2022 Programme


Detailed Programme

 Friday 15th July

16.00 Small Axe Short Films (28 mins)

Dajla: cinema and oblivion
Arturo Dueñas Herrero | 2020 | Documentary | Spain | 15:00
Life is going on in Dakhla, one of the Sahrawi refugee camps in southern Algeria, forgotten for 45 years. The celebration of a film festival, the Fisahara, breaks the monotony. The event ends, life (and oblivion) continues.
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Total Disaster
Keil Orion Troisi, Molly Gore | 2022 | Documentary | United States | 11:28
Trickster environmental activists pretending to be oil behemoth Total stage a satirical press conference to introduce “RéHabitat,” a plan to rescue animals from the East African Oil Pipeline by relocating them to “more sustainable” habitats in France. Using humor and mischief, they shed light on a deadly ecological and humanitarian disaster.
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Betsy Stern | 2021 | Documentary | United States | 1:04
Now! is a video I made about the end of the era of the car. This video is as abrupt as the undeniable evidence of Climate Change. When I was a very young child, my mom spent years fighting to protect us from what she and others knew for fact was coming with the environment, and those changes have now arrived. I hear her still in my memory talking about how we got here. But where are we going now and how are we going to get there?
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16.40 – Uncovered: The War on Iraq

Dir: Robert Greenwald | 2004 | UK | 56 min

A 2004 documentary film directed by Robert Greenwald that builds the case that the George W. Bush administration intentionally deceived the American people in order to justify going to war in Iraq in 2003.

17.45 Small Axe Short Films (32 mins)

Men Crying

Cate Smierciak | 2021 | Fiction | United States | 8:30

A one night stand-off.

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On Your Behalf

Ana Garcia Rico | 2021 | Fiction | United Kingdom | 16:27

We all have pet peeves which irritate us. They may seem like insignificant things, but who of us has never muttered the phrase ‘I could kill them’? Ava goes one step further and puts these thoughts into action.

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To Be Touched

Tuulia Soininen | 2022 | Fiction | Finland | 7:00

An experimental dance short film about a young woman’s experience of touch. It is about trauma, having the right to one’s own body and its experiences and how to set boundaries and respect them.

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18.30 – War Feels Like War

Dir: Esteban Uyarra | 2014 | UK | 59 min

A compelling account of the brutalities of 21st Century war, told through the eyes of independent journalists. Esteban Uyarra’s film documents the lives of reporters and photographers who subverted military media controls to get access to the real Iraq War.

19.40 Small Axe Short Films (30 mins)

HERMAN@S (SiblingX)

Hélène Alix Mourrier | 2021 | Documentary | France | 28:24

One night in October 2011 in Mexico, a mysterious bird dream gives birth to Cuco, a transgender latex pirate.

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20.20 – Objector

Molly Stuart | 2019 | Israel | 1hr 15min

Like all Israeli youth, Atalya is obligated to become a soldier. Unlike most, she questions the practices of her country’s military, and becomes determined to challenge this rite of passage. Despite her family’s political disagreements and personal concerns, she refuses military duty and is imprisoned for her dissent. Her courage moves those around her to reconsider their own moral and political positions. Objector follows Atalya to prison and beyond, offering a unique window into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the perspective of a young woman who seeks truth and takes a stand for justice.

21.45 Small Axe Short Films (14 mins)


Lucija Bužančić | 2022 | Fiction | Croatia | 9:48

Something grew out of the cracks and walls and occupied all the empty spaces in a little Mediterranean city. This short film is about the gentrification of a place that has recently become a real archeological site thanks to severe turistification.

