“Capturing the Flag” is an enlightening and inspiring new documentary from Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Anne de Mare that illustrates some of the ways in which voter suppression occurs in America and how the efforts of ordinary citizens can make a difference in ensuring that people are able to vote.” —Elizabeth Levin, Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts (full review)
"Budding filmmakers can take away a valuable lesson from the documentary 'Hooligan Sparrow': You don’t need fancy camera equipment (or in some instances, even a camera) if you’re passionate enough about the story you want to tell. . . . Nanfu Wang’s urgent, compelling portrait of a group of Chinese women’s rights activists led by Ye Haiyan (nicknamed Hooligan Sparrow) is relayed by any means necessary, which happens to include cellphones, micro-cameras hidden in eyeglasses and digital voice recorders."
Directors: Kelly Duane De La Vega & Katie Galloway Run time: 83 min.
"In 2012, California amended its 'Three Strikes' law--one of the harshest criminal sentencing policies in the country. The passage of Prop. 36 marked the first time in U.S. history that citizens voted to shorten sentences of those currently incarcerated. Within days, the reintegration of thousands of 'lifers' was underway. The Return examines this unprecedented reform through the eyes of those on the front lines—prisoners suddenly freed, families turned upside down, reentry providers helping navigate complex transitions, and attorneys and judges wrestling with an untested law. At a moment of reckoning on mass incarceration, what can California's experiment teach the nation?"
"Jason Grant Smith, a young independent filmmaker, asks, 'Are we the country we think we are?' in this timely, provocative, and important exploration of America’s voting procedures. His initial interest in the unlikely primary victory of an unknown candidate for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina morphs into a general investigation of current voting systems, which are likely to be vulnerable to error and manipulation. . . . The personable narration and the use of archival images, amusing animation, and stimulating talking-head interviews make this film highly viewable and a valuable study of the most fundamental of our democratic rights."
—Eva Elisabeth VonAncken, School Library Journal (full review)