Documentary Shorts Program 2
Slices of life from across the documentary spectrum.
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.
Churchill, Manitoba, is famous as an international destination for photographing polar bears. We’ve seen the majestic images and classic wildlife TV programs - but what do these bears see of us? Nuisance Bear shifts our perspective to reveal an obstacle course of tourist paparazzi and wildlife officers whom bears must navigate during their annual migration.
Nalujuk Night is an up close look at an exhilarating, and sometimes terrifying, Labrador Inuit tradition. Every January 6th from the dark of the Nunatsiavut night, the Nalujuit appear on the sea ice. They walk on two legs, yet their faces are animalistic, skeletal, and otherworldly. Snow crunches underfoot as they approach their destination: the Inuit community of Nain. Despite the frights, Nalujuk Night is a beloved annual event, showing that sometimes it can be fun to be scared. Rarely witnessed outside of Nunatsiavut, this annual event is an exciting chance for Inuit, young and old, to prove their courage and come together as a community to celebrate culture and tradition.
2019. Spring flooding in Mississippi hits record highs. In Louisiana, the residents of Pierre-Part are preparing for the worst. Barring an unexpected turn of events, local authorities will soon be forced to open the floodgates of the Morganza Spillway, in order to save the cities of New-Orleans and Bâton-Rouge from further uncontrolled flooding. Faith and resilience are the two best weapons they still have in the face of uncertainty.
A documentary that spotlights a 38 year tradition, the “Dress A Cow” event at Ohio’s Canfield County Fair. A meditation on bovine beauty, it reminds us that putting pants on a cow is not like putting pants on a person.
Each week, scores of people visit the Brooklyn Public Library to see their incarcerated loved ones via a free video call. For many, the imperfect, virtual interactions of the so-called video visits are preferable to the traumatizing and humiliating process of traveling to New York City's notorious Rikers Island jail. "Video Visit" tells the story of two mothers and their sons, and the librarians who negotiate daily with the Department of Corrections (and a growing for-profit prison telecoms industry) in an effort to keep the families connected.
What can one person do to keep her community healthy? Cherilyn Yazzie grew up on the Navajo Nation and after years of working in public health, she has returned to her ancestral land to grow produce for her community. As a social worker she tired of telling kids to eat healthy when that was often impossible: there are 13 grocery stores on the Navajo Nation, a reservation that is over 27,000 square miles. Cherilyn and her husband are embarking on their biggest crop to date over a summer where nothing goes as planned. Faced with the chaos of a changing climate and devastating family loss, Cherilyn endures but will the farm survive?
Coming Home follows Freedom Dabka Group - a collective of Palestinian-American dancers, living in Bay Ridge (Brooklyn) who use Dabka as a way to connect to their community and homeland. Shot on 16mm under the unique constraints of 2020-21 featuring archive photography from The Palestinian Museum.