Deej is the story of DJ Savarese ("Deej"), a gifted, young writer and advocate for nonspeaking autistics. Once a "profoundly disabled" foster kid on a fast track to nowhere, DJ is now a first-year college student who insists on standing up for his peers: people who are dismissed as incompetent because they are neurologically diverse. Will Deej be able to find freedom for himself and others like him?
Dog Days is directed and produced by Laura Waters Hinson and Kasey Kirby, a filmmaking duo based in Washington, DC. After losing his job in 2009, Coite Manuel sets off to build his dream business with the help of two unlikely women: Deane, his harp-playing aunt, and Siyone, an East African hotdog vendor and single mother of four. Staking his meager life savings on a vision to revive Washington, D.C.'s dwindling hotdog vending community, Coite faces bewildering challenges, from hostile city regulations to an entrenched local monopoly to the sudden popularity of food trucks. Even though success doesn't come easily, the characters fight to maintain hope in the face of adversity. Filmed over the course of four years, Dog Days follows its colorful characters as they navigate the contentious underworld of street food in the nation's capital. A captivating portrait of American entrepreneurship, Dog Days explores themes of immigration, vocation, and the power of perseverance. Featuring original songs by indie artists such as Sleeping at Last, Zach Williams, Andy Zipf, and others, Dog Days journeys to a world where the top dogs of big business meet the underdogs of street food in a comically serious caper about the promise and struggle of the American Dream.
90% of Americans want to age at home, but many of them have to rely on paid care workers because their families can't provide the support they need. Told through the stories of both care workers and their clients, CARE illuminates the many challenges and deep attachments that can be formed between the elderly and the home care workers they depend on - and exposes the cracks in a system that is poorly serving both.
On a Knife Edge is the coming-of-age story of George Dull Knife, a Lakota teenager growing up on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation. The film traces George's path to activism, inspired by his family's long history of fighting for justice for Native Americans. His focus: shutting down the liquor stores in Whiteclay, a tiny town nearby that exists only to sell beer to the reservation's vulnerable population. With 5 million cans sold a year, the devastating results include public drunkenness and violence. George joins the American Indian Movement in protesting the liquor stores, and his growing political awareness leads him on a collision course with the police and the reservation's tribal council. Filmed over four years, the documentary follows George as he learns to define the concepts of warrior, tradition, and duty in new ways.
Amid the bustling world of central Oregon's wild mushroom hunting camps, the lives of two former soldiers intersect. Roger, a 75 year-old sniper with the us special forces in Vietnam, and Kouy, a 46 year-old platoon leader of Cambodia's Khmer freedom fighters who battled the khmer Rouge, come together each fall to hunt the elusive matsutake mushroom, a rare mushroom prized in Japanese culture and cuisine. However, the pair discover more than just mushrooms in the woods: they find a new life, and livelihood; and, a means to slowly heal the scarring wounds of war. Told over the course of one Matsutake mushroom season, the Last Season is a journey into the woods, into the memory of war and survival, telling a story of family from an unexpected place.
Suicide - one of the leading causes of death for Alaska Natives. Almost every family has lost brothers, sisters, parents, and children to it. WE BREATHE AGAIN introduces four Alaska Natives who are trying to break free from histories of trauma and suicide , creating a new, more positive trail for their communities.