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diane christiansen | 2022 | Fiction | United States | 3:15

Vagina fingers character explores universe gone mad

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an entombing(dis)entombing

Adam E. Stone | 2020 | Fiction | United States | 1:00

A one-minute poem film about building barriers vs. living with a heart full of love, filmed predominantly with an iPhone 5c, between 2015 and 2019, in Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. In addition to the H.264 version that is available for download from Vimeo as a .mov or mp4, the following options are available on request: srt file for this version (text srt file may be downloaded from this page) H.264 version with burned in subtitles (.mov or mp4) Apple ProRes 422 version with srt file (825 mb) Apple ProRes 422 version with burned in subtitles (832 mb) Text of poem: I knew a man who built a coffin for himself when he was young he hoped that he would never need it but kept it spotless just in case and when he’d argued his lover out of her reason and argued himself out of all hope he climbed into it and slammed the lid only to live many more years cobwebs and sawdust scratching his throat And I knew a child who took axes to coffins with a smile and a shrug and a gleam in her eye when others called out “we can’t” she answered “we can” and loved with a heart a hundred feet tall Copyright 2020 by Adam E. Stone. All rights reserved.

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22.10 Small Axe Short Films (23 mins)

Hope for Humanity

Adam Neale | 2022 | Fiction | United Kingdom | 2:18

We recently created this animation for a short story called ‘Hope for Humanity’, about social change and the importance of treating all sentient beings with respect. This piece mixes the issues of veganism and freedom within a deeper spiritual context which provides a solution for the consequences of humanities fate.

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Just Do It

Antonia Kinlay, Laurence Dobiesz | 2022 | Fiction | United Kingdom | 12:30

Mark’s trying to finish his novel but everyone tells him long-form content’s dead. ‘Make a film instead,’ they say. ‘Just do it! Shoot something short. Shoot something funny.’ Mark follows their advice and his film may be short, but no one’s laughing about what he shoots…

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Work it Class! (ENG)

Pol Diggler | 2021 | Fiction | Spain | 8:00

During a fancy New Year’s Eve party, two dancers will try to mock the upper class audience by changing the song of their performance.

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Saturday 16th July

10.00 Small Axe Short Films (22 mins)

Black Tea

Reneque Samuels | 2022 | Documentary | United Kingdom | 2:09

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Monkey Business (English version)

Jan Beyen | 2021 | Fiction | Belgium | 6:16

Available in 11 languages — For children: a fable with monkeys representing humans: a bad ape causes quarrels between two other tribes in order to obtain their fruit, but the other monkeys see through his plan, forgive him and teach him how to grow fruit. For less innocent spectators : Arms producing countries cause conflicts and this way they force their allies to buy weapons. In the best case the arms are never used, but even then the purchases have an enormous impact on the well being of the population. Can we refuse to be turned against our neighbours ?

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The Wheel

Metîn EWR | 2021 | Fiction | Turkey | 13:42

In the 1990s, some newspapers were not allowed to enter the Diyarbakir region, under a state of emergency at that time, although they were legal. Children like Bawer and Hebûn, who were part of the distribution group, would secretly collect these newspapers from outside the city at a previously agreed location and take them to the planned meeting place in the city. There, the children changed their clothes and went out to distribute them, under the guise of other work. But they were constantly followed by those who saw the newspaper as dangerous and wanted to prevent its dissemination. Çerx is a testament to the conditions under which these newspapers were distributed to readers and the difficulties encountered.

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10.30 Small Axe Short Films (23 mins)

Stockholm Agreement

Tanja Holm | 2022 | Documentary (Student) | Sweden | 20:00

A story about the world’s perhaps strangest peace talks. The war has turned Yemen into the greatest humanitarian catastrophe on earth. Five million children risk starvation. The warring parties are taken to Sweden for UN-led negotiations. Everyone hopes that this is the first step towards peace. But chaos surfaces. * And here also a slightly longer synopsis: The war has turned Yemen into one of the greatest disasters on earth. Something has to be done. The United Nations asks Sweden for help. And two delegations from Yemen arrive to the castle outside Stockholm, and begin to negotiate for peace. The world media is also present, as is journalist Manal Alwesabi. She is from Hodeida, a port city at the center of the fighting. A short documentary about a historical week with UN-led peace talks on Yemen, and an agreement that was said to be the beginning of the end of the war.

