Before the movie awards consideration period otherwise known as “the holidays” begins, a far more appropriate reason for the upcoming season plays out locally with documentaries that aim to raise consciousness as opposed to nominations.
This kicks off in Orange on Tuesday and continues through a Thursday loaded with three—count ’em—three different films exposing causes that would otherwise lack for attention.
Chapman University hosts a screening of this human sex trafficking documentary that was directed by one of its own Dodge College of Film and Media Arts professors. Kelly Galindo title refers to the amount of time that passes before another child is trafficked somewhere in the world. Besides seeing the eight-minute trailer to the film that will be released, attendees get to witness a panel discussion featuring experts in the field of human trafficking who appear in the movie. Panelists include: professor Sandra Morgan, director of the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University and a globally recognized authority in the fights to end human trafficking and violence against women; Judge Maria Hernandez, who has presided over the Juvenile Court for Orange County since 2014 and, before that, chaired the Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) task force; Deidre Pujols, CEO and founder of Strike Out Slavery Initiative, which raises awareness about modern day slavery, and Open Gate International, which provides training, mentoring and employment to empower the impoverished, displaced, enslaved and forgotten; Orange County Deputy District Attorney Bradley Schoenleben of the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit; Side-By-Side Church International pastor Kevin Brown, a retired cop and prison official whose Harbor Outreach Ministry combats the injustice of sex trafficking in the United States and Iraq; Cory Nickols, national director of Development with Destiny Rescue USA, an internationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to rescuing children trapped in the sex trade; and pastor Doug Bennett, founder of Magdalene Hope, which strives to bring awareness of the social justice issues of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Of course, the panel also includes Galindo, who wants 26 Seconds to give a voice to children who are victims of the sex trade and raise awareness of “this gravely urgent issue.” Chapman University, Digital Media Arts Center, 200 N. Cypress St.,Orange. Tuesday, 7 p.m. Free.
I loves me some Dave Brubeck and I loves me some Charlie Mingus, so I can’t believe I knew nothing of this 1962 film that: a.) Both appear in, and; 2) sets William Shakespeare’s Othello in the 1960s London jazz scene. Paul Harris plays Rex (as opposed to Othello), the leader of a popular London jazz band, who is celebrating his one-year anniversary with his former jazz singer wife Delia (Marti Stevens). Their friend Johnny Cousin (Patrick McGoohan) tries unsuccessfully to bring Delia out of retirement and into his band (and arms), so he hatches a plot to stir up chaos in Rex’s band by spreading a rumor that one of the younger players is having an affair with Delia. Keith Michell, Betsy Blair and Sir Richard Attenborough also star, and besides Mingus and Brubeck, Johnny Dankworth and Tubby Hayes show up on screen for director Basil Dearden.
Rather than search for it to play on a small screen, why not head over the county to Long Beach’s historic Art Theatre to see it as intended on a big screen? Better yet, the Art, Jazz Angels and the Long Beach Shakespeare Company are using the film as a centerpiece to raise funds for Helen Borgers, who for 40 years was the voice of jazz on 88.1 FM, first when it was KLON and then KKJZ (a.k.a. KJAZZ). Borgers, was also artistic director of the Long Beach Shakespeare Company, was laid off at KKJZ in June and lost her medical insurance. Unfortunately, her health declined soon after that and since Sept. 8 she has been at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, rebuilding her strength in preparation for life-saving surgery. “Although she has private insurance, the plan is expensive and deductibles are high,” say the organizers of the benefit screening. “The costs of hospitalization and, potentially, months of rehabilitation pose a second threat to Helen’s well being—and the gifts of arts so dear to her and our community.” All proceeds raised at the event go toward her health and living expenses, they vow. Art Theatre, 2025 E. 4th St., Long Beach. Wednesday, 6 p.m. Free but donations are gladly accepted.
The documentary that is also known as “FITE Film” aims to “change the narrative” when it comes to the United States having 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, according to producers. Delving into the lives of formerly incarcerated students attending UC Berkeley, the film charts their success beyond the campus. Normally playing in jails, prisons and youth detention facilities, this first Cal State Long Beach screening is followed by an audience Q&A with filmmakers and formerly incarcerated students. Cal State Long Beach, Theater, Seventh Street and East Campus Drive, Long Beach. Thursday, 2 p.m. Free.
Free Wheelchair Mission celebrates giving out it’s one millionth wheelchair to people in need with a local screening of a soon-to-be unveiled PBS Visionaries documentary on the Irvine-based nonprofit that is narrated by Law & Order’s Sam Waterson. Visionaries spotights nonprofits around the world that are quietly making a positive difference in their communities and beyond, and that most certainly applies to the 16-year-old Free Wheelchair Mission, which manufactures and distributes at no cost wheelchairs for people in the developing world in desperate need of mobility. The story builds to the dramatic and emotional delivery of the one millionth wheelchair to a 12-year-old girl in Peru. The screening event is presented in partnership with OC Women’s Council for Mobility, a group of ambassadors from Laguna Nigel, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Irvine who have long supported the Free Wheelchair Mission. The film is followed by a Q&A with Free Wheelchair Mission founder and CEO Don Schoendorfer, whose goal is to deliver its two millionth wheelchair by 2025, which would be half the time it took to distribute the first million. Port Theater, 2905 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, (949) 723-6333. Thursday, 6 p.m. Free.
Writer/director Jon Mancinetti’s true and personal story about suffering tremendous heartbreak and then reluctantly fostering a dog who was hours away from being euthanized. Besides getting at exactly who rescued whom, Mancinetti’s documentary highlights pet-shelter overcrowding and pit bull breed discrimination. Proceeds benefit Paw Prints in the Sand, a Newport Beach nonprofit whose missing is to “rescue, rehabilitate, rehome” dogs in need. The Frida Cinema, 305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana; thefridacinema.org. Thursday, 6 p.m. $20 donation suggested.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.