All posts by outcastfilms

The Gate

The Gate

A film by Bob Hercules
61 minutes, color, USA, 2017

File under: All Films, Homepage, Middle East Studies, Women Studies, World Religions

Synopsis

In the midst of religious intolerance and extremism, one religion—the Bahá’í Faith—offers a path toward world peace by advocating the oneness of humanity’s major religions. Now, this groundbreaking documentary tells the amazing, little-known story of the origins of the Bahá’í Faith.

The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá’í Faith recounts the founding of this new world religion in Persia by a Prophet known as The Báb. In the mid-1800s, Jews, Christians and Muslims alike were awaiting the imminent arrival of a Divine Messenger. Beginning in 1844, the Báb’s message, which included then-controversial ideas like the oneness of major religions and the empowerment of women, spread like wildfire across the region amidst this religious climate.

However, His groundbreaking new message presented a threat to religious and political leaders of the time, resulting in relentless persecution of the Báb and His followers. The Báb’s message ultimately triumphed with a growing number of faithful; today, the Bahá’í religion is practiced throughout the world by over five million people.

Combining dramatic reenactments with interviews of renowned historians, religious scholars and Bahá’í Faith experts, The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá’í Faith celebrates the brief, exciting life of a prophet and the indelible impact His message continues to have on the world today.

 

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Traffic Stop – Screenings

TRAFFIC STOP – SCREENINGS

Outcast Films is excited to announce we are working on a screening series for the Academy Award nominated film “Traffic Stop”.

Directed by Kate Davis, “Traffic Stop” provides a unique, firsthand look into how police brutality impacts so many lives today. Behind the dashboard and body-camera footage are people with stories. One of those stories is Breaion King who was part of what first started out as a routine traffic stop, but one that soon made national headlines. The film gives us an intimate view of her career, upbringing, and personal philosophies—and how one brutal encounter with the police changed all of that.

The film is 30 minutes long, making it a perfect length to show to an audience and host a “talk back” or post-screening panel. The filmmakers, Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, as well as Breaion King and her attorney, are available to be present at screenings.

Upcoming Screenings:

October 3: Northeastern University, Boston MA (Featuring David Heilbroner)

October 16:  Huston-Tillotson University, Austin, TX (Featuring Breaion King)

If you are interested in hosting a screening of “Traffic Stop” on your campus, or would like more information, please contact us at info@outcast-films.com.

The Invisible Heart

The Invisible Heart

A film by Nadine Pequeneza
80 minutes, color, Canada, 2018
DVD includes: Closed Captions and Chapter Selections

File under: African American, All Films, Business/Entrepeneurship, Government, Homepage, Law, New Release, Social Impact Bonds, Urban Studies

Synopsis

The Invisible Heart provides an expansive and compelling overview into the world of social impact bonds (SIBs). The film calls into question the responsibilities of governments and private citizens as it follows many stakeholders’ viewpoints on this innovative social endeavor: policymakers, billionaire investors, under-resourced nonprofit leaders, professors and most importantly, those who need this help the most. Through an observational and character-driven framework, The Invisible Heart educates on what happens when social services and venture capital collide.

The Invisible Heart has the potential to resonate with a variety of audiences. For university students, the film could find a home in Economics, Political Science, Public Policy, Sociology, or Urban Studies departments. For high school students, the film fits into English, History, Economics and Civics classes. And for adults working hands on either in finance or social services, The Invisible Heart provides new information about solving social ills.

Reviews

“A good documentary enthrals and informs you, even if you went into it without any clue of what it was about. The strength of The Invisible Heart lies within its cast of characters…the faces of real people are what makes the Heart so potent.”
Trent Wilkie, The Trent Wilkie

“The Invisible Heart has come to offer both sides of the ongoing SIB debate with sober judgement and a human face.”
Sierra Bilton, Vue Weekly

“The Invisible Heart takes a deep look at social impact bonds and raises multiple questions for governments, including the idea of the government paying profits to investors.”
Jordan Press, Canadian Press

“Social impact bonds ‘problematic’ says director of
new social finance documentary The Invisible Heart.”
Danny Glenwright, The Philanthropist

“The Invisible Heart weighs the ethics of putting human rights causes like housing and education in a relationship with capitalist interests.”
Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

Institutional License BLURAY+DSL w/PPR $350
Rights in Perpetuity

Institutional License DVD+DSL w/PPR $325
Rights in Perpetuity

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Booklist Review Untold Tales

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin.
First published March 26, 2018 (Booklist Online)

In the 1970s, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a column called “Tales of the City,” a fictionalized account of a young woman arriving in the city and drawn into the counterculture scene. The author was Armistead Maupin, raised in the conservative South and coming to terms with his sexuality. Using excerpts from the columns and clips from the PBS television series of the same name, this documentary tracks Maupin’s evolution from his younger years to his role as a major player in the literary and gay-rights scenes. Extensive interview footage with Maupin (both current and archival) as well as commentary from Laurie Linney, who starred in the PBS dramas, and recollections and thoughtful comments from Sir Ian McKellen, Neil Gaiman, Amy Tan, and others add depth to the coverage. This entertaining program is a good fit in literary collections in public libraries and colleges.

