Nov 2018 Commemorative Months

November is National Native American Heritage Month, and New Day has a collection of films on Native American and Indigenous themes.

Badger Creek

Badger Creek, by Jonathan Skurnik and Randy Vasquez, is a portrait of Native resilience as seen through a year in the life of three generations of a Blackfeet (Pikuni) family living on the lower Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. Spirit of the Dawn, by Heidi Schmidt Emberling, exposes a history of educational abuse, and introduces us to two sixth graders as they participate in a poetry class where they write poems celebrating their Crow culture and history. In Whose Honor? by Jay Rosenstein takes a critical look at “Indian” sports mascots, following Native American mother Charlene Teters as she struggles to protect her cultural symbols and identity. View our collection here.

Mezzo

This November for Transgender Awareness Month, check out New Day’s collection of titles relevant to trans and nonbinary people. Prodigal Sons, by transgender filmmaker Kimberly Reed, is a profound story about homecoming, identity, and the complexity of family dynamics. Trinidad: Transgender Frontier, by PJ Raval, introduces the audience to three trans women whose lives intersect in the small town of Trinidad, Colorado, the so-called “sex change capital of the world.” Mezzo, by Nicole Opper, celebrates the life and art of Breanna Sinclaire, an African American trans woman opera singer. You can find these films and more here.

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Meet New Day: Katherine Acosta

by Katherine Acosta

Katherine Acosta

My film Divided We Fall, chronicles the most exhilarating, and heartbreaking, political experience of my life: the 2011 Wisconsin Uprising in my home city of Madison.  For two weeks, tens of thousands of people crowded the capitol square, up to 100,000 on the weekends, with hundreds occupying the statehouse. Never in my life did I expect to see so many people roused to resist a corporate and union-busting legislative agenda. I thought surely the revolution was here.

Divided We Fall

Yet despite the masses of determined and resourceful protesters, we lost. Divided We Fall explores some of the reasons why. Originally, I planned to write a book, utilizing my skills as a sociologist. But I had always wanted to try my hand at filmmaking, and this story demanded to be told as a film.

Earlier films on the topic focused on the heroism of the protesters in their conflict with Governor Scott Walker and his ALEC-inspired agenda. Our film also honors the courage and creative initiative of the protesters and highlights their successes. But we go further, turning a critical lens inward to reveal tensions that challenged the movement’s solidarity and contributed to its ultimate defeat.

An engineer once told me that often more is learned from failure than from success. My goal has always been to prepare for a win next time. In this era of deeply compromised elections, through gerrymandering, voter suppression, and the influence of big money, direct action becomes vitally important. As writer and activist Jamala Rogers (author, Ferguson Is America) said in response to our film, “We have to get smart, strategic, and serious.” Divided We Fall is my contribution to those goals.

 

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Landmark Films on the Fight for Reproductive Justice

Early New Day Films

In light of recently renewed debates about the rights of women, the fight for reproductive justice is more important than ever. In 1971 – while the women’s movement was still coming into its own – a group of independent filmmakers were unable to find distribution for their feminist films. New Day Films, born out of necessity and determination, remains a group of filmmakers committed to the ideals of equality, education, inclusion, hope, collaboration, and social change. In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision on Roe v. Wade legalized a woman’s right to choose throughout the country. As the volatile and deeply personal issue of abortion becomes headline news once again, New Day Films will do what it does best – illuminate the past and inform the present by distributing social justice films that reveal a history of the people, by the people. This month we feature timely and provocative films that focus on the continuing struggle for women’s empowerment and reproductive justice.

Leona’s Sister Gerri

Acclaimed by the New York Times as being “forcefull, intimate, unpretentious and devastating…” the multi award-winning, P.O.V. broadcast film, Leona’s Sister Gerri, directed by Jane Gillooly, tells the dramatic story of Gerri Santoro, a mother of two and the “real person” in the now famous photo of an anonymous woman on a motel floor, dead from an illegal abortion. Reprinted thousands of times on placards, and in the media, this grisly photo became a pro-choice icon. Should the media have used this image? What circumstances led to Gerri’s tragic death? This film is a moving portrait of Gerri Santoro’s life and society’s response to her death.

