Worldwide Cinema Frames studios/films LLC 

  Films that make us care

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

The Global Cinema Film Festival of Boston (GCFF) in partnership with WCF studios/films LLC is committed to bringing the best of global cinematography to Boston. Our unflinching mission is to give filmmakers an opportunity to spotlight stories that deserve global attention. We take pride in being a platform that exhibits unflinching human rights films that make us care. Our 2019 program will showcase unconventional styles that speak to the evolution of the narrative and documentary form. Through the visual language of film, we will explore sensitive stories captured by unflinching lenses held by filmmakers with the audacity to inform, inspire and visually transport audiences to that sacred place called the cinema. 


Our 4th annual global event included over 18 independent films from over 18 different countries around the globe, with MA & North American premieres, director Q & As and critically acclaimed official selections that have been featured in major international award competitions including the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, IDFA , AFI DOCS, TIFF, Visions du Rèel & more! 


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GCFF 2019 AWARDS


SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW COMPLETE LIST OF 2019 OFFICIAL SELECTIONS 


2019 OPENING NIGHT FILMS 

OPENING NIGHT DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM 

 Screening Supported By 

América | 2018 | USA & MEXICO | 76 MIN

DIRECTOR: Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside

CATEGORY: DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM 

PREMIERE STATUS: New England Premiere 


Q & A with director Erick Stoll  following the screening


"Blows up an intimate family portrait on to a large, 

cinematic canvas." ★★★★ - The Guardian


Shot over three years in southwest Mexico, the film follows Diego as he reunites with his brothers Rodrigo and Bruno to care for their 93-year-old grandmother América. Their father, who had been her caretaker, was jailed under accusation of elder neglect after América fell from her bed. While they work to free him, the young brothers must learn to provide daily care for their grandmother. But as the brothers clash over money and the distribution of labor, difficult questions take the foreground – who decides what becomes of América? and how long will they put their lives on hold to care for her?


América is the uplifting, soulful story of three brothers who are brought together to care for their charismatic 93- year-old grandmother, América. The brothers, who are still young men, must confront the chasm between adolescent yearning and adult responsibilities as they learn to provide for her daily needs.


“A sublime, magical masterpiece. It is rare to see so much life on screen.” - Joshua Oppenheimer


"An astonishingly tender, intense observational film" 

- Sight & Sound


FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS/REVIEWS

DOC NYC , IDFA , AFI DOCS


OPENING NIGHT DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM

Screening Supported By

LAPÜ | 2019 | Colombia | 75 MIN

DIRECTORS: Juan Pablo Polanco, César Alejandro Jaimes

CATEGORY: DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM

PREMIERE STATUS: East Coast Premiere 


Q & A with Directors Juan Pablo Polanco & César Alejandro Jaimes following the  screening


"Dreamily beautiful" The Hollywood Reporter

 

On a windy night in the Colombian desert, a young Wayúu woman named Doris sleeps in her hammock and has a dream that she reunites with a deceased cousin. When she awakens and shares the encounter with her grandmother, they agree that her vision suggests the beginning of an ancient ritual, one central to their culture’s relationship with death, dreams, and memory. According to custom, Doris must travel to her cousin’s grave and exhume the body from its coffin. Only after she cleanses her cousin’s bones will the physical and spiritual barriers of death crumble.


Lapü documents Doris’s journey into the realm of death, layering her ritual with hypnotic visual and sonic abstraction. Mirroring the Wayúu belief that the deceased coexist with the living, filmmakers Juan Pablo Polanco and César Alejandro Jaimes resurrect the world of the dead so that it lives side by side with Doris as she embarks on her “second burial.” The result is a haunting, mysterious vision that blurs Western concepts of loss and time and flips the conventional approach to documentary storytelling on its head.


FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Sundance Film Festival – World Cinema Documentary Competition 2019

SPONSORED BY

NARRATIVE SHORTS BLOCK

Caroline 

| 2018 | United States | 12  Minutes

DIRECTOR: Celine Held & Logan George

CATEGORY: NARRATIVE SHORT FILM 
PREMIERE STATUS: Massachusetts Premiere

When plans fall through, a six-year-old is faced with a big responsibility on a hot Texas day.

