2017 Show Me Justice Film Festival

April 5-7, 2017

Univ. of Central Missouri

Thank you all for attending the 2017 Show Me Justice Film Festival! It was wonderful to see so many outstanding films, to learn more about the state of our world, and to interact with wonderful filmmakers and audiences.

Festival Winners

Jury Award

  • Jordan Melograna - Bottom Dollars
  • Kent Flaagan - Ten Thousand Camels

Short Program Audience Favorites

  • Erika Street Hopman - The Orange Story
  • Dan Pal - Counting

Stay tuned for information about submission and dates for the 2018 Show Me Justice Film Festival!

About the Festival

The Show Me Justice Film Festival is an international film festival that brings films from around the world to the Midwest to showcase the theme of social justice. The festival is coordinated by the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Central Missouri in cooperation with the Department of Communication. The films selected for the festival compete for prizes based on their artistic competence, creativity, and exploration of the festival theme.

The Show Me Justice Film Festival strives to raise awareness about social justice. Through the powerful medium of film, our goal is to inspire individuals and communities toward collective action against social injustices such as racism, sexism, poverty, substance abuse and other ills that infiltrate society and suppress democratic movements throughout the world. Filmmakers from around the globe are encouraged to submit short feature films (30 to 60 minute), and short narrative, experimental, animated, and documentary films that put a face on the many shades of social injustice and offer a variety of real experiences by sharing their stories.

Email the Show Me Justice Film Festival at filmfest@ucmo.edu.

Film Screenings

Wednesday Evening (7:00pm—Hendricks Hall)

A man smiles as he holds an envelope up to the camera.

Image from Bottom Dollars, playing during Thursday's Evening Program

Wednesday Early Evening Program begins at 7:30pm in Hendricks Hall.

No Harm No Foul

USA, Documentary, 22 minutes
Directed by Cheng Zhang

Triggered by the water crisis in Flint, Mich., the issue of lead contamination in drinking water was brought under the spotlight for months. Over a decade ago a similar lead crisis happened in Washington DC, and the health harm to children was twenty to thirty times worse than Flint. History is repeating itself, but the question is why. No Harm No Foul probes into this systemic problem across time and space and uncovers a story of corrosion, coverups and the corruption of science.

Bottom Dollars

USA, Documentary, 56 minutes
Directed by Jordan Melograna

"How would you like to work for two weeks, and come out with a $6 check?" That's a reality for almost 250,000 Americans with disabilities who are legally paid below the minimum wage. Many work in segregated workplaces called sheltered workshops, hidden from the rest of the public. In Bottom Dollars, stories from across the country point to the need to end this antiquated system and embrace better alternatives that promote inclusive workplaces and fair wages.

Wednesday Late Evening Program begins at 8:30pm in Hendricks Hall.

The Example

USA, Narrative, 23 minutes
Directed by Wyatt Cagle

During a race riot in Beaumont, Texas in June 1943, Officer Miller Harvey, a white police officer is determined to protect and serve his city and family. Black business owner Carver Jefferson is hell-bent on taking his family far away from the city as racial hostility has led to the destruction of his home and business. After curfew while Beaumont is under martial law, Harvey, another white officer and Jefferson’s worlds collide at a roadblock. Tensions explode on that hot summer night, forcing them to make decisions that will question their morals, loyalty and manhood.

Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex-Trafficking

USA, Documentary, 68 minutes
Directed by Sadhvi Siddhali Shree

Today, with the instant reach of social media and the explosion in cyber-porn, a child sex slave can be purchased online and delivered to a customer more quickly than a pizza. Stopping Traffic investigates the international crisis of human sex trafficking, particularly of minors, from a deeply personal point of view. It is anchored by frank interviews with child sexual abuse and sex trafficking survivors and veteran activists, with additional commentary from social service agents, academics, and young activists. The film is a call to action, intending to inspire the viewer to join in the movement to seek an end to human trafficking, helping to break the isolation of millions of voiceless victims. We are particularly reaching out to young people, hoping to enlist the next generation of activists.

Thursday Afternoon (12:30pm—Hendricks Hall)

A man looks lost in thought inside the cab of an automobile.

Image from A place, playing during Thursday's Shorts Program


USA, Documentary, 7 minutes
Directed by Ashley Seering & Cory Byers

An ex-con restores furniture and works to repair his own life.


