Protecting the Vulnerable

Stories about explorers, healers, and leaders. The films tonight are either made by, or lead by women. Executive Director, Ogechi Chieke, will have a discussion with film experts about being authentic in filmmaking.

  • 6:00 PM Bubble 

  • 6:06 PM The Turtles Swim

  • 6:08 PM Liremu Barana 

  • 6:20 PM Yemanja: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil narrated by Alice Walker

  • 7:13 PM PANEL: "Protecting the Vulnerable" Authenticity in Documentary Filmmaking.

  • 8:13 PM Intense

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"Bubble" is a surreal short that literally deals with getting caught up in one's own head.


Director - Janelle DeWitt


Born in Alabama in 1995 and raised in Illinois, Janelle DeWitt is an Animator and Illustrator currently based in NYC, having graduated from Pratt Institute in 2020 with a degree in Animation.

Her work is primarily inspired by elegant and surrealist imagery and inspired by whimsical nature, contrasting it with fine details

in her artwork. She has previously had her work screened nationally at ANNY: Animation Nights New York, First-Time Filmmaker Sessions and Music Shorts Film Festival.

The Turtles Swim

A scuba diver joins the turtles' swim and discovers sunken treasure!


Director - Genna Lee


My name is Genna Lee. I am 12 years old and in the 7th grade.

I have been homeschooled for the past 6 years. I enjoy drawing, playing the piano and playing video games, especially Mario Kart 8.

Liremu Barana

Arisa dances every day and night to songs that tell of the struggles of her people. Her mother warns her not to make the same mistakes that she did as a young woman. Poetic and atmospheric, Liremu Barana subtly addresses themes of race and colonialism.

Director - Elvis Rigoberto Caj Cojoc

Elvis Ribogerto Caj Cojoc was born in Coban, Guatemala.

Caj started to make films when he won the National Competition in Literature, 2008 with "Nuestra Naturaleza". He had never used a videocamera before when he was granted a stipendium from the Norwegian Embassy in Guatemala to participate in several filmworkshops at Casa Comal, Guatemala City. He moved from the countryside to the capital and started learning about cinema and he fell in love with the art form.

Caj's first workshop film was selected to Havana Film Festival in 2012 and to Vancouver Latin American Film Festival in 2012. His second workshop short FLOR BLANCA represented Guatemala at Icaro Film Festival. He also worked at the Norwegian Embassy to fund the first Mayan Cinema in Guatemala this year.

Caj's new short LIREMU BARANA (his first film with a budget and crew) won best script by the Ministery of Guatemala and it is produced by Mer Film.

Caj is now developing his first feature with Mer Film as part of EAVE Puentes 2018. He participated in Guadalajara Talents 2019.

Yemanjá: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil,
narrated by Alice Walker

An award-winning film about a little known history of Africa in the Americas. A story of the Afro-Indigenous Brazilian spiritual tradition of Candomblé, with a distinctly ecological and inclusive worldview. Told through the voices of extraordinary women leaders, we learn of Candomblé's historical and contemporary social struggles and triumphs in the region considered the largest former slave port in the Americas. An inspiring story for our times!

Director Biography - Donna Carole Roberts, Donna Read

Donna Roberts is producer, director and co-writer of the film, Yemanjá: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil, narrated by Alice Walker, with original Portuguese version narrated by Alice Braga.


The film was first envisioned in 1997 during Donna’s initial journey to Bahia, Brazil. She teaches Environmental Justice at Chatham University, Pittsburgh, and has an M.S., Environmental Sciences, a B.A. in Journalism/Mass Communication. Her thesis research explored the experiences of Brazilian women socio-environmental educators, in order to add their voices to the global discourse of environmental education which typically excludes experiences of women from the global South.

For more than two decades, Donna has worked in public television, broadcast news and independent production, including writing/directing the award-wining documentary, Sea of Uncertainty (WGCU-TV) about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. She is deeply committed to social justice advocacy and education, particularly regarding women, environments, health and faith.


Nader`s house is to be demolished soon and his daughter is sick. Nader calls Najmeh (his sister) and asks her for help. Najmeh comes to his house but Nader has left there before her arrival.


Director - Shirin Sabour

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