Last week marked the Global Peace Film Festival, an annual event in the Winter Park community. This year, the festival offered both local and international productions, ranging from big-budget films to low-budget projects.
“Billy and Alan: In Life, Love and Death, Equality Matters”, directed by Vicki Nantz, is an example of a small local project. The documentary depicted the struggle Billy faced after his husband Alan passed away. Even though the couple was together for more than a decade, the inequality suffered by same-gender partners did not allow Billy to take what was his by right. The documentary was produced here in Orlando, where the husbands spent their life together. The emotional story promotes awareness of LGBT struggles and the lack of legal protection the state of Florida offers to its homosexual residents.
In addition to local productions, international directors were also able to exhibit their works at the event. Emmanuel Itier, a French film producer, brought women’s voices to the screen with “Femme”. Although it is an American production, the film features interviews with women from all around the world, and explores solutions to current global issues from a feminine perspective.
The Global Peace Film Festival is traditionally successful in exposing problems faced both by American society and the global community. “Remote Area Medical” uncovered the problem of costly medical insurance and privation of it for millions of Americans. In it, a group of volunteers sets up a clinic in Bristol, TN, to provide basic health care and assistance to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it. “A2-B-C” also deals with medical issues, but, its setting is overseas. This Japanese documentary explores the universe of children who still suffer from the aftermath of nuclear meltdown.
Films that demonstrate concern toward the world’s present economic and social situation were a big trend within the festival. “Forward” utilized its small $1000 budget to explore the protests of winter 2011 in an activist-level view, while “Social Business: A New Path for Capitalism?”, a French production, inspires viewers to think outside the box and pursue new options for the business universe.
Many films were collaborations between the U.S. and other countries. That was the case of “The Revolutionary Optimists”, an Indian/American production, and “The People and The Olive”, a partnership project between the U.S. and the Palestinian Territories. The Indian/American production portrays the lives of children in Indian slums who are encouraged to become empowered to promote change in their community. “The People and the Olive” follows the journey of six Americans who travel 129 miles on foot to raise awareness of the daily battle faced by olive farmers in Palestine, while witnessing the abrasive political reality of the region. Both movies offer the public insight on world issues through an international perspective, with the purpose of promoting social change.