Ford Foundation JustFilms is proud to have provided major support for five features selected for competition and premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the world’s leading showcase for independent filmmaking. These films exemplify JustFilms’ ambition to promote issues of rights and equality through creative storytelling and to bring exceptional work from underrepresented filmmakers to a wide audience.

This year’s films explore the high stakes of human rights work, a Colombian community’s struggles to protect its economic sovereignty, young activists practicing resistance during the Arab Spring, the birth of the economic justice movement, and how African American communities have used the camera as a tool for social change.



The films

Cesar’s Last Fast
Directed by Richard Ray Perez
A 36-day hunger strike illuminates Cesar Chavez’s personal sacrifice and reveals an untold chapter in the story of civil rights in America.
Visit the film’s website


Directed by Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman
The members of Human Rights Watch’s E-Team risk their lives to document war crimes and report them to the rest of the world.
Visit the film’s website


Directed by Mark Grieco
In Colombia, a community confronts a mining company that wants the $20 billion in gold beneath their homes. (1:00)
Learn more about the film

Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People

Directed by Thomas Allen Harris
African American photographers challenge definitions of “blackness” and reflect on how their community has used the camera as a tool for social change.
Visit the film’s website

We Are the Giant

Directed by Greg Barker
Insightful portraits of young activists during the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring show what motivates them, and the sacrifices they make. (1:11)
Learn more about the film


The panels

We’re leading two discussions at Sundance, opportunities for filmmakers and others to focus on fomenting change through film and digital storytelling.

Panel One. The Power of Story: Weights and Measures
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Stories tell us who we are. But what exactly is the power of a story? What are the different ways we can think about its impact? And in a world of competing narratives, not all of which are true, what happens when the power of a story is actually damaging? Why do some stories take hold while others do not?

Dave Isay, Founder, StoryCorps
Louie Psihoyos, Director, The Cove
Jess Search, CEO, BRITDOC Foundation
Paul J. Zak Author, The Moral Molecule
Darren Walker (Moderator) President, Ford Foundation

Panel Two. The Legacy of Civil Rights Movements
Monday, January 20, 2014

Karim Amer Executive Producer, The Square
Robert Kennedy Jr. President, The Waterkeeper Alliance
Stanley Nelson Director, Freedom Summer
Richard Ray Perez Director, Cesar’s Last Fast
Cara Mertes (Moderator) Director, Ford Foundation JustFilms

  • Creativity and Free Expression

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