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Pitt-Bradford to Screen Documentary Film Series in 2018-19


The University of Pittsburgh has received a grant from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation for a documentary film series this academic year in which the filmmakers will be present to talk about their films.

The On Screen/In Person program brings independent American filmmakers to communities to screen their recent work and increase accessibility and appreciation for film through direct audience engagement.

The six films coming to Bradford examine sex trafficking, teen suicide, artists, female politicians and racism.

For some of the presentations, Patricia Colosimo, director of arts programming, will also assemble a panel of local experts for a question-and-answer discussion following the film.

All movies will be shown at 7 p.m. in the Bromeley Family Theater. Each film is $5. A subscription to all six may be purchased for $25.

The opening film on Sept. 21 is “Break the Chain,” in which survivors of labor and sex trafficking share their stories along with those who are actively raising awareness and creating creative solutions to this secreted billion-dollar industry.

Filmmaker Laura E. Swanson is a professional speaker, sexual assault survivor and advocate and human rights activist. A Q&A panel discussion will follow with Swanson, McKean County District Attorney Stephanie Vettenberg-Schaffer, Heather Schultz-Piche of the Bradford YWCA Victim Resource Center, and Megan Inghram, an ambassador of Shared Hope International.

The second film, “Holden On,” will be shown Oct. 10. “Holden On” is a true story about Holden Layfield set in the early 1990s. Due to a secret battle with mental illness, 17-year-old Holden devolves from a gregarious, small-town Georgian football player to a lost, self-medicating prophet.

A Q&A panel discussion will follow.

On Nov. 2, “Tyrus” will trace the life of American painter and Disney legend Tyrus Wong. From his birthplace in Guangzhou, China, to the studios of old Hollywood, the film shows how Wong overcame a life of poverty and racism to become a successful modern artist, Hollywood motion picture illustrator and Disney legend for his groundbreaking work on the classic animated film “Bambi.”

A talkback session with writer, director and producer Pamela Tom will follow the film. Tom is the recipient of the Walk Disney Writing Fellowship, the Dorothy Arzner Award for Outstanding Woman Director, the Edna and Yu Shan Han Award, and the Asian Pacific Women’s Network Award.

The first movie to be shown in 2019 will be “Man on Fire” on Feb. 15. The film examines the history of racism in Grand Saline, Texas, which no one talked about. The shroud of secrecy ended when Charles Moore, an elderly white preacher, self-immolated to protest the town’s racism in 2014, shining a spotlight on the town’s dark past.

A talkback session with filmmaker Joel Fendelman will follow. “Man on Fire” is his third film. Last year, his short film “Game Night,” a film about aging and unfulfilled dreams, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won best super short at the Savannah Film Festival.

Two March films will explore the topic of women running for office. “From the Second Wave to the Title Wave” and “NextStepRun!” – both by filmmaker Pam Maus – will be shown March 22.

“From the Second Wave to the Title Wave” looks at the stories of three 1960s activists who have returned to the fight for gender equality following the 2016 election. “NextStepRun!” follows four women throughout the country as they run for their respective local House of Representative seats in Arkansas, Maine, Michigan and Oklahoma in 2014.

A question-and-answer panel will follow.

Finally, on April 19, “Chavela” is a moving, award-winning film that takes viewers on an evocative, thought-provoking journey through the fascinating life of game-changing singer Chavela Vargas, who was not only an iconic performer, but also an LGBTQ pioneer.

Filmmaker Daresha Kyi will hold a talkback session with the audience following the film. Daresha writes, produces and directs film and television in Spanish and English.

On Screen/In Person is a program of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts.


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