Canada, Narrative, 15 minutes
Directed by Noel Harris

When a single mom, facing eviction, is offered a night’s work, she unsuccessfully seeks a babysitter for her two small children. Desperate, she reaches out to the last person she wants to ask for a favour.

A place

Spain, Narrative, 12 minutes
Directed by Ivan Fernandez de Cordoba

An Arab refugee will have to overcome the prejudices of a European family to achieve repair his car and get to his destination.

Driver's Ed

USA, Narrative, 14 minutes
Directed by Chase Norman

A shy, overweight young woman leaves the safety of her home for an unwelcoming high school classroom.

Chronicles Of Fascism; TODAY

Turkey, Experimental, 5 minutes
Directed by Eren Topcu

The film based on an article of Aslı Erdoğan; a Turkish novelist and columnist, computer engineer and particle physicist, imprisonned in Turkey in 19.08.16; aims to interpret the author's equanimous look to the current global crisis in the eternity.

The Money $hot

USA, Animation, 1 minutes
Directed by Robert Lyons

A simple exercise in stop motion replacement animation turned economic social statement. The inconsistencies of paper money are made apparent in this very low budget bit of film making.

The Orange Story

USA, Narrative, 17 minutes
Directed by Erika Street

February 1942. President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, which authorizes the forced “relocation" of 120,000 ethnic Japanese from their homes and into incarceration camps throughout the U.S. Koji Oshima is the proud owner of a small corner grocery store, but he must now abandon everything and report to an assembly center.

Thursday Evening (7:00pm—Hendricks Hall)

An older woman looks at a framed black and white picture of a young couple.

Image from The Margaret Lambert Story, playing during Thursday's Evening Program

Thursday Early Evening Program begins at 7:00pm in Hendricks Hall.

Degree of Separation

Australia, Narrative, 15 minutes
Directed by Kyahl Anderson

Set in modern Australia, Degree of Separation follows the story of Troy as he navigates his life under the ever-present cloud of domestic violence. An unlikely ally is found in Virianna, an immigrant postal worker, but unbeknownst to Troy, Virianna has her own demons to face.

The Margaret Lambert Story

USA, Documentary, 24 minutes
Directed by Nina Horowitz

German-Jewish athlete Margaret Lambert is barred from competition during Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympic games, despite being one of the best high jumpers in the world. Today at 102, she tells her story and proves that against all odds, courage can triumph.

Ten Thousand Camels

USA, Narrative, 13 minutes
Directed by Kent Flaagan

This short film is the last thirteen minutes in the lives of two good men. A soldier who believes he's captured a terrorist, and a Middle Eastern man who believes the terrorist has captured him.

Voices From Kaw Thoo Lei

USA, Animated Documentary, 10 minutes
Directed by Martha Gorzycki

Karen People of Burma believe no one hears their pleas for help as their country remains ravaged by a war that has lasted more than six decades. Over 10,000 photos animate a landscape over which Voices from Kaw Thoo Lei may be heard.

Operation Wolf Patrol: Wisconsin Wildlife Issues

USA, Documentary, 8 minutes
Directed by Joe Brown

"Wolf Patrol: Wisconsin Wildlife Issues" is a short documentary that focuses on the controversial group "Wolf Patrol." The film follows Rod Coronado, Wolf Patrol's leader, as he endeavors to raise awareness about wolf and bear poaching in Northern, Wisconsin. The film also treats the issue of WI's new "Hunter Harassment" law—a law that makes it illegal to take photos of hunters on public lands.

Thursday Late Evening Program begins at 8:30pm in Hendricks Hall.

Pink Spring in Mexico

Mexico, Documentary, 19 minutes
Directed by Mario de la Torre

Although gay marriage was legalized , Mexico ranks second in the world in the rate of murders committed against the LGBT population. Although activists have risked their lives to denounce this fact , impunity surrounding these hate crimes.


US, Narrative, 6 minutes
Directed by Savannah Rodgers

After falling deeply in love, two women struggle with domesticity and their opposite personalities.

