CMU Reveals Faces Of Work For International Film Festival


From March 20th to April 5th, the 2014 Carnegie Mellon University International Film Festival will bring 12 award-winning independent films with ties to 20 countries to various locations throughout Pittsburgh. This year’s festival theme, Faces of Work, reflects the late CMU professor and filmmaker Paul Goodman’s focus on the challenges and achievements of diverse groups of workers worldwide. See below for a film schedule and details:

March 20th

7:15 p.m.

Wałęsa: Man of Hope (Poland, 2013)


Regent Square Theater hosts the Faces of Work Opening Night Reception with a screening of Wałęsa: Man of Hope. Legendary Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda tackles the story of another of his country’s legends — former dockworker, Solidarity founder, and eventual Polish president Lech Walesa — in this epic, decade-spanning biopic. Includes a special appearance by Danuta Wałęsa, Former First Lady of Poland. Tickets are $15, $10 for seniors and students with a valid ID.

March 21st

7:15 p.m.

Shipbreakers (USA/India, 2013)


The CMU Opening Night Reception presents the US premiere of Shipbreakers, a work from the late CMU professor and filmmaker Paul Goodman, which was completed with the help of CMU assistant teaching professor Ralph Vituccio and cinematographer Tom Clancey. The film is set mostly in Alang, India, where there is a six-mile stretch of an oily, smoky beach where huge ocean vessels that are no longer seaworthy are run aground, broken apart and stripped of everything from portholes and paneling to furniture and propellers. Forty thousand migrant workers making $1 to $2 per day do the scrapping. They cut the ships apart by hand, working in extremely dangerous conditions and without any safety or labor regulations. The film brings the process of shipbreaking to life and highlights the human rights and environmental issues involved. The screening will take place in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes a post-screening Q&A with Vituccio and panel discussion.

March 22nd

4:30 p.m.

The Square (Egypt/USA, 2013)


The Egyptian Revolution has been an ongoing rollercoaster over the past two and a half years. Through the news, we only get a glimpse of the bloodiest battle, an election, or a million man march. At the beginning of July 2013, we witnessed the second president deposed within the space of three years. Directed by Jehane Noujaim, this Oscar-nominated film transports the viewer deeply into the intense emotional drama and personal stories behind the news. It is the inspirational story of young people claiming their rights, struggling through multiple forces, in the fight to create a society of conscience. The Square will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium.

7:15 p.m.

Web Junkie (China/Israel/USA, 2013)


China is the first country to label “Internet addiction” a clinical disorder. With extraordinary intimacy, Web Junkie investigates a Beijing rehab center where Chinese teenagers are deprogrammed, focusing on three teens, their parents and the health professionals determined to help them kick their habit. Web Junkie will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium. The screening includes an exclusive Q&A with the film’s director Shosh Shlam.

March 23rd

4:30 p.m.

Wałęsa: Man of Hope (Poland, 2013)

The second screening of Wałęsa: Man of Hope will take places in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes a special appearance by Danuta Wałęsa, Former First Lady of Poland

March 24th

4 p.m.

The Cleaner (Peru, 2012)


During a mysterious epidemic in Perù set sometime in the near future, Eusebio cleans up after the dying. When he finds a frightened young boy who has lost his mother, he’s quietly transformed in this gently haunted and affecting study of social alienation and redemption. The feature debut from director Adrian Saba was Peru’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film. The screening will take place in the Kresge Theater at Carlow University and includes an exclusive Q&A with Saba. The event is free and open to the public.

March 25th

7:30 p.m.

The Cleaner (Peru, 2012)

The second screening of The Cleaner will take place in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes a Q&A with director Adrián Saba

March 26th

7:15 p.m.

Eat Sleep Die (Sweden, 2012)


When the forceful young Muslim Swedish/Balkan “take-no-shit” factory worker Raša loses her job, she faces the system of unemployment. With no high school diploma, no job – but her boots deeply stained with the mud of the small town she grew up in – Raša finds herself on collision course with society. Eat Sleep Die will screen along with Paul Goodman’s short Plant Closing at CMU’s McConomy Auditorium.

March 27th

5 p.m.

Master of the Universe


Investment bankers are the real Masters of the Universe, not politicians, armies or even countries. In economic powerhouse Germany, a top banker gives a disturbing insider’s account of his emotions, motivations and predictions. Revealing a parallel universe of extreme income and merciless pressure. A system disconnecting bankers from the outside world, unable to reflect about their work. Master of the Universe will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium.

7:15 p.m.

Sofia’s Last Ambulance (Bulgaria/Germany/Croatia, 2012)


In a city where 13 ambulances struggle to serve 2 million people, Krassi, Mila and Plamen are our unlikely heroes: chain-smoking, filled with humor, relentlessly saving lives against all odds. Yet, the strain of a broken system is taking a human toll: how long can they keep fixing society’s injured until they lose their empathy? Sofia’s Last Ambulance will screen along with Goodman’s Short Nurse in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium.

