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November 29 - December 2, 2012 | Whose Story Is It?
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Thursday, November 29
 

6:00pm

Mead Arcade

This year, in collaboration with Games for Change, the Mead invites audiences to play a series of interactive digital games that delve into critical social and global issues that appear throughout Festival films and discussions. The games provide a fun and provocative way for audiences to discover their experience of other cultures and the relationship between media and social impact. The games are free and will be available for play at computer stations in the Grand Gallery throughout the Festival, assisted by game “ambassadors” from Games for Change. Through play we further probe — What do you bring to the story?

Free with Museum Admission


Thursday November 29, 2012 6:00pm - 10:30pm
Grand Gallery

7:00pm

Opening Night: The Other Half of Tomorrow

Sadia Shepard and Samina Quraeshi

2012 | Pakistan

Discover a contemporary Pakistan that is very different from the stereotypes portrayed in mainstream media headlines. The Other Half of Tomorrow is a vivid portrait of the lives of a diverse set of Pakistani women working to change their country. A series of seven linked chapters, the film introduces us to the disparate contexts that make up a complex culture—from a women’s rights’ workshop in a village in rural Punjab, to an underground dance academy in Karachi, to the playing fields of the Pakistan Women’s Cricket Team. Intertwining the religious, economic, social, and political issues that are facing Pakistani society, The Other Half of Tomorrow explores the richness and internal plurality within Pakistan and the urgent need for better understanding of its conflicts. 

Co-presented by Asia Society


Thursday November 29, 2012 7:00pm - 9:00pm
LeFrak IMAX Theater American Museum of Natural History

9:00pm

Opening Night Filmmaker Reception

Ticket includes admission to our Opening Night Film:

The Other Half of Tomorrow

Sadia Shepard and Samina Quraeshi

2012 | Pakistan

Discover a contemporary Pakistan that is very different from the stereotypes portrayed in mainstream media headlines. The Other Half of Tomorrow is a vivid portrait of the lives of a diverse set of Pakistani women working to change their country. A series of seven linked chapters, the film introduces us to the disparate contexts that make up a complex culture—from a women’s rights’ workshop in a village in rural Punjab, to an underground dance academy in Karachi, to the playing fields of the Pakistan Women’s Cricket Team. Intertwining the religious, economic, social, and political issues that are facing Pakistani society, The Other Half of Tomorrow explores the richness and internal plurality within Pakistan and the urgent need for better understanding of its conflicts.  

Co-presented by Asia Society

 


Thursday November 29, 2012 9:00pm - 12:00am
Hall of Gems and Minerals American Museum of Natural History
 
Friday, November 30
 

10:00am

Mead Arcade

Mead Arcade

November 29 – December 2 | Grand Gallery

FREE with Any 2012 Mead Ticket Stub

This year, in collaboration with Games for Change, the Mead invites audiences to play a series of interactive digital games that delve into critical social and global issues that appear throughout Festival films and discussions. The games provide a fun and provocative way for audiences to discover their experience of other cultures and the relationship between media and social impact. The games are free and will be available for play at computer stations in the Grand Gallery throughout the Festival, assisted by game “ambassadors” from Games for Change. Through play we further probe — What do you bring to the story?

Attendees of the 2012 Margaret Mead Film Festival will have the opportunity to play the following games:

The Cat and the Coup 
Peter Brinson, Kurosh ValaNejad, University of Southern California
Told through a visually complex and metaphoric design aesthetic, The Cat and the Coup explores the downfall of Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran. Players control Mossadegh’s cat and as it guides his soul through the events that lead to the systemic coup to take him down.

Guess My Race 
Michael D. Baran, Harvard University
This simple and powerful guessing game challenges players to determine a person’s race through pre-assumptions based on physical appearance and a series of purposely leading choices. After answering, players can read direct responses from people who appear in the game, as they explain how they culturally identify.

Hunt for the Noor Stone
Endeavor Films, Playwala, ITVS
Part of the transmedia properties surrounding the comic book “The 99″, Hunt for the Noor Stone is another aspect of the project that uses video games to positively highlight Islamic culture. In Noor Stone, players travel through time to stop a villain from capturing the game’s namesake artifact. Players must learn more about Islamic history and language to solve puzzle to stop his advance.

Sweatshop
Litteloud
Sweatshop takes a dark, tongue-in-cheek look at the horrors of overseas, sweatshop labor. As players abuse their workers to gain higher scores, the cartoonish gameplay mirrors the actual problems that exist in these labor institutions.

WAY 
Coco & Co.
WAY bridges the gap between cultures through non-verbal communication, team work, and random pairing of players around the world. By putting players in an environment of puzzles that they cannot solve alone, WAY encourages collaborative teamwork with strangers until their hard work culminates in a dramatic finale, finally allowing players to “speak” for the first time.

