What happens when a diverse group of LGBTQ youth dares to be “out” on stage to reveal their lives and their loves? THE YEAR WE THOUGHT ABOUT LOVE goes behind the scenes of one of the oldest queer youth theaters in America, with a camera crew slipping into classrooms, kitchens, subways and rehearsal rooms. Boston-based True Colors OUT Youth Theater transforms daily struggles into performance for social change. With wit, candor and attitude, this cast of characters captivates audiences who may be surprised to hear such stories in school settings. THE YEAR WE THOUGHT ABOUT LOVE introduces a transgender teenager kicked out of her house, a devout Christian challenging his church’s homophobia and a girl who prefers to wear boys’ clothing even as she models dresses on the runway. When real bombs explode outside their building, the troupe becomes even more determined to share their stories of love to help heal their city. Brave, encouraging, and funny…these are the inspiring LGBTQ youth leading us into the future.
Aylin, age 17, finds herself caught between worlds: A world of accepting her mother’s death or not. A world of struggling to survive as a Turkish family in Germany or returning home. Most importantly, a world of facing her fears at school to succeed or to remain in violent isolation. She finds answers in the story of Hördur (the horse): an Icelandic pony is never allowed to return once it leaves its homeland. By developing the courage to challenge her status in the world, Aylin develops a bridge to self-discovery, and like Hördur, never looks back.
Dylan, age 12, copes pretty much on his own in small Western Australian town while his father is in a state of oblivion following the death of Dylan’s mother. One day at school he discovers an odd gift: the ability to craft a paper plane that flies longer and faster than any of those of his peers. So begins this charming and near-irresistible crowd-pleaser that follows Dylan as he folds his way toward the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan (and more importantly, emotionally closer to his father).
Having lost his left leg to bone cancer, Ka is left with only one leg to jump with. When he is discharged from the hospital, Dr. Chen gives him a present: a child’s picture book titled “Rolypoly.” The doctor tells him, “Jump five million times, and you’ll see Rolypoly.” Thus begins a story of a boy, an aging children’s book author wishing to correct a past misdeed (theft) and a Chinese village that embraces them both.
The film took three years to make due to the difficult process of combining live action with animations. All the stories (the animation parts) in the movie were bedtime stories the director told to his son 15 years ago. The main actor playing the author, Tien Bien, is a famous stage actor in Taiwan. All the children are non-professional actors.
Meet some eccentrics, visionaries, and just plain folks who have transformed their autos into art works, led by director/narrator/Camera Van owner Harrold Blank. Subjects featured include world-renowned spoon bender Uri Geller and his fork-and-spoon-covered “Peace Car,” Howard Davis’s “Telephone Car,” and religious folk artist Leonard Knight, who’s painted his vehicles as well as most of an entire mountain in the desert as a testament to his faith. On a humorous and touching journey, we find that an art car has the power to change perspective in an increasingly homogeneous world.
This documentary directed by Rhode Island’s own Mitty Griffis Mirrer, a gold star child herself, takes an intimate look at American children who have lost a parent to war. The film follows the parallel journeys of two generations of grieving children:. Recent war orphans, who’ve lost parents serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia, learn to heal alongside the now adult-child survivors of the Vietnam War. “Gold Star Children” gives meaning and shape to how America understands those who sacrifice in service to their country and the children and families they leave behind. National news channel CNN aired this film, which has been screened at festivals nationwide.
The 12-year-old son of the world’s greatest detective embarks on a rollicking adventure to solve the mystery of his long-lost mother’s true identity in this family-friendly, action-packed film. Growing up without knowledge of his mother’s mysterious fate leads Nono, on the eve of his bar mitzvah, on the most significant investigation of his life. “The Zigzag Kid” uses wit and humor to explore the sometimes complicated relationships between right and wrong, and how these inform love and loyalty—in a modern, beautifully filmed tale that speaks frankly to both adults and tweens. Plus, a family film that features Isabella Rosselini!
Eskil is an unhappy, self-reliant eleven-year-old boy who is constantly on the move due to his father’s job. Trinidad is the town’s cranky, eccentric woman he is warned to stay away from—but doesn’t. In the time spent with Trinidad building her boat, Eskil discovers a self-awareness that helps restore his relationship with his separated parents. Trinidad gains a supporting friend who helps her achieve a lifetime goal. Children’s films this beautiful and genuine are rare.
This documentary follows three girls and their lives at the martial arts school Shaolin Tagou, China’s largest Kung Fu School. Far from their families, they fight an everyday battle of discipline, rules and hard physical training. Kung Fu provides them a chance to provide for their parents in the future and lead a better life—but at what cost?
The Shaolin Tagu Kung Fu School, located next to the Shaolin Temple Monastery—the birthplace of Kung Fu—is home to some 26,000 students. In a breathtaking display of skill and precision, the entire student body practices their discipline en masse and in perfect unison, captured beautifully by Inigo Westmeier’s camera. DRAGON GIRLS follows three young female students living far from their homes and families. They sacrifice the luxuries of childhood, like days off, playtime and seeing their parents, for the honor and success they will gain from their training. The physical and mental exhaustion and constant drive for perfection weigh heavily on the young warriors in training, yet it’s hoped that by graduation the gain will have been worth the struggle.