personal to universal, that reveal the powerful place soccer occupies in cultures across the continent. Woven together with commentary from such various observers as Archbishop Tutu, Kofi Anan, F. W. de Klerk, will.i.am, Femi Kuti, and a who’s who of African soccer stars, the stories coalesce into a deeply affecting picture of the modern continent in the full grip of its aspirations and struggles.

Co-presented by the New York African Film Festival

Finding Hillywood

Finding Hillywood

Finding Hillywood

Finding Hillywood

Finding Hillywood

Leah Warshawski and Chris Towey

2013 | 58 minutes | U.S., Rwanda

New York Premiere | Directors in Attendance

A unique chronicle of the very beginning of Rwanda’s film industry, this phenomenon film captures the concurrent threads of hope and horror that define modern life after the genocide: the urge to move forward and embrace the future and the impossibility of escaping the moral devastation of the past. As pioneers bring locally made films to rural communities on a giant inflatable screen, thousands come for their first experience of cinema, watching in stadiums that were built next to mass graves. Centered around one man’s efforts to use film both to heal his country and to face his own history, Finding Hillywood deftly fuses the personal and the universal to tell a story about the role art can play in rebuilding a broken society.

Co-presented by The New York African Film Festival

" Iceland Year Zero, directed by Sigurður Hallmar Magnússon.

” Iceland Year Zero, directed by Sigurður Hallmar Magnússon.

" Iceland Year Zero, directed by Sigurður Hallmar Magnússon.

” Iceland Year Zero, directed by Sigurður Hallmar Magnússon.

Iceland Year Zero

Sigurður Hallmar Magnússon

2012 | 52 minutes | Iceland

U.S. Premiere | Director in Attendance

In October 2008, Iceland’s three main banks collapsed, driving what had been one of the most stable and prosperous nations in the world into bankruptcy and erasing the assets and jobs of thousands of its citizens. Iceland Year Zero looks at the aftermath of the crisis, documenting the personal stories of people from a range of social and economic backgrounds and arriving at a surprising picture of a society on the brink of despair but willing to reassess its capitalist values in the name of hope.

Co-presented by Scandinavia House

the Infmaous T

the Infmaous T

the Infmaous T

the Infmaous T

the Infmaous T

the Infmaous T

The Infamous T

Melissa Koch

2013 | 30 minutes | U.S.

New York Premiere | Director in Attendance

This story of Jonathon, a vibrant 18-year-old sinking under the weight of his lot in life, distills the trials of a segment of queer youth in America. Homeless, bullied, and failing out of high school, Jonathan seems about to find stability when a GLBT host program matches him with a middle-class family. Struggling to adjust after a lifetime of homophobia and poverty, he’s ultimately redeemed by the love of his chosen family and friends.

This screening will be followed by a Q&A moderated by Steve Mendelsohn, co-president of NewFest and deputy director of The Trevor Project.

Co-presented by NewFest and The Trevor Project

A Self-Made Man

A Self-Made Man

A Self-Made Man

A Self-Made Man

A Self-Made Man

Lori Petchers

2013 | 56 minutes | U.S.

NY Premiere | Director in Attendance

This moving documentary examines the social and psychological dynamics of being transgender through an intimate portrait of trans youth advocate Tony Ferraiolo. Tony guides children as young at eight and their parents through the confusing journey of defining themselves when their physical appearance conflicts with their self-image. Even as he struggles to come to terms with the complexities of his own life as transgender person, he labors to offer safety and assurance to families immersed in an often frightening transition. A Self-Made Man navigates the issues Tony and his charges face with a tone both candid and compassionate—much like it’s protagonist himself.

Co-presented by NewFest and The Trevor Project

Tea or Electricity (Le Thé ou l'Electricité)

Tea or Electricity (Le Thé ou l’Electricité)

Tea or Electricity (Le Thé ou l'Electricité)

Tea or Electricity (Le Thé ou l’Electricité)

Tea or Electricity (Le Thé ou l’Electricité)

Jérôme le Maire

2012 | 93 minutes | Belgium, France, Morocco

New York Premiere

The implementation of electricity in a tiny isolated village in the middle of the Moroccan High Atlas is an occasion for anticipation, joy, and the unintended consequences of predatory capitalism. Shot season after season, this gorgeously filmed story slowly reveals how the people of Ifri join the grid of modern civilization. Before our eyes, a small village and a way of life are transformed by the comforts and complications of connecting to the rest of the world. The villagers yearn for modernization, and the electric company is eager to invest in new customers.  As we watch the inevitable effects that electrical tools—lights, cell phones, and televisions—have on their way of life, the film builds upon itself to eventually illuminating the transformation of social values by technological progress.

Co-presented by Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Festival Information and Tickets

All screenings take place at the American Museum of Natural History. Opening and closing night tickets are $15. All other screenings are $12. Members/students/seniors should call or check online for discounted rates. Shorter films may be grouped together in single programs. The Friend of the Festival Pass (opening-night film and reception for two, plus six other programs) is $99 (a $150 value). Tickets can be purchased by phone at 212-769-5200, online at www.amnh.org/mead, or at any of the Museum’s admission desks. For more information, the public should call 212-769-5305 or visit www.amnh.org/mead.

Support

The Margaret Mead Film Festival is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The American Museum of Natural History gratefully acknowledges HBO, Inc. for its generous support of the Mead Films and cultural programming for New York City Public High Schools. Additional support provided by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany and India Tourism.

AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY (www.HYPERLINK “http://www.amnh.org/”AMNHHYPERLINK “http://www.amnh.org/”.HYPERLINK “http://www.amnh.org/”ORG)

The American Museum of Natural History, founded in 1869, is one of the world’s preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions. The Museum encompasses 45 permanent exhibition halls, including the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium, as well as galleries for temporary exhibitions. It is home to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, New York State’s official memorial to its 33rd governor and the nation’s 26th president, and a tribute to Roosevelt’s enduring legacy of conservation. The Museum’s five active research divisions and three cross-disciplinary centers support 200 scientists, whose work draws on a world-class permanent collection of more than 32 million specimens and artifacts, as well as specialized collections for frozen tissue and genomic and astrophysical data, and one of the largest natural history libraries in the Western Hemisphere. Through its Richard Gilder Graduate School, it is the only American museum authorized to grant the Ph.D. degree. In 2012, the Museum began offering a pilot Master of Arts in Teaching program with a specialization in Earth science.

Approximately 5 million visitors from around the world came to the Museum last year, and its exhibitions and Space Shows can be seen in venues on five continents. The Museum’s website and collection of apps for mobile devices extend its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs to millions more beyond its walls. Visit www.amnh.org for more information.

ON-SITE PURCHASE*

September 3–October 17

Tickets may be purchased during Museum hours at the Advance Group Sales desk in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda (Central Park West at 79th Street entrance) and at the Rose Center for Earth and Space (81st Street entrance).

DURING THE FESTIVAL*

October 17–20

Tickets may be purchased at the 77th Street entrance only, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.

*Each program is identified by a program code.  For on-site and phone purchases please refer to the program code when purchasing tickets.  Have your credit card information ready when you call.

Advanced ticket purchase is recommended, as programs may sell out.  Tickets are not refundable.  Programs are subject to change.

ENTRANCE

Entrance for screenings is on 77th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.

GETTING HERE

B train (weekdays only) or C train to 81st Street–Museum of Natural History

1 train to 79th Street

M79, M7, M11, M86, M10, M104

FOOD AND DRINK AT THE MUSEUM

Food and drink is available for purchase at Café on One. Café on One is located immediately left of the Grand Gallery on the way to the Kaufmann and Linder Theaters and will be open from 10am until 7:30pm all four days of the Margaret Mead Film Festival.