From September 18th through September 21st, Point Park University will present the Global Shift Festival, four days of films, panels, workshops, selected shorts, and special events focused on expanding the reach of social change through film and media. See below for schedule:
Opening Night Movie – Revolutionary Optimists
Children are saving lives in the slums of Calcutta. Child rights activist Amlan Ganguly doesn’t rescue slum children – he empowers them to become change agents, battling poverty and transforming their neighborhoods with dramatic results. The Revolutionary Optimists follows Amlan and four of the children he works with – Salim, Kajal, Sikha and Priyanka – on an intimate journey through adolescence, as they fight for the better future he encourages them to imagine is deservedly theirs. Directed by Nicole Newnham and Maren Grainger-Monsen. Co-Sponsored by Silk Screen.
Without a Fight
Set in the slums of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya, against a backdrop of bloody unrest, village youth toss aside their often warring ethnic and religious tribalism to instead battle for supremacy on the soccer pitch. As the teams compete in the local and loftily named Champions League, the film chronicles the march toward the season’s championship and the backstories of some of its participants. Coaches must not only contend with political unrest and violence, but also players whose training is inhibited by such obstacles as hunger and a lack of shoes—impoverished kids occasionally have been killed trying to steal cleats. The film is both uplifting and illuminating, a look inside a place where the degree of bloodshed and poverty might seem foreign, but the healing power of team athletics is universal. Co-Sponsored by the Hollywood Theater.
In 2008, Jonny Benjamin went to Waterloo Bridge to take his own life. He had recently been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and was in hospital receiving treatment for it. He thought that his life was over and he could see no hope for the future living with this illness. However, a stranger who happened to be walking along the bridge managed to engage him and talk him down. Jonny was subsequently taken by the police back to hospital and never saw the stranger again. Since that moment, Jonny’s life has changed completely. He is now a popular writer, video blogger and mental health campaigner, working hard to break the stigma attached to mental illness and help others living with it. But he never had the chance to thank the good Samaritan he named ‘Mike’ for what he did that January morning, which Jonny attributes to helping him turn things around. Finding Mike is the story of Jonny’s very personal search to find that stranger. The film has followed Jonny throughout the process and captured everything that has happened during that incredibly emotional journey.
The No Name Painting Association
A short documentary about the Wuming (No Name) group of renegade Chinese artists who painted forbidden images during the Chinese Cultural Revolution and pioneered the Contemporary Chinese Art Movement.
Before You Know It
The subjects of Before You Know It are no ordinary senior citizens. They are go-go booted bar-hoppers, love struck activists, troublemaking baton twirlers, late night Internet cruisers, seasoned renegades, and bold adventurers. They are also among the estimated 2.4 million lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans over the age of 55 in the United States, many of whom face heightened levels of discrimination, neglect and exclusion. But Before is not a film about cold statistics and gloomy realities. It’s a film about generational trailblazers who have surmounted prejudice and defied expectation to form communities of strength, renewal, and camaraderie—whether these communities be affable senior living facilities, lively activist enclaves, or wacky queer bars brimming with glittered trinkets and colorful drag queens.
Chris has come to the super-store with his dad to spend his allowance – his heart set on getting a bouncy ball. But when he gets to the toy aisle, he discovers that all of the balls in the ball cage are bright pink, except for one deflated green ball. When the pink balls come magically to life, Chris finds himself swept up in a world where it’s okay for boys to play with pink. But ultimately he must make a choice: take home one of the bright pink balls or the deflated green ball? Co-Sponsored by Reel Q.
1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Project Wild Thing
Project Wild Thing is a film-led movement to get more kids and their folks outside and reconnecting with nature. The feature-length documentary takes a funny and revealing look at a complex issue, the increasingly disparate connection between children and nature.
The Global Shift Festival also offers workshops for beginners and professionals looking to gain more insight into writing for television or the big screen. Workshop are taught by experienced screenwriters and focus on character development, dialogue, scene and action description and transitions.
Writing Your Screenplay
Writing For Television
Fundraising Your Ideas Into Action
Global Shift Festival screenings will take place in Point Park’s GRW Theater. Movie passes are $15, $5 for individual films. Project Wild Thing is free to attend. Workshops are $15 to $65. Guests can also purchase an all access pass for $70. All tickets are available for purchase at Showclix.