Bethesda Film Fest Selected Films


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1001 Cuts1001 Cuts (25 minutes)
Film by Dr. Sarah Temkin

1001cuts explores the careers of women who benefited from the educational opportunities granted by the landmark Title IX legislation, passed in 1972, which banned gender discrimination in higher education. Title IX was part of a social and cultural revolution that allowed women to train as physicians and join the high-stakes professional world of surgery. This film documents the pervasive stereotypes and gender-based discrimination that persist within workplaces designed for, and still controlled by men. Within medicine and surgery, the failure to apply culture change has wide ranging impacts on the careers of women, the healthcare system, and the patient care experience.

Director Biography
Sarah is a first-time filmmaker. She was trained as a gynecologic oncologist and spent over 20 years providing surgical and medical care for women with cancer of the female genital tract. She is widely published in the medical literature and has contributed throughout her career to conversations about equity in healthcare, including gender equity within the physician workforce. She was inspired to make this film, informed by her lived experience, after leaving clinical practice in 2020.

A Chocolate LensA Chocolate Lens (21 minutes)
Film by Gabriel Veras

How do you take a picture and tell the whole story? A Chocolate Lens chronicles Steven Cummings’s photographic journey through a disappearing Black Washington. His approach was simple: use the camera lens to find the power amidst the storm. His images are a love letter to Black people across America.

Director Biography
Gabriel Veras is an award-winning Dominican American filmmaker with over a decade of experience. He combines his expertise in cinematography and post-production to create bold visual content. He has worked on content for Nike, UFC, Comcast, National Geographic, Red Bull, Corn Nuts, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Avicii, Amazon, Meta, ESPN, Fox Sports, NPR, and dozens of independent brands. He currently works at Shine Creative in Washington, D.C.

Eat FlowersEat Flowers (15 minutes)
Film by River Autumn Finlay

When photographer and writer Cig Harvey found out her best friend Mary was diagnosed with terminal leukemia, she did what she knew best: made photographs. As Mary faced isolation and debilitating treatment, Cig set out to bring the world to Mary. Over the coming years, Cig captured and sent Mary images of beauty, life and color. Images that evoked the sensual, the sacred, the delicate and the brave. Images exploding with color, piercing with light, evoking the pain and beauty of life, even as we face death. Through images of beauty, and love letters to the world and the ones we love, Cig and Mary find a way through an unspeakable tragedy and loss. One image and message at a time.
Director Biography
River Finlay is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her work has been screened at dozens of festivals across the world including Sheffield Doc Fest and featured on Short of the Week, National Geographic, The Atlantic and Remezcla. River’s point of view as a director/producer is rooted in 20 years as an international public health professional. River has a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University and a Master of Arts in Film and Video from American University.

Filming Under FireFilming Under Fire: John Ford's OSS Field Photo Branch (21 minutes)
Film by Charles Pinck

World War II was fought on many fronts. One of them was film. “Filming Under Fire: John Ford’s OSS Field Photo Branch” tells the story of how Hollywood’s greatest director, John Ford, and many of its leading filmmakers contributed to America’s victory over Nazism and fascism in World War II through their service in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Field Photographic Branch. They conducted surveillance. They made training films. They shot combat. They created films to boost Americans’ morale and to demoralize the enemy. At the war’s conclusion, they gathered evidence that was instrumental in convicting the Nazi High Command at Nuremberg. This film is a tribute to their heroic efforts; to Hollywood’s contribution to America’s victory in World War II; and to the enduring power of film in the never-ending struggle for freedom and human dignity.

Producer Biography
Charles Pinck is president of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Society of Falls Church, VA, a nonprofit organization that celebrates the historic accomplishments of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the World War II forerunner to CIA and the U.S. Special Operations Command. In addition to "Filming Under Fire: John Ford's OSS Field Photo Branch," he has produced three award-winning short documentaries for The OSS Society: “Operation Overlord: OSS and the Battle for France”; “Call Sign CHAOS: Gen. Jim Mattis and the U.S. Marine Corps”; and “The Tip of the Spear: From Virginia Hall to Gina Haspel.” He has led The OSS Society’s efforts to build the National Museum of Intelligence and Special Operations to honor Americans who have served at the “tip of the spear” as our Nation’s first line of defense since World War II, and to inspire future generations to serve.

Spanish Joe RemembersSpanish Joe Remembers (26 minutes)
Film by Samuel A. Miranda and Ellie Walton

Spanish Joe Remembers is a documentary film that tells the story of Washington, D.C. bass player Pepe Gonzalez. In the film, we travel back in time with Pepe to a youth where he finds the music that saves him. He introduces us to the characters that helped him on his journey, to Fat Jesus and Flaco Frio and the other friends who formed the band Zapata, to Lawrence Wheatley and Maria Rodriguez, mentors who opened the road to Jazz. The film travels the memory of a musician and helps us understand the way music can create a path that leads to destinations previously unimagined.

Director Biographies
Spanish Joe is co-directed by Samuel Miranda a Washington, D.C. poet, teacher and visual artist and Ellie Walton a filmmaker from Washington, D.C. They have worked on multiple projects including a micro short called Hiding Place that was screened in festivals in Berlin and Wisconsin. Spanish Joe which was screened as part of the DC DOX festival and are currently working on a docuseries that focuses the 90s poetry open mic scene in DC.