Gen X filmmaker Phoebe Hart always knew she was different growing up - but she didn't know why. This award-winning documentary traces Phoebe's voyage of self-discovery as an intersex person, a group of conditions formerly termed hermaphroditism. Learning only in her teens that she was born with 46XY (male) chromosomes, Hart now seeks to understand her own story and the stories of others affected by this complex and often shameful syndrome.
With help from sister Bonnie (born with the same condition) and support from partner James, Hart drives across Australia, interviewing individuals whose struggles and victories mirror and differ from her own. Some advocate systemic change ending shame and controversial genital surgeries, while others debate coming out or staying closeted with a stigmatized secret. Questioning rigidly defined constructs of gender, sexuality, and normality, often with lively good humor, ORCHIDS is the first film to look at intersex from a positive perspective. Its engaging portrait of survival, courage and reconciliation will speak to a variety of audiences and spark lively discussion about what it means to be perceived as "different."
Lunafest supports one of the most important causes for women today by donating proceeds from the festival to The Breast Cancer Fund. Films embody a wide range of topics, and include issues such as women's health, sexuality, spirituality, cultural diversity, body image and the environment.
"A Moment in Her Story" is an honest, complex exploration of some of the major challenges faced by those active in the Second Wave women's movement of the late 60s and early 70s. With humor and sensitivity, Russo brings that rare lens to the conflicts experienced by women coming from different race and class backgrounds. Younger feminists will learn much from these inspiring stories of earlier community activists who worked together to push for greater justice and equality for women.
In San Antonio, Lisa and Brian Switzer risk their savings with a Medical Tourism company promising them an affordable solution after seven years of infertility. Halfway around the world in Mumbai, 27-year-old Aasia Khan, mother of three, contracts with a fertility clinic to be implanted with the Texas couple's embryos. MADE IN INDIA, about real people involved in international surrogacy, follows the Switzers and Aasia through every stage of the process.
With its dual focus, this emotionally charged, thoroughly absorbing film charts obstacles faced by the Switzers and presents intimate insights into Aasia's circumstances and motivation. As their stories become increasingly intertwined, the bigger picture behind offshore outsourcing of pregnancies--a booming, unregulated reproductive industry valued at $450 million in India alone--begins to emerge. So do revealing questions about international surrogacy's legal and ethical implications, global corporate practices, human and reproductive rights, and commodification of the body.
97 Minutes. Hindi/English, Subtitled.
In June of 1972, Congress passed a piece of legislation called Title IX of the Education Amendments to provide educational access and opportunity for women and girls throughout the United States. Although most closely associated with sports, no other piece of legislation since the 19th Amendment has been more crucial to opening doors and creating leadership opportunities for women in all arenas including education, science, math, finance, entertainment, the arts, business, law, and politics.
Fed up with the calcification of punk into a male-dominated, misogynistic and increasingly mainstream movement, the birth of Riot Grrrl in the late 1980s brought together feminism and pop culture in an empowering, noisy union. The angry music of Riot Grrrl bands such as Bikini Kill and Bratmobile became a creative outlet to confront issues too often silenced in the media: rape, domestic abuse, sexuality, racism and female empowerment. Riot Grrrl created a feminist subculture which made its members active, front and center participants in the alternative punk scene. Filmmaker Abby Moser was at the heart of the NYC Riot Grrrl movement, filming them between 1993 and 1996, creating an invaluable archive for students learning the history of feminism. She captured the excitement of the times, and the articulate self-awareness of its members. She also documents their frustration with a mainstream media which dismissed feminism as a hobby, and the group's own difficulties respecting the race and class divisions amongst themselves. Interweaving contemporary interviews with archival footage, this documentary examines the role of Riot Grrrl in launching third-wave feminism, and changing the face of women in music for future generations.
Liane will show two short films, "Anything You Want to be" (1971) and "Betty Tells Her Story" (1972)
Liane Brandon is an award winning independent filmmaker, photographer and University of Massachusetts/Amherst Professor Emeritus. She was one of the first independent women filmmakers to emerge from the early Women's Movement in Massachusetts. She is a co-founder of New Day Films. Her classic films have been featured on Home Box Office, The Learning Channel, U.S.A. Cable and Cinemax, and have won numerous national and international awards. Brandon is a recipient of the Boston Society of Film Critics Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University. Currently she works as a still photographer with credits including PBS's Murder at Harvard, Typhoid Mary: The Most Dangerous Woman In America and Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women.
Jennifer Dworkin's groundbreaking documentary LOVE & DIANE presents a searingly honest and moving examination of poverty, welfare and drug rehabilitation in the United States today. Filmed in New York City over a five-year period, Dworkin documents the struggles of three generations of the Hazzard family as they face a myriad of emotional, financial and personal challenges.
LOVE & DIANE is at its heart a highly charged story about a mother and daughter searching for love, redemption and hope for a new future. While caught in a devastating cycle of teen pregnancy and the bureaucracy of an over burdened welfare system, they demonstrate an inspiring resiliency and ability to find strength during the most desperate times. Without falling into stereotypes of welfare and poverty, LOVE & DIANE casts a fair, non-judgmental eye on the Hazzard's and presents a forgotten, but very real, side of the American experience.
In the shocking and hilarious documentary ORGASM INC., filmmaker Liz Canner takes a job editing erotic videos for a drug trial for a pharmaceutical company. Her employer is developing what they hope will be the first Viagra drug for women that wins FDA approval to treat a new disease: Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD). Liz gains permission to film the company for her own documentary. Initially, she plans to create a movie about science and pleasure but she soon begins to suspect that her employer, along with a cadre of other medical companies, might be trying to take advantage of women (and potentially endanger their health) in pursuit of billion dollar profits. ORGASM INC. is a powerful look inside the medical industry and the marketing campaigns that are literally and figuratively reshaping our everyday lives around health, illness, desire - and that ultimate moment: orgasm.
TREYF-"unkosher" in Yiddish-- is an unorthodox documentary by and about two Jewish lesbians who met and fell in love at a Passover "seder". With personal narration, real and imagined educational films, and haunting imagery, filmmakers Alisa Lebow and Cynthia Madansky examine the Jewish identity of their upbringings and its impact on their lives. Incisive cultural critics, astute, poignant, and poetic--never cynical--they weave their way from New York to Jerusalem in pursuit of a progressive, secular Jewish identity that draws from their childhood reminiscences as much as from their contemporary queer lives. As referenced in Alisa Lebow's book First Person Jewish, TREYF is iconoclastic and intelligent, humorous and poignant, a personal journey from kibbutz summers to coming out, from keeping kosher to "Bat Mitzvahs." A reflection on culture, community, and individual desire, this witty film follows the filmmakers as they discover what they thought was most profoundly "treyf" about their worldviews still has roots in Jewish history.
In 1966, Deann Borshay Liem was adopted by an American family and was sent from Korea to her new home. Growing up in California, the memory of her birth family was nearly obliterated until recurring dreams lead Deann to discover the truth: her Korean mother was very much alive. Bravely uniting her biological and adoptive families, Deann's heartfelt journey makes First Person Plural a poignant essay on family, loss, and the reconciling of two identities.
First Person Plural is "eloquent and reserved, a study of courage tempered by love. Everything about this documentary feels breathtakingly real. But thanks to Deann Borshay Liem's balance of restraint and candor in telling her own story, her film never makes you feel like an intruder in her private realm. Instead, you know you are an honored guest." - The New York Times
In the Spring of 2004, 21-year-old Lara Roxx left her hometown of Montreal and headed to L.A to try and make a ton of cash in the adult entertainment industry. Within two months of working in this industry she contracted the most virulent form of HIV while performing sex in front of the camera. Inside Lara Roxx is a feature-length-documentary about the events leading up to that scene and the years after it- it is about the adult movie industry and its impact on a young life. Lara Roxx was hired legally and both men she had sex with tested negative for HIV--paperwork to this effect was presented to Roxx prior to shooting the scene. Miss Roxx's story created a media sensation, but it's when the media hype dies that Inside Lara Roxx begins -- in a psychiatric ward in Montreal. Inside Lara Roxx follows this unlikely young woman through a tumultuous 5-year period as she struggles to build a new identity and find hope in the wake of her past.
The award winning feature-length documentary A Walk to Beautiful tells the stories of five Ethiopian women who suffer from devastating childbirth injuries and embark on a journey to reclaim their lost dignity. Rejected by their husbands and ostracized by their communities, these women are left to spend the rest of their lives in loneliness and shame. They make the choice to take the long and arduous journey to the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in search of a cure and a new life.