Films you don’t want to miss at the inaugural Mancos Doc Fest

by Amanda Push

Rosa Sabido hasn’t left the boundaries of United Methodist Church of Mancos in more than a year. The Mexican immigrant who has lived in the United States for more than 30 years, Sabido sought sanctuary with the church after Immigration Customs Enforcement denied her most recent stay of removal request on May 11, 2017. Facing deportation, Sabido must stay within the bounds of the church in order to remain in the country she considers her home, even missing the opportunity to say goodbye to her mother before she died in July. Sabido’s is just one of the many stories that will be told at the first Mancos Doc Fest this weekend.

Organizers Sarah Syverson and Jane Julian hand-picked the documentaries to fit with the theme of the festival: Belonging.

“There’s a bunch of events going on around the theme of belonging – what it means to belong to a place, to each other, or to something larger than ourselves. So those films all have a thread going through them, both the shorter films and the longer feature length films,” said Syverson, co-producer of Raven Narratives.

“I’m really drawn to those stories in general. We are all seeking community, I think, which means love and connection. And so I reached out to four feature filmmakers that had been at Port Townsend Film Festival, which is a festival that I’ve been the programming director for now for 10 years. I didn’t even have any questions asked. Every one of them said yes right away. And they’re not all brand new films, but they definitely have this feeling of connection,” said Julian, who is also a founder of the Durango Film Society, now the Durango Film Festival.

Here’s a look at the stories audiences can watch together during the festival at the Mancos Opera House.

Unbranded,” directed by Phillip BaribeauFour young Texans journey across America from Mexico to Canada in order to train a herd of wild mustangs. They face a series of challenges, from dangerous mountain terrain to fugitive horses and even death.

Ace and the Desert Dog,” directed by Stefan Hunt, Brendan Leonard, and Forest WoodwardTo celebrate his 60th birthday, Ace Kvale planned a 60-day backpacking trip with his dog, Genghis Khan – also known as Desert Dog – through 400 miles of Utah. It was a trip he’d been planning for seven years, and he starts by leaving through his front door.

Tashi and the Monk,” directed by Andrew Hinton and Johnny BurkeAfter returning to his home of Tibet from the United States, Buddhist monk Lobsang Phuntsok decided to open an orphanage to care for unwanted children, including 5-year-old Tashi. “Tashi and the Monk” tells the story of how one man’s kindness transforms the life of the troubled Tashi.

Becoming Bulletproof,” directed by Michael BarnettFollow the tale of how “Bulletproof” was made – a film played by actors with and without disabilities who meet annually at Zeno Mountain Farm to create short films.

Soufra,” directed by Thomas MorganMariam Shaar has spent her entire life in the Burj El Barajneh refugee camp just south of Beirut, Lebanon. Watch as she brings her community together by starting a catering company called Soufra. Eventually, with the help of other refugee women at her camp, they expand their business into a food truck.

Rosa Sabido film short preview, directed by John SheedyAfter living in the United States for more than 30 years, Rosa Sabido must now seek sanctuary at the United Methodist Church of Mancos or risk deportation after Immigration Customs Enforcement denied her stay of removal request on May 11, 2017. Though the documentary isn’t quite finished, audiences can catch a preview of what’s to come.


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