Wednesday, December 03, 2008

AIFF - Documentaries in Competition Schedule

UPDATE Dec 7: Note two changes I've made to the schedule. Last Days of Shishmaref plays Saturday Dec. 13 at the Fireweed (originally I had Museum) and

Upstream has a Tuesday Dec. 9 showing at the Museum that I missed the first time around.

Here's a list of the documentary films that are in competition (for awards in the festival - more on what the categories mean here).

Short Documentary
Reefer Madness
Leave Her To Die
Splitting Hairs
Health, Peace, and Happiness
Monster Dudes
City of Cranes

Feature Documentary

The Last Days of Shishmaref
Upstream Battle
Nashville State of Mind
Diamonds in The Rough
The Wrecking Crew

Below I've simply copied the text from the AIFF Website, but I've taken only those documentaries in competition, the ones on the schedule above. I'll try to make a schedule for the short documentaries too.

NOTE: Diamonds in the Rough and Upstream Battle (N. California Salmon fisheries) are only shown one time each! The others all get two showings.

A Nashville State of Mind

USA • 88 mins.• 2008 - In Competition

Directed by John Martin-Vogel and Eric La Rocca

Samantha Gibb, daughter of Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, and her band move to Nashville after her father’s death. They enter Nashville’s Alternative music scene with some of the best local musicians on the scene. This peek into the lives of musicians/song writers who struggle to follow their dreams features guest appearances by industry professionals like Hank Williams III, Jody Williams, Dan Keen, Doc McGhee and Scott McGhee.

Monday, December 8 at 5:30 PM - Anchorage Museum

Wednesday, December 10 at 5:30 PM - Fireweed Theatre


USA • 83 mins. • 2008 - In Competition

Directed by Michael Patrei

The talented Ballou High School Marching Band overcomes a negative environment filled with guns, drugs and violence through music, dedication and personal sacrifice. On their way to a national band competition, band members must first learn how to play instruments and overcome personal losses due to the neglect of an impoverished community just three miles from the Capital. Celebrities including Rev. Jess Jackson and Colin Powell speak to the importance of a small marching band that becomes an award-winning band.
Thursday, December 11 at 7:45 PM - Anchorage Museum

Saturday, December 13 at 2:30 PM - Anchorage Museum


USA • 74 mins. • 2008 - In Competition

Directed by David Modigliani

Months after arriving in Crawford, Texas, population 705, George W. Bush declares his candidacy for President and uses the town as the perfect set-piece to project a folksy image. Crawford explodes overnight. Souvenir stores open. Their Baptist pastor calls it a miracle. But with the Iraq War and the arrival of 20,000 protesters in Crawford’s backyards, conflict mounts in the town itself, pushing a progressive teacher and her student to the brink – and beyond. Soon, tourists stop coming and the stores are boarded up. But the human impact of political stagecraft is far graver. Now, through the eyes of Crawford’s colorful, dynamic people, comes a unique reflection on the last seven years.
Thursday, December 11 at 5:30 PM - Bear Tooth Theatre

Sunday, December 14 at 5:30 PM - Anchorage Museum

Diamonds in the Rough

USA • 72 mins. • 2008 - In Competition

Directed by Brett Mazurek
Narrated by Michael Franti

A group of young rappers in Uganda use hip hop to spread awareness about the political and social troubles engulfing their country, and to bring about positive change. Silas and Krazy Native are the two members of the Bataka Squad, rapping in their native language. Silas’s family was forced to flee to
Canada when he was twelve, with his father subsequently falling victim to politically motivated murder. During Silas’s exile, Krazy Native rises to become one of Uganda’s most successful contemporary hip hop artists. When Silas returns to his homeland to set up a charity foundation for young people, he and Krazy reunite for the first time in ten years. Their journey goes from the riot-torn streets of the capital, Kampala, to the smallest villages in the countryside; from the Pearl of Africa Music Awards to the Global African Hip Hop Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa; and finally back across the Atlantic as Silas and Krazy bring their music and their message to the United States. On the way, a host of other young rappers tackle subjects ranging from genocide to AIDS in their music.
Sunday, December 7 at 12 noon - Bear Tooth Theatre

The Last Days of Shishmaref

Netherlands • 88 mins. • English - Snowdance selection - In Competition
and Iñupiaq with English subtitles • 2008

Directed by Jan Louter

While politicians, scientists and environmentalists debate the effects of global warming, the Iñupiaq Eskimo community of Shishmaref in Northwest Alaska, just under the Arctic Circle, faces the real world consequences of climate change every day. As the ice beneath the small village melts, homes fall into the ocean. The situation is so severe that it has been predicted that the entire village will disappear
within the next 10 years. How can you move an entire way of life? And should these villagers go to
the edges of a city, or retain their rural ways? The transience of the Iñupiaq’s traditional way of life
becomes apparent in the face of climate change, satellite television and mail order shopping. Here,
the icy landscape — its water, smoke, steam and sky — is beautifully photographed, as are the
village’s inhabitants.
Sunday, December 7 at 6:15 PM - Bear Tooth Theatre

Saturday, December 13 at 12:30 PM - Fireweed Theatre

The director is confirmed to be in attendance at these screenings.

The Wrecking Crew

USA • 98 mins. • 2007 - In Competition

Directed by Denny Tedesco

“The Wrecking Crew” was a group of Studio Musicians in Los Angeles in the 60s who played on hits for the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, Jan & Dean, The Monkees, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, the Mamas and Papas, Tijuana Brass, Ricky Nelson and Johnny Rivers. They were Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. Sometimes they would lay down some instrumental tracks and if
the song became a hit, they would record an album and put a group together to hit the road. This
happened many times — the Marketts, Routers, and T-Bones — and the next day they would do the
same thing and call it another name. Just call them “The Wrecking Crew.”
Friday, December 12 at 7:45 PM - Anchorage Museum

Sunday, December 14 at 12:30 PM - Fireweed Theatre

Upstream Battle

Germany • 97 minutes • English • 2008 - In Competition

Directed by Ben Kempas

Native Americans in Northern California fight for their fish and the survival of their culture. An energy corporation is messing up their river with a series of hydropower dams, contributing to one of the worst fish die-offs in U.S. history. To confront their opponents, tribal members first travel to Scotland, then to the second-richest man in the United States. The dam owners praise hydropower as a low-cost, climate-friendly source of energy, a valuable resource they say they can’t afford to lose. Yet, the tribes at the Klamath River may trigger the largest dam removal project in history. A long-term documentary with incredible access to tribal members, utility managers, and farmers in the basin — all fighting for water.
Saturday, December 13 at 3:15 PM - Bear Tooth Theatre

Tuesday, December 9 at 7:30 PM - Museum **(added 12/7)


  1. It seems like there is another screening for UPSTREAM BATTLE on Tuesday 9th at 7:30pm at the Museum, according to the festival schedule here:

    Check out the official website at and the Facebook page for the latest details.

  2. Thanks Ben, I'll fix that and notify Rand that there is only one listing in the documentaries section of the website.


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