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NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) presents its annual line-up DocuSlate documentary program, spotlighting documentary filmmakers and stories from around the world with a selection of features and short documentaries across six programs.

The day’s programming begins with the Los Angeles premiere of Greener Pastures, the award-winning Iranian-American filmmaker Samuel-Ali Mirpoorian’s sobering account of the erasure of farm work in the US through intimate portrayals of modern day small farmers facing the pressures of corporate greed and climate change.

Next, the line-up presents unseen, a portrait of a disabled undocumented immigrant navigating a series of inhospitable systems in pursuit of his dreams. The film is the debut feature of director and community organizer Set Hernandez and was the recipient of a 2021 NewNarratives grant, premiering earlier this year at Hot Docs. “Through experimental cinematography and sound, unseen reimagines the accessibility of cinema, while exploring the intersections of immigration, disability, and mental health,” says Hernandez.

The afternoon continues with the paired presentation of documentarian Kevin Wong’s first feature Home is a Hotel and Jason Maxwell Cooper and Jay Armitage’s short documentary The Unclaimed, which each tell candid stories of the plight of unhoused people. The Unclaimed tells the story of how one man slipped through the cracks to become one of the unclaimed bodies buried annually in a mass service in the city of Los Angeles. Home is a Hotel, making its Los Angeles premiere, explores what makes a home through the eyes of residents of temporary SROs in San Francisco. “

In a country where 0.1% of full time minimum wage workers are able to afford a one-bedroom apartment where they live, too often stories of inequality are framed as narratives of personal setback and triumph. Home Is a Hotel raises questions about what we owe the most vulnerable among us, and the role housing plays in that,” says Wong.

Next, Join or Die, the debut feature of director Rebecca Davis, asks us to dive deep into the history and social science behind the slow unraveling of civic life in America and the role that clubs and associations have played. Davis asks, “what makes democracy work? Why is American democracy in crisis? And, most importantly … what can we do about it?”

The evening continues with the Los Angeles premiere of award-winning director Fia Sophia Perera Paul & Trisha : The Art of Fluidity, which tells the story of 77-year-old gender-fluid artist Paul Whitehead, the artist behind iconic album covers for bands including Genesis, and his alter-ego Trisha Van Cleef, an artist in her own right with a sensibility all her own. We follow Paul as he navigates gender and identity beginning in the 1960’s, through his and Tricia’s experiences in the present.

The day concludes with DocuSlate Shorts, a collection of short documentaries that grapple with white privilege, explore a new era of digital sex work during increasingly unstable times, unmask the abuse of female athletes in Iran, depict finding the words we wish we could have said to a deceased relative, share the story of an indigenous woman lost to domestic abuse and her family’s fight for justice, take us though a filmmaker’s memory and home videos to uncover family trauma, and takes us into the world of youth being mentored in a New Orleans tradition.

NFMLA showcases films by filmmakers of all backgrounds throughout the year, across both our general and InFocus programming. All filmmakers are welcome and encouraged to submit their projects for consideration for upcoming NFMLA Festivals, regardless of the schedule for InFocus programming, which celebrates diversity, inclusion and region by spotlighting communities of filmmakers within our filmmaking community as part of our monthly program. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The South Park Center is an ADA compliant venue and is wheelchair accessible. We request captioned films from all filmmakers participating at our Festival. For any accessibility needs, please send a request to info@nfmla.org at least 72 hours prior to the event.


Doors open 30 minutes prior to an event.

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