 


Friday November 30, 2012 10:00am - 9:00am
Grand Gallery

4:30pm

SOLD OUT - Nagaland: The Last of the Headhunters

Patrick Morell

2011 | India

An exploration of the Nagaland Region, which extends from Northeast India into Northern Myanmar, this film both documents the ancient rituals that preserve the proud traditions of the sixteen Naga tribes still living in these remote forests and examines how Naga society has adapted to survive in contemporary times. Interviews with community leaders and scenes of daily life balance these rituals, illuminating how the Naga accommodate those traditions to the intrusions of the modern world. Nagaland reveals a culture that remains rich and complex even as its basic underpinnings have fewer and fewer outlets for expression in the present.


Friday November 30, 2012 4:30pm - 5:55pm
People Center American Museum of Natural History

5:00pm

Re-seeing the Century: The Expedition on Film

At this yearʼs Margaret Mead Film Festival, we celebrate the Museumʼs legacy of scientific expedition and exploration from the early 20th century to the present day. We will imagine how early American audiences perceived new knowledge about distant lands, strange animals, and exotic cultures is captured and shown on film. The program will include excerpts from the AMNH Library archives made by legendary explorers Carl Akeley and Martin and Osa Johnson, and footage from the Burden expedition, which captured the elusive Komodo Dragon—the expedition that inspired King Kong (1933). We will also discuss changes in the culture of exploration with a renowned Museum Curator who has led cutting-edge ichthyology expeditions around the world as well as discuss new approaches to documenting research on film with the producer of the Museumʼs Science Bulletins.


Panelists include Barbara Mathé, Museum Archivist and Head of Library Special Collections, Pegi Vail, Associate Director for the Center for Media, Culture, and History at New York University, Melanie Stiassny, Museum Curator of Ichthyology and Vivian Trakinski, Director of the Museumʼs Science Bulletins.

Co-presented by The Paley Center for Media


Friday November 30, 2012 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Linder American Museum of Natural History

6:00pm

Bay of All Saints

Annie Eastman, Diane Markrow, and Davis Coombe

2012 | Brazil

This moving account of the palafitas, the last of the notorious water slums in the Bay of All Saints in Bahia, Brazil, illuminates the struggle between a government aggressively trying to reclaim the bay in the name of ecological restoration and the hundreds of families forced to evacuate in the process. Filmed among the vast network of shacks built on stilts above a rising tide of garbage and scheduled for demolition, Bay of All Saints turns the plight of one community into a provocative contemplation on poverty, environmental justice, and the notion of home.

Co-presented by Cinema Tropical


Friday November 30, 2012 6:00pm - 7:15pm
Kaufmann American Museum of Natural History

6:30pm

Keep Me Upright (Tiens moi droite)

Zoé Chantre

2011 | France 

Zoé Chantre offers an intimate and wry self-portrait that celebrates the healing qualities of art and the power of defining one’s own story. Diagnosed as a child with a scoliosis and a large angioma of the left brain, conditions that prevented her from carrying anything heavy and caused ophthalmic migraines, Chantre found solace in creative expression—first in drawing, and eventually in filmmaking. The product of five years of collecting, recording, and editing images, this autobiographical film incorporates collage and animation to showcase a wholly unique voice and fresh visual style. Addressing her delicate, poignant, and very personal subject matter with humor and spirit, Chantre has produced a beautifully realized and original debut that marks her as an extraordinary emerging talent.

Co-presented by Inclusion in the Arts and Rooftop Films


Friday November 30, 2012 6:30pm - 7:45pm
People Center American Museum of Natural History

7:00pm

Sun Kissed

Maya Stark and Adi Lavy

2011 | USA (Najavo Nation)

After a Navajo couple discovers their children have a disorder making exposure to sunlight fatal, they learn this rare genetic disease is all too common on their reservation in New Mexico. They embark on a challenging journey to delve deeper into the mystery of the illness as they search desperately for answers and treatment options. Sun Kissed examines the life of one family to tell a story encompassing nuanced themes of Navajo identity, cultural taboos, and tribal history.


Following the screening, a group of distinguished panelists, moderated by Louise Lamphere, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Emerita at the University of New Mexico, will discuss critical questions about Navajo culture and genetics, as well as documentary film making in the Navajo community. Panelists include: Jennie Joe, Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona, Jeff Long, Oncologist practicing in Albuquerque, NM; Maureen Schwarz, Professor of Anthropology at Syracuse University and Wesley Thomas, Professor of Dineʼ Studies at Navajo Technical College.


