On May 13, Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt was pronounced guilty of committing genocide and crimes against humanity against the Maya Ixil people, and sentenced to 80 years in prison. It was the first time that a former head of state was tried and convicted of genocide in a domestic justice system. Although the conviction was later overturned by Guatemala’s constitutional court on a technicality, the ongoing saga presents a compelling case study of the role documentary film can play in movements for social justice.
Granito: How to Nail a Dictator
Granito: How to Nail a Dictator by Pamela Yates, Paco de Onis and Peter Kinoy recounts how footage from the filmmakers’ 1982 film When The Mountains Tremble helped secure a genocide conviction against Rios Montt in a Spanish court. Guatemala was unwilling to extradict the former general for sentencing in Spain, but that trial helped build political will for the prosecution in Guatemala. The prosecution rested its case by projecting the filmmakers’ 1982 interview with Ríos Montt.
Yates, de Onis and Kinoy filmed the entire trial and are posting it as a web series titled Dictator in the Dock. They will eventually release a film of this trial as part of a trilogy that began with When the Mountains Tremble in 1982, and continued with Granito: How to Nail a Dictator in 2011 - and now with the Ríos Montt conviction they have concluded a 31-year story arc. As de Onis says, “There could hardly be a better example of Martin Luther King’s famous words, ‘The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.’”
For the first time in more than a year, New Day Films is open to new member submissions. We had temporarily suspended new member applications in June of 2012 due to a surge of popularity and an overwhelming influx of new members that challenged us to re-think how we work and want to grow as a democratic, collective organization.
In New Day’s 40 years of existence, there has never been as much filmmaker interest in, and demand for, our unique model of self distribution within a collective. In response to this interest, and to the changing climate and nature of distribution, we have carefully revamped the way we bring new films and members into the co-op. We will now have one Open Call for entries each year. Applicants will apply in the winter, and we will carefully respond and engage in our collective curation process over the spring. New members will know by early summer whether they have been accepted, so they can be ready to launch their films for sale in the academic market before the school year begins in the fall.
We’re looking for provocative, high quality social issue documentaries made by motivated filmmakers who want to distribute their films as part of a co-operative.
If you have a film that you think would be a good fit, please fill out our letter of inquiry by February 1st. If we feel like your film would be a good fit for our collection at this time we’ll invite you to submit a full application by February 15th.
Three New Day filmmakers have been selected to participate in the Bay Area Video Coalition’s prestigious Producers Institute for New Media Technologies in San Francisco in October. The Producers Institute is a week-long social impact laboratory that connects the world’s best social issue documentary filmmakers and their socially relevant content to emerging models of storytelling and distribution.
by Theo Rigby
is an interactive project where you can create and share your own immigration story, then watch powerful short documentaries about immigration issues.
LAND OF OPPORTUNITY
by Luisa Dantas
is an interactive web video experience that combines original footage of the post-Katrina reconstruction process in New Orleans with additional curated multi-media content to increase awareness and engagement around core urban issues.
by Kristy-Guevara Flanegan
is a single-player game that will allow players to create their own superheroine and guide them through choices every wonder woman with superpowers and a secret identity has to make.
BONECRUSHER, was selected by The American Library Association as a “2012 Notable Video for Adults”.
About the film:
In the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, a young coal miner named Lucas Chaffin toils one mile underground. Despite the harsh working conditions, Lucas takes fierce pride in the fact that he’s carrying on a family tradition. As a fourth-generation miner, working inside the earth is more than just a job to Lucas. He believes it’s his duty; a responsibility symbolized by the old coal hammer that he uses. It is the same hammer that was used for 26 years by the man he loves more than anything: his father, Luther Chaffin.
Luther—nicknamed “Bonecrusher” — was once a strong, handsome man. But now, at 61, he’s withered and sick; coal dust has ravaged his lungs. As life slips away, his greatest concern isn’t for himself; it’s for Lucas’s safety.
Bonecrusher is an intimate account of the love between a father and son and the powerful bond they share, a bond that is put to the test. It is also a stark journey to the coal fields of Dante, Virginia where a tight-knit community of miners face life with a toughness and camaraderie as enduring as the earth itself.
From now through the end of February, purchase one copy of WHEN I CAME HOME and receive an additional (public performance) copy to share with your colleagues and local veterans groups.
