2021 Schedule
  2021 Films
  2021 Speakers &
  2021 Filmmakers

Reel Work Labor Film Festival


April 6, 2021

Women Can Do Anything!

Register for the Online Discussion on Tuesday, April 6 at 7pm PDT with the filmmakers. You will receive updated details by email about the event and links to watch the week’s films from April 1-6.

The panel will discuss women in traditionally male-only jobs, their love of the physical work, and the unrelenting discrimination they face.

Panelists include: Robynne Murphy, filmmaker, New South Wales, Australia; Holly Tuckett, filmmaker, Salt Lake City; Sadie Runge, US Forest Service Regional Fuels Specialist; Lacey England, former US Forest Service Wildland Firefighter; Lenya Quinn-Davidson, Area Fire Advisor, University of CA Cooperative Extension.

Watch the trailer for Women of Steel

(Robynne Murphy, 2020, 56 min, Australia)

Wollongong, New South Wales, 1980: Denied jobs at the steelworks, the city's main employer, working class immigrant women refused discrimination. Their 14-year campaign for the right to work pitted them against the most powerful company in Australia. This group of seemingly ordinary women were determined to overcome a giant.

Watch the trailer for Women of Steel.

Watch the trailer for Anchor Point

(Holly Tuckett, 2020, 91 min, USA)

A Documentary about Badass Women. Smart. Strong. Committed. Fearless. They are wildland firefighters battling more than raging, dangerous fires. They're also fighting a culture that has marginalized their voices, excused gender-based discrimination and left them vulnerable to sexual harassment and assault.

Watch the trailer for Anchor Point..

April 13, 2021

Labor Action In Higher Ed

Register for the Online Discussion on Tuesday, April 13 at 7pm PDT with the filmmakers and campus union representatives. You will receive updated details by email about the event and linka to watch the week's films from April 7-13.

The panel will discuss Labor Issues in Higher Education, and Organizing strategies.

From Canada to California, universities over the last 30 years have undermined working conditions by relying on contingent faculty and graduate students to carry the load of teaching while the security of the professorship and fair wages decline. The panel will discuss approaches to organizing change. Better working conditions for faculty and staff create better learning conditions for students.

Panelists include Moderator: Jennifer Colby, CSUMB Lecturer, CFA California Faculty Association (CFA);
Filmmakers: Gerry Potter, Red Heeler Media Inc., Edmonton, Canada; Jordan Freeman, UCSC grad student;
Higher Ed Workers: Veronica Hamilton, UCSC Grad Students Association, UAW 2865; Kathy Sheffield, CFA Director of Representation and Bargaining; Meghan O'Donnell, CFA Executive Board, CSU Monterey Bay; Deborah Gould, UCSC Assoc Professor of Sociology, UCSC Faculty Association; Roxi Power, UCSC Lecturer, University Council, AFT Local 2199.

Watch the trailer for In Search of Professor Precarious

(Gerry Potter, 2020, 51 min, Canada)

A “precarious” contingent faculty member in Canada quits his job to make a film, asking part-time and full-time non-tenure-track professors across Canada about their job insecurity and low pay. A group of professors strike, and another battles their own union to be included.

Watch the trailer for In Search of Professor Precarious.

Watch Precarity U

(Rebecca Singh & Laura DaSilva,2020, 13 min, Canada)

A dirty little secret at one of the world's top Universities. Employees at the University of Toronto speak out about work and shine a light on things that need to change during the United Steelworkers Local 1998 Casual Unit bargaining campaign.

Watch Precarity U.

Art by Katie Green
Watch Wildcat! -->

(Jordan Freeman, 2020, 8 min, Santa Cruz)

Graduate student TAs shoulder a major burden of the teaching load at UC Santa Cruz, but they can’t afford to live in the community. After their statewide union, UAW Local 2865 was unable to secure a satisfactory compensation package, UCSC grad students initiated a wildcat grading strike in December 2019, escalating to a full teaching strike in February. UCSC fired 54 students, which only fired up the protest and solidified the unity of grads, undergrads and faculty as the strike spread to other campuses.

Watch Wildcat!

April 20, 2021

Fall Back Down

Register for the Online Discussion on Tuesday, April 20 at 7pm PDT with filmmaker Sara Beth (SB) Edwards and cast members. After registration you will receive updates by email about the event and a link to watch the week’s film from April 14-20.

Watch a preview of Fall Back Down -->

(SB Edwards, 2020, 104 min, Canada)

A punk romantic comedy in which a depressed ex-activist takes a job in a sweatshop where he and his coworker make a grim discovery. An unusual feature film bringing issues of activism, housing, labor, sexual orientation and gender identity to the screen.

Watch a preview of Fall Back Down.
Watch the full film: Fall Back Down available here through June 1. Note: the film distributor requires a charge of $2 with coupon: FBDreelwork50. To request reimbursement, contact us at info@reelwork.org.