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11.00 – The War Game

Dir: Peter Watkins | 1966 | UK | 48 mins

The War Game

The War Game, is a 1966 British pseudo-documentary film that depicts a nuclear war and its aftermath. Written, directed and produced by Peter Watkins for the BBC, it caused dismay within the BBC and also within government, and was subsequently withdrawn before the provisional screening date of 6 October 1965. The corporation said that “the effect of the film has been judged by the BBC to be too horrifying for the medium of broadcasting. It will, however, be shown to invited audiences…”

The film eventually premiered at the National Film Theatre in London, on 13 April 1966, where it ran until 3 May.  It was then shown abroad at several film festivals, including the Venice one where it won the Special Prize. It also won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1967.

The film was eventually televised in Great Britain on 31 July 1985, during the week before the fortieth anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, the day before a repeat screening of Threads.

12.00 Small Axe Short Films (24 mins)

Occupying the Hulme Hippodrome

Dean Cooper (AKA vj decoder) | 2019 | Documentary (Student) | United Kingdom | 12:06

A short film about an old abandoned Music Hall Theatre in Hulme Manchester, I originally just went to photograph the old building which is amazing. But I ended up making this little documentary and spending a lot of time there as I found the recent history of the building just as fascinating as it’s past.

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The Outlanders – from HKG to SEA

Azure Kwok | 2022 | Documentary (Student) | United States | 11:36

After the 2019 Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement in Hong Kong, a young Hongkonger chose to leave her hometown and made her way to Seattle. She talks about how this decision marked a pivotal turning point in her life.

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12.35 Small Axe Short Films (27 mins)

How Do Animals and Plants Live?

Sherry Millner, Ernest Larsen | 2020 | Documentary | United States | 26:56

Is it true that translation creates the basis for a new commons? If so, how? The video essay How Do Animals and Plants Live? is an inquiry into the forcible eviction and immediate demolition of the self-organized anarchist-supported migrant squat Orfanotrofeio in Thessaloniki, Greece, in July 2016. An on-site interview with a young West African migrant, detailed exploration of the bulldozed ruins of the old orphanage, and performative translations from a Greek-language children’s schoolbook (How Do Animals and Plants Live?) that the filmmakers found (amid the rubble when they broke into the site)—these elements are all interwoven with strikingly relevant yet unexpected visuals sparked by questions translated directly from the book. Such visuals pointedly wonder: how is this possible? While extrapolating on the assertion that “no one is illegal,” the essay actively yet unobtrusively demonstrates the continuing viability of such anarchist principles as self-organization, autonomy, solidarity, assembly, and direct action, in relation to ongoing migrant struggles, at an historical moment when the status of the refugee has become a global paradigm.

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13.15 – Tangerines

Dir: Zaza Urushadze | 2013 | Estonian-Georgian | 1hr 27min

Tangerines, is a 2013 Estonian-Georgian film directed, produced and written by Zaza Urushadze. Set during the 1992–1993 War in Abkhazia, the film is a morality tale addressing issues of conflict, reconciliation and pacifism. It was filmed in Guria, Georgia. 

It was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards and was among the five nominated films at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

In a rural village of ethnic Estonians in Abkhazia, a Russian-backed separatist region in the newly independent Georgia, Ivo (Lembit Ulfsak) and his friend Margus (Elmo Nüganen) are the only two of their once large community who have not fled for Estonia after the outbreak of the war. Margus has delayed leaving until he can harvest his lucrative tangerine crop. Ivo, a carpenter, is attempting to make enough wooden crates to hold all the unpicked tangerines, but doesn’t reveal his reasons for staying.

