The Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Award for Documentary Film is awarded annually during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival to a film that makes a particularly valuable contribution to advancing social justice.
The 2012 SBIFF runs Jan. 26 through Feb. 5. Nine compelling films have been nominated. For the first time, a short film program also has been created — three short documentaries will be screened (not in competition for the award).
“Documentary films have long been an important tool in addressing critical social justice issues, exposing environmental disasters and advancing human rights,” The Fund for Santa Barbara Executive Director Geoff Green said. “No other medium can match film in capturing the public attention and mobilizing people to action.”
The maker of the winning film will be announced Feb. 5 at the close of the festival. The winning filmmaker will receive a $2,500 cash prize.
A Special Community Reception with the Nominees will be hosted by Sullivan Goss — An American Gallery / Arts & Letters Café (7 E. Anapamu St.) from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 27. The public is invited to attend. Tickets are available for a suggested donation of $25. Platinum Pass-holders are admitted free. Space is limited. Call The Fund for Santa Barbara office at 805.962.9164 for reservations.
2012 Social Justice Award Nominees
A People Uncounted, 2011, Canada, 99 minutes, directed by Aaron Yeger.
A powerful journey through Europe exposing the oppression of Europe’s largest minority group, the Roma (Gypsies)
Aung San Suu Kyi — Lady of No Fear, 2011, Denmark, 64 minutes (U.S. premiere), directed by Anne Gyrithe Bonne
A look at the personal consequences faced by Aung San Suu Kyi and her family as a result of her activism
Jan. 27, 4 p.m. — Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Jan. 31, 4 p.m. — Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Dirty Energy, 2012, USA, 94 minutes (world premiere), directed by Bryan Hopkins
The story of those directly affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and their struggle to rebuild their lives and communities
Jan. 28, 1:40 p.m. — Metro 4 Theatre
Jan. 31, 10 a.m. — Metro 4 Theatre
Feb. 1 , 4:40 p.m. — Metro 4 Theatre
Give Up Tomorrow, 2011, UK/USA, 95 minutes, directed by Michael Collins
When a teenager from a prominent family in the Philippines is accused of a double murder, the country’s entire judicial system is put to the test after years of alleged corruption
Jan. 28, 1 p.m. — Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Jan. 30, 8:15 a.m. — Metro 4 Theatre
Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?, 2011, USA, 80 minutes, directed by Donald Goldmacher and Frances Causey
There are two kinds of power in America: organized money and organized people
Jan. 27, 1 p.m. — Metro 4 Theatre
Feb. 4, 10 a.m. — Metro 4 Theatre
Into the Current: Burma’s Political Prisoners, 2011, USA/Thailand/Myanmar, 83 minutes (U.S. premiere), directed by Jeanne Marie Hallacy
The story of Burma’s unsung heroes — its political prisoners — and the price they pay for speaking truth to power in a military dictatorship
Jan. 30, 4 p.m. — Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Feb. 2, 10 a.m. — Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Feb. 4, 8 p.m. — Metro 4 Theatre
Letters From Iran, 2011, France, 78 minutes (U.S. premiere), directed by Manon Loizeau
A fascinating portrait of the aftermath of the Green Revolution in Iran, pieced together from interviews, footage from hidden cameras and more
Jan. 27, 10 a.m. — Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Feb. 1, 8:15 a.m. — Metro 4 Theatre
Pink Ribbons Inc., 2011, Canada, 98 minutes (U.S. premiere), directed by Léa Pool
How the devastating reality of breast cancer, which marketing experts have labeled a “dream cause,” becomes obfuscated by a shiny, pink story of success
Jan. 30, 7 p.m. — Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Feb. 1, 2 p.m. — Metro 4 Theatre
Putin’s Kiss, 2011, Denmark/Russia, 85 minutes, directed by Lise Birk Pedersen
The coming of age of a young woman set against the backdrop of contemporary Russian politics
Jan. 31, 10:30 p.m. — Metro 4 Theatre
Feb. 1, 7:20 p.m. — Metro 4 Theatre
Feb. 3, 1 p.m. — Metro 4 Theatre
Social Justice Shorts Program (not in competition)
Between the Harvest, 2011, USA, 29 minutes, directed by Scott Drucker
When the Costa Rican government legalized the harvest of endangered sea turtle eggs, a small coastal community was infused with cash and crime; and in turn, a worldwide heated debate began over the legitimacy of such a sanction.
In Tahrir Sqare — 18 Days of Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution, 2011, USA/Egypt, 36 minutes, directed by Matthew O’Neill and Jon Alpert
Shot in the center of Egypt’s Tahrir Square from the beginning of the battles to the climax of the celebration, In Tahrir Sqare — 18 Days of Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution helps audiences experience firsthand the people-powered revolt that brought down a dictator and changed Egypt forever.
Pipe Dreams, 2011, USA, 39 minutes, directed by Leslie Iwerks.
Across America, ranchers and landowners are fighting to protect their water, land and livelihood in the face of a 1,700-mile proposed pipeline called the Keystone XL, carrying tar sands oil from Canada to Texas.
The shorts program will screen twice at 11 a.m. Jan. 27 at Metro 4 Theatre and at 10 a.m. Feb. 5 at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
Screening times and locations are subject to change. Additional screenings may be added as needed. For the most current schedule information, click here or click here. Tickets and passes are available at the Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St., the Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St., or online at www.sbiff.org.
Last year’s Social Justice Award recipients were When I Rise directed by Mat Hames and Nostalgia de la Luz directed by Patricio Guzmán.
Thank you to the 2012 Social Justice Award Jury:
» Roman Baratiak, associate director of UCSB Arts & Lectures
» Andrew Davis, film director
» Margaret Lazarus, filmmaker
» Phyllis De Picciotto, film consultant and human rights activist
» Vicki Riskin, writer and producer
» Dr. Janet Walker, professor of film and media studies at UCSB
» Dr. Charles Wolfe, professor of film and media studies at UCSB
And a special thank you to this year’s media partner, KCSB 91.9 FM.
The Fund for Santa Barbara is a nonprofit community foundation that supports organizations working for social, economic, environmental and political change in Santa Barbara County. This includes grassroots organizing against discrimination of all kinds, supporting the rights and dignity of working people, promoting community self-determination, organizing for peace and nonviolence, working to improve the quality of our environment, and building cross-issue/cross-constituency coalitions and alliances. The Fund raises money through donations of all sizes in order to provide grants and technical assistance. Since its founding in 1980, The Fund for Santa Barbara has awarded more than $4 million to more than 800 projects.
— Geoff Green is executive director of The Fund for Santa Barbara.