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24 Trailers for Utopia Film Festival!

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The Utopia Film Festival, a beloved Greenbelt tradition now in its 17th year, is BACK IN PERSON (mask and proof of vax required, of course). Now’s a good time to watch some trailer and then get your ticket!

Saturday Films

“Umoja” 10-noon slot at OGT

Umoja Trailer from Justin Brown on Vimeo.

Director: Justin R. Brown / USA, 25 min. Documentary Short. Adoptee Frank-Antoine Marzin was born in Vietnam and adopted by a French couple. He searched for decades to find his birth parents.

“Feeling Through” 1-3 slot at NDC

FEELING THROUGH | Official Trailer (2021) from Doug Roland on Vimeo.

Director: Doug Roland / USA, 18 min. Narrative Short. A teen wanders New York City in search of a place to crash, and encounters a deaf and blind man who needs help getting home.

“Unmarked” 1-3 slot at OGT

Directors: Brad Bennett, Chris Haley / USA, 41 min. Documentary Feature. Throughout the South, many historic African-American and unmarked burials of the formerly enslaved have been almost lost to time. But some of those with personal connections to those graves have fueled a new wave of preservation efforts.

“A Date, with History,” 1-3 slot at OGT

A Date, with History | Official Trailer from Hammer and Nail Productions on Vimeo.

Director: Gaspar Gonzalez / USA, 11 min. Documentary Short. In 1955, a black woman and a white man were arrested at a Miami, Florida hotel for violating the city’s strict segregation laws. A filmmaker’s investigation of the case offers an unexpected glimpse into the era’s complex social history.

“Sheer Qorma” 10-noon slot at OGT

Director: Faraz Arif Ansari / India, 30 min. Narrative Short. A film about belonging, acceptance, identity and family, as queer Muslim women and non-binary characters of color embrace tolerance – and love.

“Amber’s Halfway House” 1-3 slot at NDC

Directors: Melissa Armstrong, Jason Pidgeon / USA, 31 min. Documentary Short. While exploring conditions at animal shelters, this engaging short doc celebrates a woman who saved the lives of 2000 dogs in one year.

“Inherited” 1-3 slot at NDC

Inherited – Trailer (Short Film) from The Northwoods Co. on Vimeo.

Director: Brandon Oest / USA, 11 min. Narrative Short. Afraid to pursue the life she wants, a young woman who inherits a once-prized farmhouse decides to restore it – unknowingly embarking on a hopeless pursuit designed to keep her hooked in her present situation.

“Ten Thousand Camels” 4-6 slot at NDC

Director: Kent Flaagan / USA, 13 min. Narrative Short. It’s the last thirteen minutes in the lives of two good men: a soldier who believes he has captured a terrorist, and a Middle Eastern man who believes a terrorist has captured him.

“Ecstasy and Death” 10-noon slot at NDC

Director: Nancy Rogers / USA, 57 min. Documentary Feature. Poet and spoken-word artist Jack Ramey brings the poems of Keats and Shelley to life while exploring the poets’ revolutionary era and its parallels to his own 1960’s memories of events at Kent State University,

“The Recess” 4-6 slot at NDC

Director: Navid Nikkhah Azad / Iran, 12 min. Narrative Short. 17-year-old Sahar is determined to watch her favorite soccer team play, though—as a woman—she’s barred from attending sports events. So she disguises herself as a boy. But when Sahar’s disguise is uncovered, events take an ominous turn.

“Roll the Drum!” 4-6 slot at OGT

(Title in the trailer is “Tambour Battant,” with no subtitles. The film itself HAS English subtitles.)

TAMBOUR BATTANT – Movie Trailer from SONIA TOUT COURT on Vimeo.


Director: Francois-Christophe Marzai / Switzerland, 90 min. Narrative Feature. In 1970, a village in Valais, Switzerland is agitated. Is it because of the vote on women’s rights, or the referendum against foreigners? No. It’s because the village brass band is falling apart.


“The Rumba Kings” 7 pm at NDC


Director: Alan Brain / Peru, 95 min. Documentary Feature. A documentary about the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an African nation that fought colonial oppression, found freedom, and forged a new identity through music.

Sunday Films

“A Whole New Way” 10-noon slot at NDC


Trailer for In a Whole New Way from Seeing for Ourselves on Vimeo.

