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Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World
 
Documentary
87 minutes
2015
Director(s): Dana Nachman
USA
Sun 12:00 PM Armory
Mon 9:00 PM Varsity 1
Synopsis
The heartwarming story of 5-year-old Miles Scott who loves superheroes — especially Batman. In remission from leukemia, Miles dreams of being Batkid. The Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation thinks bigger: why not turn San Francisco into Gotham City? What starts out as an event for family and friends suddenly goes viral and spawns thousands of news stories, emails, texts — even its own hashtag! With the help of hundreds, including the police chief and mayor, Miles foils the bad guys and rescues the innocent all over town. More than 25,000 people cheer him on in person, while two billion more follow online. For one day, one little boy captures the hearts of the entire world in an unprecedented display of collective emotion and a joyful celebration that made everyone’s wish come true.
 
Director’s Statement: Dana Nachman
 
It seemed like everyone had heard about Batkid either in San Francisco itself or on the Internet. I was not one of these people. In fact, I missed the whole thing. A few days later, all these people were talking about it and how emotional it was for them and how amazing it was that it went THAT viral. Meanwhile, my three kids had been badgering me about my films. Why couldn’t I make a film that they would like? So, while running one morning, I started daydreaming about Batkid.


Sponsored by Ashland Home Net / Project A (Jim Teece & Dena Matthews)
 
Playing with ...
 
Documentary
83 minutes
2015
Director(s): Alexandria Bombach, Mo Scarpelli
Afghanistan, USA
Fri 09:30 AM Varsity 1
Sat 12:00 PM Varsity 1
Sun 9:00 PM Varsity 1
Mon 9:00 PM Varsity 1
Synopsis
Under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, taking a photograph was a crime. After the US invaded, the media ban was lifted. This astonishing documentary follows four photojournalists as they reclaim the right to show and tell the story of their country. As foreign troops and international media withdraw under the looming threat of civil war, these four intrepid photo- graphers navigate an emerging, yet dangerous media landscape. Through intimate interviews, secret archival footage, and powerful pictures of the struggles of everyday Afghan people, the film portrays the courage of these journalists as they endure the realities of building a free press — and reframing Afghanistan — for the world and for themselves. [mature, subtitles]
 
Directors’ Statement: Alexandria Bombach, Mo Scarpelli
 
Media coverage of Afghanistan often reduces it to a wartorn region, wrought with suicide bombs, political corruption, and Islamic fundamentalism. But we knew there had to be a much more human story. We traveled to Afghanistan in 2012 in search of a story about perception. In Kabul, we met four incredible local photojournalists whose own truths inform their will to take ownership of Afghanistan’s story. They reveal a humanness rarely captured by foreign media. Through their lenses, we show a unique view of life in the country today and the issues Afghans face as they stand on their own.
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