Café es vida /
Coffee is Life
CAFE ES VIDA is a feature documentary and short animated nonfiction project about cooperative farmers in Oaxaca, Mexico, who grow specialty coffee on their traditional lands. The project is in collaboration with the Institute of Oaxacan Coffee and indigenous communities from three villages. A work-in-progress that began in 2018 and is currently in pre-production and production.
Director / DP / Producer
Director / DP / Producer
CRYING EARTH RISE UP is an intimate portrait of the human cost of uranium mining and its impact on sacred water. It tells the story of two Lakota women’s parallel search for answers to the question: Why are there high levels of radiation in our drinking water and how can we protect our families and community against this threat? It tells a timely story of protecting land, water and a way of life. The film is currently in Public Television syndication, on the festival circuit and part of large-scale outreach and education efforts.
Producer / Camera
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Haskell Wexler takes a personal look at his hometown Chicago over four days in May 2012 -- four days filled with politics, protest and police. Wexler documents the historic NATO summit and simultaneous populist protests, which were largely overlooked by national and mainstream media. As Wexler, a WWII veteran speaks with intelligent Americans from all walks of life, a question is raised: is the government of the people, by the people, and for the people -- or is it of, by, and for the 1%? FOUR DAYS IN CHICAGO takes us behind the movement and into the stories to find out.
Director / DP
STANDING SILENT NATION documents Oglala Lakota Alex White Plume and his family as they assert their sovereignty and create economic sustainability through the growing of industrial hemp on their family lands. The film was released in 2007 and aired nationally on PBS's POV, in festivals around the globe and has been part of extensive outreach to decriminalize industrial hemp and support economic development on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Director / DP / Editor
The short documentary TAMPICO began with simple questions about a Chicago street performer: who is the woman behind the sunglasses and why does she play this same intense song everyday? For four years Suree Towfighnia documented Tampico Salis, and the resulting short won the Studs Terkel Award for Student Scholarship from the Community Media Workshop and became Suree's Master's Thesis from Columbia College Chicago.
SEDONA INTERNATIONAL + SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN + CHICAGO SOCIAL JUSTICE + SACRAMENTO MUSIC FILM FESTIVAL + CHICAGO MUSIC AND MOVIES + WOMEN IN THE DIRECTORS CHAIR + AMERICAN INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL + AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL GREEN CINEMA + CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY + BIG MUDDY FILM FESTIVAL + TAOS MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL + SACRAMENTO INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL + THE TALKING STICK FILM FESTIVAL + RED ROCK FILM FESTIVAL (ZION) + SOCIETY FOR VISUAL ANTHROPOLOGY + NATIVE AMERICAN JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION + THE INDIE SPIRIT FILM FESTIVAL + THE GLOBAL GREEN INDIGENOUS FILM FESTIVAL + PALM SPRINGS NATIVE AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL + NATIVE VOICE FILM FESTIVAL + COVELLITE INTERNATIONAL + SHOW ME JUSTICE FILM FESTIVAL + PORTLAND OREGON WOMEN'S FILM FESTIVAL + COLORADO FILM FESTIVAL (GOLDEN) + NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN FILM & VIDEO OF THE SOUTHEAST + RED NATION FILM FESTIVAL + TULSA AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL + INTERNATIONAL URANIUM FILM FESTIVAL + UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE NATIVE AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL + TRIBAL FILM FESTIVAL + NUBIFEST ATLANTA + THINK OUTSIDE THE MINE FILM FESTIVAL + ONE FLAMING ARROW + REEL EARTH FILM FESTIVAL + PORTLAND ECOFILM FESTIVAL + ATHENS INTERNATIONAL FILM AND VIDEO (OHIO) + NATIVE WOMEN IN FILM AND TV FESTIVAL + FROZEN RIVER FILM FESTIVAL