2019, 112 minutes, Digital, NR
Director: Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan
Prior to this screening of their feature length documentary, directors Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan will present a free program of short films they created in the lead-up to releasing Pahokee. Three of the shorts (Rabbit Hunt, Skip Day, and The Send-Off) are set in the small town of Pahokee, where the filmmakers lived and worked for three years.
The shorts program will run for 52 minutes starting at 4 p.m.. Lucas and Bresnan will be present for a Q&A following both the shorts program and the feature presentation at 7 p.m..
Short Film Program:
ROADSIDE ATTRACTION – TIFF 2017, SXSW 2018 and Vimeo Staff Pick
THE RABBIT HUNT – Sundance 2017, 67th Berlinale, SXSW 2017, Vimeo Staff Pick
THE SEND-OFF – Sundance 2016, SXSW 2016, BFI London 2016, Vimeo Staff Pick
SKIP DAY – Director’s Fortnight Cannes 2018, Sheffield Doc Fest 2018
Returning from the 2019 Maryland Film Festival for a FREE one night only special screening!
Bright futures and infectious hope consume this powerful work of community-focused cinema, wherein an observational approach showcases the everyday lives of four high-schoolers from a rural Florida town. They are lives seldom championed on screen, in which modest aspirations to be crowned Miss PHS, conquer football championships, or balance fatherhood with schoolwork, act as momentous stepping stones in multi-year plans toward self-betterment or higher education. Through a series of shorts filmed in the eponymous town of Pahokee (including MdFF 2017’s The Rabbit Hunt), filmmakers Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan quickly earned the friendship of community members who would soon become their neighbors. In 2016, the filmmaking couple moved to town to collaborate with their subjects, together producing this stunning documentary, at times tragic, but ultimately uplifting.
Though Pahokee’s setup is simple, the year that unfolds is a remarkable one, filled with ecstatic victories, but also financial struggles and sudden tragedies that leave the whole of the community reeling. Na’Kerria is a cheerleader who dreams of attending FAMU; Jocabed strives to be the very best student at PHS, while helping at her family’s taco stand; Junior is father to one-year-old E’Miya and leader of the school’s drumline; and BJ is co-captain of the football team, in an area legendary for having produced high numbers of NFL players (including Anquan Boldin, Baltimore!). Across this extraordinary year, we check in with each student intermittently, seeing them through the lens of Lucas and Bresnan, as well as through that of their own phones. They share with us in moments of both stress and excitement, and we can’t help feeling emotionally invested every step of the way.
For fans of Wiseman, Pahokee is a no-brainer, and as a clear year’s-best, the touching doc is for everyone else too. Devoid of clumsy interviews or overbearing soundtracks, Pahokee wows with directness and intimacy, letting us forget the camera’s there, before remarkably reminding us it is. (Mitchell Goodrich)
This screening and complimentary tickets are underwritten by: National Endowment for the Arts, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Film Festival/Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway Theatre, the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund, and Baltimore Office of Promotion and The Arts.