San Diego Italian Film Festival

Fall 2007


Lecture by Professor Laura Ruberto (Berkeley City College) entitled “Le gambe nude di Silvana: Rice workers, sexuality and popular Images in Postwar Italy” Thursday, Oct. 18, 2-3pm, 221 Hepner Hall

Professor Ruberto will discuss Giuseppe De Santis’ film Riso Amaro (Bitter Rice, 1949) which both promoted and glamorized the oppressive hard work of Italian female rice weeders. Laura E. Ruberto is the author ofGramsci, Migration, and the Representation of Women at Work (Lexington Books, 2007) and co- editor with Kristi M. Wilson of Italian Neorealism and Global Cinema (Wayne State UP, 2007).

This event is sponsored by an IRA grant.

For information contact

Conference: Italian Neorealism And Global Cinema

Presentation and discussion of the book ITALIAN NEOREALISM AND GLOBAL CINEMA edited by Laura E. Ruberto and Kristi M. Wilson, Wayne State UP, 2007. Thur. October 18, 19:30 Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park.

Panel Chair: Clarissa Clo’ (SDSU); Panelists: book editors Laura Ruberto (Berkeley City College) and Kristi Wilson (Stanford) and book contributors Pasquale Verdicchio (UCSD) and Tomas Crowder-Taraborrelli (Stanford).

Italian Film Festival

The Italian Program is a sponsor for CINEMA SUD, an Italian Film Festival held at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, October 12-25, 2007.

For more information visit

For more information about the Italian film festival visit:

2011-2012 Community Cinema Season

Producing Partners/Coordinators: Tomas Crowder-Taraborrelli, Nolina Doud, Juliann Petkov, Kathrine Filippi. 

The Independent Television Service (ITVS) and Soka University of America are pleased to announce the third year of Community Cinema program, which begins in September. The largest public interest outreach program in public or commercial television, Community Cinema features a sneak peek of nine documentaries set to broadcast on the award-winning PBS series Independent Lens.

Community Cinema, in partnership with the Humanities Program and Student Affairs, screens films monthly from September through May (most screenings are in Pauling 216, but check for locations on the Soka calendar website).

After the screenings, Community Cinema features panel discussions with leading community based organizations, special guest speakers, information, resources, and other programming designed to help our students and our community learn more about the issues and get involved. 

Highlights of our upcoming season at Soka University of America!

September 22nd, Pauling 216

Peace Unveiled
When the U.S. troop surge was announced in late 2009, women in Afghanistan knew that the ground was being laid for peace talks with the Taliban. Peace Unveiled follows three women who immediately began to organize to make sure that women have a seat at the negotiating table. One is a savvy parliamentarian who participated in writing the Afghan constitution that guarantees equality for women; another, a former midwife who is one of the last women’s rights advocates alive in Kandahar; and the third, a young activist who lives in a traditional family in Kabul. Convinced that the Taliban will have demands that jeopardize women’s hard-earned gains, they maneuver against formidable odds to have their voices heard in a peace jirga and high peace council. We go behind Kabul’s closed doors as the women’s case is made to U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer, General David Petraeus and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who promises the women that “peace and justice can’t come at the cost of women and women’s lives.” But will this promise be kept? Narrated by Tilda Swinton.

October 13th, Pauling 216

Deaf Jam
National poetry slams for youth have been gaining momentum but few, if any, deaf teens have ever been included in these contests. In Deaf Jam a group of New York City deaf teens reveal their passions, frustrations, and senses of humor as they discover American Sign Language poetry — eventually stepping into the world of the youth poetry slams with their hearing peers.

November 17th

We Still Live Here (Âs Nutayuneân)
The Wampanoag nation of southeastern Massachusetts ensured the survival of the first English settlers in America, and lived to regret it. AS NUTAYUNEAN – We Still Live Here tells the story of the return of the Wampanoag language, the first time a language with no Native speakers has been revived in this country. Spurred on by an indomitable linguist named Jessie Little Doe, the Wampanoag are bringing their language and their culture back.

December 1st

Taking Root
How does the simple act of planting trees lead to winning the Nobel Peace Prize? Ask Wangari Maathai of Kenya. In 1977, she suggested rural women plant trees to address problems stemming from a degraded environment. Under her leadership, their tree-planting grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, defend human rights and promote democracy, earning Maathai the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.