Two Chechen mercenaries fighting alongside the Abkhaz separatists show up and demand food from Ivo before leaving peacefully. However, they get into a firefight with Georgian soldiers in front of Margus’ house, leaving only one alive from each side. Ahmed (Giorgi Nakashidze), the surviving Chechen, and Nika (Mikheil Meskhi), a Georgian volunteer, are both gravely wounded, and Ivo brings them into his home to nurse them back to health.


14.50 Small Axe Short Films (30 mins)

‘Labour – The Big Lie’

Christopher James Reeves | 2022 | Documentary | United Kingdom | 30:00

Platform is making a documentary about the crisis in the Labour Party. The following are the key areas the film will explore. THE “ANTISEMITISM” FURORE The film will tell the story of the “antisemitism” furore which dates from the election of Jeremy Corbyn in 2015. In the 2017 election the party won 30 seats and increased its vote share by 9.6%. In the 2019 election the party was heavily defeated. What part, the film will ask, did the antisemitism furore play in this extraordinary reversal? THE FIFTH COLUMN The film will also look at Labour’s “fifth column” — the party within the party, which included right- wing Labour MPs and many of the the party’s paid officials who together worked to derail the Corbyn project despite Jeremy’s being elected twice as leader. The film will examine how this fifth column operated and how they attempted to undermine and sabotage the work of members on the left and all those who supported Corbyn. THE THREAT TO FREE SPEECH AND DEMOCRACY The film will end by looking at the state of democracy and free speech within the Labour Party. Currently, party members, branches and CLPs who choose to discuss issues of their choice do so under the threat of censure or suspension. The film will explore how this suppression of dissent and the marginalising of voices on the left strikes at the heart of our politics not just in the Labour Party but much more widely. In conclusion the film will ask: how can the party be reformed, and free speech and democracy be renewed? What is the way forward for the Labour Party?

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15.30 – Waltz With Bashir

Dir: Ari Folman | Israel | 2008 | 1hr 30 min

Waltz With Bashir

Waltz with Bashir, is a 2008 Israeli adult animated war documentary drama film written, produced and directed by Ari Folman and the first Israeli animated feature-length films released theatrically since Joseph the Dreamer in 1962.

Waltz with Bashir premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival where it entered the competition for the Palme d’Or, and since then has won and been nominated for many additional important awards while receiving wide acclaim from critics and audience alike, which has praised its themes, animation, direction, story and editing. It has grossed over $11 million, winning numerous awards including the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film,an NSFC Award for Best Film, a César Award for Best Foreign Film and an IDA Award for Feature Documentary, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, a BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language and an Annie Award for Best Animated Feature.

It depicts Folman in search of his lost memories of his experience as a soldier in the 1982 Lebanon War.

17.10 Small Axe Short Films (32 mins)

Night Shifts

Justyna Kabala | 2020 | Documentary | United Kingdom | 7:28

The short animated documentary film addresses issues faced by healthcare professionals working night shifts at UK hospitals through a detailed account of a junior doctor’s experience. Accompanied by a rendered animation of a hospital environment, the interview transcript, read by a voice actor, discusses the responsibilities that working for the healthcare sector entails, the effect the work has on the worker’s health and wellbeing, and the broader systemic issues affecting individuals working for the National Healthcare Service today. The 3D architectural visualisation of the hospital was developed based on the interviewee’s descriptions of their work environment. The film was created as a public-facing output of a broader research project conducted in collaboration with researcher Enora Robin and CG animation artist Tom McCaughan. Special thanks to the NHS workers involved in the project.

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Under the Shadow of the Wall

Taylor Genovese | 2022 | Documentary | United States | 9:29

This video essay focuses on the landscapes of the Sonoran Desert—and the project of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico—as a way of investigating the manner in which something as seemingly generic as a wall can take on particular political and affective forms. This short provocation explores the ways that violent and distasteful objects create, and subsequently come to characterize, malevolent spectacles.