"... it’s a powerful and resonating watch driven on by the incredibly touching performances. All these elements come together in the breathtaking fast escalation at the end, resulting in a climax that left me truly shaken." Céline Roustan, Short of the Week


FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
Cannes Film Festival, SXSW

Carro

| 2018 | United States | 12  Minutes

DIRECTOR: Gustavo Rosa 

CATEGORY: NARRATIVE SHORT FILM 
PREMIERE STATUS: Massachusetts Premiere

Q & A with Director Gustavo Rosa & Crew following the screening 

An undocumented Brazilian immigrant living in the Boston area decides to buy a car in an effort to better his life before returning home.



FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
 SXSW

All These Creatures 

| 2018 | Australia | 15 Minutes 

DIRECTOR: Charles Williams 

CATEGORY: NARRATIVE SHORT FILM 
PREMIERE STATUS: Massachusetts Premiere

An adolescent boy attempts to untangle his memories of a mysterious infestation, the unravelling of his father, and the little creatures inside us all.


"All These Creatures is an atmospheric and deeply personal exploration of our parental relationships and issues such as mental illness and compassion"  - Screen Mayhem 



FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
Cannes Film Festival

Duke

| 2018 | USA | 17  Minutes

DIRECTOR: Thiago DaDalte

CATEGORY: NARRATIVE SHORT FILM 
PREMIERE STATUS: Massachusetts Premiere


Duke is a heartwarming story about a nonverbal autistic 17-year-old struggling in school and at home. With an overprotective mother and barely-there father, Duke must fight to find his voice, stay in school, and keep his family from falling apart.


Saeed

| 2018 | USA | 15  Minutes

DIRECTOR: Joan Stein Schimke

CATEGORY: NARRATIVE SHORT FILM 
PREMIERE STATUS: Massachusetts Premiere

Q & A with Director Joan Stein Schimke  following the screening

Since 2011, Syria has been- and continues to be -devastated by war. Over 5 million Syrians have fled the country and more than 6 million people have been internally displaced. Hundreds of thousands of citizens have been killed. This is the single greatest refugee crisis of our time. 

Saeed tells the story about a Syrian family who has recently resettled on Long Island and is dealing with the aftermath of war and personal tragedy.


Ablution

| 2018 | USA | 15  Minutes

DIRECTOR: Omar Al Dakheel

CATEGORY: NARRATIVE SHORT FILM 

The bond between a disabled Muslim father and his son is tested when love is pitted against religion.

"I decided to make this film and show a different narrative of Islam. I’ve read the Qur’an and I believe in it’s inclusive and universal message. A message of Tolerance, Love, and Compassion. But this is not what the narrative is today. "Ablution" will shed the light on the journey of a young Muslim American man trying to make room for love in a religiously intolerant place."
 - Director's Statement 

How Far

| 2018 | USA | 11  Minutes

DIRECTOR: Alexis Ostrander

CATEGORY: NARRATIVE SHORT FILM 
PREMIERE STATUS: Massachusetts Premiere

Q & A with Director following the screening

The film centers around a bus trip home for the holidays that is abruptly hijacked mid-journey. A student is singled out and rather than coming together as a community, the passengers on the bus become isolated in self preservation, allowing unthinkable brutalities to happen to the young girl..




DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM

CittaGiardino | 2018 | Italy | 55 Minutes

DIRECTOR: Marco Piccarreda

CATEGORY: DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM 
PREMIERE STATUS: New England Premiere


Sicilian hinterland, summer. The Città Giardino Help Centre for Immigrants is a dilapidated building squeezed between the mountains and the factories.
Città Giardino is closing and the only guests are six kids between 14 and 18 years old.

They come from Africa, they went across the desert and the sea and now they are waiting for a permit, a visa, a transfer directive. The days pass the same, through sleep, meals and endless immersion in their smartphones. Heat, frustration and boredom paralyse the boys, under the look of an elderly watchman in charge of their supervision. Even the visit of a journalist does not break the monotony: he has come to interview the young guests but the words barely come out. None of them wants to tell about himself.

Omar trains in his improvised gym, Jallow looks for refuge in his tablet, Jelimakan prays. Only Sahid, a newcomer, seems determined to win the immobility: he is planning an escape.


FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Visions du Rèel International Film Festival



DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM

CERES |Belgium | 73 Minutes

DIRECTOR: Janet Van den Brand

CATEGORY: DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM 
PREMIERE STATUS: Massachusetts Premiere

Q & A with Producer Barbara Dyck following the screening


Ceres is a poetic and tangible documentary film that follows four children as they experience the natural cycle of life on a farm. Each child lives on a remote farm in the southwest of The Netherlands and is learning the profession of their ancestors from a young age. They dream that one day they will take over the farm of their father.




FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Berlin Film Festival, Visions du Reel, Hot Docs



DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM W/ SHORT

Norman Norman

| 2018 | Canada | 7  Minutes

DIRECTOR: Sophy Romvari

CATEGORY: DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM 
PREMIERE STATUS: Massachusetts Premiere

As her 16-year-old Shih Tzu nestles next to her, a young woman spends a night surfing the internet and pondering the ethics of genetic replication, the possible pitfalls of animal immortality, and the eternal wonders of Barbra Streisand.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
Toronto International Film Festival

Los Reyes

| 2018 | Chile, Germany | 77 Minutes

DIRECTOR: Bettina Perut & Iván Osnovikoff

CATEGORY: DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM 
PREMIERE STATUS: North American Premiere


Los Reyes ("The Kings") is the oldest skatepark in the Chilean capital of Santiago. This story is about the real kings here: Football and Chola, two stray dogs that have made their home in this open space full of hurtling skateboards and rowdy teenagers. The energetic Chola loves to play with the balls she finds lying around. She positions them at the edge of the bowls where the skaters show off their tricks and tries to catch them just before they fall down. The older dog, Football, looks on impatiently and barks at Chola until she finally drops the balls. The teenagers around them come from very different, sometimes troubled backgrounds. They each have their own story, which they recount to us in voiceover. In this almost fairy-tale-like film, the phenomenal, dreamlike camerawork centers almost entirely on the subtle interaction between the two dogs, as they play with a ball, a stick, a stone and each other. 


FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

IDFA


DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM W/ 
2019 ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATED SHORT 

Black Sheep 

Black Sheep 

| 2018 | United Kingdom | 27  Minutes

DIRECTOR: Ed Perkins

CATEGORY: DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM 
PREMIERE STATUS: Massachusetts Premiere

Everything changed for Cornelius Walker on the 27th November 2000 when Damilola Taylor was killed in what became one of the UK's most high-profile murder cases. Damilola was eleven - the same age as Cornelius. He lived five minutes away. He had the same colour skin.

 Cornelius’ mother, scared for her son’s safety, moved their family out of London. Cornelius suddenly found himself living on a white estate run by a white gang.




The white gang then became his family and kept him safe. And in return, Cornelius became submerged in a culture of violence and hatred. But as the violence and racism against other blacks continued, Cornelius struggled to marry his real identity with the one he had acquired.




BLACK SHEEP blurs the boundaries between documentary and fiction to pose difficult, but highly topical, questions about race and identity. Who decides what makes us who we are? And what compromises are we prepared to make in order to fit in?

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
HotDocs, Sheffield Doc/Fest

Chi-Town 

Chi-Town

| 2018 | USA | 82 Minutes

DIRECTOR: Nick Budabin

CATEGORY: DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM 
PREMIERE STATUS: Massachusetts Premiere

Q & A with Director Nick Budabin following the screening

It’s such a thrill to watch" - IndieWire

An underdog story about a basketball player from Chicago who goes on a meteoric rise to become one of the best college point guards in the nation. But while he pursues dreams of the NBA, his success contrasts with the effects of gun violence on his friends back home.

Chi-Town follows Keifer Sykes on his meteoric rise from Marshall High School on Chicago’s West Side to his improbable shot at the NBA. This exhilarating multi-year journey of the explosive point guard’s ascent is punctuated by personal loss, debilitating injury, and tragic violence. At only 5'11 and surrounded by shattered dreams and wasted potential, the odds are stacked against Keifer at every turn. Keifer's focus on his goal and his never-wavering support for his community are inspirations. This is an intimate, raw, surprising and unique behind the scenes look at a true champion — and what it really takes to make it.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
SXSW 2018


DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM

My Father Is My Mother's Brother

| 2018 | Ukraine | 76 MIN

DIRECTOR: Vadym Ilkov

CATEGORY: DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM

PREMIERE STATUS: New England Premiere


Tolik, an artist in the Ukrainian underground scene, is raising his niece Katya, a stubborn little girl who has taken to calling him Dad. Her mother, Anya, is both at the heart of the film and almost doomed to the fringes, adrift between solitude and stays in a psychiatric hospital. The film seems to float, like the melody of one of Tolik’s songs, like Anya’s blank gaze, between the daily and domestic scenes of life to sequences of stage performances, whereas the soft, white light created by Vadym Ilkov - to whom we owe, as director of photography, Mariupolis (VdR, 2016) - bathes the trio’s life in beauty that softens the tension. With this first feature-length documentary, he directs a moving family portrait, which is simple and delicate, revealing the ties that bring together and the flaws that separate. Attentive to moments of respite, silence and solitude, but also to gestures of creation—Katya’s games, drawings, pictures, Tolik’s songs—the film takes from a coming-of-age story as much as from an artist's portrait, and captures the fragile beauty of a father-daughter relationship in its universality.



FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Visions du Reel, Hot Docs, Camden IFF


DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM

OF FATHERS AND SONS

| 2018 | Germany, Syria, Lebanon | 99 Minutes

DIRECTOR: Talal Derki

CATEGORY: DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM   

After his Sundance award-winning documentary Return to Homs, Talal Derki returned to his homeland where he gained the trust of a radical Islamist family, sharing their daily life for over two years. His camera focuses primarily on the children, providing an extremely rare insight into what it means to grow up with a father whose only dream is to establish an Islamic caliphate. Osama (13) and his brother Ayman (12) both love and admire their father and obey his words, but while Osama seems content to follow the path of Jihad, Ayman wants to go back to school. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for World Documentary at the Sundance Film FestivalOf Fathers and Sons is a work of unparalleled intimacy that captures the chilling moment when childhood dies and jihadism is born.


FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for World Documentary at the Sundance Film


DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM 

Screening Supported By

LAPÜ | 2019 | Colombia | 75 MIN

DIRECTOR: Juan Pablo Polanco, César Alejandro Jaimes

CATEGORY: DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM

PREMIERE STATUS: East Coast Premiere 


Q & A with Directors Juan Pablo Polanco & César Alejandro Jaimes following the screening


SECOND SCREENING 

SPONSORED BY


CLOSING NIGHT FEATURE FILM
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM

"Deeply personal" -The New York Times

"Alternately tender and tempestuous"-The Hollywood Reporter 


FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Sundance Film Festival – 

World Cinema Documentary Competition 2019

The Disappearance of My Mother

 | 2019 | Italy | 94 MIN

DIRECTOR: Beniamino Barrese

CATEGORY: DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM

PREMIERE STATUS: East Coast Premiere 


Skype Q & A with Director Benjamino Barrese following the screening


Benedetta Barzini was a revered Italian model who shattered stereotypes by becoming a journalist and professor and gained notoriety by publicly critiquing the fashion industry’s deep-seated misogyny. But now, in her 70s, Barzini’s distaste for the world of images has deepened into an existential crisis. Quietly and without warning, she packs her belongings and tells her son Beniamino she intends to disappear from the material world forever. Alarmed, Beniamino devises a plan he hopes will allow her to confront—instead of flee—the very thing she most distrusts: the camera. By capturing her on film, he intends to salvage his mother’s true essence and preserve her narrative.


The Disappearance of My Mother is a radical documentary born out of a series of confrontations between a mother eager to set herself free and a son desperate to use the medium of film to keep her close. What begins as a deeply personal fight for control transforms into a profoundly collaborative project, one that attempts to rectify decades of harm inflicted by the camera’s oppressive gaze.


CLOSING NIGHT FEATURE FILM

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM

When Arabs Danced

 | 2018 | Belgium, Egypt, France, Iran, Morocco | 84 MIN

DIRECTOR: Jawad Rhalib

CATEGORY: DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM 

PREMIERE STATUS: New England Premiere


In the wake of the terror shockwave provoked by Daesh’s islamo-fascism, director Jawad Rhalib questions the many facets of Arab culture that have sadly been forgotten by western and middle-eastern media alike; its love for dancing and music, but also for literature, philosophy, and science. These aspects, though, willingly ignored by both racists and religious zealots and fundamentalists, have always been an integral part of the great texture of the Arab identity.  The film explores how islamic fascism has suffocated the freedom, creativity and all progressive values of the Arab society. When Arabs Danced is a reminder of what can still be (done) as it joyfully explores multi-layered complexities looking for a better tomorrow.


FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Visions du Réel, TIFF


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