2019 Feature Films

The Unafraid

THURSDAY, MARCH 28 AT 4:00 PM

Heather Courtney & Anayansi Prado | Los Angeles, CA | 87 min
Genre: Documentary

Shot over a period of four years, this observational documentary feature follows Alejandro, Silvia, and Aldo, three DACA recipients for whom attending college in their home state of Georgia is all but impossible, given the government’s refusal to grant them entry or offer in-state tuition. Rather than giving in, the three students deftly navigate the political maelstrom that surrounds them, not only fighting for their own rights but for the rights of their families and their communities as well.

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Pig Film

THURSDAY, MARCH 28 AT 4:30 PM

Josh Gibson | Durham, NC | 60 min
Genre: Narrative, Experimental

In an empty world, a solitary woman mechanically follows the protocols of a factory hog farm. Her labors are sporadically punctuated by musical rhapsodies as she moves toward the impending end. Is it the end of the world, a program malfunction, or the beginning of a film? Indie Grits alum Josh Gibson returns to this year’s festival with this striking experimental feature.

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This Taco Truck Kills Fascists

THURSDAY, MARCH 28 AT 7:00 PM

Rodrigo Dorfman | Durham, NC | 61 min
Genre: Documentary

“No guacamole for immigrant haters.” That’s the message New Orleans-based performance activist José Torres-Tama hopes to spread through his Revolutionary Taco Truck Theatre. Drawing its title from musician Woody Guthrie’s famous motto, This Taco Truck Kills Fascists is the true story of an immigrant artist of color struggling to raise his two boys–and to champion the voices of the marginalized–in Trump’s America.

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Gimme a Faith

FRIDAY, MARCH 29 AT 2:00 PM

Hao Zhang | Beijing, China | 83 min
Genre: Documentary

In this engaging documentary self-portrait, engineer-turned-filmmaker Hao Zhang, a recent transplant to the United States, finds solace in the company of a devout group of fellow Chinese expats, who–in the heart of the Bible Belt South–have embraced an evangelical Christian faith seemingly at odds with their roots. Gimme a Faith premiered at the 2018 New Orleans Film Festival.

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Lumpkin, GA

FRIDAY, MARCH 29 AT 6:30 PM

Nicholas Manting Brewer | Los Angeles, CA | 38 min
Genre: Documentary

This timely documentary feature–a lyrical exploration of indifference and isolation in today’s divided political climate–zeroes in on a poverty-stricken community in rural Georgia that plays host to one of America’s largest immigrant detention centers.

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Always in Season

FRIDAY, MARCH 29 AT 7:00 PM

Jacqueline Olive | Wilmington, NC | 88 min
Genre: Documentary

“How far would you go to get to the truth?” That’s the question Claudia, mother of the late Lennon Lacy, puts to viewers of this elegiac documentary feature, a study of lingering historic traumas and their effect on the present day. Though authorities ruled Lennon’s death by hanging a suicide, Claudia–an African-American woman and longtime North Carolina resident–suspects it was a racially motivated lynching. Always in Seasonpremiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the US Documentary Special Jury Award for Moral Urgency.

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While I Breathe, I Hope

FRIDAY, MARCH 29 AT 8:30 PM

Emily Harrold | New York, NY | 72 min
Genre: Documentary

What does it mean to be young, Black, and a Democrat in the heart of the American South? That’s the question at the center of Indie Grits alum Emily Harrold’s warm documentary portrait of Bakari Sellers. A rising star in the progressive political establishment, Sellers’ 2014 bid to become South Carolina’s lieutenant governor–as well as his activism following the shooting deaths of the Emmanuel 9 in Charleston–serve as the backdrop for this moving feature.

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America First: The Legacy of an Immigration Raid

SATURDAY, MARCH 30 AT 1:00 PM

Andrea Patiño Contreras & Almudena Toral | Miami, FL | 39 min
Genre: Documentary

It’s been a decade since Postville, Iowa suffered the largest immigration raid at a worksite in US history–389 immigrants were arrested in the biggest kosher meatpacking plant in the country. As Donald Trump revives aspects of George W. Bush’s immigration enforcement policies, this documentary feature sheds light on the repercussions of such massive raids. America First marks the return of Indie Grits alum Andrea Patiño Contreras to this year’s festival.

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When Lambs Become Lions

SATURDAY, MARCH 30 AT 4:30 PM

Jon Kasbe | New York, NY | 76 min
Genre: Documentary

From the producers of the Oscar-nominated Cartel Land, this riveting documentary feature (directed by Indie Grits alum Jon Kasbe) follows a small-time ivory dealer in the Kenyan bush, who fights to stay on top while forces mobilize to destroy his trade. When he turns to his younger cousin, a conflicted wildlife ranger who hasn’t been paid in months, they both see a possible lifeline.

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Black Mother

SATURDAY, MARCH 30 AT 10:45 PM

Khalik Allah | New York, NY | 77 min
Genre: Documentary

Soulful and profound, filmmaker Khalik Allah (co-director of Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade) offers a stark meditation on faith and Jamaican identity in Black Mother, juxtaposing scenes of the country’s churches and holy spaces with those of its sex workers, and presenting a series of searingly powerful images that will burn themselves into your memory.

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White Ravens: A Legacy of Resistance

SUNDAY, MARCH 31 AT 12:30 PM

Georg Koszulinski | Wilmington, NC | 85 min
Genre: Documentary

Indie Grits alum Georg Koszulinski returns to this year’s festival with White Ravens, a contemplative documentary feature about the indigenous Haida Gwaii people of British Columbia. Told from the perspective of a young Haida poet, White Ravens bears witness to the transgenerational trauma of colonization as survivors, their children, and grandchildren struggle with the effects of substance abuse, suicide, and interfamily trauma.

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Long Time Coming: A 1955 Baseball Story

SUNDAY, MARCH 31 AT 1:00 PM

Jon Strong | Orlando, FL | 88 min
Genre: Documentary

In 1955, when racial segregation defined the South, two groups of twelve-year-old boys stepped onto a baseball field in an act of cultural defiance that would change the course of American history. More than 60 years later, these players explore how this game changed their lives–and how, ultimately, it was more than just a game.

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Jaddoland

SUNDAY, MARCH 31 AT 3:00 PM

Nadia Shihab | Oakland, CA | 90 min
Genre: Documentary

In this vivid, wistful documentary portrait, filmmaker Nadia Shihab returns to her hometown in the Texas panhandle to visit her mother, an artist from Iraq; her mother’s increasingly isolated life–and dynamic creative process–become the object of her attention. Soon, Shihab’s grandfather arrives from Iraq, prompting a deeper engagement with questions of place, migration, and the spaces we call home.

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Don’t Get Trouble In Your Mind: The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Story

SUNDAY, MARCH 31 AT 3:30 PM

John Whitehead | Saint Paul, MN | 83 min
Genre: Documentary

Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens, and Justin Robinson–the North Carolina trio that came to comprise the Carolina Chocolate Drops–refurbished a nineteenth-century musical style for twenty-first century listeners, and in doing so earned a Grammy, as well as legions of adoring fans. This compelling documentary portrait charts their meteoric rise from busking on the street to playing sold-out crowds at some of the most prestigious music festivals in the world.

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