Monthly Film Festival

November 19, 2023 10:00am PST - 10:45pm PST
Industry Delegates
Julia Kipnis
Film Festival Programmer
Elizabeth Wachtel
Literary Packaging Agent
Amanda Hillsberg Arya
Director, Documentary
Alex Loveyko
Entertainment/IP Attorney
James-Michael Boyer
Director of Operations, Collective Eye Films

NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) presents its annual line-up DocuSlate documentary program, spotlighting documentary filmmakers and stories from around the world with a selection of features and short documentaries across six programs. 

The day’s programming begins with the Los Angeles premiere of Greener Pastures, the award-winning Iranian-American filmmaker Samuel-Ali Mirpoorian’s sobering account of the erasure of farm work in the US through intimate portrayals of modern day small farmers facing the pressures of corporate greed and climate change. 

Next, the line-up presents unseen, a portrait of a disabled undocumented immigrant navigating a series of inhospitable systems in pursuit of his dreams. The film is the debut feature of director and community organizer Set Hernandez and was the recipient of a 2021 NewNarratives grant, premiering earlier this year at Hot Docs.  “Through experimental cinematography and sound, unseen reimagines the accessibility of cinema, while exploring the intersections of immigration, disability, and mental health,” says Hernandez. 

The afternoon continues with the paired presentation of documentarian Kevin Wong’s first feature Home is a Hotel and Jason Maxwell Cooper and Jay Armitage’s short documentary The Unclaimed, which each tell candid stories of the plight of unhoused people. The Unclaimed tells the story of how one man slipped  through the cracks to become one of the unclaimed bodies buried annually in a mass service in the city of Los Angeles. Home is a Hotel, making its Los Angeles premiere, explores what makes a home through the eyes of residents of temporary SROs in San Francisco. “

In a country where 0.1% of full time minimum wage workers are able to afford a one-bedroom apartment where they live, too often stories of inequality are framed as narratives of personal setback and triumph. Home Is a Hotel raises questions about what we owe the most vulnerable among us, and the role housing plays in that,” says Wong.

Next, Join or Die, the debut feature of director Rebecca Davis, asks us to dive deep into the history and social science behind the slow unraveling of civic life in America and the role that clubs and associations have played. Davis asks, “what makes democracy work? Why is American democracy in crisis? And, most importantly … what can we do about it?” 

The evening continues with the Los Angeles premiere of award-winning director Fia Sophia Perera Paul & Trisha: The Art of Fluidity, which tells the story of 77-year-old gender-fluid artist Paul Whitehead, the artist behind iconic album covers for bands including Genesis, and his alter-ego Trisha Van Cleef, an artist in her own right with a sensibility all her own. We follow Paul as he navigates gender and identity beginning in the 1960’s, through his and Trisha’s experiences in the present. 

The day concludes with DocuSlate Shorts, a collection of short documentaries that grapple with white privilege, explore a new era of digital sex work during increasingly unstable times, unmask the abuse of female athletes in Iran, depict finding the words we wish we could have said to a deceased relative, share the  story of an indigenous woman lost to domestic abuse and her family’s fight for justice, take us though a filmmaker’s memory and home videos to uncover family trauma, and takes us into the world of youth being mentored in a New Orleans tradition.

NFMLA showcases films by filmmakers of all backgrounds throughout the year, across both our general and InFocus programming. All filmmakers are welcome and encouraged to submit their projects for consideration for upcoming NFMLA Festivals, regardless of the schedule for InFocus programming, which celebrates diversity, inclusion and region by spotlighting  communities of filmmakers within our filmmaking community as part of our monthly program. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The South Park Center is an ADA compliant venue and is wheelchair accessible. We request captioned films from all filmmakers participating at our Festival. For any accessibility needs, please send a request to at least 72 hours prior to the event.

Schedule Details

Program #1 – Feature Documentary | Greener Pastures
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Program
12:00 PM – 12:15 PM – Audience Q&A

Program #2 – Feature Documentary | unseen
12:15 PM – 12:30 PM – Pre-Reception
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM – Program
2:00 PM – 2:15 PM – Audience Q&A

Program #3 – Feature Documentary | Home is a Hotel [plays with short The Unclaimed]
2:15 PM – 2:30 PM – Pre-Reception
2:30 PM – 4:15 PM – Program
4:15 PM – 4:30 PM – Audience Q&A

Program #4 – Feature Doucmentary | Join or Die
4:30 PM – 5:00 PM – Pre-Reception
5:00 PM – 6:45 PM – Program
6:45 PM – 7:00 PM – Audience Q&A

Program #5 – Feature Documentary | Paul & Trisha: The Art of Fluidity
7:00 PM – 7:15 PM – Pre-Reception
7:15 PM – 8:30 PM – Program
8:30 PM – 8:45 PM – Audience Q&A

Program #6 – DocuSlate Shorts
8:45 PM – 9:00 PM – Pre-Reception
9:00 PM – 10:30 PM – Program
10:30 PM – 10:45 PM – Audience Q&A

Event Location

Event Entrance
1139 S. Hill Street, Los Angeles 90015

Parking (fee)
1133 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Feature Documentary | Greener Pastures
Greener Pastures
Dir. Samuel-Ali Mirpoorian, Writ. & Prod.
82 Mins | USA
Feature Documentary | unseen
Dir. Set Hernandez, Writ. Set Hernandez, Daniel Chávez & Prod. Day Al-Mohamed, Fálix Endara
88 Mins | USA
Feature Documentary | Home Is a Hotel [plays with short The Unclaimed]
The Unclaimed
Dir. Jason Maxwell Cooper, Jay Armitage, Writ. & Prod. Jason Maxwell Cooper, Jay Armitage
16 Mins | USA
Home is a Hotel
Dir. Kevin Duncan Wong, Writ. & Prod.
90 Mins | USA
Feature Documentary | Join or Die
Join or Die Thumbnail
Join or Die
Dir. Rebecca Davis, Writ. Pete Davis & Prod. Rebecca Davis, Pete Davis
104 Mins | USA
Feature Documentary | Paul & Trisha : The Art of Fluidity
Paul & Trisha: The Art of Fluidity
Dir. Fia Sophia Perera, Writ. Fia Sophia Perera & Prod. Adam Joel Fisk, Fia Sophia Perera
76 Mins | USA
DocuSlate Shorts
Whiteness At Work
Dir. Peter Bonde Becker Nelson, Writ. Peter Bonde Becker Nelson & Prod.
6 Mins | USA
Alpha Kings Thumbnail
Alpha Kings
Dir. Enrique Pedraza Botero, Faye Tsakas, Writ. & Prod. Enrique Pedraza Botero, Faye Tsakas, Stefan Weinberger
15 Mins | USA
Woman. Life. Freedom. Athlete Abuse.
Dir. Poppy Farsijani, Writ. Poppy Farsijani & Prod. Poppy Farsijani
20 Mins | USA
Dear Uncle
Dir. Marianne Amelickx-Labrador, Writ. & Prod. Marianne Amelickx-Labrador
5 Mins | USA
Justice for Vanessa Thumbnail
Justice for Vanessa
Dir. Audrey Shuppert, Katharine Johnson, Daniel McGreevy, Writ. & Prod. Michael Ross, Audrey Shuppert
15 Mins | USA
Prelude of a Story Thumbnail
Prelude of a Story
Dir. Ashley Salman, Writ. Ashley Salman, Karina Sandoval & Prod. Ashley Salman
17 Mins | Chile
Wild Magnolias Thumbnail
Wild Magnolias
Dir. Alexandra Kern, Writ. & Prod. Alexandra Kern
15 Mins | USA