Global Issues Film Festival

The Department of Liberal Studies has been a proud sponsor of the Global Issues Film Festival since its inception.  Free and open to the public, the film festival brings provocative films to Flint including the work of independent filmmakers from around the world, representing a variety of voices and viewpoints.  Now in its eighth year, it began as an exploration of contemporary social and moral issues through the Human Rights Watch Traveling Film Festival hosted by the Department of Liberal Studies. This first festival included eight films shown over four days that Human Rights Watch selected as the best for artistic merit and human rights significance.

In recent years, the Global Issues Film Festival has grown to be a Flint tradition co-sponsored by the Greater Flint Arts Council, the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, Mott Community College, and the University of Michigan-Flint.  Half of the films are shown in the fall at Mott Community College Regional Technology Center Auditorium and the other half shown in winter at Kettering University’s McKinnon Theater. 

The second half of the 2011-2012 film festival is as follows: 

The World According to Monsanto (2008), Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 5:30 p.m. in the UM-Flint Kiva and again on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. in McKinnon Theater at Kettering University (108 minutes) directed by Marie-Monique Robin. The company that gave the world “Agent Orange” has continued to develop and sell a number of controversial products.  The film-maker spent three years and travelled around the world to document many horrible health effects attributed to these products.  The discussion after the screening at Kettering will be led by Dr. Joy Arbor, assistant professor of Communication at Kettering.

The Power of the Powerless (2009), Thursday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. (78 minutes) directed by Cory Taylor. An exploration of Czechoslovakia's legacy of communist rule and the struggle against it, including the story of blacklisted playwright Václav Havel and his fellow dissidents. The film culminates with the student-led movement in Prague, which sparked 1989’s Velvet Revolution. The discussion afterward will be led by Dr. Eugene Hynes, professor of Social Science at Kettering.

Fuel (2008), Friday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. (112 minutes) directed by Josh Tickell. A comprehensive and entertaining look at energy in America: a history of where we have been, our present predicament and a solution to our dependence on foreign oil. Rousing and reactionary, FUEL is an in-depth, personal journey of oil use and abuse as it examines wide-ranging energy solutions other than oil, the faltering US auto and petroleum industries, and the latest stirrings of the American mindset toward alternative energy. The discussion afterward will be led by Dr. Jonathan Wenzel, assistant professor of Chemical Engineering at Kettering.

The Sun Behind the Clouds (2009), Saturday, Jan. 28 at 1 p.m. (79 minutes) directed by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam. A uniquely Tibetan perspective on the trials and tribulations of the Dalai Lama and his people as they continue their struggle for freedom in the face of determined suppression by China. The film explores the tension between the Dalai Lama’s peaceful solution and the impatience of Tibetans ready to take a more confrontational course. The discussion afterward will be led by Dr. Badrinath Rao, associate professor of Sociology and Asian Studies at Kettering.

Addicted To Plastic (2008), Saturday, Jan. 28, at 3 p.m. (85 minutes) directed by Ian Connacher. For better and for worse, no ecosystem or segment of human activity has escaped the shrink-wrapped grasp of plastic. Addicted to Plastic is a global journey to investigate what we really know about the material of a thousand uses and why there's so darn much of it. On the way we discover a toxic legacy, and the men and women dedicated to cleaning it up.

For information about the 2012-2013 Global Issues Film Festival, contact Dr. Birikorang Okraku.