2016 POEFF Best of Fest Winners

India’s Daughter (India, 62 min)

  • Directed by Leslee Udwin
A tribute to the remarkable and inspiring short life of Jyoti Singh; documenting the brutality of her gang-rape and murder in Delhi in December 2012; its a study into the mindset of the men committed this heinous act and the patriarchal society and culture which foment such actions toward women. The film is however optimistic, as the case has been a catalyst for change, and the massive public outrage to the incident bears witness to an attitudinal change on the horizon, which the film seeks to amply.

Happy Those Who Cry (Paraguay, 92 min)

  • Directed & Produced by Marcello Torcida
Juan is a boy from a wealthy family who doesn’t seem to find his way in life. This annoys Ricardo, his father, who can’t stand watching his son waste his time partying with friends. Tired of his father’s reproaches, Juan wants to move out of his parents’ house but doesn’t have the money to provide for himself. Emilio, a guy in his band, convinces him that any means is valid if it helps him get what he wants. So, he “helps” Juan by introducing him to a group of drug dealers from the slums of the city. Unfortunately for Juan,...

A New Color: The Art of Being Edythe Boone (USA, 56 min)

  • Directed & Produced by Marlene "Mo" Morris
Long before Black Lives Matter became a rallying cry, Edythe Boone embodied that truth as an artist, an educator, and a great-­‐grandmother. When a deeply personal tragedy ignites a national outcry, everything that Edy has worked so tirelessly for comes into question. From humble Harlem beginnings herself, the indefatigable “Edy” has for decades introduced underserved youth and seniors to the transformative power of art. Having helped her students use mural making to grapple with the disproportional shootings of young black men, the issue hits home when her nephew Eric Garner dies in police custody, his last words: “I Can’t Breathe.”...

Aullido (Howl) (Guatemala, 23 min)

  • Directed & Co-produced by M.D. Neely
Vicente is a teenager in Guatemala City who wants to play professional soccer. When presented with the opportunity to trained by Lobo, a neighborhood coach at a soccer academy, he jumps at the chance. Unfortunately things are not as they appear and Vicente is forced to choose whether to speak up or stay silent.

Since: The Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 (UK, 85 min)

  • Directed & Produced by Phil Furey
Terrorism is one of biggest problems facing humanity today, but the families of the 270 victims of Pan Am Flight 103 have lived with it for decades. Bound together by tragedy when a bomb ripped the New York-bound 747 jumbo jet into pieces over Lockerbie, Scotland, just before Christmas in 1988, the Flight 103 families faced one traumatic injustice after another. From the early days when an unprepared U.S. government left the relatives to fend for themselves against a greedy, once-iconic airline, to the modern era, when the only man convicted of the crime was set free in a backdoor...

Holodomor: Voices of Survivors (Ukrainian Famine/Genocide) (Canada, 30 min)

  • Directed & Produced by Ariadna Ochrymovych
Survivors recount their stories of living through the little known famine or HOLODOMOR (death inflicted by starvation), a genocide engineered by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in 1932-1933. Stalin was determined to suppress Ukrainian nationhood once and for all through the decimation of Ukraine’s elites and its rural population. He introduced collectivization and confiscated all livestock, grain and basic foodstuffs, ensuring the starvation of the countryside. The world turned a blind eye as Soviet authorities exported Ukraine’s wheat to the West while millions perished.

Daily Bread (USA, 9 min)

  • Directed & Produced by Betsy Tsai
In the middle of night, Omer and Yoni, two Israeli Jewish brothers, encounter Khalid, a Palestinian boy from the West Bank. A fight ensues, resulting in a broken leg. The boys are uncertain of what to do. The varied histories, sentiments, divisions, and desperation of both families surface through the boys’ memories, and ultimately in their discordant approaches to the situation at hand.

Our Girl (UK, 3 min)

  • Written, Directed & Produced by Ruth Beni
  • Designed & Animated by Erica Russell
Forced Marriage transcends more than one culture and is prevalent all over the world. Our Girl is a short film (partly animated) depicting the stories of seven young women’s real experiences.

Sketch (USA, 21 min)

  • Directed by Stephen T. Barton
A 12 year-old boy on the Autistic spectrum uses his special talents to survive on his own in an impoverished and dangerous neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York.

The Lives We Stand For (USA, 13 min)

  • Directed by Scott Brown, Morgan Jackson & Zahra Haider
As national outcry in America grows around police brutality and the murder of innocents, 25-year-old Chicago black revolutionary David ‘Iggyflow’ Rucker takes a stand against a corrupt justice system.

Student Voices for Peace Awards
Student Voices for Peace Showcases are held on Thursday (middle school) and Friday (high school) mornings of the festival. The students screen Official Selections that the POEFF Teacher Advisory Panel has recommended to the festival directors for students in 7th – 12th grades. The students share dialogue on each film then cast their votes for the Student Choice Award for Most Inspiring Story.

Exposé Awards
A special category that the festival directors created 5 years ago to recognize short and feature documentaries that expose a subject that has received little or no media or public attention, but that shares a potent message, and a clear demonstration that change is needed and is possible.

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