Co-presented by the Consulate General of Israel in New York


Friday November 30, 2012 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Linder American Museum of Natural History

8:30pm

Meanwhile in Mamelodi

Benjamin Kahlmeyer                                                                                                        

2011 | South Africa, Germany

Welcome to the “shack side”—Extension 11, one of the many districts in the township of Mamelodi in Pretoria, South Africa: no running water, no paved roads, no electricity. With the 2010 World Cup as a backdrop, this is the setting for the story of the Mtsweni family—led by father Steven and his 17-year-old daughter Moskito—as they maintain the small kiosk that sustains them, shouldering poverty, illness, and the general daily challenges to survival to survival as common here as they are in any number of other countries. Meanwhile in Mamelodi is an intimateheartfelt, difficult, and ultimately uplifting portrait of one family’s dreams and disappointments, complete with teenage problems, business stress, and larger questions of hope and despair in modern South Africa—and vuvuzelas. 

Co-presented by Museum for African Art 


Friday November 30, 2012 8:30pm - 9:45pm
People Center American Museum of Natural History

8:30pm

Himself He Cooks

Valérie Berteau and Philippe Witjes

2011 | India, Belgium    

Tons of colorful fruits and rice, giant cooking-pots, anonymous volunteers moving in unison to feed the visitors: we observe a langar, the Sikh tradition of a common canteen where all are served for free regardless of their background. Set in the Golden Temple of Amritsar, a prominent place of Sikh worship, this beautiful, wordless film captures the spontaneous choreography of hundreds of people preparing tens of thousands of meals a day to reveal the unique face of this sacred place. Himself He Cooks is at once a striking visual essay, offering insights into the meaning of charity and philanthropy, and a profound meditation on food as the nexus of culture, nature, and human necessity.

Co-presented by Asia Society and Flanders House

This film will be followed by a reception and dance party in the Cullman Hall of the Universe with DJ Rekha. Admission is free with a 2012 Mead ticket stub.

 


Friday November 30, 2012 8:30pm - 9:50pm
Kaufmann American Museum of Natural History

10:00pm

Bhangra Dance Party w/ DJ Rekha

Following the screening of Himself He Cooks, DJ Rekha, founder and host of the legendary Basement Bhangra and Bollywood Disco parties, lights up the Cullman Hall of the Universe with a feast of South Asian sound, color, and movement.

Free with Any 2012 Mead Ticket Stub


Friday November 30, 2012 10:00pm - 12:00am
Cullman Hall of the Universe American Museum of Natural History
 
Saturday, December 1
 

10:00am

Mead Arcade

Mead Arcade

November 29 – December 2 | Grand Gallery

FREE with Any 2012 Mead Ticket Stub

This year, in collaboration with Games for Change, the Mead invites audiences to play a series of interactive digital games that delve into critical social and global issues that appear throughout Festival films and discussions. The games provide a fun and provocative way for audiences to discover their experience of other cultures and the relationship between media and social impact. The games are free and will be available for play at computer stations in the Grand Gallery throughout the Festival, assisted by game “ambassadors” from Games for Change. Through play we further probe — What do you bring to the story?

Attendees of the 2012 Margaret Mead Film Festival will have the opportunity to play the following games:

The Cat and the Coup 
Peter Brinson, Kurosh ValaNejad, University of Southern California
Told through a visually complex and metaphoric design aesthetic, The Cat and the Coup explores the downfall of Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran. Players control Mossadegh’s cat and as it guides his soul through the events that lead to the systemic coup to take him down.

Guess My Race 
Michael D. Baran, Harvard University
This simple and powerful guessing game challenges players to determine a person’s race through pre-assumptions based on physical appearance and a series of purposely leading choices. After answering, players can read direct responses from people who appear in the game, as they explain how they culturally identify.

Hunt for the Noor Stone
Endeavor Films, Playwala, ITVS
Part of the transmedia properties surrounding the comic book “The 99″, Hunt for the Noor Stone is another aspect of the project that uses video games to positively highlight Islamic culture. In Noor Stone, players travel through time to stop a villain from capturing the game’s namesake artifact. Players must learn more about Islamic history and language to solve puzzle to stop his advance.

Sweatshop
Litteloud
Sweatshop takes a dark, tongue-in-cheek look at the horrors of overseas, sweatshop labor. As players abuse their workers to gain higher scores, the cartoonish gameplay mirrors the actual problems that exist in these labor institutions.

WAY 
Coco & Co.
WAY bridges the gap between cultures through non-verbal communication, team work, and random pairing of players around the world. By putting players in an environment of puzzles that they cannot solve alone, WAY encourages collaborative teamwork with strangers until their hard work culminates in a dramatic finale, finally allowing players to “speak” for the first time.

