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Official Selection, CSWE 2014 Virtual Film Festival

2014VFFlogo-(1).jpgThe following films, which are listed below in alphabetical order by title, were selected for the CSWE 2014 Virtual Film Festival, which opened ca. April 9 and ran until September 12. 
· Between Worlds: Immigrant Women and Domestic Violence 
(2014 Virtual Ovation Award winner)
· The Camouflage Closet
· Empower: Protecting Children With Disabilities Through SSI
· Housing First in the Arctic
· I'm Not Looking for Coins, I'm Looking for Change
· The Suicide Disease
                                                           Film ordering information

Between Worlds: Immigrant Women and Domestic Violence (Shikha Bhattacharjee, Tsedey Bogale, and Tarun Sridharan, directors and producers, Penn Law; Regina Austin, exec producer, Penn Law). Five brave immigrant survivors of domestic violence describe the hurdles they faced in escaping abusive circumstances, accessing social and legal services, and attaining legal immigration status. Among the unique challenges these women faced in navigating the road to independence were language barriers, cultural differences, social isolation, and economic insecurity stemming from their inability to obtain legal employment. (2014 Virtual Ovation Award winner)


The Camouflage Closet (Michael Nedelman, director, Stanford; Heliana Ramirez, LISW, producer and LGBT program manager, Palo Alto Healthcare System). A documentary about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) veterans' experiences with PTSD, trauma, and recovery, ranging from military sexual assault to LGBT-related investigations and discharges. This film incorporates firsthand perspectives of LGBT veterans, who were provided with cameras, tools, and training to create video narratives. (view discussion guide; read about the making of the film)

Empower: Protecting Children With Disabilities Through SSI (Steven Chen, Eric Cheng, and Noor Najeeb, directors and producers, Penn Law; Regina Austin, exec producer, Penn Law). Although the eligibility requirements are exacting and the payments relatively modest, SSI benefits for children with disabilities have come under scrutiny as a target of possible federal budget cuts. This video presents portraits of four mothers and their children that illustrate the vital importance of SSI in protecting vulnerable children with disabilities by empowering them through therapy, treatment, and care to become, in the words of one mom, "the most functional independent individuals" they can possibly be. 

Housing First in the Arctic (Cory Gordon, filmmaker, University of Alaska-Anchorage). Anchorage Community Mental Health Services has adopted a solution to end homelessness in Alaska for citizens with a mental illness: the Housing First (HF) model. The film showcases the stories of Oretha and Paul who found help and a home through the HF model. (Read about the making of the film)

I'm Not Looking for Coins, I'm Looking for Change (A-Nam Nguyen and Dominique Turner, filmmakers, Rutgers). This film portrays a personal story of a homeless woman, Jill Tice, who lives in New Brunswick, NJ. Jill grew up in a typical but poor middle-class family. As a woman who is struggling with homelessness, she asks that viewers help to create positive changes. (Read about the making of the film)

The Suicide Disease (filmmakers Katie Mattie, Will Neal, and Vincent Moore, University of Notre Dame). As one of the most painful conditions known to mankind, Trigeminal Neuralgia has forever changed the lives of its victims, even (in many instances) influencing them to take their own lives. As a sufferer of TN, Frances Shavers fights to overcome her illness while living through the daily nightmare that is "The Suicide Disease." (Read about the making of the film)