Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival 2015 Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival 2015

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wednesday 4 february


(dir Claire Andrade-Watkins, USA, 2006, 83 min)

Through memories, music, and history, this documentary chronicles a vibrant community of immigrants from the Cape Verde Islands in the Fox Point section of Providence, Rhode Island in the face of displacement by urban renewal and gentrification. Poignant, heartfelt, and warm, this film captures the essence, spirit, and heart of a community whose history was erased before it had been written.

Introduction by Debora Ferreira and Sid Ferreira, UMass Amherst. The director, Claire Andrade-Watkins, will be present.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management



The unwritten history of immigrants from the Cape Verde Islands confronting gentrification in the Fox Point section of Providence, Rhode Island. [official website | event poster]


Dr. Claire Andrade-Watkins

Dr. Claire Andrade-Watkins
is President of SPIA Media Productions, Inc. and an Associate Professor in the Department of Visual & Media Arts at Emerson College.

Presented in collaboration with the Department of History’s
Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series.

Department of History Feinberg Family Distinguised Lecture Series


* * * RESCHEDULED *  * *
Due to severe weather
this event is now scheduled for:
11:15am Tuesday 2/10
S404 Integrative Learning Center
UMass Amherst

tuesday 10 february

SPECIAL LECTURE: Ranjani Mazumdar

“The Geography of Colour in 1960s Bombay Cinema”

Ranjani Mazumdar is an internationally recognized leading authority on Indian cinema.  She is Professor of Cinema Studies at the School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University and author of Bombay Cinema: An Archive of a City (2007) and co-author of the forthcoming The Indian Film Industry (2015).  She is also a documentary filmmaker with productions including Delhi Diary 2001 and The Power of the Image.

11:15am UMass Amherst
S404 Integrative Learning Center


Ranjani Mazumdar's book "Bombay Cinema: An Archive of a City" (2007)

“In Bombay Cinema, Ranjani Mazumdar takes a multidisciplinary approach to understanding Bombay cinema as the unofficial archive of the city in India” (University of Minnesota Press). Ranjani Mazumdar will focus on 1960’s Bombay cinema in her lecture, “The Geography of Colour in 1960s Bombay Cinema.” [event poster]

Ranjani Mazumdar

Ranjani Mazumdar
is an internationally recognized leading authority on Indian cinema and Professor of Cinema Studies at the School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Co-sponsored with the Department of Communication.

Department of History Feinberg Family Distinguised Lecture Series


wednesday 11 february

Liar’s dice

(dir Geethu Mohandas, India, 2014, 104 min, Hindi w/English subtitles)

This drama, told with subtle humor and an acute sense of local politics and economics, follows a young woman and her child as they journey from their home village along the Tibetan border to the urban sprawl of Delhi, in search of her missing husband who left for the city, looking for work.  Along the way they tentatively befriend a mysterious man who is on a journey of his own.

Introduction by Ajay Sinha, Mount Holyoke College.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management


Liar's Dice

India's official entry for the Acadamy Awards, Liar's Dice is a slow-burn travel story through the backdrop of the socio-political conditions of India today. [official site | event poster]


wednesday 18 february


(三峡好人  Sānxiá hǎorén)

(dir Jia Zhangke, Hong Kong/China, 2006, 111 min, Mandarin w/English subtitles)

A sweeping drama of love and loss, portraying those caught up in the forced change of a rapidly modernizing society and set against the epic backdrop of the construction of the Three Gorges Dam on China’s Yangtze River.  A miner and a nurse return home to salvage their crumbling marriages and discover what must be left behind, just as the city itself faces inevitable ruin. Introduction by Christine Ho, UMass Amherst.

Comments by Yun-fei Ji, visiting artist, UMass Amherst, following the screening.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management


Still Life

Winner of the Golden Lion at the 63rd Venice Film Festival. ”I entered this condemned city with my camera and I witnessed demolitions and explosions. In the roaring noise and fluttering dust, I gradually felt that life really could blossom in brilliant colors even in a place with such desperation.“ — Jia Zhangke [official site | event poster]

Still Life: Winner of the Golden Lion at the 63rd Venice Film Festival.

Yun-Fei Ji: Migrants, Ghosts, and the Dam at the UMCA. Yun-Fei Ji: Migrants, Ghosts, and the Dam
University Museum of Contemporary Art
January 22 – March 8, 2015
Artist’s Reception | February 17, 5:00–7:00 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the University Museum of Contemporary Art,
Fine Arts Center

University Museum of Contempoary Art, Fine Arts Center


wednesday 25 february

Bert Williams’ LIME KILN CLUB FIELD DAY Project

(dir Edwin Middleton, T. Hunter Hayes, & Sam Corker, Jr., USA, 1913, 53 min, silent)

Starring legendary Caribbean American musical theater performer and recording artist Bert Williams (1874-1922), this film was never originally released and the footage lost for a century.  Just discovered in the archives of MoMA, this restoration, consisting of an assemblage of daily rushes and multiple takes, now represents the earliest known surviving feature film with a predominately black cast.  The comedy centers on three young men vying for the affection of the same woman. 