It Happens to Us

First released in 1972, Amalie R. Rothschild’s film, It Happens to Us remains the classic plea for a woman’s right to choose. Through the personal stories of a wide range of women, both rich and poor, young and old, black and white, married and unmarried, it presents the most cogent arguments as to why ending a pregnancy must remain an available choice. In particular, it reminds people of the consequences when abortion was illegal and what life was like before the Roe vs. Wade 1973 Supreme Court decision. The New York Times called it “a jolting indictment of the furtive illegality of abortion”

Silent Choices

Silent Choices, directed by Faith Pennick, is about abortion and its impact on the lives of African American women. The film is a “hybrid” documentary – part historical piece, part social and religious analysis, and part first-person narrative. From African Americans’ cautious involvement with Margaret Sanger during the early birth control movement to black nationalists and civil rights activists who staunchly opposed abortion (or stayed silent on the issue), Silent Choices examines the juxtaposition of racial and reproductive politics. Justine Wadland of Video Librarian called the film “A solid investigation into the social, economic, and political aspects of reproductive rights for African-American women…”

For a list of more films on a variety of topics related to Women’s Studies, go  here.

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October: Commemorative Month

Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty

October is National Disability Awareness Month, a time to learn about issues facing people with disabilities and celebrate their contributions. Kū Kanaka/Stand Tall, by Marlene Booth, follows a young disabled Native Hawaiian man, whose traumatic accident leads him to find healing through his indigenous language and history, and fight for his people. Tocando la Luz (Touch the Light , by Jennifer Redfearn, tells the story of three blind women in Havana, Cuba, who pursue their dreams while illuminating Cuba’s current economic and social landscape. Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty documents a Bay Area performance project that highlights people of color and queer people with disabilities, creating work about disability, sexuality and social justice. See more films about disability here.

Justice For My Sister

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and New Day has a number of films that explore this often unseen undercurrent that exists in so many people’s lives. Power and Control: Domestic Violence in America, by Peter Cohn, follows a mother of three in Duluth, MN, as she struggles to protect herself and her children. (Peter Cohn has also made two companion films: Domestic Violence and Law Enforcement, and Domestic Violence and Health Care.) Men are Human, Women are Buffalo, by Joanne Hershfield, mixes interviews and puppetry to tell five stories about violence against women in Thailand, where it is reported that 44 percent of women have been abused by a partner or stranger. Justice for my Sister, by Kimberly Bautista, follows a Guatemalan woman through a three-year battle to hold her sister’s killer accountable, in one of the few cases of domestic violence murder in Guatemala that has resulted in a conviction.

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Meet New Day: Michael Premo

by Michael Premo

Michael Premo

My film Water Warriors tells the story of a community’s successful fight to protect their water from the oil and natural gas industry. When an energy company begins searching for natural gas in New Brunswick, Canada, indigenous and white families unite to drive out the company in a campaign to protect their water and way of life.

Water Warriors

This 22-minute film evokes the intensity of the Elsipogtog First Nation’s water protection blockades, which were a precursor to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests lead by the Standing Rock Sioux. It can be accompanied by a scalable exhibit that features large photographs, projections, and a soundscape. The project was designed so it could be presented on a range of scales and to a variety of audiences – from individual viewing online, to community screenings, pop-up exhibits at Pow Wows and outdoor events, to full gallery-style installations. Each venue will create a different viewing experience.

In response to a court ruling that banned protest near SWN worksites, a multi-cultural group of land protectors blockade Rt 126, blocking Royal Canadian Mounted Police vehicles, burning tires and shale gas exploration equipment. The few regional highways are major arteries for local traffic and the most direct routes through the thick forest. They provide an efficient thoroughfare for SWN to collect seismic data on the amount of natural gas hiding in the underground shale formations. On October 17, 2013, anti-fracking protests turned violent when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) raided the encampment that had been peacefully blockading SWN’s equipment, preventing them from doing seismic testing- a prelude to fracking. The RCMP arrested 40 people while torched police cars sent clouds of black smoke into the air. Police pepper sprayed elders from Elsipogtog, fired sock rounds to control the crowd, and an RCMP officer was infamously recorded shouting “Crown land belongs to the government, not to fucking natives.” The community responded by steadfastly maintaining encampments in key locations to disrupt any attempted work by SWN. On December 6, 2013 SWN pulled out and ended their operations in New Brunswick. Community members believe they will return, and that the fight is far from over.

We have already partnered with communities in Oregon, Oakland, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, and New Brunswick, Canada – all locations threatened by pipelines, fracking and offshore drilling. Water Warriors screening events have proven to be a fresh way of bringing together diverse groups of residents who don’t often intersect, who aren’t already involved with advocacy or an organizing effort, and who might not normally attend an “activist” meeting. We’ve also worked with Indigenous educators to develop a screening kit to accompany Water Warriors : a step-by-step guide that makes it easy for anyone to plan, promote and host a successful Water Warriors event or incorporate it into existing programming—even (and especially) if they’d never organized an event like this before. We are most proud of the ways that Water Warriors has directly inspired ordinary people to take action in their communities.

