The Third Annual Global Peace Film Festival opened yesterday, December 7, in Orlando, FL. The festival, whose mission is the promotion of peace and peacemaking activities around the world through film, is showcasing an international selection of feature-length and short films and documentaries.
The opening night film was Luis Mandoki's "Innocent Voices." The film is set in the midst of El Salvador's civil war in the 1980s. An 11-year-old boy helps support his poor rural family after his father abandons them. Upon reaching the age of 12, however, he will be conscripted into the army to fight the guerillas. The movie is based upon the experiences of Oscar Torres, who co-wrote the screenplay with Mandoki.
"Favela Rising," directed by Matt Mochary and Jeff Zimbalis, is among the 40 or so films that are screening at the festival, which runs through the 11th. The documentary is about a former drug trafficker now working as a social activist in one of Rio de Janeiro's slums. Bappaditya Bandopadhyay's "Devaki," about two young Indian women from different places and economic circumstances nevertheless facing many of the same injustices, will also be shown.
The festival's program of environmental films includes "Cosmic Africa" by Craig Foster and Damon Foster. They follow an African astronomer who is seeking to understand how his work ties in with some of Africa's traditions surrounding the cosmos. Also in the program's lineup are the shorts "Kilowatt Ours" (dir. Jeff Barrie), about the effects of generating electricity, and "Water Planet" and "Global Warming" (both titles created by Leonardo DiCaprio, Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners).
The Global Peace Film Festival will conclude on December 11 with a "Peace Film Slam" of short films by local filmmakers. Among other plans are panel discussions featuring activists and a related art exhibit.
[For more information, please visit the festival's website.]