Race Forward and Working Films are thrilled to announce the 2022 Race Flicks film track of Facing Race: A National Conference being held as a hybrid event, online and in-person in Phoenix, Arizona, from November 17-19, 2022. Race Flicks lifts up critical issues of racial justice through film. This year’s program maintains a focus on accountable filmmaking that truly respects and reflects the people and places featured, and holds great potential to build power among those represented in the stories at hand. The selected films were chosen in large part because of the way they can be used strategically by advocates, organizers, and nonprofits to advance their work for racial justice.
Dozens of filmmakers applied for the opportunity to screen their film at this year’s Facing Race. Ten films were selected, including four by artists based in the US Southwest. This is especially significant given injustices in the region, including continued attacks against immigrants, the extraction of land, and harms against Indigenous communities.
This year’s line up of films cover these themes and highlight community organizing in the face of climate disasters; equity within philanthropy; the importance of funding Black leaders, Black-owned businesses, and Black-led organizations; and Black Feminism as a path toward liberation for us all.
Friday November 18 to Saturday November 19
In this commentary on the nonprofit fundraising process, Memphis Music Initiative’s (MMI) Executive Director Amber Hamilton explains (with help from Harriet Tubman) why current philanthropic practices are inequitable, unhelpful, and nonsensical. But these practices can be changed. Through its Call & Response initiative, MMI is modeling a new way of thinking about grantmaking, funding, and equity in the arts. Black Pay Matters. Black Legacy Matters. Black Rest Matters.
In the middle of the pandemic and protests for racial justice, Tyrese Allyene-Davis, a disabled Black youth, celebrated his 21st birthday isolated in his NYU dorm room. Following a screening of I Am Not Your Negro, his introduction to James Baldwin pushes him into a visceral call for help in a Facebook post. Shot on Super 8mm film, this experimental documentary short expands on his audio to capture the mental exploration of his thoughts with hauntingly poetic moments of intimacy, pain and celebration.
Jubilee: A Black Feminist Homecoming celebrates the legacy, power, and possibilities of Black feminisms, following the August 28, 2021, event that uplifted a colorful and expansive production of performers, liberators, and guiding stars that told the story of Black feminist activism, unveiled the Black Feminist Platform, with concrete actions to take toward liberation.
Featuring interviews with Dr. Cory Greene (also featured in Ava DuVernay’s 13th), architect and activist Deanna Van Buren, gaming and tech educator Damon Packwood, and award-winning social entrepreneur and nonprofit leader Dr. Cheryl Dorsey, Unwavering explores chronic underfunding of Black-led organizations, all the while celebrating the optimism and perseverance of Black innovators from across the United States.
Directed by Fearless Video; Produced by Echoing Green and Fearless Video with support from Comcast NBCUniversal
We Still Here introduces the incredible youth of Comerío, Puerto Rico navigating the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, a disaster that brought an unprecedented level of devastation to an island already in economic and political crisis. In the lush mountains in the center of Puerto Rico, 24-year-old Mariangelie Ortiz leads a group of young residents who never thought they would become the leaders of their community, but nonetheless find themselves traveling to Washington D.C. to protest in the halls of Congress. Follow them in this coming of age story as they find their power and begin creating a sustainable future for themselves and their community.
Featuring first-voice stories of discrimination and hope, You Racist, Sexist, Bigot was conceived and filmed in Arizona but tells truly – and sadly – American stories. From the story of a young black male raised in Ferguson, MO, to the account of an undocumented transgender woman living and working in a state where immigrant rights is more than just a headline, each writer shares an intimate, powerful message of their understanding of the bigotry they face daily. With an original soundtrack which speaks of love, justice, and the need for family and community, You Racist, Sexist, Bigot follows the struggles that occur every day not just in Arizona but in neighborhoods and cities across the United States.
Friday November 18
Alejandra is a criminalized organizer and unapologetic immigrant. While she prepares for one of the biggest moments of her life — her deportation case — Alejandra is forced to reckon with a past mistake and a system that could tear her apart from her family and the only home she has ever known.
A young Navajo filmmaker, Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso, investigates displacement of Indigenous people and devastation of the environment around the globe caused by the same chemical companies that have exploited the land where she was born. On this personal and political journey she learns from Indigenous activists across three continents.
Saturday November 19
Apache artist Keane is forced into a desperate mission to get a job before the deadline passes and his dreams evaporate, all while confronting family stresses, enemies from his past, and an unpredictable old car. Produced on location in the San Carlos Apache Reservation and the neighboring city of Globe, Arizona, this independent feature explores the extraordinary beauty and the unique challenges of these two communities, and the scorching ribbon of highway that connects them together.
Across Texas an unstoppable construction boom drives urban sprawl and luxury high-rises. Its dirty secret: abuse of immigrant labor. Building the American Dream captures a turning point as a movement forms to fight widespread construction industry injustices. Grieving their son, a Mexican family campaigns for a life-or-death safety ordinance. A Salvadorian electrician couple owed thousands in back pay fights for their children’s future. A bereaved son battles to protect others from his family's preventable tragedy. A story of courage, resilience and community, the film reveals shocking truths about the hardworking immigrants who build the American Dream, from which they are excluded.