Director: Jonathan Fisher / USA, 32 min. Documentary Short. Ensnaring almost 4 million Americans, this short doc critiques the legal “probation” system. Has it evolved from offering the convicted a second chance to a practice that actually feeds mass incarceration?

“Free the Vote: The Past and Present of Restoring Voting Rights in Maryland” 10-noon at the NDC

Director: Amber Taylor / USA, 40 min. Documentary Short. Advocates for permitting the formerly-incarcerated to vote share their hopes and dreams of a Maryland where the right to vote is restored for every citizen.

“Sensei Fran Kicks Ass” 10-noon slot at OGT

Director: Simone Fary / USA, 20 min. Documentary Short. Attention seniors: keep the faith and keep moving. Fran Vall teaches Japanese martial arts, skiing and snowboarding. Not bad for an 80-year-old!

“From Durban to Tomorrow” 1-3 slot at NDC

From Durban To Tomorrow Trailer from From Durban To Tomorrow on Vimeo.

Director: Dylan Mohan Grey / South Africa, 34 min. Documentary Short. Health advocates from around the world persevere, through victories and defeats, toward the goal of establishing a universal human right to health.

“Beating Superbugs: Can We Win?” 1-3 slot at NDC

Director: William Mudge / USA, 68 min. Documentary Feature. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or Super Bugs, pose ominous threats to world health. Leaders in economics, government and the pharmaceutical industry reveal their coordinated counter-attacks in this important documentary.

“Following a Bird” 1-3 slot at NDC

Director: Marco Capriotti / Italy. 8 min. | Narrative Short. A brief, beautiful, experimental respite from worldly stress.

“Who Cares About DC?” 4-6 slot at OGT

Director: Stephen Kolb / USA, 65 min. Documentary Feature. Activists fighting for Washington D.C. statehood share the history of D.C.’s lack of Congressional representation, and their battle for fairness.

“Bicentennial Bonsai: Emissaries of Peace” 4-6 slot at OGT

Directors: Paul Awad, Kathryn O’Sullivan / USA, 35 min. Documentary Short. In 1975, Japan gave 53 priceless bonsai trees to the United States in honor of the upcoming 1976 U.S. Bicentennial. Using interviews and archival footage, this short film considers how we might rediscover our shared humanity with other nations.

“Ourselves, In Stories” 4-6 slot at NDC

Ourselves, In Stories Trailer from Marjee Chmiel on Vimeo.

Director: Marjee Chmiel / USA, 24 min. Documentary Short. For the last 25 years, independent comic book artists have sought to make their community more inclusive and to elevate under-represented voices. This short doc tells the story of how the community has changed.

“Every Moment” 4-6 slot at NDC

Trailer – Every Moment from Her Republic Films on Vimeo.

Director: Samantha deManbey / USA, 20 min. Documentary Short. “Every Moment” is a twenty minute documentary about the life and art of Sahar Ghavimi. In 2016, Sahar emigrated from Iran with her family. The film explores Sahar’s work on three large art projects while documenting the challenges her immigrant family faced.

Sky Sun, Tile Sun 4-6 slot at NDC

Director: Ziba Arzhang / Iran, 7 min. Animation.  Explosive bombardments on the sun cause a tiled wall to break and darken the world. In response, people collaborate to build a new sun for the sky.

“The Rumba Kings” 7 pm at NDC

Director: Alan Brain / Peru, 95 min. Documentary Feature. A documentary about the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an African nation that fought colonial oppression, found freedom, and forged a new identity through music.

Monday Nov 22 at the New Deal Cafe

“Wandering: A Rohingya Story” at 7 pm. Special Free Showing!


Wandering, a Rohingya Story – TRAILER from MÖ FILMS on Vimeo.

Director: Melanie Carrier, Olivier Higgins / Canada, 88 min. Documentary Feature. In 2017, 700,000 people of the Rohingya Muslim minority fled Myanmar to escape genocide through asylum in Bangladesh. But the world’s biggest refugee camp is almost out of space and time.
Follow Susan Harris:
Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that first blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog at GardenRant.com. In 2021 Susan joined the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Access TV. Susan launched the video blog "Susan's Hoop Dancing Journey" after trying hula hooping during the 2022 Crazy Quilt Music Festival.

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