New Orleans Film Festival 2020

Is There Anywhere to Go But Here?: Climate Change in the Global South

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Stream began November 16, 2020 11:30 PM UTC
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As we run out of letters in the Latin alphabet to name hurricanes, six of which directly impacted states and countries across the Gulf South, it is an understatement that the continuous reckoning with climate change in our region is inevitable. In this panel moderated by Nailah Jefferson, NOFF & Firelight Doc Lab alum and director of Vanishing Pearls, hear from filmmakers throughout the Global South on how they're navigating climate change in their storytelling, daily lives and the film ecosystem. Envisioned and Curated by Chloe Walters Wallace, Manager of Artist Programs at Firelight Media in partnership with IMA South. This live panel will be followed by a brief q&a open to virtual audience members.


Nailah Jefferson

Nailah Jefferson’s acclaimed work has been distributed domestically and internationally on the film festival circuit, theatrically and televised. Her debut documentary Vanishing Pearls: The Oystermen of Pointe a la Hache, told the story of the little known African American oyster fishing community in Plaquemines Parish and their fight for justice in the aftermath of the 2010 BP Oil Spill. The film was acquired by ARRAY and is currently available on The Urban Movie Channel. In 2017, Nailah was nominated for a National Magazine Ellie award for directing Essence Magazine’s Black Girl Magic Episode 4. Nailah’s first narrative film, Plaquemines, was awarded the inaugural Create Louisiana $50k Short Film grant. It was chosen as an American Black Film Festival HBO Shorts finalist and is currently available on HBO platforms. Nailah's current work includes the documentary Commuted, about a 51 year old woman whose triple life sentence was commuted by the Obama Administration in 2016. The film is supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures, the Tribeca Film Institute, Firelight Media, Black Public Media, the Southern Documentary Fund and ITVS.


Elaine Sheldon

Elaine McMillion Sheldon is an Academy Award-nominated, and Emmy and Peabody-winning documentary filmmaker based in Appalachia. Sheldon is the director of two Netflix Original Documentaries - HEROIN(E) and RECOVERY BOYS - that explore America's opioid crisis. HEROIN(E) was nominated for a 2018 Academy Award and won the 2018 Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Documentary. She was named a 2018 USA Fellow by United States Artists and one of the "25 New Faces of Independent Film" by Filmmaker Magazine. She has been commissioned by Netflix, PBS Frontline, The New York Times Op-Docs, TEDWomen, and Field of Vision. She is a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow. 


My project King Coal examines the influence the coal industry has had on the Appalachian psyche and is a futurist look at the region addressing climate change and belonging in our post-industrial world.


Amada Torruella

Amada Torruella is a Central American filmmaker, community storyteller and film programmer/curator based between El Salvador and Los Angeles. Displaced with her family during the Salvadoran civil war, Amada's work is driven by the healing of our migration and colonial wounds, environmental justice and visual literacy. As someone striving to dismantle borders and their constraints, not only on our geo-policies but on our creativity, imaginations and geographies as well, Amada explores collective memory, intergenerational trauma, tropical identities and the Global South. Her work has been featured at Blackstar Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Skirball Cultural Center, amongst others; she is a member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia, IDD and serves on the IMAS organizing committee. Amada is currently developing her first feature film: Vena Aquatica, a Women Make Movies Production Assistance Program Project and finalist in the Tribeca If/Then Global Pitch Competition on Environmental Stories.


Zephrine Royer

Zephrine Royer is a writer and impact producer from Dominica. She is a producer at Sün, the digital media, and a host at Film & Impact, a video podcast where she has conversations with documentary filmmakers from around the world who use film to drive change. Zephrine is the co-founder of Creativ Sün Films, a creative and impact film production company based in Martinique. She holds a PhD in Education Sciences and is a researcher and consultant in Bilingual Education. She was a teacher and university lecturer before working in film. Zephrine is a Tribeca Film Institute Alumni and has produced several documentary films with the aim of showcasing the beauty of Caribbean peoples and their stories. Her films Shihan, Live Edge, The Sea Between Us, Yole, and The Third Season have been selected at festivals like the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, Wadadli Film Festival, Rapport Film Festival, Sunchild International Film Festival, Green Screen Film Festival, Women of the Lens Film Festival, Jacht Film Festival, and the Rencontres Cinémas Martinique.


Lale Namerrow Pastor

Lale Namerrow Pastor is a queer, transfeminist person. Born in Rió Piedras, Puerto Rico to a Dominican mother and absent father. They completed undergraduate studies in Photography and Art History at the University of Puerto and continued academic studies in Film Production and Direction at the New York Film Academy in New York City. Lale currently resides in Puerto Rico, where they are a well known musical curator in the subversive cuir scene, archival researcher, audio visual producer and a member of the central committee of El Hangar en Santurce. Among so much, they are Caribbean, activist, videographer, editor, advisor, compañera, pata, bucha, turba, and possibly everything that fits between those labels.