Small Small Thing: The Olivia Zinnah Story

Small Small Thing begins at JFK Hospital in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. Olivia Zinnah is 9 years old, and suffering from a life threatening condition. Believing her injuries to be the result of witchcraft, Olivia’s mother had been hiding her for years. The doctors conclude her condition is the result of a brutal rape that took place when Olivia was 7 years old. When pressured to reveal her rapist, Olivia names her cousin. This diagnosis has severe consequences. Originally from deep in the Liberian jungle, Olivia and her mother are shunned from their tribe for seeking outside help. They are left stranded in Monrovia at the mercy of President Sirleaf’s government and the international community, facing the most difficult decision of all. What price are they willing to pay for justice?

Bitter Honey

Bitter Honey offers a dynamic, intimate, and emotionally charged portrait of three polygamous Balinese families. Shot over a four-year period on the island of Bali, Indonesia, this feature-length film draws attention to the plight of Balinese women in polygamous marriages—which are frequently characterized by psychological manipulation, economic hardship, infidelity, and domestic violence. Due to a societal structure where men predominate in many domains, these women are left with little voice. Bitter Honey draws attention to their struggle, documents those making courageous efforts to better protect and empower them, and aims to trigger a wider conversation about contemporary polygamy and women’s rights.

Zulay, Facing the 21st Century

Filmed over a span of 8 years, this film is based on dialogue between Zulay Saravino, an indigenous Otavaleña of Equador, and Mabel Prelorán, an Argentine anthropologist living in Los Angeles. The Otavalo Indians are industrious landowners and farmers who have also transitioned somewhat to a textile-based economy, selling handwoven garments to tourists at markets in Quito The film shows the beautiful mountainous landscape of Zulay’s home and the traditions of her people – their work, history, food, clothing and Catholic religious practices. The educated and business-savvy Zulay shares her opinions on tourism and photography and her anger over the stereotypes imposed on indiginous people in Equador. She tells Mabel stories passed down from her elders and reflects upon the trade-offs she’s had to make in leaving her home to come to Los Angeles, where her desire to learn new skills is tempered by homesickness. The film becomes a universal document on transculturation and its implications for identity, education, economic advancement and emotional ties.

Sailing A Sinking Sea

Sailing A Sinking Sea explores the culture of the Moken people of Myanmar and Thailand. The Moken are a nomadic seafaring community and one of the smallest ethnic groups in Asia. Spending eight months out of the year in thatch-roofed wooden boats, they are wholly reliant upon the sea, and their entire belief system revolves around water. Filmed on boats, underwater, and on 13 different islands, this film weaves a visual and aural tapestry of Moken mythologies and present-day practices.

An Autobiography of Michelle Maren

Presenting a unique first person perspective, filmmaker/subject Michelle Maren gives access to the rarely seen inner world of Borderline Personality Disorder. Inspired by Michel Negroponte’s film Jupiter’s Wife, Maren contacted Negroponte, convinced that having him tell her story would change her life. He agreed. Each with their own cameras, Maren and Negroponte embarked on a truly collaborative project over the course of 6 years. The result is a visceral experience of a psychological disorder that is both difficult to live with and to understand.