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A Documentary About a Woman Who Became a Word

City of Asylum (2018)

ReelQ Presents

Tchindas

Wednesday, April 24th
7:00 pm

As Randy Gilson is to Northside’s Randyland … Tchinda Andrade is to Carnival on Cape Verde. She is legendary for her creativity, making displays and costumes from scant resources.

And just as “Randy” (no last name needed) is one of the most loved and well-known people on the Northside, “Tchinda” became one of most beloved and celebrated women in Cape Verde.

Tchindas

And – here is where the story gets especially interesting – when Tchinda came out as transgender in 1998, she became even more popular. Her name inspired a term (affectionate not derogatory) used by locals to name queer Cape Verdeans. They are called “Tchindas.”

The documentary won the Grand Jury Award at Outfest, was nominated for an Africa Movie Academy Award and screened at the New York African Film Festival earlier this year. It’s also made a star of its protagonist.

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Award-winning Sundance Documentary on the Trans Experience

City of Asylum (2018)

ReelQ Presents

America in Transition

Sunday, March 31st
2:00 pm

In honor of Trans Day of Visibility, ReelQ presents a screening of “Where is my Refuge,” episode 4 of the award-winning Sundance documentary series America in Transition. This screening will be followed by a Skype discussion and Q&A lead by the subject of the documentary episode, Nina Chaubal.

America in Transition

America in Transition is an award-winning, Sundance-backed documentary series exploring relationships, family and social issues with trans people of color across the United States. Each episode explores one person’s story in depth, tackling intersectional issues such as HIV criminalization, living as trans in the South, family acceptance, trans exclusion from the military and immigrant detention.

Episode 4: “Where Is My Refuge” follows the story of Nina. After growing up misunderstood in India, Nina fell in love with another trans woman in the Bay. Together, they built a suicide hotline by road-triping across small town America and connecting with thousands of trans people. But her life changed in an instant. When Arizona authorities stopped her for being brown, they then refused to release her insisting that her marriage – and therefore her immigration status – was invalid. In the month since her detention, Nina’s been caught in legal limbo, afraid she’ll be forced to leave the country where she’s saved so many lives.

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Five Fingers for Marseilles Brings the Spaghetti Western to South Africa

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

Five Fingers for Marseilles

Monday, March 18th
7:00 pm

Twenty years ago, the young Five Fingers posse fought for the rural town of Marseilles against the brutal oppression of Apartheid South Africa.

Their battle is heartfelt but innocent, until hot-headed Tau kills two policemen in an act of passion. He flees, leaving his brothers and friends behind, but his action has triggered a violent fight that will leave both Marseilles and the Five Fingers forever changed.

Five Fingers for Marseilles

“Here, saloon doors are blazoned with crosses, villains wear white shawls instead of black hats and freedom fighters shoot peashooters rather than pistols. In stylish and entertaining fashion, “Five Fingers for Marseilles” looks over the South African countryside and finds fresh vistas for the western genre.” – New York Times

Twenty years later, Tau is released from prison, and returns seeking peace. Finding the town under new threat, he must reluctantly fight to free it. Will the Five Fingers brotherhood stand again?

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“A TV film to be long remembered” – New York Magazine

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

The Autobiography of
Miss Jane Pittman

Monday, February 4th
7:00 pm

This screening marks a rare opportunity to see the beloved and ground-breaking 1970s television film The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, winner of nine Primetime Emmy Awards and a BAFTA nomination. Lead actress Cicely Tyson herself won two Emmy Awards for her unforgettable portray of Jane Pittman.

The Autobiography of Jane Pittman

Beginning during the racial turmoil of 1960s Louisiana, former slave Jane Pittman granted an interview to Ernest Gaines, a persistent journalist.

The film is based on a novel that Gaines subsequently wrote, telling the remarkable story of Pittman’s life. Her emancipation from slavery at the end of the Civil was only the beginning of an arduous and heartbreaking odyssey, which ended at the age of 110 with her participating in the Civil Rights movement.

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Oscar-Nominated Animated Feature

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

The Breadwinner

Saturday, January 5th
3:00 pm

The Breadwinner is an Academy Award and Golden Globe animated feature nominee. It tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl growing up under Taliban rule in war-torn Afghanistan in 2001 – where women are not allowed to leave home without a male accompanying them.

When her father is wrongfully arrested, there is no one to earn money or even shop for food. Parvana make a life-changing decision and disguises herself as a boy in order to support her family. With dauntless perseverance, Parvana draws strength from the stories her father told her and ultimately risks her life trying to discover if he is still alive.

The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner is by no means a simple-minded kidpic; rather, it directly confronts the misogyny and chauvinism of contemporary Afghanistan, while powerfully suggesting that storytelling is both a means of coping and a solution for change.” – Variety

Equal parts thrilling and enchanting, The Breadwinner is a timely and inspiring tale about the transcendent power of stories and their potential to unite and heal us all.

 

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“Is civilization possible in a nation where discrimination has such deep roots?”

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

Sweet Country

Monday, October 22nd
7:00 pm

Based on true events, Sweet Country makes brilliant use of the Australian outback of the 1920s as the setting for a hard-hitting story that satisfies as a character study as well as a sociopolitical statement.

