Skip to main content

CSWE Selects 12 Films Featuring Cutting Edge Issues for 2014 Film Festival


For Immediate Release
Lydell Thomas
Manager, Marketing and Communications

July 17, 2014 – ADVISORY

WHO: Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

WHAT: Has screened and chosen 12 films to participate in the CSWE 2014 Film Festival. This year’s film topics cover many of the issues that are plaguing society, from mental illness stigma to military sexual assault. Listed below in alphabetical order by title more information about each film.

  1. American Heart: Seven years in the making, this award-winning documentary takes viewers on an intimate journey into the lives of three refugees who now call America home. The refugees confront life-threatening health emergencies throughout the film, and their trajectories prove surprising even to their doctors.
  2. A Civil Remedy: Within the United States, tens of thousands of girls are trafficked for sex each year. In the shadow of the law, traffickers, pimps, and "johns" commit brutal crimes.. A civil remedy—a civil action for money damages—may empower survivors and hold perpetrators accountable.
  3. Cyber-Seniors: The film Cyber-Seniors chronicles the extraordinary journey of a group of senior citizens as they discover the world of the Internet through the guidance of teenage mentors.
  4. Homegoings: African American funeral rites draw on a rich palette of tradition, history, and celebration. These rites are examined in Homegoings. The film will resonate with those familiar with the traditions and inform the uninitiated who want to understand how specific cultures deal with death and mourning.
  5. Humble Beauty—Skid Row Artists: This is the true story of how art saved the lives of talented homeless and indigent fine-arts painters in the worst area of Los Angeles, America's homeless capital. They were mentored by artists/social workers in free workshops, transforming the painters’ lives in empowering and inspirational ways through the process of making art.
  6. The Invisible War: A groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America’s most shameful and best-kept secrets: the epidemic of rape in the U.S. military. Focusing on the powerfully emotional stories of several young women, the film reveals systemic cover-ups of the crimes and follows the struggles of the women to rebuild their lives and fight for justice.
  7. Kids Rights: The Business of Adoption: In this film a husband and wife ask themselves whether they are fit for parenthood after they personally witness Elton John's failure to adopt. They speak with experts around the world and learn there is a flawed system in place that deprives children of basic human rights.
  8. My Name Was Bette: The Life and Death of an Alcoholic: This award-winning documentary examines women's risk factors for developing alcoholism and later suffering relapse and the barriers to their treatment. It chronicles the progression of the disease in Bette—the filmmaker's mother who died in 2007—through interviews with Bette's friends and family, her medical and arrest records, and family photographs.
  9. The New Black: Analyzing the changing attitudes about LGBT issues in African American communities, this film considers the particular role of the Black church in shaping beliefs and the legacy of stigmatization of Black sexuality. Familial conflicts and affirmations, as well as same gender marriage, are examined.
  10. Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience: This 1-hour documentary by an MSW graduate dispels the myth that American Indians have disappeared from the American horizon and reveals how they persist, heal from the past, confront the challenges of today, keep their culture alive, and make significant contributions to society. The film seeks to help build bridges of understanding, respect, and communication.
  11. Prisoner Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hill: Set in one of America's oldest maximum security prisons, this film tells the story of the final months in the life of a terminally ill prisoner and the hospice volunteers, also prisoners, who care for him.
  12. The Sunnyboy: This Australian film, which will have its U.S. premiere at the CSWE Film Festival, follows 50-year-old Jeremy Oxley, enigmatic frontman of the much-lauded 1980s band The Sunnyboys, as he emerges from a 30-year battle with schizophrenia. An exploration of one man's experience of a misunderstood and stigmatized condition, The Sunnyboy is a story of hope and survival.

WHEN: The films will be shown during the 60th Annual Program Meeting (October 24–26, 2014)

WHERE: Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, FL

WHY: Films that deal with social work issues are less likely to get attention from the Hollywood community. CSWE helps publicize these multimedia tools for social work educators to help enhance the teaching and learning of social work concepts. Past selections are available at CSWE 2012 Film Festival and CSWE 2013 Film Festival
Learn more about the CSWE 2014 Film Festival


The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is a nonprofit national association representing more than 2,500 individual members, as well as graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social work education. Founded in 1952, this partnership of educational and professional institutions, social welfare agencies, and private citizens is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education.