New York Peace Film Festival, anti-war, films, film festival, NYC, Japan, Iran, Grand Illusion, Okinawa, WWII, Resistance at Tule Lake, internment, incarceration, war

11th Annual New York Peace Film Festival

11th Annual New York Peace Film Festival

Saturday, March 24 from 1:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 25 from 12:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

All Souls Unitarian Church – 1157 Lexington Avenue (between 79th & 80th Streets)

Admission: Free

The 11th Annual New York Peace Film Festival (NYPFF) is a two-day film festival co-hosted by The Peace & Justice Task Force of All Souls Unitarian Church. Organizers will screen eight films – four full-length documentaries and three drama shorts – including the classic anti-war film Grand Illusion directed by Jean Renoir and starring Jean Gabin, one of the most popular film actors in France from the 1930s to the ’60s. This year’s festival films are a worldwide response to the issues of the day with films from Iran, Japan, and the U.S.



Saturday March 24

(2017, 73 min, NY Premiere) Dir. Rick Grehan
From 1:45 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Saturday’s screenings begin with Zan, a feature documentary by Rick Grehan about the Okinawan dugong (related to the manatee, similar in appearance and behavior) and the people who strive to protect them in Oura Bay in Okinawa, Japan, where the dugongs’ feeding grounds are threatened by the construction of a U.S. Marine base.

Followed by a Q&A with producer Yu Kisami

Are you Volleyball?
(2017, 14 min, US Premiere) Dir. Mohammad Bakhshi
and From Hasakah with Love (2016, 10 min) Dir. Mohammad Farahani
3:30 p.m. until 3:55 p.m.

At 3:30 p.m. there will be two drama shorts from Iran: Are you Volleyball? by Mohammad Bakhshi, which portrays a group of Arabian-speaking asylum seekers who arrive at an English-speaking country border and can’t keep going. That screening will be followed by From Hasakah with Love (2016, 10 min) directed by Mohammad Farahani. The short is about a girl who is all alone in the city of Hasakah after the murder of her family members and whose protest ends in tragedy.

Followed by Q&A with filmmakers via Skype

Grand Illusion
(1937, 114 min) Dir. Jean Renoir
4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

NYPFF’s classic anti-war screening is the 1937 film Grand Illusion, directed by Jean Renoir and starring Jean Gabin. Set during the First World War, French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp, and they attempt to escape. The film is considered one of the masterpieces of French Cinema, depicting the social class, prejudice, and other issues to which we can relate in today’s society.

Nick Macdonald, author of “In Search of La Grande Illusion,” will introduce the film.

Exposure to Radiation: Post X Years
(2016, 65 min, NY Premiere) Dir. Hideaki Ito
7:00 p.m. until 8:05 p.m.

Post X Years, a sequel to X Years Later, which NYPFF screened in 2014, continues the research on the nuclear tests in the Pacific in the ‘50s and ‘60s and the effect of a significant amount of fallout on the areas’ inhabitants, including Japanese fishermen who were at sea at the time of the tests. The film exposes shocking facts and data from a half century ago.

Followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker


Sunday March 25

Resistance at Tule Lake
(2017, 78 min) Dir. Konrad Aderer
12:40 p.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Sunday’s films begin with Resistance at Tule Lake, a documentary feature by Konrad Aderer about the long-suppressed story of Japanese Americans who dared to resist the U.S. government’s program of mass incarceration during WWII.

Followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker

Maydeleh and the Prisoner
(2017, 27 min, NY Premiere) Dir. Maya Ben Yair
2:30 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.

With the short drama Maydeleh and the Prisoner, director Maya Ben Yair tells the story of a Holocaust survivor who relapses into childhood trauma when Haruka, a Japanese caretaker, moves in with him.

Followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker via Skype


La Paz Insurrecta (Insurgent Peace)
(2017, 65 min, World Premiere) Dir. Unai Aranzadi
3:30 p.m. until 4:40 p.m.

The final screening is La Paz Insurrecta (Insurgent Peace), directed by journalist Unai Aranzadi. The camera brings us closer to the Colombian reality in collaboration with the Colombian Theater Corporation and the Tramaluna Group.

Followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker via Skype

For more information on the films, please visit New York Peace Film Festival’s website.

To obtain one-day passes, please visit the film festival’s Eventbrite page. Guests are encouraged to see as many screenings as desired; however, seating is on a first come, first served basis and subject to capacity. Please arrive early for the best seating.

Admission to New York Peace Film Festival is free, but organizers are accepting donations to run the festival through their gofundme campaign. To make a contribution, please click here.