Film is a spectacularly communal art form. And film festivals take this celebration of community seriously—some would even say reverently.
So it is with near-missionary zeal that we proudly present this year’s film program. We are deeply appreciative of the artistic vision of our filmmakers and thrilled to be presenting this impressive slate to Mendocino audiences.
Through film we recognize our common global existence and better understand and empathize with others as we begin to see the depth of their experiences, as well as the obstacles they may face – whether literal walls or psychological and cultural barriers. Great films illuminate and elucidate, and, in the process, encourage compassion. In the best cases, they can transform us.
It’s been said that films are in “conversation” with one another. What a thrilling discussion could be had among such artistic participants as Amazing Grace, with its transcendent gospel music powered by the late, great Aretha Franklin, and Afghan Cycles’ determined young Afghani women breaking with tradition. Knocking down barriers decades before and a world away were their forebears in Maiden, the real-life story of an all-female sailing crew competing in the prestigious Whitbread Round the World Race.
Be inspired by the valiant souls in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez working to protect the world’s most endangered sea mammal in the film Sea of Shadows, as well as the actions of a few dedicated caretakers in Kenya who seek to a stave off the extinction of the white rhinoceros in Kifaru. Join a Chinese-American family who throws a wedding celebration to honor their beloved dying grandmother in the bittersweet film comedy The Farewell. What a fascinating conversation might take place among the brilliant novelist in Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am and the Italian operatic tenor from Pavarotti. And oh, to have their colloquy moderated by the eponymous legendary newsman of Mike Wallace is Here.
Check out all of our film trailers here.
Our lineup for the 14th Annual Mendocino Film Festival is a varied and expansive collection of films, attesting to the wonderfully diverse breadth of the human experience. We are proud to announce that half of the films in this year’s program are made by women or people of color. We hope you will enjoy our cinematic offerings and join the conversation, whether in our filmmaker Q&As, at our discussion panels, or around town, as we come together for another year over our shared love of film.
Listen to Claudia discuss the Festival, the films, and the filmmakers in her interview with KGUA hosts Peggy Berryhill and Leigh Anne Lindsey here.