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Special Collections

2011 New Releases

TWN's 2011 New Releases catalog is available online! Featuring thirteen independent films made by and about people of color, our new catalog includes titles from Haiti, Brazil, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, China, Turkey and the United States.


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Carlos Ferrand
Producer: Sylvain L'Esperance
2007, 110 min., Color, Canada
"I’m on my way to reconnect with long lost friends, 'mi familia Americana'. I need them to help me take the pulse of the Americas." Carlos Ferrand
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Monique Mbeka Phoba & Guy Kabeya Muya
2008, 56 min., Color/BW, DRC/Belgium
Inspired by the 2006 elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formery Zaire, a group of film students sets out to make a film. With the help of veteran filmmakers Monique Mbeka Phoba and Guy Kabeya Muya, the young students track down members of the 1974 Leopards, Zaire's national soccer squad, the first team from sub-Saharan Africa to qualify for the World Cup. After a dismal first round performance -- the Leopards were outscored 14-0 in three games -- the players returned home in disgrace and drifted into obscurity. The team's captain, however, has fared better and is running for political office in Kinshasa.
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Maurice Lynch
2006, 90 min., Color, US
The Hip-Hop Christian movement has been uplifting youth by delivering positive religious messages that are not about drugs, sex, or hate but of hope and peace.
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Brett Mazurek
2009, 53 min., US/Uganda
From the ashes of four decades of war, AIDS and corruption in Uganda, The Bataka Squad artists, Babaluku and Saba Saba, rise to forge a revolutionary path using music. They are on a mission to empower the forgotten youth of Africa from within, while spreading their message of hope around the globe. Narrated by Spearhead singer Michael Franti, follow the Bataka movement to amplify the spirit of the next generation in this musical journey.
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Chip Richie
Producer: Steven R. Heape
2010, 60 min., Color, US
Declared wards of the state, Native Americans were promised housing, education and healthcare in numerous treaties with the US Government. Like so many other federal promises, these too have not been met. The budget shortfall to the Indian Health Service continues. Add to this generational trauma of subjugation, reservations, boarding schools and alienation, their health and their healthcare is in a critical state. This is the story of the program's inception of our government's obligation to America's first people.
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Carolina Moraes-Liu
Producer: Carolina Moraes-Liu and Chung Liu
2010, 20 min., Color, Brazil/US
EBONY GODDESS: QUEEN OF ILÊ AIYÊ follows three women competing to be the carnival queen of Ilê Aiyê, a prominent and controversial Afro-Brazilian group with an all-black membership. The selection is based on Afro-centric notions of beauty, in counterpoint to prevailing standards of beauty in Brazil, a country famous for slim supermodels and plastic surgery. Contestants for the title of Ebony Goddess dress in flowing African-style garments, gracefully performing traditional Afro-Brazilian dances to songs praising the beauty of black women.
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Jeff Zimbalist & Matt Mochary
Color, Brazil
Their music fueled a movement. His message fought a war.
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Duncan Jepson
2007, 89 min., Color, China
A revealing documentary on the work and life of successful and independent Chinese Hip-Hop artists and their cultural influence in a society rapidly changing from communism to consumerism. Clashing with both traditional Chinese values and new modern ones, these artists believe that Hip-Hop allows for the expression of freedom and being true to oneself. Furthermore, the film describes the high optimism and convictions of this new generation that will inherit a political and economic superpower. Part of the H2ONewsreel collection.
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Çiğdem Akbay
2007, 25 min., Color, Turkey
HIPHOPISTAN is a documentary film that examines the impact of Hip-Hop culture on Istanbul youth and reveals how young Turkish rappers, DJs, break-dancers, and graffiti artists creatively blend popular influences with their local cultural values and traditions. In a world that is becoming increasingly exposed to global media, much has been debated as to whether or not societies and individuals can adopt influences from music, television, cinema, internet and fashion in a positive and constructive way without losing their own cultural identities and heritage.
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Shinpei Takeda
2010, 73 min., Color, US/Japan
In Spring of 2009, two former high school friends set out on a road trip from Vancouver, Canada, heading south towards the Mexican border. Along the way, they meet atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and hear the stories that will change their lives forever. First feature documentary by Shinpei Takeda, a filmmaker based in Mexico who has followed atomic bomb survivors living in the North and South America since 2005.
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Jeremy Robins and Magali Damas
2010, 52 min., Color/BW, US/Haiti
Part carnival, part vodou ceremony, and part grassroots protest, Haitian “Rara” is one of the most breathtaking and contested forms of music in the Americas. The Other Side of the Water follows a group of young immigrants who take this ancient music from the hills of Haiti and reinvent it on the streets of Brooklyn. The documentary tells the story of an unlikely band that comes to speak for a larger community, and a music that manages to create a new meaning of home in the Diaspora.
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Yoruba Richen
Producer: Yoruba Richen
2010, 57 min., Color, South Africa/US
Though apartheid ended in South Africa in 1994, economic injustices between blacks and whites remain unresolved. As revealed in Yoruba Richen’s incisive PROMISED LAND, the most potentially explosive issue is land. The film follows two black communities as they struggle to reclaim land from white owners, some of whom who have lived there for generations. Amid rising tensions and wavering government policies, the land issue remains South Africa’s “ticking time bomb,” with far-reaching consequences for all sides. Promised Land captures multiple perspectives of citizens struggling to create just solutions.
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Hailima Yates
Producer: Anonamiss Productions, LLC
2008, 45 min., Color, US
SAINTS RISING is a documentary presenting the voices of New Orleans years after Hurricane Katrina and the breech of the levees. From children to volunteers, they discuss the troubles that were left behind after the waters resided: the violent and militarized response, the housing crisis, homeless situation, difficulties in obtaining financial assistance/relief funds, what happened to the money, how the youth have been mentally affected, and the grassroots movement to rebuild the city and their lives.
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