Global Peace Film Festival

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Age: Teen, Adult

Noon: Paper Lanterns

Director: Barry Frechette, US/Japan, 2016, 60 mins

Even the worst of events can bring us together and show the best that being a human can mean. On August 6th, 1945, among the tens of thousands that lost their lives in the bombing of Hiroshima were 12 American POWs. Shigeaki Mori witnessed the blast and survived, but was forever changed.

Paper Lanterns tells the story of Shigeaki Mori and his lifelong calling to tell the story of not only the many Japanese victims of the bomb, but of Normand Brissette, Ralph Neal and the ten other US airmen caught in the hell on earth of that day. Our journey in the film takes us from Lowell, Massachusetts to Harrodsburg, Kentucky to Hiroshima to tell the story of Mori and the 12 US airmen. And show how the war impacted families in both countries, and how one man can rise above the hatred of war and heal the wounds of those terrible days.

The film is directed by Barry Frechette, and Max Esposito is DP and Editor. The music is composed by Chad Cannon, and features Silk Road Ensemble shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki and Japanese pop singer Mai Fujisawa (vocals on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and daughter of the famous Japanese composer, Joe Hisaishi), and was recorded in the historic EastWest Studios by a Hollywood orchestra.

On May 27th, 2016, President Obama was the first sitting United States President to visit Hiroshima, Japan. During that visit, he was seen embracing one of the survivors. That survivor, Shigeaki Mori, was the focus of our documentary. His work recognizing the 12 American POWs killed in Hiroshima have caught the eyes of many in both governments, and Mr. Mori was added to the list on attendees that day. The rest is part of history now.

Forgive – Don’t Forget

Co-directors: Brad Bennett, Jonah Guelzo, Austin Journey, Paul Ufema, USA/Japan, 71mins

During Japan's surrender at the end of World War II, numerous swords were confiscated by American officers. In order to better understand the past and build a bridge between cultures in the present, a filmmaker attempts to return one of these surrendered swords to its original owner.

At least one of the filmmakers may attend.


3:15 p.m.: The Buddy System
Director: Megan Smith-Harris, USA, 2016, 58 mins

Everyone needs a buddy.  David Williams, a sweet and affectionate seven-year-old boy, needs one more than most. Because of his autism, David faces a number of challenges: he has difficulty communicating, misses social cues, gets upset by loud noises, wanders from home, and can’t sleep through the night. David has never had a best friend. But Buddy, a specially bred and trained Golden Retriever, is going to change all that. The Buddy System reveals how a dog really does make a difference in the life of a child with autism.

Director Megan Smith-Harris will be attending and will answer questions.  She will also probably be bringing a service dog in training from the organization in the film.


Don’t Drain the Swamp

Director: Vicki Nantz, USA, 2017, 23 mins

Politicians like to say they want to “drain the swamp,” as if the swamp were a terrible, godforsaken place. After spending 160 hours in a Florida swamp, filmmaker Vicki Nantz can report that the swamp is one of the most valuable ecosystems on earth, and home to an amazing array of wildlife. She discovered there are few places more life-affirming, beautiful and beneficial. Once you experience the zen of the swamp you’ll know that “drain the swamp” is the worst metaphor ever.

Both Vicki Nantz and Bob Giguere will be in attendance and will answer questions.  Some of the subjects of Hidden Secrets will also attend, including Katie Moncrief (Katie’s Landing in Wekiva Springs), writer Bill Belleville and others.



Hidden Secrets of the Florida Springs

Director: Bob Giguere, USA, 2017, 56 mins

There are over 1,000 freshwater springs in Florida, more than any other region in the world.  Native Americans worshiped them as sacred, while many visitors today regard them as enchanted. Not only do these springs fuel rivers and nurture a wonderland of plants and wildlife, they flow from an Aquifer that provides drinking water for 90 percent of Floridians. Their value for recreation, real estate, and potable water is measured in billions of dollars. Florida would suffer an enormous aesthetic---and economic---loss if its springs were degraded.

Equinox Documentaries will explore the mysteries of these springs with rare footage---revealing labyrinthic limestone chambers, rare and endemic animals, and prehistoric fossils of mastodons and other Ice Age animals. But it will also bring to light more treacherous “secrets” that show how the flow of major springs has been steadily declining over the last 50 years, and why the once-pure waters often are clogged with nitrates. The most closely held secret is that humans may have done more damage to our magical springs in the last half century than others have done in the last ten thousand years.

8 p.m.: The Evil Within

Director: Eduardo Rufeisen, USA, 2016, 94 mins

The documentary The Evil Within presents the circumstances that influences a society, a culture, and minds of the perpetrators to create a political regime capable of committing the most horrifying atrocities in the history of mankind: the Holocaust.

The director may attend.