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The 1st Social & Economic Justice Film Festival Debuts This Weekend

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Welcomes are in order for the newest film festival to make its San Francisco Bay Area debut.  January 23-24, 2021 will see the premiere of the first Social and Economic Justice Film Festival. It will offer a mix of short and feature films from such countries as the US, India, Brazil, South Africa, and Italy. Thanks to COVID concerns, the event will happen online.

The festival is the brainchild of the Alliance for Social and Economic Justice. Proceeds from the festival will go towards establishing a Center for Social and Economic Justice. The Center will provide a leadership incubator for low-wage workers and a training center for learning how to take collective action. The venue for this proposed Center is the legendary Redstone Building.  

Standing With Standing Rock

If you’ve passed by a particular corner at 16th Street and Capp in San Francisco’s Mission District, you’ve passed by the Redstone Building. Also known as the Redstone Labor Temple, this building has served the local community over its more than 100 years of existence. Such unions as the American Federation of Teachers Union Local #2121 and Garment Workers Local #131 have made their homes here. Non-union organizations such as Global Exchange, the Film Arts Foundation, and the San Francisco Living Wage Coalition have called the building home at one time or another.  

Undocumented And Unafraid

Helping fund the Center through the festival feels appropriate. The festival’s theme and film subjects of social and economic justice are simpatico with the Redstone Building’s history. The films selected for the festival deal with such issues as fights for better labor conditions, the Black Lives Matter protests, imprisonment of migrants attempting to find a better life, and defending the environment from human greed.  

For those interested in buying a ticket for the festival, various purchase options are available. A one-day pass costs $15 while a two-day pass will only set you back $20. If you just want to attend the awards show, that will run you only $10. Getting a Solidarity Ticket at $30 will allow you access to both days of the festival and the awards show. After that, higher ticket prices adds to the Solidarity Ticket benefits more goodies, such as an interactive festival program PDF and even shoutouts of your name or that of your organization during the festival.

The Alliance hopes the festival’s ticket sales can cover both funding the Center and contributing towards purchasing the Redstone Building. The community organizations that call the building home want it to remain a haven for nonprofit organizations rather than become another casualty of gentrification greedheads.

(In the interest of complete disclosure, it should be mentioned that this writer has been involved in the behind-the-scenes work on the festival. He’s helped with choosing the films to be shown and planning decisions for the festival.)

(For further information about the festival and its selections, go here.  For ticket information, go here.)

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Peter Wong

Peter Wong

I've been reviewing films for quite a few years now, principally for the online publication Beyond Chron. My search for unique cinematic experiences and genre dips have taken me everywhere from old S.F. Chinatown movie theaters showing first-run Jackie Chan movies to the chilly slopes of Park City. Movies having cat pron instantly ping my radar.