 


Saturday December 1, 2012 10:00am - 9:00pm
Grand Gallery

1:00pm

George Stoney Tribute: Man of Aran and How the Myth Was Made

Man of Aran begins at 1 pm

How the Myth was Made begins 2:45 pm

Panel discussion following the screenings

The beloved documentarian and educator George Stoney, who passed away in July of this year, made more than 50 films in his lifetime and inspired multiple generations of anthropological filmmakers. This tribute features a screening of one of his best known works—among the finest examples of a film about a film ever made—a screening of the film it was about, and a panel discussion about its impact and Stoney’s enduring legacy. 

 

Man of Aran

Robert J. Flaherty

1934 | Ireland

Robert J. Flaherty’s classic 1934 depiction of life on the Aran Islands off the western coast of Ireland shows characters living a pre-modern lifestyle where daily routines include fishing off high sea cliffs, potato farming in sparse soil, and hunting for the massive basking sharks whose liver provides the oil that lights their lamps. This engrossing film features actual islanders, but the characters and situations are both real and contrived; its captivating picture of existence on this bleak outcropping of land retains an undeniable power and drama, making it a paradigmatic work of ethnofiction.

Courtesy of the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

 

How the Myth was Made

George Stoney

1978 | Ireland

Stoney’s response to Robert Flaherty's classic 1934 ethnofiction Man of Aran revisits the Aran Islands four decades later and interviews surviving locals about their memories of the original film and their reactions to making this one. Examining the work of one of his intellectual forebears and its lasting effects on a community where he himself had roots—Stoney’s grandfather was the doctor on the island where Falherty made his film—the director creates a persuasive and multi-faceted illustration of his belief that a filmmaker always leaves a mark on the people and places he films. Includes excerpts from the original documentary. 

Co-presented by Center for Media, Culture, and History, NYU


Saturday December 1, 2012 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Linder American Museum of Natural History

1:30pm

Tundra Book: A Tale of Vukvukai, the Little Rock (Kniga Tundry. Povest' o Vukvukaye - malen'kom kamne)

Aleksei Vakhrushev

2011 | Russia

Vukvukai, a Chukchi reindeer herder from a remote peninsula along the Bering Sea region of eastern Russia in the Arctic Circle, lives by the traditions of his ancient, nomadic culture—following practices that have allowed them to survive in one of the harshest climate zones on earth. Centering on Vukvukai and his community, this gorgeous and often lighthearted documentary by Yupik filmmaker Aleksei Vakhrushev follows the community from the snow-bleached winters to the budding spring, offering a glimpse into a land, a culture, and a people that few have been able to witness.

Co-presented by CEC Artslink


Saturday December 1, 2012 1:30pm - 3:15pm
Kaufmann American Museum of Natural History

2:00pm

Wheat and Tares (Het Kaf en Het Koren)

Stefan Wittekamp and Suzanne Arts

2012 | USA, The Netherlands

When Bible teacher and Christian radio presenter Harold Camping predicted that May 21, 2011 was to be Judgment Day, he earned many followers as well as detractors. Dutch filmmakers Stefan Wittekamp and Suzanne Arts follow some of Camping’s adherents and their loved ones, chronicling their hopes, fears, and loneliness as they prepare for May 21st and cope with the disillusionment of its aftermath. Their actions inevitably create a mutual sense of incomprehension between them and the unbelieving outside world. The film’s sensitive portrayal of their isolation reveals the power of persuasive ideology.

MARGARET MEAD FILMMAKER AWARD CONTENDER

Co-presented by the Consulate General of the Netherlands and UnionDocs

 


Saturday December 1, 2012 2:00pm - 3:15pm
People Center American Museum of Natural History

4:00pm

African Drumming Performance

The vibrant and joyful Universal African Drum and Dance Ensemble performs in the spirit of Sweet Dreams (Playing Saturday, December 1 at 6 pm in the Kaufmann Theater), which tells the story of Rwanda’s first all female drumming troupe.

Free with Museum Admission


Saturday December 1, 2012 4:00pm - 4:45pm
Hall of Birds of the World American Museum of Natural History

4:00pm

The Human Tower

Ram Devineni and Cano Rojas

2012 | India, Chile, Spain (Catalonia)   

The culture of one of the world’s most unusual and spectacular team endeavors — the building of multi-storey human towers, which stems from parallel traditions in Catalonia and India — provides the framework for this exhilarating story of perseverance and triumph. Following teams from India, Chile, and Spain, The Human Tower unfolds as three separate dramas connected by common themes of passion and teamwork that transcend race, age, and national borders. Cutting among the three countries, the film leads up to a breathtaking climactic scene that highlights each team’s individual challenges and accomplishments. 

Co-presented by Asia Society


Saturday December 1, 2012 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Kaufmann American Museum of Natural History

4:30pm

Buzkashi!