Introduction by Demetria Shabazz, UMass. Curatorial and Restoration Talk by Ron Magliozzi, Museum of Modern Art. Live piano accompaniment by Heather Reichgott.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management


Bert Williams

"Unedited footage for an unreleased black-cast feature film, originally shot in 1913 and recently discovered in MoMA’s Biograph collection, are the subject of this installation. New York producers Klaw & Erlanger mounted the untitled project at virtually the same time that D. W. Griffith began his racist epic The Birth of a Nation, but they abandoned the seven reels of exposed film in postproduction, leaving buried within it unique photographic documentation of its black cast and white crew on the set." – Ron Magliozzi, Museum of Modern Art, New York. [official site | event poster]

New England Premiere of this historic film restoration.


Ron Magliozzi

Ron Magliozzi is Associate Curator of the Department of Film at Museum of Modern Art, New York and organizer of the MoMA exhibit 100 Years in Post-Production: Resurrecting a Lost Landmark of Black Film History.

Heather Reichgott

Heather Reichgott is a pianist based in Western New England working as a performer, accompanist, and teacher.






The New York Times
“Coming Soon, a Century Late: A Black Film Gem”
by Felicia R. Lee

Studio 360
“Rediscovering Bert Williams”
with guests Ron Magliozzi and Caryl Phillips

“The First Black Movie Star...”

The Takeaway
“MoMA Resurrects Lost Chapter of Black Film History”
with guest Jacqueline Stewart

The Huffington Post
“How America's First Black Film Defied Racism 100 Years Ago”

by Brennan Williams

NPR: Code Switch
“Rare Silent Film With Black Cast Makes A Century-Late Debut”
by Walter Ray Watson

Co-sponsored by the Department of Music and Dance and with special thanks to the Museum of Modern Art Department of Film.

UMass Department of Music and Dance Museum of Modern Art


wednesday 4 march


(dir Costanza Quatriglio, Italy, 2014, 63 min, English & Italian w/English subtitles)

This documentary parallels the events of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York with those of the knitwear factory building collapse in Barletta, Italy 100 years later. Through archival footage and interviews, it explores the century-long journey through the rise and fall of labor and industrialization in the western world. 

screening with... 

Voices from the Booth

(Kolot Mi-habudke)

(dir Lina Chaplin, Israel, 2014, 49 min, Hebrew and Russian w/English subtitles)

They are seemingly ubiquitous, yet nearly invisible.  Many of Israel's security guards have immigrated to Israel and have taken work far different from the professions of their former lives.  The heroes of this film include former musicians, a writer, and a surgeon, all striving to remain creative and necessary in spite of dramatic shifts in location and professional standing. 

Introduction by Daniel Pope, UMass.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management



From New York City in 1911 to Barletta, Italy in 2011, Costanza Quatriglio's Triangle is a portrait of the faces and voices of workers across geographic, cultural, and temporal distances. [official website | event poster]

Voices from the Booth
In Voices from the Booth immigrants confront the threat of becoming invisible in their new homeland. [official website | event poster].




wednesday 11 march


with the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra

(dir Rupert Julian, USA, 1925, 93 min, silent)

Lon Chaney’s iconic portrayal of a horribly disfigured composer who leads a menacing existence in the catacombs beneath the Paris Opera House. Seeking the love of a beautiful young prima donna, he kidnaps her and holds her hostage in his lair. This very special screening will feature live accompaniment by the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra students, conducting and performing their own, original score for this classic silent film.

Introductions by Martin Norden, UMass and Sheldon Mirowitz, Berklee College of Music.

Live accompaniment by the
Berklee Silent Film Orchestra. 


7:30pm UMass Amherst
Bowker Auditorium, Stockbridge Hall



Berklee College of Music

The Phantom of the Opera

This 1925 film classic hits the big screen with live orchestral performance of a new original film score by the Berkelee Silent Film Orchestra at Bowker Auditorium, University of Massachusetts Amherst. [Event poster]

Berklee Silent Film Orchestra
The Berklee Silent Film Orchestra, Berklee College of Music, will perform their original score live at this special screening. [BSFO website]

Punches and Streamers: The Making of a Film Score, a short documentary about Berklee College of Music students and Professor Sheldon Mirowitz creating an original film score for the Harold Lloyd comedy Safety Last!.


wednesday 25 march

Rooted in peace

(dir Greg Reitman, USA, 2015, 97 min)

UMass Amherst alum Greg Reitman (’93) presents a personal journey of discovery, seeking answers to humanity’s self-destructive cycles of waste, war, and violence in this fascinating documentary. Seeking counsel from famous luminaries and activists, the film asks us how we want to live on this planet and challenges us to examine our own values.

Introduction by Bruce Geisler, UMass.

