Documentary Film Series

Late Nights on the GIA Channel ## in your hotel Room!

Co-sponsored by Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media

This year we are offering a series of documentary film related to 2011 conference themes curated by Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media. Tune into channel 76 on the television in your room.

8:30 PM

RiP! A Remix Manifesto (2009)

Director: Brett Gaylor

Immerse yourself in the energetic, innovative and potentially illegal world of mash-up media. This film follows biomedical engineer turned live-performance sensation Greg Gillis (better known as Girl Talk), who has received immense commercial and critical success for his mind-blowing sample-based music. Utilizing technical expertise and a ferocious creative streak, Girl Talk repositions popular music to create a wild and edgy dialogue between artists from all genres and eras. But are his practices legal? Do his methods of frenetic appropriation embrace collaboration in its purest sense? Or are they infractions of creative integrity and violations of copyright?

Web activist Brett Gaylor serves as your digital tour guide, engaging with copyright law activists Lawrence Lessig and Cory Doctorow, in a probing investigation into how culture builds upon culture in the information age, and whether US policy is endangering the freedom to create by draining public domain.
Watch the entire film

9:50 PM

Waste Land (2010)

Director: Lucy Walker

Filmed over nearly three years, Waste Land follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world's largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he embarks on a unique collaborative effort to capture photographs of an eclectic band of “catadores”—self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz’s initial objective was to “paint” the catadores with garbage. However, his work with these inspiring characters, as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage, reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives. Director Lucy Walker and co-directors João Jardim and Karen Harley have great access to the entire process and, in the end, offer stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.

8:30 PM

Stage Left: A Story of Theater in San Francisco (2011)

Director: Austin Forbord

Note: A Breakfast Roundtable is scheduled Wednesday at 8:00 am to discuss this film.

Stage Left is a documentary film in celebration of the Bay Area’s unique theater community. The film begins with the founding of The San Francisco Actor’s Workshop in 1952 and extends through 2010. Inspired by a Western history of risk taking and exploration, a climate of political and social activism, a particular multicultural mix, and a geography that is seismically unstable, San Francisco Theater artists have focused on pushing the boundaries of the form. Their interest in redefining performance—where it takes place, how it is staged, and what it encompasses—has had a lasting influence on theater in the United States and around the world. Stage Left brings together the directors, actors, composers and playwrights, the artists and the eccentrics that have made the Bay Area theater scene an experimental, multidisciplinary and political hotbed: Herbert Blau (Actor’s Workshop), R.G. Davis (The Mime Troupe), Peter Coyote (actor), Bill Irwin (Pickle Family Circus), Robin Williams (actor), Oskar Eustis (Eureka Theater), Tony Taccone (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Scrumbly Koldewyn (the Cockettes) and many more.

9:50 PM

Sounds Like a Revolution (2010)

Directors: Summer Love, Jane Michener

Sounds Like a Revolution is about a new generation of activist musicians who are living proof that music is an important and powerful tool in the ongoing struggle for social change. This film is the journey of four musicians—Michael Franti, Fat Mike, Paris, and the band Anti-Flag—who started their careers when corporate consolidation in the music industry began to make it virtually impossible for political artists to be heard in the mainstream. But these artists became pioneers, setting an example for many to follow as they were forced to invent new and unique ways to sidestep and breakthrough every attempt to censor them. Through their music and message they have “enraged, enlightened and inspired” a whole new generation of activists around the world. The film is a collection of live performances, political rallies, music videos and uncensored commentaries from some of the most outspoken icons in the business—folk legend Pete Seeger, The Dixie Chicks, David Crosby, Steve Earle, Jello Biafra, Ani DiFranco, Wayne Kramer and more. Sounds Like a Revolution offers a unique historical perspective behind the new wave of protest music sweeping America and is a testament to the power of indie artists everywhere who are committed to expressing dissent and telling the truth as they see it, whatever the consequences.

9:30 PM

Copyright Criminals (2009)

Director: Benjamin Franzen, Kembrew McLeod

Copyright Criminals examines the creative and commercial value of music sampling, including the related debates over artistic expression, copyright law, and (of course) money. It traces the rise of hip-hop from the streets of New York to its current status as a multibillion-dollar industry. For more than thirty years, innovative hip-hop performers and producers have been re-using portions of previously recorded music in new, otherwise original compositions. When lawyers and record companies got involved, what was once referred to as a “borrowed melody” became a “copyright infringement.” The film showcases many of hip-hop music’s founding figures like Public Enemy, De La Soul, and Digital Underground—while also featuring heavily sampled artists like funk legend George Clinton and Clyde Stubblefield, James Brown’s drummer and the world’s most sampled musician.

10:30 PM

Trust: Second Acts in Young Lives (2010)

Director: Nancy Kelly

Moving, intimate, and celebratory, Trust: Second Acts in Young Lives follows the teenage actors of Chicago’s Albany Park Theater Project as they transform through courage, storytelling and community. Trust begins in a small theater as a group of teenage actors receive a standing ovation. The film then takes us back to the beginning, when Marlin, an 18-year-old Hondureña shares a little bit about her childhood with the company. It is a traumatic story. Amazing things unfold as the young actors make the story into a daring, original play. This film is about creativity and the unexpected resources inside people who are often discounted because they are poor, young, or of color. It is the third in a documentary trilogy by Marin filmmakers Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto about the unexpected roles art plays in the lives of individuals and communities.