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What Travelers Are Saying About Jornada del Muerto

Hope Tucker | NaN | Documentary | United States | 13:45

Residents of and visitors to the Tularosa Basin of New Mexico, site of the first detonation of an atomic bomb, contribute to the production of public memory as they offer logistical advice, philosophical reckonings, and plaintive cries about making “the journey of the dead.” Made in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the detonation of nuclear weapons in Japan and the US and the 340th anniversary of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. Made in resistance to nuclear colonialism. *video continues after end credits* “Tucker’s way of representing the historical past makes us reconsider what the past historical time should be and what kind of action we should take to commemorate it.” Kim Taein, Curator of Museum of Contemporary Art Busan

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17.55 – Come And See

Dir: Elem Klimov | 1985 | Russua | 2hr 22min

Come and See, is a 1985 Soviet anti-war film directed by Elem Klimov and starring Aleksei Kravchenko and Olga Mironova. Its screenplay, written by Klimov and Ales Adamovich, is based on the 1978 book I Am from the Fiery Village (original title: Я из огненной деревни, Ya iz ognennoj derevni, 1977), of which Adamovich was a co-author. Klimov had to fight eight years of censorship from the Soviet authorities before he could be allowed to produce the film in its entirety.

The film’s plot focuses on the Nazi German occupation of Belarus, and the events as witnessed by a young Belarusian partisan teenager named Flyora, who—against his mother’s wishes—joins the Belarusian resistance movement, and thereafter depicts the Nazi atrocities and human suffering inflicted upon the Eastern European villages’ populace. The film mixes hyper-realism with an underlying surrealism, and philosophical existentialism with poetical, psychological, political and apocalyptic themes.


20.30 – Oh, What A Lovely War

Dir: Richard Attenborough | 1969 | UK | 2hr 24min

Oh, What a Lovely War! is an epic musical developed by Joan Littlewood and her ensemble at the Theatre Workshop in 1963. It is a satire on World War I, and by extension on war in general. The title is derived from the “somewhat satirical”music hall song “Oh! It’s a Lovely War!”, which is one of the major numbers in the production.

The musical premiered at the Theatre Royal Stratford East on 19 March 1963 to rave audience reaction. Kenneth Tynan’s review in The Observerwas titled “Littlewood returns in triumph”.



Sunday 17th July • Small Axe Sunday

The Traditional Brazilian Family KATU

RODRIGO SENA | 2019 | Documentary | Not Specified | 25:00

Produced in the year 2007, a photographic essay realized in recognition of the indigenous roots, portrayed twelve adolescents belonging to Eleutério do katu, RN Brasil. Twelve years later the photographer returns to katu in search of these protagonists, now adults, to know about his personal trajectories and his world views.

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To cut a tree on a green moon

Felipe Esparza | 2021 | Documentary | Peru | 8:45

From the diary of Christopher Columbus, October 15, 1492: “And deviated from the land by two lombard shots, there is in all these islands so much depth that one cannot reach it. These islands are very green and fertile and have very sweet airs, and there may be many things that I do not know, because I do not want to stop to go through many islands to find gold”. They had only been on land for four days. The gold never existed. It is only possible to suppose the sweetness of the air. The islands are still green.

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Joanna Suchomska | 2022 | Documentary | Poland | 14:45

MATKA / POLKA [MOTHER / POLE] is a meditation on what it means to be a woman in today’s Polish society. As a collection of stories – all verbatim – from waiting rooms, gynaecology chairs, abortion clinics, and bedrooms, the documentary bears witness to everyday acts of patriarchy and systemic violence. Adopting a poetic visual language, MATKA / POLKA breaks the taboo around the experiences, emotions and identity of Polish women who have faced the country’s strict reproductive policy and social prejudices to make decisions about their own life and body.

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The Golden Age

| 2021 | Documentary | United States | 11:05

An experimental documentary examining the traumatic history of being a woman at work in the animation industry. I put myself into conversation with a generation of women who were not given the opportunity to work in animation or to earn acknowledgement as artists. Each manipulated frame is an ode to the disregarded labor of women, wielded to create films that told young girls to dream.

