Kettering University to host 13th annual Global Issues Film Festival January 22-31

The Global Issues Film Festival brings a diverse array of films to Flint every year, and we're honored to have been hosting this event for so many years.”

Kettering University will host the 13th annual Global Issues Film Festival on campus from January 22-31. The festival is co-sponsored by University of Michigan-Flint and Mott Community College and aims to raise awareness of critical issues from around the globe as showcased in renowned independent films and documentaries.

"The Global Issues Film Festival brings a diverse array of films to Flint every year, and we're honored to have been hosting this event for so many years," said Pavitra Sundar, professor of Liberal Studies at Kettering University and Global Issues Film Festival committee chair. "We're particularly excited to host two visiting filmmakers this year, and hope that students and community members will appreciate their expertise and commentary."

Emmy award-winning filmmaker Virginia Wolf will be on campus for a discussion after the screening of her film A Bridge Apart on Wednesday, January 28th at 7 p.m.  Francine Strickwerda, co-producer/writer/director of Oil and Water, will also discuss her film on Friday, January 30 at 7 p.m.

Screenings at Kettering University will take place at the McKinnon Theater in the Academic Building on the corner of University and Chevrolet Avenues. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided at the screenings. All screenings are free and open to the public.

Follow the latest news and updates from the Global Issues Film Festival on Twitter using the hashtag #KetteringGIFF. A complete schedule of films with dates, times and locations:

Thursday, January 22, 5 p.m. *KIVA, Harding Mott University Center, University of Michigan-Flint
Bitter Seeds (2011). Directed by Micha X. Peled. 88 min.

Biotechnology is changing how farming is done the world over. Advocates believe the “New Green Revolution” is the only way to provide sufficient food for the world’s growing population while opponents raise environmental concerns and fear that GMOs drive small-scale farmers off the land. Bitter Seeds explores the controversy — from a village in India that uses genetically modified seeds to U.S. government agencies that promote them. Winner of the International Documentary Association’s 2012 Humanitas Documentary Award. 

Wednesday, January 28, 7 p.m., McKinnon Theater, Kettering University
A Bridge Apart (2013). Directed by Virginia Wolf. 56 min.

A compelling look at migration from the perspective of migrants from Central America and Mexico to the U.S., exploring why they move and the dangers they face. Usually poor, young and facing the threat of kidnapping by human traffickers, these are people whose struggles have been overlooked. The film investigates strategies that coffee farmers in Guatemala have implemented to increase economic opportunity and prevent migration. Join Emmy Award- winning filmmaker Virginia Wolf for a discussion following the screening.

Thursday, January 29, 7 p.m., McKinnon Theater, Kettering University
Half of a Yellow Sun (2013). Directed by Biyi Bandele. 113 min.

Based on the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, this is a saga of love and betrayal set against the 1967-70 Biafran war, when Igbo people mounted a struggle for independence. The privileged lives of two sisters, Olanna and Kainene, unravel in the midst of civil war as they make very different personal and romantic choices. Features performances by Thandie Newton (Crash, ER), Anika Noni Rose (The Princess & the Frog) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave). Named Best Feature Film at the 17th Annual Zanzibar International Film Festival. Dr. Ernest Emenyonu, Professor and Chair of Africana Studies at U-M Flint, will lead a discussion at the end of the film.

Friday, January 30, 7 p.m., McKinnon Theater, Kettering University
Oil and Water (2014). Directed by Laurel Spellman Smith and Francine Strickwerda. 78 min.

This film is the true story of two boys coming of age as they each confront one of the world’s worst toxic disasters. Hugo comes to America to fight for the survival of his Cofán tribe in the Ecuadorian Amazon, while David goes to Ecuador to launch the world’s first company to certify oil as “fair trade.” Born on opposite ends of the oil pipeline, the two young men explore possibilities for a more just, clean future. Winner of the Rhode Island International Film Festival’s Green Planet Award. Stay for a discussion with the co-producer/director/writer of Oil and Water , Francine Strickwerda.

Saturday, January 31, 1 p.m., McKinnon Theater, Kettering University
A River Changes Course (2013). Directed by Kalyanee Mam. 83 min.

Winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at Sundance as well as numerous other international awards, A River Changes Course tells the story of three families in contemporary Cambodia as they face hard choices forced by rapid development and struggle to maintain their traditional ways of life as the modern world closes in around them. Widely lauded for its lyrical choreography and quiet, unobtrusive style, the film offers no easy answers to the dilemmas of globalization. It makes its case instead by painting an intimate portrait of human lives in transition.

Saturday, January 31, 3 p.m., McKinnon Theater, Kettering University
Bitter Seeds (2011). Directed by Micha X. Peled. 88 min.

A faculty-led discussion will follow this screening of Bitter Seeds.