Najeeb Mirza

2012 | Tajikistan  

Donning protective gear that includes tank helmets from old wars, the players of Tajikistan’s wild and violent polo-like sport of Buzkashi prepare for competition as if going into battle. Rivalries, alliances, and political intrigues pit ancient values of honor and integrity against ego-driven hunger for power and wealth, and this film, both an exploration of the game and a character study of three of its top players, opens an intriguing window on this former Soviet republic. While scenes of hundreds of riders on horseback racing across the plateaus of this mountainous country are striking and viscerally thrilling, the personal lives of the protagonists—husbands and fathers devoted to their families and with deep roots in their communities—emerge as surprisingly familiar.

Co-presented by CEC Artslink


Saturday December 1, 2012 4:30pm - 5:45pm
Linder American Museum of Natural History

5:00pm

Manapanmirr, in Christmas Spirit

Paul Gurrumuruwuy, Fiona Yangathu, Jennifer Deger, and David Mackenzie

2012 | Australia

The complex sorrows and joys of Christmas in northeast Arnhem Land, one of the largest and most isolated tracts of Aboriginal land in Australia, are imbued with the transformative cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Narrated by Yolngu director Paul Gurrumuruwuy, this film examines how stories first brought by missionaries in the mid-20th century have become the basis for celebrating the enduring place of the ancestral in the modern world. Manapanmirr, an expression that refers to a state of being joined or brought together, is a theme that pervades this moving film, which grew out of co-director and producer Jennifer Degerʼs ongoing explorations of Yolngu image-making and aesthetics, a two-decade project of creative collaboration with Yolngu artists and performers.

Co-presented by Center for Religion and Media, NYU.


Saturday December 1, 2012 5:00pm - 6:15pm
People Center American Museum of Natural History

6:00pm

Whose Story Is It? Story Lounge

While storytelling is one of the oldest forms of entertainment and communication, as well as an important means to pass on knowledge from generation to generation, storytelling continually takes on new forms as technology evolves. We share stories today through online chats, live performances, documentary films, TV or radio broadcast, and on mobile devices as downloaded podcasts. Whose Story Is It? Story Lounge is an interactive storytelling event that will explore, along with the audience, the role of stories in our contemporary lives: from thinking about what makes a story feel ‘authentic’ to the listener or viewer, or the role of the curator, programmer, and producer in choosing what stories are presented, to the storytellers’ own cultural and personal perspectives in thinking about what and how we hear about our own communities and those around the world.

Join anthropologist Pegi Vail for this conversation on stories with leading producers who share their expertise and experiences on the topic. Story Lounge participants include filmmakers presenting documentaries at the Mead this year, Moth founder George Green and Artistic Director Catherine Burns, POV Executive Director Simon Kilmurry, and StoryCorps Senior Producer Michael Garofalo and Producer Lizzie Jacobs. We’ll relax in the lounge over a glass of wine, soda, or coffee* at tables to swap stories of your own during the break.

Organized by Pegi Vail (NYU, The Moth)

Co-presented by Center for Media, Culture, and History, NYU

*Refreshments will be available for purchase during the event 


Saturday December 1, 2012 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Wallach Orientation Center American Museum of Natural History

6:00pm

Sweet Dreams

Rob Fruchtman and Lisa Fruchtman

2012 | Rwanda, USA

Powerful sounds pierce the silence of the countryside. Curious children gawk outside the gate. This is something new in Rwanda—a group of women, 60 strong, pounding out rhythms of power and joy. They are Ingoma Nshya, Rwanda's first and only women's drumming troupe, open to women from both sides of the conflict in which close to a million were killed by neighbors, friends, and even family. When, with the help of Brooklyn ice cream purveyors, the troupe decides to open the country’s first ice cream shop, this spirited film evolves into a surprising and joyful tale of courage, ingenuity, and hope in the face of the unthinkable. Sweet Dreams follows this remarkable group of women as they emerge from the devastation of the genocide to create a new future for themselves. 

Ticketholders at this screening will receive ice cream courtesy of Brooklyn’s Blue Marble Ice Cream.Free ice cream for all ticketholders at this screening from Brooklyn’s Blue Marble Ice Cream.

This program will be preceded by a drumming event with Universal African Dance + and Drummers in the Hall of Birds of the World at 4 pm.  

Co-presented by Museum for African Art


Saturday December 1, 2012 6:00pm - 7:45pm
Kaufmann American Museum of Natural History

7:00pm

18 Days in Egypt

Jigar Mehta and Yasmin Elayat

2011 | Egypt, USA       

18 Days in Egypt is an interactive documentary project that tells the story of the revolution, using the personal media created by Egyptians in the crucible of the revolution. Expanding the notion of what a documentary can achieve and how it can be made, the project was created to empower Egyptians to tell this story themselves, with footage, photos, e-mails, texts, even tweets and Facebook status updates, all created during the ongoing revolution. Thousands of media fragments on cell phones, cameras, and hard drives around Egypt remain. If they aren’t collected soon, they will vaporize and these unique stories will disappear. The 18 Days in Egypt team, based in Cairo and Silicon Valley, is engaged in an all-out effort to retrieve the stories and fragments, which are then catalogued and combined into specific narratives and form the heart of an interactive website where they can be viewed and shared.