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A Life Inside

Nicole Rixon | 2021 | Fiction | United Kingdom | 6:45

Thrilled to become a mum Carrie’s confidence is shattered when the pandemic hits. Her excitement and resilience crumble on the maternity unit floor, split apart from her partner, and forced to labour alone with Covid. Her trauma becomes entwined with lockdown and ten months on we see the lasting effects on her and her young family. Written by a first-time mum during lockdown, A Life Inside is inspired by a tapestry of candid first hand accounts. It explores a side to the pandemic that has affected thousands of women, whilst tackling the taboos of shame and guilt surrounding motherhood. Female writer, director and producer team Women in over 50% of all roles in front of and behind the camera An independently funded low budget production that paid everyone a day rate “This is such a powerful film, hard to watch, authentic and deeply moving. A Life Inside highlights how deeply the pandemic affected pregnancy and parenthood for families around the UK.” – Dr Rebecca Moore – Co Founder, Make Birth Better “This moving film brings home very powerfully just how distressing it was for so many women to give birth under pandemic restrictions. It will particularly resonate with women who have birth trauma as a result of that experience.” – Kim Thomas – CEO, The Birth Trauma Association “This is a powerful and impactful film which demonstrates the true reality for many of what it was like to give birth and raise a new baby in the pandemic.” – Francesca Treadaway – Engagement Director, Birthrights

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She’s The Protagonist

Sarah Carlot Jaber | 2021 | Fiction | Belgium | 14:01

The Protagonist, by her given name, is presented to us in her natural environment : a jungle, sadly, often lacking in density. But today enough is enough! Being the mother, the secretary, the lover, the nanny, the baby bottle, the side piece of the main male character is no longer enough for our dear Protagonist ! Put on “mute” after the allocated time for female* characters in a film was reached, she runs away with her friend Voice-Over for a new journey with plenty of humor.

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Embers of War

TING TU | 2020 | Fiction (Student) | China | 13:07

In 1940, a soldier sacrificed in the Chongqing Bombing of China. His wife could not accept his death and imagined the scene before he left home. This is a story talking about the impact of war on a family from one side. In 2019, the survivors of the Chongqing Bombing are now elderly, some of whom still have bomb shrapnel in heads, scars on bodies and ,most importantly, psychological trauma in minds. They hold annual memorial meetings to commemorate their dead compatriots, go to Japan to sue and so on. After all is said and done, they still remember the war. Despite of the pain in the heart, they live with hope and try to pass on to future generations the idea of cherishing peace. By creating a dialogue across time and space and using the combination of a short film and a documentary, this work wants to trauma of war left for those people at that time and hopes the world will remember history and cherish peace.

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Heavy: The Tale of Two Junkies

Benjamin Rummans | 2021 | Fiction (Student) | United States | 10:56

We go on a journey with two Heroin addicts, Brain and Dead, as they try to scratch together enough money to get their much needed fix, by any means necessary.

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Dark Cell Harlem Farm

Alexander William McKie Johnston | 2022 | Documentary | United States | 26:46

Set against the backdrop of the long history of the Texas prison system–from Juneteenth to Covid–Dark Cell Harlem Farm explores the death by suffocation of eight Black men at a prison plantation in 1913. Combining readings of primary source materials and personal reflections by formerly incarcerated individuals, footage of the prison landscapes where the incident took place, and a series of graphical interventions and excavations, the film makes an urgent and uncompromising argument for the impossibility of prison reform and the necessity of prison abolition.

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Mark Hensley | 2022 | Fiction | United States | 19:00

After the New Republic Patriot Party seizes control in America , and passes a law requiring all males over 35 to have a vasectomy to keep the number of babies with birth defects down, Jamie decides to flee to Canada on the eve of his 35th birthday.

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13.15 – Small Axe Awards Announced




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