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When it Streams, it Pours: New Titles, New Discounts   

by Isabel Hill

This September, New Day is offering a 40% back-to-school discount off all films streamed directly from the New Day website (Promo Code: STRM40). With New Day’s robust film streaming service featuring over 250 titles, you are only a click away from bringing compelling, emotional, and relevant social issues to your classroom or organization.

Customers who purchase a streaming license gain immediate access to the film of their choice and never have to worry about storing, damaging, or losing DVDs. Professors can share a link with their students for easy viewing, inside and outside of the classroom. New Day’s easy interface also allows customers to communicate directly with filmmakers.  You can request a free preview of a title, and even arrange for a virtual Q&A with the director!

New Day Films is a filmmaker-run distribution company that has been providing social-issue documentaries to customers for 47 years. It is the only cooperative of its kind to build and maintain its own personalized streaming platform. When you purchase directly from New Day, you are supporting the work of independent filmmakers and making it possible for them to continue making the films they feel passionately about.

Our growing collection of films are organized into 45 categories that cover everything from Addiction, Anthropology, and the Arts, to Disabilities, Education, Human Rights, and Women’s Studies… and everything in between. Here are some of the most recent, award-winning titles we’ve added:

Life on the Ganges

Life on the Ganges is a short film that captures a different side of the Ganges River and explores why visiting Varanasi and bathing in the river still remains a spiritual pilgrimage. Director Indira S. Somani’s beautiful imagery and vivid portrayal of devotion give the viewer a rare look at why people from all over India and the world, travel to Varanasi to wash away their sins and purify their souls.

Man on Fire

Man on Fire takes place in Grand Saline, Texas– a sleepy, unremarkable town that finds itself the center of a media storm in 2014 when a white preacher Charles Moore lights himself on fire to protest the town’s racism. A deep investigation into the human spirit, the film explores the life and death of Moore while examining the theme of racism in rural America. Catch Joel Fendelman’s award-winning film before it premieres on PBS’s Independent Lens, December 17, 2018!

America I too

America I Too is the portrayal of three arrested and detained, undocumented immigrants that must navigate the legal system to fight impending deportation.  Based on actual testimonies and true experiences, Anike Tourse’s film gives a real sense of what undocumented immigrant families and detainees are struggling with in the United States.

New Day offers a variety of streaming licenses, from our popular 1 and 3 year licenses to licenses that run anywhere from 14 days to 7 years. Colleges and universities can access films through their library website, and professors can simply provide a link to their students. Most films are also available via a digital 3-day license should a customer prefer to stream from their own server. In addition to the 40% discount we’re offering throughout September, there are substantial discounts available throughout the year on multiple-title purchases. Stay tuned for more exciting features as we continue to grow our service!

To read more about our streaming options, please click here.

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New Day Filmmaker Mike Mascoll

by Mike Mascoll

Mike Mascoll

I grew up as an inner-city kid, and at the age of eight years old I made an early suburban trek in search of a better education and opportunity. My unique education and exposure to communities outside of my own opened my mind to the many socioeconomic disparities that continue to divide our nation.

On the Line, Where Sacrifice Begins

My film On The Line: Where Sacrifice Begins highlights METCO, one of the longest running voluntary school desegregation programs in the country, its historical impact on the city of Boston and those personally involved in the program itself. The idea for the film was born out of my desire to share my personal story with a broader audience, to inform others about the importance of equity, access and opportunity through education.

The lessons drawn from former & currents participants of the METCO program have a lasting impact. The educational harms of segregation and the academic benefits of desegregated schools have been well documented. Public schools are the first places where migration patterns and cultural differences manifest themselves and are also where the potential to learn from diversity is likely the greatest.

On the Line, Where Sacrifice Begins

On The Line first screened in front of a sold out audience on the Graduate School of Education campus at Harvard University. It was in that moment that I recognized my calling to deliver meaningful stories with a sense of purpose. The heartfelt post-screening panel discussion reminded all in attendance of the importance for every high school and university to continue the conversation about our country’s path to recovering from formalized racial segregation.

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New Day Out and About!   

At New Day Films, we’re known for our decades-long reputation of creating compelling social issues films, but as a co-op of member-filmmakers we do so much more than just sell educational media through our catalog. We’re passionately engaged in the educational sphere and the social issue landscape. Here are some exciting ways our members are engaging with the larger world at conferences, and other events in the near future:

Come meet us in person!

