Free Doc Fest Kicks Off

The Globalvision Virtual Film Festival, a free five-weekend feast of docs from the past 30 years, kicks off today through Sunday with five titles focusing on South Africa. Themes of succeeding weekends will be Investigations, Human Rights, Pop Culture and Frontline Friday.

Here’s a quick rundown of the 25-film festival:

South Africa, April 2-4

Films include Mandela in America, an apartheid-era tribute to Nelson Mandela with appearances by Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Tracy Chapman, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Danny Glover, David Dinkins, Eddie Murphy and Spike Lee; and another apartheid-era doc, the South Africa Now Music Special, with performances by Jackson Browne, Richie Havens, Paul Simon and Ladyship Black Mambazo, Patti Labelle, Anita Baker, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, Little Steven, Chrissy Hynde, and more.

Investigations, April 9-11

Films include 9/11: Press for Truth; Beyond JFK: The Question of Conspiracy; and Plunder: The Crime of Our Time, about the fraud and theft that led to the Great Recession of 2008.

Human Rights, April 16-18

Films include WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception, about the media’s complicity in driving forward the war in Iraq, and The Harvest (La Cosecha), about American children forced to become migrant farm workers.

Pop Culture, April 23-25

Films include The Making of Give Peace a Chance, about the remaking of John Lennon’s song by his son Sean, Lenny Kravitz and others on the eve of the first Gulf War; and Boob Tube: Sex, TV and Ugly George, a profile of the New York cable access personality of the ‘70s and ’80s who would roam the streets coaxing and persuading women to bare their breasts – and more — for his camera.

 

Frontline Friday, April 30

These films, all of which aired on PBS’s Frontline or Frontline World, include The Resurrection of Reverend Moon and The Arming of Saudi Arabia. The Hole in the Wall is a short version of a longer film about an Indian researcher who embeds a high-speed computer in a wall separating his firm’s headquarters from an adjacent slum, turns it on , and discovers that nearby slum children can quickly teach themselves the rudiments of computer literacy.

There will also be Q&As with directors and others associated with festival films each Friday at 7:30 pm ET.

One of them, on April 23, will include musician/composer Nile Rodgers and Patrice O’Neill, co-director and producer of that weekend’s The Making and Meaning of We Are Family, a film about Rodgers re-recording – after 9/11 — the classic song that he wrote, with some 200 singers. They include Ashford & Simpson, Jackson Browne, Roberta Flack, Joel Gray, KC & the Sunshine Band, Eartha Kitt, Patti Labelle, Queen Latifah and Al Pacino.

To peruse all the films, visit globalvisionfilmfest.squarespace.com.

For free tickets, visit Eventbrite.

(Top image from trailer for ‘The Making and Meaning of We Are Family. Source: Vimeo video)

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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