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Phone: 518 442-5620, e-mail: writers@albany.edu, website: http://nyswritersinstitute.org/

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Feature-length Films

The following films will be screened during the Albany Film Festival. The program and schedule will be announced shortly.

Ask the Sexpert

4:15 - 6:15 p.m. Campus Center West Boardroom

Screening and discussion with director Vaishali Sinha

"Ask the Sexpert" is director Vaishali Sinha's feature-length documentary about a highly popular 93-year-old sex advice columnist, Dr. Watsa, who writes for a daily newspaper in Mumbai. The columnist gains popularity even while a ban on comprehensive sex education in schools is adopted by approximately one third of India's states. 

 
 

Flowers from Another World [Flores de otro mundo]

Sponsored by UAlbany’s Center for International Education and Global Strategy
12 – 2:00 p.m., Lecture Center 6

 

Based on a true story, Flores de Otro Mundo is a film about rural life in present-day Spain. A little village with no women and no future organizes a big bachelors' party to which all the single women of the neighborhood are invited. Patricia from the Dominican Republic who has no ID, Milady from Havana who is dying to travel all around the world and Basque Mariroso find themselves on the 'bus of hope' chartered by the village. 
Discussion after film will feature:
José Carlos Vela Bueno has been teaching courses in Madrid for many years for University at Albany (SUNY), as well as for Boston University, NYU, and Middlebury College. He also serves as the academic and program director for the UAlbany in Madrid program. Carlos Vela has published texts in various conferences and professional reviews and has written two books on Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel. Professor Vela has a Ph.D. (1992) in Hispanic Language and Literatures from SUNY Stony Brook. He is currently writing about El Sur, the literary text and the movie.

 
 

The Hard Places

2:30 - 4:15 p.m. Lecture Center Room 21

Screening and discussion with director Daniel Swinton

 

"The Hard Places" is a documentary profiling the powerful story of Dr. Tom Little, who spent over 30 years providing eye care in Afghanistan. He and his family lived through the Soviet invasion, civil war, Taliban rule and the U.S. occupation after 9/11. Despite the constant dangers Tom refused to leave and as a result had a profound impact on the lives of thousands of people. On August 5th 2010, as Little and his team were returning to Kabul from a remote eye camp in the Afghan wilderness they were ambushed and murdered.

The film probes the continuing legacy of Dr. Little’s work, seeks to understand his motives, and explores the impact that his death has had on his family. Ultimately, the film highlights the incredible way in which one person chose to reach out and make a difference in the lives of strangers by delivering the gift of sight in one of the world’s neediest countries.  Directed by Daniel Swinton.

Karen or Bust

12 - 2:15 p.m. Lecture Center Room 21

Screening and discussion with director Don Rittner

 

In director Don Rittner's autobiographical film, Ringo and Freddie, two 16 year teenagers from upstate New York, hitchhike to Florida in 1966, the summer before the "Summer of Love," to see an old girlfriend. They don't make it but they battle with segregation, discrimination, injustice, almost get killed by rednecks, and learn about an underground community in Baltimore where Ringo falls for someone else.

 

Lee's 88 Keys

5 - 6:30 p.m. Lecture Center Room 5

Screening and discussion with director Susan Robbins

 

The life, triumphs and struggles, of legendary jazz pianist Lee Shaw. Her magnificent music and her impact on her fans and the world. Directed by Susan Robbins.

 

Liyana

12 - 2 p.m. Performing Arts Center Recital Hall

Screening and panel discussion with featured panelists:

  • Sarudzai Zvoma, UAlbany alum and financial services professional who grew up in the nation of eSwatini (Swaziland).

  • Ruth Senchyna, a graduate of the UAlbany MSW program. She lived and worked in southern Africa from 2004-2009 during the peak of the HIV epidemic there.

  • David Holtgrave, PhD, dean of the UAlbany's School of Public Health. 

Over the course of 3 weeks in 2010, documentary filmmakers Aaron and Amanda Kopp filmed at a Swaziland orphanage and captured the children working with South African storyteller, Gcina Mhlophe to create a story of courage and perseverance. The fictional character of Liyana is filled with the real-life turmoil, hopes and dreams of five orphaned Swaziland, Africa.

 

Maxima

4:30 - 6 p.m. Lecture Center Room 6

Screening 

 

A multi-billion dollar corporation meets their match in a fearless Indigenous woman who remains uncowed after years of violent intimidation. Directed by Claudia Sparrow.

 

Romance Analyst

4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Lecture Center Room 21

Screening and discussion with director Rachel Wortell and actors Theodore Bouloukos and Lily Meyer

 

Director Rachel Wortell's comedy feature film about a platonic love triangle between a woman, her best friend, and her therapist. Starring Theodore Bouloukos, Jeff Kahn, and Lily Meyer.

 

Romeo Romeo

4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Performing Arts Center Recital Hall

Screening and discussion with director and Jessica & Lexy Casano-Antonellis

Eye-opening, heartbreaking, and funny, "Romeo, Romeo" is an intimate portrait of a modern marriage, documenting the journey of Lexy and Jessica Casano-Antonellis as they attempt to conceive. The film offers a no holds barred access to the lives of the loving couple as they traverse the world of artificial insemination, from sperm donors to expensive and harrowing IVF to the possibility that Lexy might not be able to get pregnant. Directed by Lizzie Gottlieb.

The Sentence

1 - 3 p.m. Campus Center West Auditorium

Screening and discussion with director Rudy Valdez

A searing look at the consequences of mandatory minimum sentencing, "The Sentence" is the first film from Rudy Valdez, who tells the story of his sister Cindy Shank. A mother of three, Shank received a 15-year mandatory sentence for conspiracy charges related to her deceased ex-boyfriend’s crimes.

 
 
 

Confucius Institute Presents: (SHOWER [XI ZAO] 

2:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Lecture Center 6

Screening and discussion with panelists

  • Dr. David Y. Dai is a professor of educational psychology who joined the UA faculty in 2001.

  • Dr. Fan Pen Chen is an ssociate Professor of Chinese Studies and Department Chair of East Asian Studies at UAlbany.

  • Dr. Youqin Huang is a Professor of Geography and Planning and Director of Confucius Institute at UAlbany.

 

SHOWER [XI ZAO] is a Chinese comedy that won the 2000 International Critics Prize at the Toronto Film Festival. A wealthy businessman in contemporary China is forced to reconnect with his elderly father and mentally disabled younger brother who run a public bath house together.  This movie explores the value of family, friendship, and tradition with the backdrop of rapid urbanization and industrialization in contemporary China. 

(T)Error

2:15 - 4:15 p.m. Performing Arts Center Recital Hall

Screening and discussion with director Lyric R. Cabral

 

Saeed "Shariff" Torres, a counterterrorism informant for more than two decades, takes on what he swears is his last job for the FBI and invites filmmakers to follow his covert efforts to befriend a suspected jihadist— without informing his superiors. As surprising revelations emerge, not only about Torres’ past, but also about the increasingly murky ethical grounds of his present mission, (T)ERROR explores just how far we are going to prevent terror and exactly what liberties we are sacrificing to get there. Directed by Lyric R. CabralDavid Felix Sutcliffe.