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Le Moyne to Host "Peace & Social Justice Showcase," part of Syracuse Film Festival

The Syracuse Film Festival presents the Peace & Social Justice Showcase, taking place in the W. Carroll Coyne Center for the Performing Arts at Le Moyne College on Sunday, Oct. 6 from noon to 3 p.m. Sponsored by Le Moyne College and Justin Nappi and Treehouse Pictures/World Harmony Pictures; tickets are $10, students are free.

The lineup for the showcase is:

Nominated for an Academy Award; winner of the award for Best Short Narrative at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. Director Bryan Buckley will be on hand for a Q and A after the screening of the film.

Following is a brief synopsis of the movie:
Set in a war torn fishing village in Somalia, an all Somali, refugee cast brings to life this coming of age fable of a Somali boy who is faced with falling into the pirate life, or rising above to choose the path of an honest fishing man.

Australian artist/filmmaker George Gittoes will be honored with the Bassel Shehade Award for Social Justice sponsored by Laila and Edward Audi in memory of Bassel Shehade. Bassel was a Syracuse University graduate film student from Syria, killed in Syria while documenting and teaching civilian videographers to record the events occurring in their country for the world to see.

Gittoes' received the Member of the Order of Australia (1997) "for service to art and international relations as an artist and photographer portraying the effects on the environment of war, international disasters and heavy industry".
He was also awarded the Centenary Medal (2001) "for service as an internationally renowned artist". He was given an honorary Doctorate in Letters by the University of New South Wales in 2009.

George Gittoes has worked in Pakistan and Afghanistan for almost 20 years, initially, on a project called MINEFIELDS which documented the stories of landmine victims with drawings, paintings and photographs. These works were shown around the world, including at the UN in Geneva, to raise awareness of these inhuman devices that go on killing innocents long after the conflict has ended.

Post 9/11 his friends in both countries pleaded with him to return and try to make films which showed that not all Pakistani’s or Afghans are terrorists and many are fighting for freedom of expression against the deadly opposition of both the Taliban and Al Queda .

George responded to these calls for help and has spent much of the last 10 years working with his creative friends in the face of death threats and physical attacks. He has now helped to produce 11 feature length Pashto Language dramas, funded and built a centre for the arts in Jalalabad called the Yellow House and is in the process of completing three feature documentaries collectively titled What the World Needs Now Trilogy. The first film was Miscreants of Taliwood which has been shown at IDFA (Amsterdam), Telluride and won the Traverse City Festival Prize in Michigan, the second film Love City Jalalabad is at a fine cut stage and close to completion and the third film Snow Monkey is currently in pre-production, ready for shooting to start in December 2013.

George will be presenting large segments from both Miscreants of Taliwood and Love City Jalalabad and sharing his concept for Snow Monkey. This Presentation of the What the World Needs Now Trilogy will be a world first in Syracuse and a rare opportunity to participate with a cutting edge filmmaker at a mid production phase of a visionary project.

One of the primary aims of the Syracuse International Film Festival is to involve audiences in the art and craft of filmmaking before it is finished, polished and delivered to the market. Each year we present several films in stages where audience feedback can be of great help to the filmmaker.

The Peace and Justice Showcase is part of the Syracuse Film Festival, which takes place at venues around Syracuse from Oct. 2 to 6; learn more about the festival here.

posted on: 9/27/2013