Buy the Film Here

Booklist Review Shored Up

Booklist Review
First published
October 14, 2014 (Booklist Online).

Shored Up

Sandy beaches and beautiful ocean views are the dreams of many. But dreams can become nightmares when severe weather, eroding sand, and rising water levels decimate the shoreline. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy tore through the East Coast, wiping out neighborhoods and scattering possessions. Interviewed survivors in New Jersey talk about seeing their household goods “on the curb” and making decisions about rebuilding. In North Carolina, Outer Banks residents worry about disappearing shorelines yet decry attempts by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to put in artificial barriers to curb erosion. Efforts to restore beaches with costly sand-reclamation projects are wiped out when devastating storms hit the region. Experts debate questions of who should finance beach-replenishment projects and the wisdom of continuing to develop and build houses on endangered coastal regions. This thought-provoking video sparks discussion for environmentalists and those directly affected by beach erosion. Extras include an interview with director Ben Kalina.  Candace Smith

 

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VL REVIEW SHORED UP

Video Librarian
November/December 2014  (Volume 29, Issue 6)

Shored Up

Highly Recommended

Closed captioned.

Reviewer rating: 3.0/4

Filmmaker Ben Kalina explores the continuing debate over the government’s stance regarding erosion of coastal regions that are also popular residential sites. The problem is brought home by extensive footage of areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, but the focus here is on two places that were immediately affected by the controversy over governmental response: Long Beach Island, off the coast of Ocean County, NJ, and the outer banks of North Carolina. In the first instance, the filmmakers question the wisdom of the beach replenishment program of the Army Corps of Engineers, which draws on generous amounts of general tax revenue to protect and rebuild the summer homes of the affluent. In the second, they cast a somewhat ridiculing eye at the decision by state legislators to set aside the findings of scientific researchers regarding the probability of future deterioration—an action in response to arguments from a business-oriented group that those alarmist predictions would have harmful economic ramifications. Shored Up features an impressive array of interviewees on all sides of the issue, but clearly represents the view that this problem—exacerbated by climate change—will only worsen, and that serious fact-based discussion should become an urgent priority among decision-makers and the general public.

DVD extras include interviews with Kalina and editor Marc D’Agostino, as well as bonus scenes.

EMRO SHORED UP

EMRO
Reviewed by Tom Ipri, Drexel University

Highly Recommended 

Shored Up

Ecology, Environmentalism, Global Warming

Date Entered: 3/2/2015

Focusing mainly on the New Jersey and North Carolina shore lines, Shored Up examines the troubled relationship between nature and those who want to build beach homes and communities. Taking Hurricane Sandy as a starting point, Ben Kalina’s film traces the history of shore development with an emphasis on the more recent trend of building expensive homes in flood and erosion prone areas.
Shored Up presents a short but effective overview of the history of shoreline development along the east coast. This growing development clashes with the effects of climate change and communities are forced to keep rebuilding. Some areas enlisted the Army Corp of Engineers to extend their beaches.

Scenes of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy provide a timely and moving example from recent history. Interviews with longtime residents of select coastal towns put a human face to the threat of property destruction.

The film cumulates with the shocking and disturbing decision by North Carolina politicians to ban discussion of the accelerated rise of sea level. Shored Up excels at showing the conflicting interests at play. It provides a great overview of the effects that climate change is having on coastal communities and provides a disturbing portrait of how those who have economic interests in these areas have their heads in the sand, so to speak.

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EMRO Review: Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin (The)

EMRO

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin
February 2018

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Early in this film, author Armistead Maupin asserts that he is not a gay writer, but rather a writer who is gay. But it’s quickly evident from the film that his personal story encompasses many of the plot arcs of the larger story of LGBT+ people in San Francisco and beyond.

The AIDS crisis, hepatitis, friendships with straight women, open relationships, coming out, chosen families, censorship, San Francisco as promised land: all of these topics appear in the film. To its credit, the film explores these issues as parts of Maupin’s story, rather than trying to generalize them to all gay men. Yet, also to its credit, the film allows space for Maupin’s friends and acquaintances to voice their own stories, as when fellow author Kate Bornstein explains her objections to Maupin’s outing actors Rock Hudson and Lily Tomlin.

Untold Tales is, in fact, a frustratingly difficult film to summarize, because rather than following a definite plot, it is like a day-long visit with a new friend, learning about his life and the people therein. Happily, it is a consistently interesting one, and one that demonstrates the humanity underlying those aforementioned social issues.

It is highly recommended for academic and public libraries.

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