Ellen Brodsky representing New Day Films
at the Association for the Studies of African American Life and History in Cincinnati!

On October 2, 2018, New Day filmmaker Jonathan Skurnik will present and screen Becoming Johanna at the Out and Equal Workplace Summit conference in Seattle, Washington. Becoming Johanna profiles a trans teenager struggling to transition despite her mother’s resistance and finding a family of choice to support her quest.

On Oct. 6, New Day filmmaker Robin Lung will deliver the keynote presentation and host a screening of her film Finding Kukan at the American Association of Chinese Studies conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The film is a compelling investigation into the making of Chinese American Li Ling-Ai’s 1942 Academy award-winning documentary Kukan, a film detailing the Chinese experience of World War II neglected in the news media.

On Oct. 6, New Day filmmaker Pam Sporn will screen her film Detroit 48202 at the Association for the Study of African American Life and History conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. Detroit 48202: Conversations Along a Postal Route examines the rise, demise, and contested resurgence of Detroit through the lens of African-American mail carrier, Wendell Watkins, and the committed community he faithfully served for thirty years.

On Oct. 8, New Day filmmakers Ellen Brodsky and Ellen Frankenstein will be at the National Media Market conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, presenting some of our latest acquisitions. New Day will also host tables throughout the conference.

On Oct. 19, New Day filmmaker Katherine M Acosta will host a screening and discussion about her film Divided We Fall at the North American Labor History conference in Detroit, Michigan. Divided We Fall combines original in-depth interviews with dramatic citizen-produced video and photos to tell the story of the movement that inspired workers around the world yet failed to achieve its most urgent objective – defeating Governor Scott Walker’s signature union-busting and austerity legislation.

Between Oct. 18-21 at the National Latinx Psychological Association conference in San Diego, California, New Day filmmakers Brenda Avila Hanna and Corey Ohama will discuss their respective films about the experiences of “dreamers” – undocumented children who grew up in the United States, but were born in Mexico and thus face a precarious future in the only country they have known. Their respective films are Vida Diferida/Life Deferred and I Was Born in Mexico, But..

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Latinx Heritage Month!

Latinx Heritage Month is Sep 15, 2018 – Oct 15! This is a time to reflect on Latinx cultures, traditions, and forms of resistance.

El Cacao

El Cacao:The Challenge of Fair Trade, by Michelle Aguilar, exposes the dark side of chocolate production in Latin America, examining the economics of Fair Trade from the perspective of indigenous farmers.

When the Mountains Tremble

When the Mountains Tremble, by Pamela Yates, offers a remastered version of the 1983 classic documentary about Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchú, a Maya K’iche indigenous leader who exposed violence and repression during Guatemala’s brutal armed conflict.

Los Trabajadores

Los Trabajadores: The American Paradox of Immigrant Labor, by Heather Courtney, follows two men named Juan and Ramón as they confront misperceptions and contradictions inherent to America’s dependence on, and abuse of, immigrant labor.

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You can find these films and more in New Day’s collection of Latinx Studies films, here.

 

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August 2018 Commemorative Month

August 29 marks the 13th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and New Day Films has a number of relevant documentaries that look deeply at the history and future of New Orleans.

Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans

Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans, by Dawn Logsdon, explores the birthplace of civil rights, the New Orleans neighborhood that gave birth to jazz, launched America’s first black newspaper, and nurtured generations of Black activists.

Land of Opportunity

Land of Opportunity by Luisa Dantas and Rebecca Snedeker, dives deep into the tumultuous post-Katrina reconstruction of New Orleans through the eyes of urban planners, community organizers, displaced youth, immigrant workers, and public housing residents.

Mr. Cao Goes to Washington

Mr. Cao Goes to Washingtonby Leo Chiangfollows the journey of one of New Orlean’s rising political stars. Rep. Joseph Cao is the first Vietnamese American elected to the US Congress, the only non-white House Republican of the 111th Congress, and the only Republican to vote for President Obama’s Health Care Reform Bill. Can he keep his integrity and idealism intact in the face of political realities?

A Village Called Versailles
A Village Called Versailles, also by Leo Chiang, is the inspiring account of a community of Vietnamese refugees in New Orleans who rebuild their homes after Hurricane Katrina— only to have them threatened by a toxic landfill planned in their neighborhood. As the community fights back, it turns a devastating disaster into a catalyst for change.

Young Aspirations/Young Artists, by Shirley Thompson, is about a youth arts program that thrived in New Orleans before the flooding, and regrouped afterward in order to continue to offer life-changing opportunities to young artists in New Orleans.

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