Mead audiences will have multiple opportunities to experience 18 Days in Egypt in both its original form and in a guided viewing experience with the project team.

Co-presented by Tribeca Film Festival


Saturday December 1, 2012 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Linder American Museum of Natural History

7:30pm

Bury the Hatchet

Aaron Walker                                                                                                                  

2011 | USA     

The three Mardi Gras Indian Chiefs at the center of this vibrant film are driven by an urgent need to pass on and preserve their unique culture. Icons of a centuries-old blending of African and Native American traditions, they sew elaborate costumes to parade through the streets on Mardi Gras, singing songs that add another layer to the city’s already rich musical vernacular. The stories of these very different men collectively create a window on the difficult history of African Americans in New Orleans, before and after Hurricane Katrina. Their humor, vitality, and perseverance—along with the exuberant joy of their music—illuminate the strong and resilient human spirit.


Saturday December 1, 2012 7:30pm - 9:00pm
People Center American Museum of Natural History

8:30pm

Maori Boy Genius

Pietra Brettkelly

2011 | New Zealand

Ngaa Rauuira is a prodigy and a political force to be reckoned with as he rails against the statistics of his society: the predominance of uneducated youth, 40% imprisonment among adults, and alarming suicide rates. He is also 16 years old and about to leave New Zealand to attend classes halfway around the world at Yale University. In this inspiring coming-of-age profile, this young national hero shoulders the weight of what everyone (including himself) believes to be his destiny—to become the voice and hope of his people—while at the same time trying to fit in with his peers and maintain some normalcy in a teenage life that is anything but ordinary.


Saturday December 1, 2012 8:30pm - 10:15pm
Kaufmann American Museum of Natural History

9:00pm

The Light in Her Eyes

Laura Nix and Julia Meltzer

2012 | Syria

At her Qur’an school for girls in Damascus, the conservative Muslim preacher Houda al-Habash immerses her students in rigorous study, challenging them to live according to Islam without giving up their dreams. This profile of al-Habash reveals an extraordinary leader who is breaking barriers and working to reform the role of women in Islam while holding fast to her conservative beliefs. Shot just before the recent uprising in Syria, The Light in Her Eyes is both a timely examination of a cultural shift underwayunder way, as women claim more space within the mosque, and a deft study of an inspiring hero who galvanizes the girls and young women in her community to reconcile faith and personal empowerment.  


Saturday December 1, 2012 9:00pm - 10:45pm
Linder American Museum of Natural History
 
Sunday, December 2
 

10:00am

Mead Arcade

Mead Arcade

November 29 – December 2 | Grand Gallery

FREE with Any 2012 Mead Ticket Stub

This year, in collaboration with Games for Change, the Mead invites audiences to play a series of interactive digital games that delve into critical social and global issues that appear throughout Festival films and discussions. The games provide a fun and provocative way for audiences to discover their experience of other cultures and the relationship between media and social impact. The games are free and will be available for play at computer stations in the Grand Gallery throughout the Festival, assisted by game “ambassadors” from Games for Change. Through play we further probe — What do you bring to the story?

Attendees of the 2012 Margaret Mead Film Festival will have the opportunity to play the following games:

The Cat and the Coup 
Peter Brinson, Kurosh ValaNejad, University of Southern California
Told through a visually complex and metaphoric design aesthetic, The Cat and the Coup explores the downfall of Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran. Players control Mossadegh’s cat and as it guides his soul through the events that lead to the systemic coup to take him down.

Guess My Race 
Michael D. Baran, Harvard University
This simple and powerful guessing game challenges players to determine a person’s race through pre-assumptions based on physical appearance and a series of purposely leading choices. After answering, players can read direct responses from people who appear in the game, as they explain how they culturally identify.

Hunt for the Noor Stone
Endeavor Films, Playwala, ITVS
Part of the transmedia properties surrounding the comic book “The 99″, Hunt for the Noor Stone is another aspect of the project that uses video games to positively highlight Islamic culture. In Noor Stone, players travel through time to stop a villain from capturing the game’s namesake artifact. Players must learn more about Islamic history and language to solve puzzle to stop his advance.

Sweatshop
Litteloud
Sweatshop takes a dark, tongue-in-cheek look at the horrors of overseas, sweatshop labor. As players abuse their workers to gain higher scores, the cartoonish gameplay mirrors the actual problems that exist in these labor institutions.