Just write “2-for-1 DVD Deal” in the comments area on your order form. Contact email@example.com for an additional discount!
WHEN I CAME HOME is a film about homeless veterans in America: from those who served in Vietnam to those returning from the current war in Iraq. The film looks at the challenges faced by returning combat veterans and the battle many must fight for the benefits promised to them. Through the story of Herold Noel, an Iraq War veteran suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and living in his car in Brooklyn, WHEN I CAME HOME reveals a failing system and the veteran’s struggle to survive after returning from the war.
New Day film The Shrimp by Keith Wilson has won the Best Cinematography Award at the 2011-12 Nextframe Film Festival.
Sponsored by the University Film & Video Association, the touring festival is in it’s 18th year and just may visit your neck of the woods.
Congratulations to Keith and his crew on this prestigious award!
This September, six films and seven filmmakers from New Day Films garnered a total of seven Emmy nominations, an extraordinary total:
Kiran Deol’s gripping and powerful Woman Rebel, one soldier’s revolution from the jungles of Nepal to the halls of Parliament, was nominated for Outstanding Research. Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO) writes: “The provocative nature of the film is its subject matter. It personalizes the violence of this bloody conflict through the experiences of one woman.” An HBO Documentary.
Stephanie Wang-Breal’s tender and absorbing Wo Ai Ni Mommy (I Love You, Mommy), the story of how Fang Sui Yong became Faith Sadowski, was nominated for Outstanding Informational Programming. Library Journal writes: “This film is a no-holds-barred approach to foreign adoption,m a mixture of anxiety and hope.” A POV broadcast on PBS.
Rebecca Richman Cohen’s compelling and complex War Don Don, a nation facing its wartime past through the trial of a rebel leader in Sierra Leone, copped two Emmy nominations, for Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story and for Outstanding Editing. Video Librarian comments: “War Don Don is a triumph of agenda-free nonfiction filmmaking &It’s among the year’s finest documentaries.” An HBO Documentary.
Leo Chiang’s stunning and poignant A Village Called Versailles, one community’s political awakening in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, was nominated for Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story-Long Form. Video Librarian writes: “[Village] offers an important sociological examination of how Vietnamese immigrants have assimilated into the U.S. mainstream “Highly recommended.” An Independent Lens broadcast on PBS.
Sally Rubin’s and Jen Gilomen’s moving and insightful Deep Down, a story from the heart of coal country centering around mountaintop removal, was nominated for New Approaches to News and Documentary. Huffington Post comments: “Deep Down is a revelatory film, breathtakingly poignant and poetic, and goes beyond the politics of protest to look at the inexorably connected lives of Appalachian residents.” An Independent Lens broadcast on PBS.
The Primetime Emmy nominations included the latest film co-produced by this correspondent. Rick Goldsmith’s and Judith Ehrlich’s political thriller The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, was nominated for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking. New York Magazine opines: “Riveting! [The Most Dangerous Man is] a straight-ahead, enthralling story of moral courage.” The movie offers one revelatory interview after another. Critics’ pick!” A POV broadcast on PBS.
Congratulations to all of the New Day Films 2011 Emmy nominees, and may each of the films have a long and continuous life, especially in the educational arena, stimulating young minds to discussion, debate, and new ways of thinking about the world. -Rick Goldsmith
We like to point out that New Day Films distributes more than three dozen ITVS-funded films… and that ITVS came about because of the pioneering work of independent filmmakers and visionary programmers.We’re proud to be part of that legacy and thrilled that ITVS is sharing some of this great work with audiences this summer.
New Day Films is proud to announce that four films in the collection have been nominated for Emmy Awards in the 32nd Annual News & Documentary Categories. For Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story-Long Form, Rebecca Richman Cohen, Director/Producer of “War Don Don,” and S. Leo Chiang, Producer/Director of “A Village Called Versailles.” For Outstanding Informational Programming-Long Form, Stephanie Wang-Breal, Director/Producer of “Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy.” For New Approaches to News & Documentary Programming: Documentaries, Jen Gilomen and Sally Rubin Producer/Directors of “Deep Down??A Story From the Heart of Coal Country, The Virtual Mine.” “War Don Don” was also nominated for Outstanding Editing, and filmmaker member Rebecca Snedeker’s recent work was nominated in the Outstanding Historical Programming-Long Form category. Congratulations to these filmmakers!