The director will be present.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management



Rooted in Peace MMFF 2015 poster
Rooted in Peace

On his journey, UMass alum Greg Reitman interviews such luminaries and activists as Deepak Chopra, music legends Donovan, Mike Love, and Pete Seeger, film director David Lynch, Noble Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, media mogul Ted Turner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, green architect William McDonough, neuroscientist Dan Siegel and many others. [official site | event poster]

With special thanks to the Department of History
at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History Department at UMass Amherst




wednesday 1 april


(Akmeņi manās kabatās)

(dir Signe Baumane, Latvia, 2014, 88 min)

This animated feature is a funny film about depression. Fighting for her sanity, a young artist uses wit and imagination to confront the secrets of her family’s madness in this true story brimming with visual metaphors, surreal images, and a certain twisted sense of humor. 

Introduction by Olga Gershenson, UMass.

The director will be present.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management



Signe Baumane

Signe Baumane was born in Latvia and lives in New York City working as a filmmaker, animator, artist, illustrator and writer.

Rocks in My Pockets poster
Rocks in My Pockets

“I often address difficult, uncomfortable subjects in my films, because I believe in confronting the things that bother me head-on.” — Signe Baumane [official site | event poster]


wednesday 8 april


(이것이우리의 끝이다 igeos-iuliui kkeut-ida)

(dir Kim Kyung-mook, South Korea, 2014, 107 min, Korean w/English subtitles)

This comedy covers a day in the intertwined lives of young clerks working at the same convenience store. The film exposes the private joys and frustrations of usually invisible people, employed in the most banal of spaces, revealing a fascinating world of college dropouts, North Korean defectors, dreamers, and social outcasts barely managing a living in the interstices of a highly consumerist South Korea. 

Introduction by Changwook Kim, UMass.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management


Futureless Things

Twenty-four hours in the lives of the otherwise invisible heroes of Futureless Things. [AsianWiki | event poster]


wednesday 15 april



(dir Shira Geffen, Israel, 2014, 89 min, Hebrew & Arabic w/English subtitles)

This unusual and challenging comedy follows an Israeli artist who loses her memory when her bed collapses and a Palestinian store clerk who works for the company that made the bed. As each woman’s complex personality emerges, their lives become increasingly entwined until a mix-up at a border security checkpoint finds them swapping lives, enabling each to discover hidden desires, previously inaccessible. Presented in conjunction with the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival.

Introduction by Robin Blaetz, Mount Holyoke College.  

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management


Self Made

“Shira Geffen’s clever identity-swap comedy subverts cliches and upends expectations ... and manages to surprise at every turn.” — Variety [official site | event poster]

Presented in conjunction with the
Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival.

Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival.


wednesday 22 april


(dir Kevin Jerome Everson, USA, 2013, 64 min)

In documentary and poetic modes, this film honors loss in the wake of immutable forces. It recalls the devastation of a river flood that destroyed homes and heirlooms. Interspersed are recurring vignettes: a baptism, a water skier, and contemplative shots of calm water.

Screening with two of Everson’s new short films: Three Quarters (USA 2015, 4 min), a silent black and white film featuring two magicians doing close-up slight-of-hand illusions, and Grand Finale (USA 2015, 5 min) observing two youths as they watch an Independence Day fireworks display.

Introduction by Hope Tucker, Hampshire College. The director will be present.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management



Kevin Everson

Kevin Jerome Everson is Associate Professor of Art at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. His artwork includes paintings, sculpture, site-specific installations and photographs, and film.

His work is exhibited at such film festivals, museums, and galleries around the world as:

Kevin Everson exhibition venues

Whitney Museum of
American Art, New York
; Sundance Film Festival; Berlinale; Festival de Cannes; International Film Festival Rotterdam; South by Southwest Film Festival; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and many, many others.


The Island of St. Matthews

“Everson rejects the role of cultural explainer in his work, opting instead to place the burden of understanding on the audience and its own labor.” — Ed Halter, Art Forum [Kevin Everson website | event poster]


Made possible in part by: The Amherst College Corliss Lamont Lectureship for a Peaceful World; The Departments of Art & the History of Art, and Film and Media Studies, Amherst College; The Five College Lecture Fund; Hampshire College Film, Photography, and Video Program

Amherst College logo   Five College Lecture Fund

Hampshire College seal


wednesday 29 april


30th Anniversary Celebration

(dir Hector Babenco, USA, 1985, 120 min)

This groundbreaking independent film follows the complex, developing relationship between two unlikely cell mates, with radically different views of life, in a Latin American prison.  It is a captivating and fantastic yarn of intrigue, sex, politics, and obsessive love of movies—under oppressive, inhumane conditions.

Introduction by Alexandra Keller, Smith College.

The producer, David Weisman, will be present. Co-sponsored by the Film Studies Program, Smith College.


5:00pm Smith College
Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall


Kiss of the Spider Woman (30th Anniversary screening) Kiss of the Spider Woman

Kiss of the Spider Woman tells one of those rare and entrancing stories where one thing seems to happen while another thing is really happening. There are passages in the movie that seem to be absolutely self-contained, and then a word or a gesture will reveal that they have depths we can only guess.” — Roger Ebert (July 26, 1985). [official site]


David Weisman

David Weisman is the producer of Kiss of the Spider Woman. He will introduce the screening and hold a Q&A afterward.

Co-sponsored by the Film Studies Program at Smith College.

Film Studies Program at Smith College

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Sponsors of the 2015 Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival