Doc film festival offers insights into US society

Doc film festival offers insights into US society


photo courtesy of Documentary Club Thailand

The US embassy in partnership with American Film Showcase (AFS) and Documentary Club Thailand presents “American Documentary Film Festival 2022” from May 26 to June 1.

A premier American film diplomacy program under the US Department of State, AFS offers global audiences insight into American society and culture through film and empowers local filmmakers with tools to tell their own stories.

Highlights include a special screening of When Lambs Become Lions, a three-year documentary project about the lives of Kenya’s ivory dealers and a stressed wildlife ranger trying to obstruct illegal trade. The film is directed by Emmy Award-winning Australian-Indian director and cinematographer Jon Kasbe and produced by American film producer Tom Yellin. The screening, on May 26 at 6.30pm, will be followed by an online Q&A with Tom Yellin.

Another special feature is Wrestle, an intimate documentary following the lives of four Alabama high school wrestlers fighting for much more than the state championship. This film by New York-based director-producer Suzannah Herbert was named one of the top five documentaries of 2019 by the National Board of Review, lauded as “superb” by the Los Angeles Times, and hailed as a New York Times Critics’ Pick. The screening, on May 27 at 6pm, will be followed by an online Q&A session with Suzannah Herbert.

There’s also Runner, an acclaimed film by first-time documentary director Bill Gallagher about South Sudanese marathoner Guor Mading Maker, who after being kidnapped and enslaved during Sudan’s civil war, made it to the United States as a teenage refugee. Today, he is a member of the US Air Force and a two-time Olympian. An online Q&A with Bill Gallagher will be held after the 6pm screening on May 28.

Hamtramck is a documentary exploring life and democracy in the multi-ethnic city Hamtramck, which prides itself on its mantra “The World In 2 Square Miles” and boasts over 30 spoken languages ​​in its schools. The film, by director Justin Feltman, wrestles with identity politics, power dynamics, and the immigrant experience in America’s first Muslim majority city. The screening on Sunday, May 29, at 6pm will be followed by an online Q&A with Justin Feltman.

Also scheduled are The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley by Academy Award-winning documentary director Alex Gibney; Making Waves: The Art Of Cinematic Sound by veteran Hollywood sound editor Midge Costin; Satan & Adamwhich follows the music of a blues duo and a fixture on Harlem’s sidewalks in the late 1980s and early 1990s; Q Ball, which follows the San Quentin Warriors, a competitive basketball team made up of inmates in a well-known California maximum-security prison; and CinemAbility: The Art Of Inclusion, a documentary that takes a detailed look at the evolution of disability themes in American entertainment. The film goes behind the scenes to interview filmmakers, studio executives, film historians and celebrities and utilises clips from Hollywood’s films and TV shows to focus attention on the powerful impact that entertainment and the media can have on society.

The six-day screening event will be held in Bangkok at Doc Club & Pub in Sala Daeng 1. Admission is free. Tickets can be booked via ticket.docclubandpub.com. For more information, visit documentaryclubthailand.com.

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