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This year, the UCLA Institute of American Cultures and its four ethnic studies centers — American Indian Studies Center, Asian American Studies Center, Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, and Chicano Studies Research Center — are celebrating five decades of increasing understanding of the changing social and cultural realities in America. The yearlong celebration will open with a film festival on Feb. 1, featuring thought-provoking and entertaining films made by UCLA alumni that tackle cultural and social justice issues from unique perspectives. Q&A sessions with the films’ writers, directors and producers will follow, and participants are welcome to enjoy ethnic food, entertainment…

It was the most politicized movie year since World War II. Hollywood confused propaganda with entertainment, and film goers were offered little choice between indoctrination and discovery. The only great films were the re-releases of Visconti’s 1973 Ludwig and Cocteau’s 1949 Les Parents Terribles, beacons from a more stable past. The Visconti was visually lavish and psychologically penetrating, an empathic look at the Bavarian King whose personal aspirations contrasted the political dictates of his social position — a surprisingly timely epic about private ethics. The Cocteau, an ingenious domestic farce, traced the young generation’s foundering to the selfish folly of its immediate forebears…

Burbank, California – December 19th 2018 – TodayCinema Without Borders announced The ICEBOX a HBO movie directed by Daniel Sawka as winner of its 2018 GoE Bridging The Borders Award for its outstanding artistic values to address an important social justice issue. Susan Morgan Cooper, a Cinema Without Borders artistic adviser and Jury member says: “We are delighted to present our Cinema without Borders Award, sponsored by Go Energistics to the heartbreaking and very timely HBO narrative film, ICEBOX. The film chronicles 12-year-old Oscar’s journey to the U.S.seeking asylum. After fleeing his native Honduras and traveling on foot all through Mexico,…

Give or take, it’s been about five to six years since #BlackLivesMatter became a thing on social media. By most accounts, the use of that hashtag began after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin. The deaths of Michael Brown (which led to protests and unrest in Ferguson) and Eric Garner in New York City and the street demonstrations that followed made the movement known all over the US and of course around the globe as well. Surely it’s an extension or a new mutation/update of the Civil Rights movement, with a little bit…

Angelena Bonet, founder and CEO of her companies Crystal Heart Productions and Crystal Heart Records, has won another two prestigious Awards of Recognition from the IndieFEST Film Awards. One award was given for Bonet’s biopic sequel documentary feature film “Angelena: Heart Of The Matter” in the Liberation/Social Justice/Protest category and Best Music Video for “Break The Chain.” “Angelena: Heart Of The Matter” (“A Time Of A Revolution”) is the second documentary feature film in her trilogy series. Continuing on from where “Angelena: Change The World” (A True Story) left off, Australian-born Bonet interviews high profile women’s rights leaders around the world such as President Obama’s Women’s Equality…

The director of Rafiki, Wanuri Kahiu, sued the Kenyan government to lift a national censorship that rendered the film ineligible for the Academy Award’s Best Foreign Language Film accolade. Kenya’s LGBTQ community is celebrating after the Kenyan High Court temporarily lifted the ban on the queer drama Rafiki. The critically acclaimed film, based in Nairobi, navigates the romance between two women in a country where homosexuality is illegal, punishable by up to 14 years in prison. After months of protesting the strict criminalization and censorship of the film, hundreds attended its initial, celebratory screening. In April 2018, the Kenya Film Classification Board banned the…

The Green Lens Film Series returns 7 p.m. Sept. 13 to the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St., with a collection of films that address environmental and political issues. The screenings are free to the public and will take place every Thursday for five weeks, according to a news release from DeKalb Stands. https://youtu.be/6zrn4-FfbXw The first film, “Plastic Ocean,” follows journalist and director Craig Leeson, who came across an immense amount of plastic waste in the ocean while researching blue whales. He teams up with a group of international scientists and researchers to investigate plastic pollution and its effects on…

Baron Walker, featured in the award-winning documentary MILWAUKEE 53206, has received parole and was released today in Milwaukee, after serving more than 22 years in a Wisconsin prison, Odyssey Impact announced today. Walker grew up in zip code 53206, which incarcerates the highest proportion of African American males in the nation – up to 62% have been imprisoned by age 34. His plight and more are explored in the thought-provoking film by <>-the production company affiliated with Odyssey Impact-which uses personal stories to take an intimate look at the crisis of mass incarceration and the devastating toll on families and communities.…

Several years ago, residents of Roudbar village in northern Iran learned that the existence of their hamlet would be sacrificed to what the Iranian government deemed a higher good: the construction of a dam to produce electricity for the regional grid. https://vimeo.com/285591514 In their documentary film, “Stoppage Dam,” — the second-place winner of the Yale Environment 360 Video Contest — videographers Yaser Talebi and Mitra Roohimanesh speak with villagers who lament their relocation to a barren settlement and the government’s inadequate compensation scheme, which doesn’t begin to cover the cost of building new homes. The Clourd Dam was completed recently; many of…

Ezzatollah Entezami, one of the most prominent actors of the Iranian cinema and theater, has passed away at the age of 94. Born in 1924, he started his theater career in his 20s and later moved to Hanover, Germany, to study theater and cinema in a boarding school. After graduation in 1958, he returned to his homeland and appeared in over 50 feature films, a number of TV series, and dozens of plays. Entezami was the first-ever Iranian actor to win an international award. In 1971, he received the Chicago International Film Festival’s Silver Hugo for Best Actor for his…

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