Short Films

Who is James Meredith?
Directed by Judy Alsobrooks Meredith, Ph.D.
29 minutes, 58 seconds

This short documentary is about the storied life of James Meredith, who in 1962 influenced President John Kennedy to involve the federal government to ensure his enrollment as the first black student at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). Four years later, Meredith survived several shotgun injuries when he was ambushed while on his one man “Meredith March Against Fear” from Memphis to Jackson, Mississippi. Unlike in more formal interview settings, this film captures Meredith in casual conversations with his siblings, a family friend, grandchildren of former U.S. Attorney General, Robert Kennedy and French journalists about his experiences and reasons behind his lone war against white supremacy in the 1960s. The film is narrated by his wife, Dr. Judy Meredith.

Operation Overlord: OSS and the Battle for France
Directed by Carl Colby
13 minutes, 25 seconds

The film tells the story of Allied special forces, Free French Forces and the French Resistance whose daring exploits behind enemy lines changed the course of World War II.

Directed by Lisa Bell Roden
3 minutes, 29 seconds

This film is a study of a member of the director’s family, and that family member happens to be a bear.

The Gift of Freedom
Directed by Carolyn Downie and Neels Britz
5 minutes

This film takes a message from history to a new level – into today’s tipping point of politics and culture. Drawing on perspectives from President John Adams and psychologist Abraham Maslow, “The Gift of Freedom” builds upon the evolutionary process of society and uncovers the archetypes within it. From the theater of war to the stage of self-actualization, the construct of freedom is carried from American history into today’s politics and culture.

America First, Nature Last
Directed by Andreas Ewels
28 minutes, 45 seconds

This is a documentary about a torn country. What matters more: Economic success or a responsible environmental policy? The voter decides. This film is about people and their hope.

Dear Aunt Noa
Directed by Dana Aliya Levinson
11 minutes, 33 seconds

Childhood best friends Noa, a transgender environmental activist from Los Angeles, and Jerry, a struggling family-man mechanic from Ohio, reunite over cocktails. But can their bond survive the weight of a violently divisive society? Can we agree to disagree anymore? Is persuasion a dead art or should we just burn it all down? “Dear Aunt Noah” explores the conflicting intersection between friendship and ideology, Llve and belief. In an “All or Nothing” world where everyone is muting out the other side and retreating to their echo chambers, this film addresses this avoided, uncomfortably painful conversation head on and reveals humans to be the truly nuanced and complex creatures that we are, instead of just crude, digestible caricatures of “us” and “them.”

Tikkun Olam
Directed by Bob Ahmed
10 minutes, 30 seconds

“Tikkun Olam” is a short, narrative film about an 8-year-old boy in Washington, D.C. who encounters a homeless veteran. The film was inspired by the director’s own experiences while living in Washington, D.C., which has the highest homelessness rate in America.

Feature Length Films

The Girl Who Wore Freedom

This film brings the viewer to Normandy, France. Once an idyllic landscape, Normandy had succumbed to German invaders who overran its farms, its manors, its countryside. Viewers meet those who recount their unique relationships with the Allied forces who liberated Normandy on June 6, 1944. The journey from occupation to liberation to acceptance and forgiveness to gratitude and pride is explored through interviews with French survivors and American veterans in this powerful, personal film that tells stories handed down over two generations. The viewer travels to today’s United States with Flo Plana, who seeks out the men of the 101st Airborne Division to collect and curate their stories for the Utah Beach D-Day Museum. Veterans recount their experiences and the relationships they built over the summer of 1944. Normandy itself is now a living war museum with shrapnel on the beaches, bullet holes in its walls, and blood staining its church pews. Those that were there have vowed never to forget the lessons of World War II and to pass down the value of freedom to their children and their children’s children.

The film closes on contemporary D-Day celebrations of remembrance and gratitude, where French citizens of all ages celebrate those who were and are willing to defend freedom because they, the people of Normandy, know all too well that freedom is not free.

The Reunited States

Over the past several years, political divisions have cut through every aspect of American society, through our communities, our workplaces, our friendships, and even through our own families. There is, however, a growing movement of people who recognize this polarization as the single greatest threat to our democracy, and they’re working tirelessly to build bridges across the divide. “The Reunited States” is a feature documentary that profiles people who have dedicated their lives to promoting depolarization and communication across the political divide.

Indians, Outlaws, Marshals and the Hangin’ Judge
Indians, Outlaws, Marshals and the Hangin’ Judge Description

The State of Texas vs. Melissa

“The State of Texas vs. Melissa” explores the life journey of Melissa Lucio, the first Hispanic woman to be sentenced to death in the state of Texas. For more than 10 years, she has been awaiting her fate and now faces her last appeal. No one had ever seen Melissa be violent towards her children, yet she was blamed for the daily abuse and subsequent death of her 2-year-old daughter, who died from blunt head trauma.

Set in the heart of the Latino community of South Texas, the film takes a look at Melissa’s broken childhood, her adult life plagued by poverty and prejudice, and the miscarriage of justice Melissa faced, from the court-appointed attorney who willingly set aside evidence to the District attorney who used her case to help his re-election. “The State of Texas vs. Melissa” is the portrait of a woman’s fight against an entire system.