February 23rd

Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock
As a black woman who was a feminist before the term was invented, Daisy Bates refused to accept her assigned place in society. The life of Daisy Bates tells the story of her life and public support of nine black students to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, which culminated in a constitutional crisis–pitting a president against a governor and a community against itself.

March 15th

February- More Than a Month
Shukree Hassan Tilghman, a 29-year-old African American filmmaker, is on a cross-country campaign to end Black History Month. Through this tongue-in-cheek journey, MORE THAN A MONTH investigates what the treatment of history tells us about race and equality in a “post-racial” America.

April 19th

Hell and Back Again
What does it mean to lead men in war? What does it mean to come home – injured physically and psychologically – and build a new life? HELL AND BACK AGAIN that asks and answers these questions with the conflict in Afghanistan as the backdrop. Two overlapping narratives intercut: the life of a Marine on the war front, and the life of the same Marine in recovery at home – creating a realistic depiction of how Marines experience this war.

May 10th

A formidable figure, standing at 5’8″ and weighing over 300 pounds, Cheryl Haworth struggles to defend her champion status as her lifetime weightlifting career inches towards its inevitable end. STRONG! chronicles her journey and the challenges this unusual elite athlete faces, exploring popular notions of power, strength, beauty and health.

For more information about the films and Community Cinema visit:
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Ancestors in America

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

The Orange County Chinese Cultural Club together with Soka University of America’s International Studies Concentration presents:
Ancestors in the Americas, Parts I and II by award winning filmmaker, Loni Ding.

2 pm Part I: Coolies, Sailors, Settlers: Voyage to the New World 17th to 19th Century

3 pm: Questions and Answers and Intermission

3:30 pm: Part II: Chinese in the Frontier West: An American Story 1849 to 1880’s

4:30 pm: Panel discussion with filmmaker Loni Ding and Professor Tomás F. Crowder-Taraborrelli

5:30: Dinner at the Soka Bistro.

For more information about this series visit:

Naturalezas en Conflicto, Cine Campesino (2004)

Cine Campesino is a collective committed to bringing Latin American films to rural areas, where viewing films is limited to Hollywood action films in English with Spanish subtitles that audiences cannot read. The first project of the collective was to complement the work of the Un Mundo, the NGO that sponsored Cine Campesino, by developing a space for conflict resolution through the exhibition of films. Cine Campesino and Un Mundo organized the first traveling film festival in the region, hiring school buses to transport hundred of campesinos to the soccer field were we projected the films. Later that week, members of the collective led video production workshops with students teaching them how to produce their first films. This event was part of the collective’s first documentary Cine Campesino (2002). Natures in Conflict (2004) the second documentary, questions the tourist’s gaze at the Honduran jungle, and shows how campesinos(rural subsistence farmers) have sometimes “destroyed” their environment to provide their families with the means of survival. 

Cine Campesino: A Documentary Film (2002)

Production and screenplay: Tomas F. Crowder-Taraborrelli

Cine Campesino is a Travelling film festival that has done over 110 film festivals in rural Honduras. It was first organized in 2002, in a small town called El Pital. This documentary was made of that event. In 2003 Ronald Reinds made it possible that Cine Campesino became mobile.

Cine Campesino is a project set up by Un Mundo, a small NGO that operates in the valley of the river Cangrejal on the north coast of Honduras. It initated with a film festival in 2002 that lasted 3 days. After the second edition, Cine Campesino underwent a large change and got mobile and started giving free film festivals in rural Honduran comunities. Cine Campesino left Un Mundo during the course of 2004 to join Arte Acción Copán Ruinas.

Cine Campesino:  video installation
Cine Campesino shows Spanish spoken Latin American movies with social themes primarily in mountain villages in Honduras that have no access to electricity, cable or a video store. This means that some 90% of villages would be eligible for a Cine Campesino Film Festival. The way these are done is as follows; we make contact with a local or a Peace Corps Volunteer who has a cell phone or who can use the internet, we discuss a date that suits us both, we send them the folder “How to organize a Film Festival in YOUR Comunity” and then we have night of cine!

