SF Gate.com, October 19, 1999

Documentaries in the Limelight / Famine human rights refugees among themes at Stanford festival
October 19, 1999|By Peter Stack Chronicle Staff Writer

When the Midpeninsula Chapter of the United Nations Association and the Stanford Film Society staged a campus film festival made up of documentaries last year organizers were bowled over by audience response.
There wasn’t much publicity about the first United Nations Association Film Festival said Jasmine Bojic an instructor in Stanford’s department of Slavic languages who programmed the event.

“But hundreds of people came and there was so much heated discussion — just what you hope for with a film festival.” The second United Nations Association Film Festival opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Cubberley Hall at Stanford’s School of Education.

This year’s series whose theme is “building a society for all ages” includes shorts and feature-length documentaries on human rights homelessness famine the environment racism refugee’s disease and women’s issues.

Among six opening-night films are Adrian and Roko Belic’s popular “Genghis Blues” about blind San Francisco blues musician Paul Pena’s meeting with the throat singers of Tuva.

Featured documentaries include “White Hotel” Tobi Solvang and Dianne Griffin’s film about AIDS in East Africa; and two films about contemporary Vietnam: Kristine Samuelson and John Haptas’ “Riding the Tiger” (9:30 p.m.) and Shawn Hainsworth’s “Between Worlds” (10:30 p.m.).

Saturday’s program opens at 1 p.m. at Annenberg Auditorium with Jill Sharpe and Velcrow Ripper’s film about Colombia “In the Company of Fear.”

Other Saturday screenings include Gary Weimberg and Catherine Ryan’s “The Double Life of Ernesto Gomez Gomez” (8 p.m.) and Slawomir Grunberg’s “From Chechnya to Chernobyl” (10:30 p.m.).

A roundtable discussion with filmmakers titled “Behind the Scenes: International Human Rights Documentaries” is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

Sunday’s program begins at 1 p.m. in Cubberley Auditorium with Ronald Levaco’s “Round Eyes in the Middle Kingdom” about Westerners living in China and concludes at 5 p.m. with Janet Cole and Barbara Sonneborn’s Oscar-nominated “Regret to Inform” about Vietnam War widows.

The festival pays tribute to Bay Area documentary editor director and producer Lucy Massie Phenix. She worked on “Cancer in Two Voices” (8:30 p.m. Friday at Annenberg) “Winter Soldier” (3 p.m. Saturday at Annenberg) and “Regret to Inform.”