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ICDOCS JUROR PROGRAM - DESSANE LOPEZ CASSELL
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Saturday, Apr 20, 2019 3:00 PM
The Iowa City International Documentary Film Festival (ICDOCS) is an annual event run by students at the University of Iowa with the mission to engage local audiences with the exhibition of recent short films that explore the boundaries of nonfiction filmmaking. Free and open to the public!
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The Iowa City International Documentary Film Festival (ICDOCS ) is an annual event run by students at the University of Iowa with the mission to engage local audiences with the exhibition of recent short films that explore the boundaries of nonfiction filmmaking. Free and open to the public!

This program is sponsored by the UI Department of Cinematic Arts.  

This program considers the interconnectedness of place and memory. Concerned with the specificities of environment and various legacies of violence, the films presented here focus on both the visible and invisible traces of the past. - Dessane Lopez Cassell

Dessane Lopez Cassell is a writer, curator and film programmer based in New York. She has held curatorial positions at the Studio Museum in Harlem, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Allen Memorial Art Museum. A native New Yorker and an alumna of the U.S. Fulbright program, Cassell has organized curatorial projects and film series for BAMcinematek, MoMA Film, the Allen, and Flaherty NYC, and has produced radio projects for Bay FM (South Africa), Creative X (South Africa) and Roskilde Festival (Denmark).

Edgecombe, dir. Crystal Kayiza (14 min, 36 sec); 2018 - US
Through a small window of time and space, Edgecombe presents the numerous ways Black folks overcome across generations. Through the lives of Shaka Jackson, Ms. Doris Stith and Deacon Joyner, the film highlights the exhaustion of overcoming individual circumstances while navigating shared systemic experiences. Their collective stories create a mosaic that details the soul and spirit of their shared space. By revealing this timeline the film exhumes a long lineage of survival.

River of Grass: Somewhere Between, dir. Sasha Wortzel (6 min, 25 sec); 2019 - US (work in progress)
Inspired by Marjory Stoneman Douglas's book The Everglades: River of Grass (1947), River of Grass examines how Florida's contemporary landscape of injustice and vulnerability to climate change is historically rooted in the Everglade's enduring legacies of colonization, drainage, and development. Hypnotizing abstract reflections of light dance on the river's surface as Betty Osceola, member of the Miccosukee tribe, speaks about the impact of development on the Indigenous people of the Everglades. The viewer is invited to peer into the water beyond its surface and to consider the way in which humans and the natural landscape are entangled. The feature film will build on these themes, delving deeper into the landscapes and histories behind each image glimpsed in the concluding montage.

Labadee, dir Joiri Minaya (7 min, 6 sec); 2017 - Haiti
Labadee is a short video documenting parts of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip in Labadee, Haiti, and the dynamics that unfold in this privately-managed space (the space is fenced off and leased to Royal Caribbean until 2050). The subtitles in the video begin with text from the diary of Christopher Columbus when they first saw land, moving into a contemporary recount of the trip we're seeing.

La Laberinto (The Labyrinth), dir. Laura Huertas Millan (21 min, 6 sec); 2018 - Columbia
In The Labyrinth, a nameless narrator roams and rummages the ruinous jungle compound of a former Colombian drug lord, modeled after the mansion from TV's Dynasty - invoking speculative pasts and futures alongside real histories of violence and decadence. Recent screenings of The Labyrinth include the New York Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.

The Impossibility of Knowing, dir. Tan Pin Pin (11 min, 31 sec); 2010 - Singapore
The documentary visits and films locations where crimes or accidents have taken place, long after the events have happened, to find out if these places can transcend time to engender their own significance. With the barest of details gleaned from contemporaneous news clippings, Pin Pin reconstructs the incidents via a dry voice over. The film is narrated by Lim Kay Tong who is the presenter for the local crime-construction series Crime Watch.