WASHINGTON (Sept. 5, 2012)—Romance, drama and incisive documentaries from across the globe will be spotlighted in the eighth All Roads Film Festival, the groundbreaking program that offers contemporary stories by or about indigenous and under-represented minority cultures. The 2012 All Roads Film Festival will take place Sept. 27-30 at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. This year’s theme is “Vibrant Cultures from Around the World.”
The four-day event also will include a dance party with L.A.-based, Colombian band Palenke Soultribe; a live mariachi band performance; panel discussions with filmmakers; and a photo exhibit in the courtyard at National Geographic headquarters. The photo exhibit, a collaboration with National Geographic Photo Camp, features images by youth from Chad, Haiti and Burma who worked with National Geographic’s legendary photographers. Award-winning and rising filmmakers will participate in two panel discussions as well as discussions following their film screenings, where they will talk about their careers and the continuing innovation of indigenous filmmaking.
“It’s exciting to see that the artistry and craftsmanship in these films get stronger every year,” said Francene Blythe, director of the National Geographic All Roads Film Project. “This year’s submissions noticeably featured the brighter side of life: inspiring personalities and captivating stories, all presented by some of the most promising filmmakers in the world.”
Some of the festival’s stand-out films are:
- Bridge the Gap to Pine Ridge – Filmmaker Chris Bashinelli tells amazing stories of hope and inspiration from South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation. This film will also be part of Bashinelli’s successful Web series, which aims to provide new perspectives from the developing world and foster cross-cultural understanding.
- Busong (Palawan Fate) – This first feature film from the Palawan community of the Philippines is making its D.C. premiere. It screened at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival Director’s Fortnight, and won awards for Best Director, Best Sound Design and Best Original Music Score at the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival last year.
- Lone Samaritan – Making its D.C. premiere, this Israeli film is about a family in crisis after a daughter leaves their reclusive Samaritan sect and becomes a well-known Israeli celebrity. The film has won multiple Best Documentary awards at festivals around the world.
- Los Descendientes del Jaguar – This documentary catalogues the courtroom triumph of the Sarayaku people over oil exploration that took place on their land without their consent.
- Mariachi High – “Mariachi High” follows a group of high school students preparing for high-stakes mariachi competitions. The featured students will open the All Roads Film Festival on Sept. 27 with a live mariachi performance in the National Geographic Society courtyard. “Mariachi High” is an All Roads Seed Grant recipient.
- The Tundra Book – This film documents the life of the Chukchi people, whom very few outsiders have encountered. It won the Russian equivalent of the Academy Award for Best Documentary, a first for indigenous filmmakers in Russia. “The Tundra Book” is an All Roads Seed Grant recipient.
- Tomorrow We Will See – This upbeat film from promising young director Soraya Umewaka showcases Lebanon’s flourishing arts culture as the country rebuilds after years of war.
Other festival events include:
- 2012 All Roads Photography Exhibit – A first collaboration with National Geographic Photo Camp, which gives National Geographic’s network of professional photographers the chance to pass on their skills, knowledge and passion to the next generation of aspiring photojournalists around the world.
- All Roads Dance Party – On Saturday, Sept. 28, All Roads will co-host a dance party with NatGeo Music, which has just added Palenke Soultribe to its label. Palenke Soultribe is a cadre of young Colombian artists rediscovering the roots of their country’s diverse music and refashioning it for dance floors worldwide. The event will be 21+, and libations will be available for purchase.
- Panel Discussions– “You Can Go Home Again,” on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 1:30 p.m., will feature award-winning directors discussing their decisions to locate their films in their homelands and heartlands. In “Triumph or Tragedy,” on Friday, Sept. 28, at 2:30 p.m., up-and-coming directors will talk about finding emotional balance in their films.
A full festival schedule and ticketing information are available at
For the official All Roads Film Festival trailer, go to
Tickets for each All Roads film are $10 for the general public and $8 for National Geographic members. Festival passes, which include the Saturday concert, are $100 for the general public and $80 for members. To purchase, order online via the website above, visit the National Geographic ticket office at 1600 M Street N.W., Washington, D.C., or call (202) 857-7700.
The All Roads Film Festival is part of the All Roads Film Project, a National Geographic program created to provide an international platform for indigenous and under-represented minority-culture artists to share cultures, stories and perspectives through the power of film and photography. In addition to providing a venue for their films, All Roads offers its filmmakers and photographers a series of networking opportunities and awards a minimum of 10 film grants a year to support the development and production of film and video projects by or about indigenous and under-represented minority-culture communities. Film grant recipients are considered for inclusion in the All Roads Film Festival and other National Geographic-affiliated broadcast outlets.