Set in 1929 Australia, this film follows Sam, a middle-aged Aboriginal man who works for a preacher in Australia’s Northern Territory. When Harry (a bitter war veteran) moves into a neighboring outpost, the preacher sends Sam and his family to help Harry renovate his cattle yards. But Sam’s relationship with the cruel and ill-tempered Harry quickly deteriorates, culminating in a violent shootout in which Sam kills Harry in self-defense.

Sweet Country

“This shrewdly observed story asks another question: Is civilization possible in a nation where discrimination has such deep roots?”—Washington Post 

As a result, Sam becomes a wanted criminal for the murder of a white man and is forced to flee with his wife across the deadly outback, through glorious but harsh desert country. A hunting party led by the local lawman Sergeant Fletcher is formed to track Sam down. But as the true details of the killing start to surface, the community begins to question whether justice is really being served.

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An Extraordinary Documentary – Followed by a Panel with the Filmmaker

City of Asylum (2018)

RealTime Interventions Presents the Film

The Rest I Make Up

Monday, October 8th
7:00 pm

Maria Irene Fornes is one of America’s greatest playwrights and most influential teachers, but many only know her as the ex-lover of writer Susan Sontag.

When Fornes gradually stops writing due to dementia, an unexpected friendship with filmmaker Michelle Memran reignited her creativity and triggered a decade-long collaboration. What began as an accidental meeting becomes a story of love, creativity, and connection that persists even in the face of forgetting. Theater luminaries such as Paula Vogel, Edward Albee, Ellen Stewart, Lanford Wilson and others also appear in the film to shed light on Fornes’s important contributions.

The Rest I Make Up

The Rest I Make Up has received an explosion of interest this summer, from laudatory reviews in the New York Times and New Yorker to a sold-out run at the MoMA and a Fornes marathon at NYC’s Public Theater. RealTime Interventions is thrilled to bring the film and its maker to Pittsburgh, making our city one of the first outside of New York to experience this extraordinary new work.

A panel discussion and Q&A will follow the film, including panelists Michelle Memran (the documentary filmmaker), Katie Pearl (co-producer), Michael Cerveris (star of Broadway, TV, & film), and moderator Molly Rice of RealTime Interventions.

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“A beauty contest in this crisis? It’s a way of surviving.”

City of Asylum (2018)

ReelQ Presents

Mr. Gay Syria

Monday, August 20th
7:00 pm

Set in Istanbul and Berlin, Mr. Gay Syria follows two gay refugees as they try to rebuild their lives after fleeing the war in Syria.

What brings them together is a crazy dream: joining the international beauty contest called Mr. Gay World, hosted in Malta. If they manage, it will be the first time an Arab man from the Middle East attends such a public event. This is the place to generate visibility and launch a campaign for Syrian gay refugees.

Mr Gay Syria

“…it may not change policy, but perhaps it will make us feel closer to people we fear.” — The Guardian

While Mr. Gay Syria follows the journey of the two characters and their friends, the beauty contest becomes a thread that weaves together the difficulties of being gay in homophobic societies, the challenges of coming out, the joy of falling in love and the devastating migration crisis.

Join us for the Pittsburgh premiere screening (before its theatrical release).

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July 30: “Honesty is a sin in this country”

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

Mandabi (The Money Order)

Monday, July 30th
7:00 pm

A money order from a relative in Paris throws the life of a Senegalese family man out of order.

Illiterate and unemployed, Ibrahima Dieng’s sudden windfall — a money order from his street sweeper nephew in France for 20,000 francs (roughly $100) — plunges him into a Kafkaesque journey into bureaucracy and corruption. As friends, relations, and debtors close in, he finds he can’t cash it without an identity card, which requires a proof of birth, which in turn requires a birth certificate, three photos and a 50-cent stamp… and that’s just the beginning!

Mandabi

… it was with Mandabi (The Money Order) in 1968, that Sembène’s dream to reconnect with Africa’s masses came through. For the first time … an African filmmaker was experimenting by using an African language (Wolof), hence setting a new trend which would be followed by all film makers on the continent.” – Samba Gadjigo, Ph.D.

The Money Order is a gentle yet powerful satire about post-colonial Senegal. As Dieng concludes “honesty is a sin in this country.”

This film will be presented in Wolof with English subtitles.

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Heartwarming Film About a landmark Supreme Court Case

City of Asylum (2018)

The Art of Being L.C.

Tuesday, July 2nd
7:00 pm

The Art of Being L.C. is a story of an artist freed from the cold, gray life of institutions to the warm colorful world of pastels and water colors.

L.C. and President Obama

In 1999, L.C. (Lois Curtis) stood before the U.S. Supreme Court to demand her right under the Americans with Disabilities Act to live in community rather than be “unjustifiably segregated” in institutions. Her successful argument before the Supreme Court became known as the Olmstead Decision. “Olmstead” secured Lois Curtis’ place in American history as a liberator for people with disabilities and set Lois free to discover her own gifts as an artist.

After the screening, join us for a conversation and Q&A with the filmmaker Carl King​ via Skype.

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