5th annual IMFF schedule is on your own terms!
Films will be available for viewing at any time between Sep. 18-27, 2020 with valid pass
The Grand Prize Feature Film is We, the Voyagers (Anahola, Hawaii) directed by Marianne “Mimi” George, Heuionalani Wyeth, and Jacob Penchansky. The living crew of Lata, the Polynesian culture hero who built the first voyaging canoe and navigated across the Pacific, tells the story of ancient designs, materials, and methods as a means to reconnect with ancestors and sustainable lifeways. We, the Voyagers tells of an isolated Polynesian community living the story of their ancestor, Lata. To make a voyage Lata needs crew. He welcomes men, women and children, hard workers with skills and applicants of dubious character, including a sailing anthropologist. The community learns to sail the open ocean in Lata’s arms, interacting with wind, waves, stars, and other signs that their ancestors show them when they are needed. When they arrive at their destination we learn what happened to family members since their last voyage, generations earlier. It is a story of reconciliation, love for community, and a collective looking forward toward a future together. The film has a run time of 2 hours 12 minutes. You can learn more at vaka.org
The Runner-up Feature Film is EASTLAND: The Shipwreck That Shook America (Evanston, Illinois) by Executive Producers Harvey Moshman & Chuck Coppola. In the summer of 1915, thousands of Chicago factory workers—recent immigrants from Europe—boarded the SS Eastland, headed for a long-anticipated day of merriment at a picnic across Lake Michigan. 844 people died that day in a matter of minutes as the ship rolled over on its side. EASTLAND: The Shipwreck the Shook America reveals how immigrants in America were victimized by rich and powerful men who exploited the legal system to get away with manslaughter. EASTLAND includes stories of heroism and heartache, with rare newsreel footage that city leaders banned from Chicago theaters in 1915. It has a run time of 54:00
The Grand Prize Short Film is Gáax’w Ka Haaw: Herring Eggs & Branches (Sitka, Alaska) directed by Tessa Schmidt. Since time immemorial, the people of Southeast Alaska have harvested herring eggs by placing hemlock branches in herring spawn. This vital, traditional food is endangered by commercial fishing pressure. This film serves as both a vignette of the 2019 spring harvest efforts and a portrayal of the tension the Indigenous people of Sitka, Alaska and beyond are feeling as their traditional food faces an uncertain future. It has a run time of 35:53.
The Runner-Up Short Film is Endure the Suck (Miami, Florida) directed by Isaac Mead-Long. Endure the Suck tells the heartwarming story about two disabled military veterans, Danny and Frances, who go out sailing together in Biscayne Bay off the coast of Miami, Florida. The film focuses on the journey and struggles that Danny and Frances have gone through to overcome their disabilities and how they met each other through a local charity, Team Paradise Sailing. From tragedy to success, Endure the Suck tells an incredibly uplifting story through the eyes of Danny, Frances, and their sailing coach Magnus Liljedahl, an Olympic gold medalist in sailing from the 2000 Sydney. Learn more at facebook.com/EndureTheSuckMovie. It has a run time of 15:39.
An Honorable Mention is awarded to Gando (Islamic Republic of Iran) directed by Teymour Ghaderi. Due to water scarcity in Sistan and Baluchestan provinces of Iran, young girls must venture far from their villages to fetch water and to wash clothes. In most of these bodies of water lies a danger: a type of Iranian crocodile called Gando. Gando attacks humans and is the main cause for maiming and dismemberment among young children. Most people believe that Gando are to be revered: where there are crocodiles there is water. This documentary film tells the story of a 9 year-old girl named Hawa who lost a hand to a Gando. It has a run time of 7:56.