Four years and 111 film festivals later, we have completed a documentaty on people who have never seen a movie before in their lives. This is a homage to Por Primera Vez, a Cuban documentary from 1967 with the same theme. The documentary has been shown on the Noordelijk Film Festival and the Sidney Latin American Film Festival and will be screened on a number of other film festivals throughout the world; most notably the International Film Festival Rotterdam and the International Documantary Film Festival Amsterdam.

Cine Campesino is still on the road, run by Hondurans but without proper wheels. A documentary made by Arte Acción Copán Ruinas on the cultural remains of the Maya comunity in the Copán region is now shown in every town Cine Campesino visits. Here´s a a few images of a screening in Nueva Esperanza, Copán. If you want to volunteer for Cine Campesino, you need to have an Audiovisual background and speak some Spanish.

Cine Campesino (2002)

By David Ashby

On October 17, 18 and 19, 2002, the Un Mundo organization presented a rural “Cinema Campesino Film Festival” in the village of El Pital, in the Cangrejal river valley (half an hour south from La Ceiba, Honduras). The festival used Latin American films and dialogue to celebrate the beautiful yet difficult life of the Campesino. People were bussed in or walked to the festival from the remote neighbouring villages of Urraco, Toncontin, Yaruca, Rio Viejo and La Muralla.

The festival purpose was threefold:
1. A fundraiser to purchase a used bus to transport students at the local high school.
2. An exercise for the local villages in carrying out a cooperative community event.

3. A forum for public dialog about local problems and social issues. 

An estimated 500 people attended the Cinema Campesino Film Festival under the stars each night.

The renowned Bethel High School Marching Band kicked off the event. 

Local singers and dancers performed during the three nights of the festival.

Brisk sales of food and drink by local villagers were part of the fund-raising activities, and high school students also solicited donations from festival participants. Nearly all the equipment used to produce this first Film Festival were donated by sponsors, including the sound system, lights, rain shelters, camera and movie projection equipment.

Cartoon videos and movies shown in the local high school kept the youngsters entertained. 

Each night, dolls and other toys were given to the village kids attending the festival.

Un Mundo plans to repeat the Cinema Campesino Film Festival throughout rural Honduras. Un Mundo is also working to establish a Cine Campesino Film and Video Institute on the north coast of Honduras, with objectives of imparting to youth throughout Honduras an understanding of filmmaking and the filmmaking industry, promoting social change through film, and fostering a national film industry. If you would like to become a founding contributor of the Cine Campesino Film and Video Institute, email

The shown films came from Cuba, Argentina, and Honduras. The Last Supper depicted the inner turmoil of slaves asserting their independence at a Dominican Republic sugar plantation in the 19th century. The Hour of the Furnaces was a cold, hard examination of the causes and effects of underdevelopment in Latin America. Hurricane Mitch focused on the debilitating external debt exposed by this natural phenomena, while A Place in the World was a sweet story of the triumph and tribulations of a father and son, as the former overcomes resistance while starting a cooperative in his native village and the latter tries to teach his female companion how to read.

Cine Campesino (2003)

In September 2003 Un Mundo presented the second “Cinema Campesino Film Festival” in the village of El Pital. The festival used a Latin American film and dialogue to demonstrate the life of the Latin American.
An estimated 300 people attended the festival under the stars that night. Sales of food and drink by local villagers were part of the fundraising activities and proceeds from the festival went to local educational institutions.
The festival provided a forum for public dialog about local problems and social issues, and two documentaries were made from the events; one dealing with the monopolistic grip of the North American film industry in Latin American film distribution, and another with how conceptions of nature in the area are culturally constructed.
The movies shown were, a documentary shot during the first film festival and “La Cuidad” this last film deals with the difficult live illegal immigrants could have in the United States. The film is segmented in 4 twenty minute stories with Latin Americans in a nameless role. It is clear that it could be anybody.

Jorge Sanjinés y el cine documental

En el mundo entero, no sólo en Bolivia, hay una inquietud en la gente joven frente a los terribles desafíos que se nos van presentando a la humanidad entera. Entonces la idea de cambiar las estructuras de dominación capitalistas, que están acabando con el medio ambiente, con el planeta, hacen que se haga un cine documental que está teniendo una enorme importancia en el mundo.