WAY 
Coco & Co.
WAY bridges the gap between cultures through non-verbal communication, team work, and random pairing of players around the world. By putting players in an environment of puzzles that they cannot solve alone, WAY encourages collaborative teamwork with strangers until their hard work culminates in a dramatic finale, finally allowing players to “speak” for the first time.

 


Sunday December 2, 2012 10:00am - 9:00pm
Grand Gallery

1:00pm

Grab

Billy Luther

2010 | USA

Filmmaker Billy Luther, who belongs to the Navajo, Hopi, and Laguna Pueblo tribes, offers this captivating look at the little documented tradition of Grab Day, a community-wide prayer of abundance, thanks, and renewal in Laguna Pueblo villages that exists at the intersection of traditional Native and contemporary Western cultures. Grab Day, which began 300 years ago when the Spanish brought Catholicism to the Southwest, honors the feast days of specific saints, which the Laguna Pueblos celebrate by throwing food and gifts from the rooftops of their homes. Luther grew up with the tradition and returns home to find out how it has evolved. His intimate portrait of three families as they prepare for the annual event offers a fascinating look at Laguna Pueblo society through the lens of this joyful holiday. 


Sunday December 2, 2012 1:00pm - 2:15pm
People Center American Museum of Natural History

1:00pm

A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet

Mark Kitchell

2012 | Various

A big-picture exploration of the environmental movement, A Fierce Green Fire spans 50 years of grassroots and global activism, delving deeply into five emblematic stories and focusing on the passionate and committed people who pushed them forward. While the issues at the heart of these stories—conservation, pollution, alternative energy alternatives, global resources, and climate change—are vital and compelling, the film’s depiction of the stories’ protagonists is set it apart: David Brower and the Sierra Club halting dams in the Grand Canyon, Lois Gibbs and the housewives of Love Canal fighting 20,000 tons of toxic waste, Chico Mendes and the rubbertappers saving the Amazon rainforest. This film is a dynamic ethnography of environmentalism.

This film is presented in conjunction with the reopening of the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial. Audiences are encouraged to visit the renovated gallery and explore the Museum’s own conservation legacy. 


Sunday December 2, 2012 1:00pm - 2:45pm
Kaufmann American Museum of Natural History

1:30pm

Jai Bhim Comrade

Anand Patwardhan

2012 | India

In India, members of the Dalit ("Untouchable") caste were systematically discriminated against and oppressed for thousands of years, denied education, and treated as bonded labor. By the 1920’s Bhimrao Ambedkar broke the taboo winning doctorates abroad and fighting for the emancipation of his people. His legend still spreads through poetry and song. This film was shot over 14 years by acclaimed political documentarian Anand Patwardhan, whose work pursues diverse and controversial issues at the crux of Indian social and political life and has been frequently targeted by state censors. Epic in its scope and ambition, the film stands as both a record of recent history of the Dalits and an eloquent testimony to the power of countering superstition and religious bigotry with reason.

This screening will be followed by a Q&A moderated by Dr. Arjun Appadurai, a contemporary social-cultural anthropologist and the Paulette Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Co-presented by Human Rights Watch Film Festival

 


Sunday December 2, 2012 1:30pm - 4:45pm
Linder American Museum of Natural History

3:00pm

Tunniit: Retracing the Lines of Inuit Tattoos (Atuaqsiniq Inuit Tunninginnik)

Alethea Arnaquq-Baril

2010 | Canada

A young woman’s quest to revive the ancient Inuit tradition of face tattooing becomes a riveting personal journey into the history of her culture. Inuit tattoos have been forbidden for a century and almost forgotten as Alethea Arnaquq-Baril tries to find out all she can before being tattooed herself. Meeting resistance from some of her fellow Inuit, she eventually finds a number of elders willing to talk about the tattoos, and the massive and sudden cultural changes that led to their decline.


Sunday December 2, 2012 3:00pm - 4:00pm
People Center American Museum of Natural History

3:30pm

Children of Srikandi

Children of Srikandi Collective

2012 | Indonesia, Germany, Switzerland    

The first film created by and about queer women in Indonesia, Children of Srikandi ties together eight authentic and poetic stories from different directors. Deeply personal and diverse in outlook and form, these contemporary stories are interwoven with beautiful shadow theater scenes that tell the story of Srikandi, a mythological character of the Mahabharata who is neither man nor woman, moving fluidly between both genders. Srikandi’s tale is frequently used in the traditional Javanese shadow puppet theatre plays; here it anchors a collective anthology that transcends the borders between documentary, fiction and experimental film.