THE PURSUIT: 50 Years in the Fight for LGBT Rights

US, Documentary, 56 minutes
Directed by Ilana Trachtman

The pursuit of happiness for the LGBT community continues 50 years after activists publicly protested discrimination against 'homosexuals' with picket signs in front of Philadelphia's Independence Hall. LGBT elders - four surviving protestors and eleven activist peers - recall life in the 1960's, when 'gays' were 'hidden in plain sight,' vulnerable to arrest, subjected to psychiatric treatment, fired from jobs and publicly shamed. Their poignant recollections introduce four pieces exploring the complexities of contemporary LGBT life. In Kids Today, four resilient, young LGBT adults share how they became homeless. Out at Work introduces viewers to LGBT cops and the changing face of the Philadelphia police department. In a Family Way presents two families that couldn't have existed 50 years ago: one that includes a mother who is transgender and another with two dads raising their biological children. And No Place Like Home features residents of the nation's first federally-funded housing project for low-income LGBT seniors. A thoughtful look back and an intimate look at the present, The Pursuit reminds us that while the past half-century has seen momentous changes, the fight for LGBT rights continues today.

Friday Afternoon (11:50am—Hendricks Hall)

A woman standing on a front porch looks suspiciously at two young men in the foreground.

Image from New Neighbors, playing during Friday's Shorts Program

Social Justice & Race – Film Program A starts at 7pm in Hendricks Hall.


UK, Narrative, 6 minutes
Directed by Tim Porter

A young naive American girl decides to join the army following the fallout of 9/11. Little does she know how far she is prepared to go to serve her country.

How it Sounded to Squish a Cockroach

US, Narrative, 2 minutes
Directed by Lisa Russell

A new poetry video on police brutality by Emmy-winning filmmaker, Lisa Russell, featuring NYC's Youth Poet Laureate, Nkosi Nkululeko.


Italy, Animation, 2 minutes
Directed by hermes mangialardo

One children play with sand on a beach, but a soldier come with his gun...

New Neighbors

US, Narrative, 9 minutes
Directed by e.g. bailey

How far will a Mother go to protect her children? New Neighbors is a story about a mother and her two sons who move to a new neighborhood, and because of all the killings and assaults on Black lives she is determined to keep her family safe. She takes to the neighborhood with kids in tow. A clever, resourceful, and unique approach to the BLM dialogue.

The Body I Live In

US, Documentary, 7 minutes
Directed by Sam Davis-Boyd

‘The Body I Live In’ is a 7 minute, personal-narrative documentary that follows myself (Sam Boyd) on my journey of self-love and acceptance, in a world that tells fat women they don’t deserve it. There is a large cultural narrative about female attractiveness, especially fat woman’s attractiveness (or lack thereof) that pervades fat women from feeling like they deserve to be loved, respected and wanted by another human being in a romantic way. This short documentary show’s one fat woman’s loving relationship to dissuade the ever-increasing trend of telling fat women that they don’t deserve to be loved. Following myself and my fiancé Jenny Davis, this short tells the story of how we met and fell for each other and ultimately, how I am working to accept myself and my body within the scope of my relationship.


US, Narrative, 10 minutes
Directed by Dan Pal

In 1951 Violet and Milly make a love promise over a penny. In 2015, the promise comes due, and Violet must face a heartbreaking reality.

The Money $hot

USA, Animation, 1 minutes
Directed by Robert Lyons

A simple exercise in stop motion replacement animation turned economic social statement. The inconsistencies of paper money are made apparent in this very low budget bit of film making.

Girls Like Us

US, Documentary, 9 minutes
Directed by C. Dallas Golden

In Tanzania, the expectations for what women should do are apparent. They are expected to stay home, cook, clean, and take care of the children while their husbands are away at work. Like a typical teenager, Winnie needed an outlet for her curious mind. In 2013, She joined Apps & Girls, an organization that teaches young girls how to code their own websites, and Carolyne Ekyarisiima, the founder of Apps & Girls, became her mentor. Now, because of the program and Carolyne’s mentorship, Winnie has started her own NGO, has become the mentor to countless young women in Tanzania and is on her way to the prestigious African Leadership Academy in South Africa with dreams of becoming a computer scientist.


Spain, Narrative, 5 minutes
Directed by Wenceslao Scyzoryk

A Christmas tale inspired by a true story.

Illusionist's Visions

Finland, Documentary, 5 minutes
Directed by Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen

Ronja Oja is a Finnish athlete with a visual impairment. Her dream is to become a sign language interpreter and a magician. In the film she examines the environment with a glove, which is making sound in the contact with objects.


Wednesday—Opening Night Reception

Thursday—Community Filmmaking Workshops

Friday—Community Filmmaking Workshops


Thanks coming soon!