March 28th

7:15 p.m.

shortFACES Film Competition

The event will take place in Melwood Screening Room.

9 p.m.

Open City of Amereida (Chile/USA, 2013)

Open City of Amereida_cmu

In 1970, students and teachers from the faculty of Architecture at the Catholic University of Valparaíso founded the Open City of Amereida in Ritoque, Chile. This city is conceived as an architecture laboratory with an existential premise from where to inhabit, rediscover, and refound the American continent based on an original, creative, and non-colonial idea of identity. Here, for several decades, work has been done in one of architectural education’s most radical experiments. Through the fusion of architecture with poetic thought, and a particular mythology of life, the “open citizens” imagine a social habitat that is different from traditional architecture and society. Based on the testimonies of its inhabitants, this documentary narrates the origins, the history, and the cultural legacy of this community that for over 40 years has explored a way of living where “…the rhyme between the word and the action…” becomes reality. Open City of Amereida will screen in Melwood Screening Room and includes an exclusive Q&A with director Andres Tapia-Urzua.

March 29th

6 p.m.

GriGris (Chad/France, 2013)


Despite a paralyzed leg that could have barred most avenues, 25-year-old Grigris dreams of being a dancer. A challenge. But his dreams are dashed when his uncle falls critically ill. To save him, Grigris resolves to work for petrol traffickers. GrisGris will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes a performance by Nego Gato.

April 2nd

7 p.m.

Madame Presidenta: Why Not U.S.?—Vamos Meninas! (USA/Brazil, 2013)


In 2011, Dilma Rousseff became the first female president of Brazil. Currently, women hold the top office in Argentina, Chile, and Costa Rica, as well as in Brazil. Director Heather Arnet traveled to Brazil interviewing over twenty women and men about their new Madame Presidentá. Their questions included: How Brazil came to elect its first woman president in 2010? What impact her presidency is having on global markets, women’s rights and opportunities? And what can American women and businesses learn from our Brazilian sisters and their passionate and successful surge towards economic prosperity and political leadership. Madame Presidenta: Why Not U.S.?—Vamos Meninas! will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes an exclusive Q&A with Arnet.

April 3rd

5 p.m.

Women’s Day (Poland, 2012)


Halina, a modest cashier in a chain store is dreaming of  a better life for herself and her gifted  13-year-old daughter Misia. She soon gets her chance as Halina becomes the store manager. She discovers that the price for a higher salary and a better standard of living is dishonesty, manipulation and deceit. She turns from victim to villain to her former cashier friends. She is so consumed with her work that she fails to notice her daughter’s addiction to computer games. She will soon have to start her journey for forgiveness. Women’s Day will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium.

7 p.m.

Trapped (Iran, 2012)


This moral thriller from director Parviz Shahbazi centers on the bristling relationship between two very different young women in contemporary Tehran. Nazanin is a determined first year medical student. Since there is no free space in the university dorm and Nazanin does not have much money, she is obliged to share an apartment with Sahar, a party lover who works in a fragrance shop. Sahar badly wants to migrate from Iran, so she’s borrowed money from a man in the bazaar. When this man makes an opportunistic complaint against Sahar, she is imprisoned. There have been some very some rocky times between the two roommates and their conflicting lifestyles, but Nazanin will now do everything she can to have her friend released. Trapped will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes an exclusive Q&A with Shahbazi.

April 4th

4:30 p.m.

At Berkeley (USA, 2013)


The University of California at Berkeley, the oldest and most prestigious member of a ten campus public education system, is also one of the finest research and teaching facilities in the world. Celebrated documentarian Frederick Wiseman shows the major aspects of university life, its intellectual and social mission, its obligation to the state and to larger ideas of higher education, as well as illustrates how decisions are made and implemented by the administration in collaboration with its various constituencies. At Berkeley will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium.

April 5th

6:30 p.m.

Sweet Dreams (Rwanda/USA, 2012)


The Face of Work Closing Night event includes a screening of Lisa and Rob Fruchtman‘s Sweet Dreams. The award-winning documentary follows the story of Ingoma Nshya, Rwanda’s first and only women’s drumming troupe. Made up of women from both sides of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the troupe offers a place of support, healing and reconciliation. When the group decides to partner with two young American entrepreneurs to open Rwanda’s first-ever ice cream shop, these remarkable women embark on a journey of independence, peace and possibility. Sweet Dreams will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes an exclusive Q&A with co-director Lisa Fruchtman and a closing night reception.

Opening Night general admission tickets to the film and reception are $15 and $10 for seniors and students. General admission tickets for all other screenings are $8 and $5 for seniors and students. A full-access festival pass can be purchased for $50 ($25 for seniors and students) at the festival website.


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