GMF 2021

GMF 2021: Sustainable Cities and Communities

This year the Global Media Fest explored United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #11, which aims to “[m]ake cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” According to data compiled by the UN and WHO:

  • Over 90% of COVID-19 cases are in urban areas.
  • In 2016, 9 out of 10 people living in urban areas were breathing air that did not meet World Health Organization quality guidelines for particulate matter.
  • Of 220 cities surveyed in 77 countries in 2018, only 21% of the population have convenient access to open public spaces.
  • Cities produce 75% of global CO2 emissions, the majority of which comes from transportation and buildings.

SDG #11 focuses on several related targets including the development of sustainable buildings, the protection of cultural/national heritage sites, and the improvement of public access to open spaces.

GMF 2021 Team:

Director: Amanda Weiss

Graduate Research Assistant: Joshua Baldwin

Committee Members: Lu Liu, Jin Liu, Brittan Kallin, Annika Orich, Juan Carlos Rodriguez, Stephanie Boulard, Ayda Melika


Documenting Wuhan: Q&A with Filmmaker Wu Hao

A virtual screening and Q&A with filmmaker Wu Hao, co-director of the critically acclaimed documentary 76 Days (2020). The film follows patients and medical professionals as they combat the spread of Covid-19 in Wuhan, China.

Organizers: Lu Liu and Jin Liu

Date: February 4, 2021, 7:00-8:00 pm EST

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Discussion with filmmaker Wu Hao

LOVEMOBIL” (2019) Film Screening & Q&A

A virtual screening of LOVEMOBIL (2019) and two Q&A opportunities with director Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss. The documentary shows snippets of the lives of sex workers from Eastern Europe and Africa who came to Germany in search of a better life. LOVEMOBIL, winner of the German Documentary Film Award 2020, portrays a microcosm that describes a society at the hardest end of globalized capitalism.

Organizers: Britta Kallin and Annika Orich

Date: February 24, 2021, 2-3 pm EST and February 28, 2021, 3:00-4:00 pm EST

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Landfall” (2020) Screening and Discussion with Director Cecilia Aldarondo

A virtual screening and Q&A with director Cecilia Aldarondo and associate producer Lale Namerrow Pastor of the documentary Landfall (2020). Through shard-like glimpses of everyday life in post-Hurricane María Puerto Rico, Landfall is a cautionary tale for our times. Set against the backdrop of protests that toppled the US colony’s governor in 2019, the film offers a prismatic portrait of collective trauma and resistance.

Organizer: Juan Carlos Rodriguez

Date: March 3, 2021, 6:00-7:00 pm EST

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Discussion with director Cecilia Aldarondo

Hafu: The Mixed-Race Experience in Japan” (2013) Screening and Q&A with Director Megumi Nishikura

A LIVE virtual screening and discussion of the award-winning documentary film Hafu: The Mixed-Race Experience in Japan (2013)! The film explores multiculturalism in Japanese society through the experiences of mixed-race Japanese people. The screening was followed by a round-table on multiculturalism and community sustainability with director Megumi Nishikura, Dr. Aurora Tsai from the University of Tokyo, and Dr. Tiffiny Hughes-Troutman, director of CARE at Georgia Tech.

Organizer: Joshua Baldwin

Date: March 11, 2021, 9:30-11:30 am EST

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Discussion with director Megumi Nishikura

Mother of the Earth (2017) Screening and Panel Discussion

Director Mahnaz Afzali takes a brief look at Hayedeh Shirzadi’s life, love and hard work to put an end to the dumping and burial of urban garbage in Iran. Due to her perseverance and ingenuity, 100% of the city of Kermanshah’s garbage is now recycled, and the bio waste is made into organic fertilizers.

Organizer: Ayda Melika

Date: March 18, 2021, 3:30-4:30 pm EST

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En quête de sens (A Quest for Meaning)” (2015) Screening and Q&A with Filmmaker

A LIVE virtual screening and discussion of the award-winning documentary film En quête de sens (A Quest for Meaning) (2015)! The film follows two childhood friends on a journey as they question the workings of the world, our relationship with nature, and the meaning of life. Their travels take them all over the world as they explore the messages of activists, biologists, philosophers, and guardians of ancestral traditions.

Organizer: Stephanie Boulard

Date: March 20, 2021 11:00 am-1:30 pm EST

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Discussion with filmmaker Nathanaël Coste

Virtual Film Festivals: Global and Local

How has COVID-19 impacted film festivals around the world? VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE with Sten Saluveer, Head of NEXT/ Marche Du Film – Festival de Cannes, Catherine Manci, Public Programming Specialist at Georgia Tech, and Matthew Foster, Director of the Dragon Con Film Festival. The conversation began with a screening of a short film by Georgia Climate Project and was moderated by Dr. Gregory Zinman, Georgia Tech School of Literature, Media, and Communication.

Organizer: Amanda Weiss

Date: March 26, 2021, 1:00-2:30 pm EST

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West of the Jordan River (2017) Screening and Q&A

A virtual screening of the film West of the Jordan River (2017) and Q&A with panelists Director Amos Gitai, Professor Jario Garcia, and Professor Ayda Melika. Director Amos Gitai returns to the West Bank to better understand the efforts of the citizens, both Israelis and Palestinians, to try to overcome the consequences of the 50-year occupation. He interviews activists, journalists, current and former government officials, as well as unaffiliated citizens to craft a portrait of a region in static disarray. 

Organizer: Ayda Melika

Date: April 15, 2021, 2:00-3:00 pm EST

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Gira and the Circus of Life” (2016) Screening and Q&A

A live virtual screening, presented by Rise Up & Care and the Global Social Entrepreneurship VIP, of the film Gira and the Circus of Life (2016) directed by Lili Fialho and Katia Lund. Learn about the story of Vinicius and Junior as they set out to start the “Crescer e Viver”, a circus in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, encouraging people of all ages to participate and inspiring them to hope and dream in a community full of poverty and crime. Following the screening, there was a Q&A panel with Vinicius and Dr. Kirk Bowman (co-founder of Rise Up & Care and professor at Georgia Tech).

Organizers: Sydney Blakeney and Nupur Kothari

Date: April 22, 2021, 5:00 pm-7:00 pm EST

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