2023 Festival Highlights


Ellos Gritan Libertad (They Scream Freedom)

2023 Winner

Documentary | 01:15:00 | United States

Directed by: Dr. Melinda Raebyne

After many long years of food shortages, dilapidated buildings, increasing wealth gaps, and strictly suppressed political unrest, Cuba has reached a boiling point. Thousands have taken to the streets in an unprecedented eruption of protest, crying out for their basic human right to freedom.

Though the Cuban government has shut down Internet access in light of these recent protests, a brave individual has found a way to offer testimony. They allow the world a rare window into daily Cuban life and the human rights violations taking place.

These recollections are interspersed with poetry from respected Cuban poet Jorge Enrique Gonzalez Pacheco as well as stirring imagery of the island from various sources; both, tragic in their beauty and insistent in their relatability.

Ellos Gritan Libertad is a wake-up call for the world, dispelling the grand illusions spun by the Cuban government with the voices of the Cuban people themselves. Voices that have been silenced for too long, that now cry ‘Patria y Vida!’ (Homeland and Life). This humanitarian film seeks to convey the experience of the Cuban people through their own personal stories and through the arts; from poetry to music.

2023 Official Selection Trailers


2023 Official Selection

Documentary | 01:36:00 | Mongolia

Directed by: Battumur Dorj

In a rural area of Mongolia where a person with down syndrome is rarely seen and, if recognized, is highly ostracized or seriously stigmatized by the society, a boy Jam /Fate/ with trisomy grew up with the help of his loving mother. His mother chose to live keeping a distance from people in order to raise her son peacefully and avoid the risk of social discrimination. When his mother passes away suddenly, Jam goes through the stages of loneliness over the loass of his beloved mother, grievances and mourning but eventually returns to a normal, independent life with the knowledge of his mother’s teachings. What he discovers through this journey is that a human life is nothing but a dwelling in the intertwined trinity of the past, present and future or in the realm of the TRIO under the father heaven and the mother earth. The tendency to be rude, overly compassionate, or discriminating against people with Down Syndrome, as well as rude explanations in connection with the words Mongol, Mongoloid and Mongolism, has not disappeared from our society. The world speaks many languages, but we have only one common language. This is love.

We Live

2023 Official Selection

Short | 00:29:28 | United States

Directed by: Caleb Gordon-Kilgore

Differing opinions about the events of a George Floyd protest gone bad cause tensions to rise in a Black household.

With This Breath I Fly

2023 Official Selection

Documentary | 01:18:00 | United Kingdom

Directed by: Sam French and Clementine Malpas

At the height of the international occupation of Afghanistan, two women – Gulnaz, raped and impregnated by her uncle, and Farida, on the run from an abusive husband – are imprisoned on charges of “moral crimes” by an Afghan justice system that is supported by billions of dollars of aid money from the European Union.

Shot over ten years, “With This Breath I Fly” follows these two courageous women as they fight for their freedom against a patriarchal Afghan society determined to keep them bound to tribal culture, while exposing the complicity of the European Union in censoring their voices, and how the international press – and our documentary – forever alters the course of their lives.

With This Breath I Fly was produced in cooperation with the Afghan Film Project, a non-profit dedicated to fostering Afghanistan’s film industry and nurturing the next generation of Afghan filmmakers.

Women of War

2023 Official Selection

Documentary | 01:50:00 | United States

Directed by: Major Gloria A. Downey

A not-for-profit independent film by an invisible woman of war. Can you see us now?

My Mother’s Voice

2023 Official Selection

Short | 00:16:53 | United States

Directed by: Chrishenda Dawkins

Charlotte’s love for her son has turned into a nightmare. Preparing Malcolm how to handle himself when stopped by the police may have become reality.