Co-presented by NewFest


Sunday December 2, 2012 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Kaufmann American Museum of Natural History

5:00pm

SOLD OUT- Bad Weather

Giovanni Giommi                                                                                                                         2011 | Bangladesh, England, Germany    

Banishanta Island, a tiny sliver of land 100 meters long and 10 meters wide in the Bay of Bengal, south Bangladesh, is notable for two reasons: it i’s on the frontline of climate change, and its population is made up primarily of a community of sex workers. With the rising river, soil erosion, and frequent cyclones gradually destroying what is left of the island, Razia, Khadija, and Shefali, three of the last 65 women left living there, are in a battle for their homes, the future of their families, and even their quest for true love.

Co-presented by Asia Society


Sunday December 2, 2012 5:00pm - 6:45pm
People Center American Museum of Natural History

5:30pm

Through Navajo Eyes: Rethinking the Archive

Produced by Sol Worth and John Adair

1966 | USA (Navajo Nation)

In 1966, seven Navajo from Pine Springs, Arizona picked up movie cameras and created short silent films about their worlds, part of an innovative project created to see whether their films would look distinctly Navajo. While prints were left with the filmmakers, the films circulated primarily in academic circles. In October 2011, archivists from the University of Pennsylvania and the Navajo Nation Museum held a public screening at the Navajo Nation Museum.

This program includes a special screening of two of the seven films:

 

The Spirit of Navajos  

Maxine and Mary Jane Tsosie

1965

The Spirit of Navajos focuses on the directors’ grandfather, Sam Yazzie, a famous “singer” (medicine man). 

 

Intrepid Shadows

Alfred Clah

1965 

This remarkable film depicts a Navajo landscape in cosmological terms, through the eyes of an imagined Yeibichai figure.

The screenings will be followed by a discussion about these films, their history, and the exciting contemporary process of restoring them to the Navajo Nation. Panelists include: Richard Chalfen, Professor Emeritus, Anthropology, Temple University; Teresa Montoya NYU Anthropology; Mark Deschinny, Navajo Weaving Tool Master Craftsman and Community Educator; and Kate Pourshariati, Archivist, University of Pennsylvania Museum. The panel will be moderated by Elizabeth Weatherford, Head, Film and Video Center, National Museum of the American Indian.

Film prints courtesy of Visionmaker 

Co-presented by Film and Video Center, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and the Center for Media, Culture, and History, NYU

 


Sunday December 2, 2012 5:30pm - 6:45pm
Linder American Museum of Natural History

6:00pm

A Life Without Words (Una Vida Sin Palabras)

Adam Isenberg

2011 | Nicaragua 

Quiet yet profoundly provocative, this is a haunting story of two siblings born deaf in rural Nicaragua. Dulce Maria (28) and her brother Francisco (22) have never strayed more than a few miles from the farm where they were born. With no written, spoken, or signed language, the siblings were never exposed to the traditional modes of communication and learning we allothers take for granted. When a Deafn NGO worker arrives to try to teach them their first words, the unsettling drama that unfolds poses difficult questions about the meaning and nature of language, of aid work, and of documentary film.

This screening will be followed by a Q&A moderated by Ann Senghas, the Tow Associate Professor of Psychology, Barnard College of Columbia University.

Co-presented by Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts and NYU Council for the Study of Disability


Sunday December 2, 2012 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Kaufmann American Museum of Natural History

8:00pm

SOLD OUT - Tropicália

Marcelo Machado

2012 | Brazil

In the late 1960s, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Os Mutantes, and Tom Zé were creating the soundtrack to the artistic movement that sent shockwaves through Brazilian culture. Combining recently recovered archival material and encounters with these musicians and other icons of the movement, Tropicália shines a contemporary light on this vital moment in the history of the country—and of popular music around the world. A rare and thrilling document of the brilliant sparks that fly when art, culture, and politics collide.

This screening will be followed by the 2012 Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award Ceremony and a Brazilian Dance party with Maracutu NY and Nation Beat in the Wallach Orientation Center.

Co-presented by Cinema Tropical


Sunday December 2, 2012 8:00pm - 9:45pm
Kaufmann American Museum of Natural History

9:30pm

Closing Night Award Ceremony and Brazilian Dance Party

Our awards ceremony follows a screening of Tropicália, which chronicles the soundtrack to the polymath Brazilian artistic movement of the late 1960s and features amazing live performance footage of Tom Zé, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Valoso, and Os Mutantes. To bring the festival to a fittingly celebratory close, Nation Beat pairs its totally original 21st century fusion of thunderous Brazilian drumming, New Orleans second-line rhythms, funk, rock and country-blues with the percussion ensemble Maracatu NY—a finale guaranteed to leave you exhausted and happy. 

Free with a 2012 Mead Ticket Stub


Sunday December 2, 2012 9:30pm - 12:00am
Wallach Orientation Center American Museum of Natural History