April 27, 2021

Celebrating 30 Years of AATAT

Register for the Online Discussion on Tuesday, April 27 at 7pm PDT with Don Williams, Director of the African American Theater Arts Troupe and AATAT alumni Antonio Glass and Niketa Calame-Harris. After registration you will receive updates by email about the event and a link to watch the week’s film from April 25-28.

Celebrating 30 years of The African American Theater Arts Troupe (AATAT), a student-based organization that came together under the leadership and direction of Don Williams in 1991. AATAT was formed as a vehicle to create unity, higher visibility, and understanding of the African American culture here at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the greater Santa Cruz community. The Theater Troupe not only casts UCSC students from different educational backgrounds, but also casts students that have little or no experience with acting, technical, and administrative work so as to allow anyone the opportunity to get involved with the program. The troupe is the only one of its kind in the UC System.

Watch the trailer for Sweat

(2015 play by Lynn Nottage, production directed by Don Williams filmed 2020,140 min, USA)

Filled with warm humor and tremendous heart, SWEAT tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets, and laughs while working together on the factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat.

Watch the trailer for Sweat.

Watch the video of the AATAT Gala

(Don Williams, 2020, 16 min, USA)

A compilation of snippets of memorable performances and Troupe members’ personal recollections of the impact that AATAT under the direction of Don Williams has had on their lives.

Watch the video of the AATAT 30th Anniversary Gala

May 1, 2021

International Workers Day


Live in-person event, Saturday, May 1st at 2pm PDT in front of recently-unionized Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz 95060. Masks and social distancing required.

Gather next to the statue of Thomas Jefferson Scribner (1899-1982), longtime member of the International Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies) and renowned saw player. Grant Wilson will channel Tom’s fine and feisty spirit by reading from Scribner’s 1966 autobiography, Lumberjack. Musician Jimmy Kelly will sing a few rousing union songs.

Photos and video of the International Workers Day Celebration.


Immediately following the Public Reading, March down Pacific Avenue from the Scribner statue to the SubRosa Cafe. Reclaim May 1 as the Real Labor Day, the way this day is celebrated all over the world, except in the U.S. Bring your Union Banner, drums and noisemakers. Masks and social distancing required.



Global Labor Film Festival Register for the Online Discussion on Saturday, May 1 at 8pm PDT. You will receive updated details about the event and the week's film by email.

Dana Frank, Labor Studies Professor Emeritus at UCSC, will moderate the conversation and audience Q&A with filmmaker Adrian Prawica on the significance of May Day to the labor movement.

Haymarket has been selected by the Global Labor Film Festival Network to celebrate International Workers Day and is being screened simultaneously at labor film festivals around the world, including Reel Work, DC Labor FilmFest, Workers Unite! Film Fest (New York City), Rochester Labor Film Series (NY), Bread and Roses Heritage Committee (Lawrence, MA), Haifa International Labor Film Festival (Israel), Labour in Motion Movie Club (Alberta, Canada), LAN Festival (Bilbao, Spain), Nordic Labour Film Festival (Malmö, Sweden), and Green Mountain Labor Council (VT).

HAYMARKET: The Bomb, The Anarchists, The Labor Struggle
Watch the trailer for Haymarket

(Adrian Prawica, 2021, 83 min, USA)

The Chicago Haymarket Affair in 1886, where a bomb thrown into the ranks of Police, was followed by an eruption of panic and violence resulting in a trial and execution of presumably innocent workers' rights activists. In this feature documentary, expert historians and professors present the history of the bomb, the anarchist movement of the 19th century, and the labor struggle of working people fighting for a shorter workday during the industrial might of America's Gilded Age.

Watch trailer for Haymarket. More information about the film is at filmadria.com/haymarket.

May 4, 2021

COVID’s Hidden Toll

Register for the Online Discussion on Tuesday, May 4 at 7pm PDT with filmmaker Daffodil Altan, Assemblymember Robert Rivas, local union leader James Sandoval, and Líderes Campesinas representative Irene de Barraicua discussing the effect of the pandemic on their workers and their families and communities. When registered, you will receive updated details by email about the event and alink to watch the week’s film from April 28-May 4.

Watch the trailer for COVID's Hidden Toll

(Daffodil Altan, 2020,53 min, USA)

PBS Frontline documentary on repercussions of the pandemic. COVID has affected all of us, but few have been more hurt than the workers who feed us. Whether in the fields or processing plants, many do not have COVID-safe working conditions, and without sick leave, many feel forced to work despite being sick.

Watch the trailer for COVID's Hidden Toll on Facebook.
Watch the full film COVID's Hidden Toll on YouTube.

May 11, 2021

Bread & Roses: Artists Honor Labor

Register for the Online Discussion on Tuesday, May 11 at 7pm PDT with a panel of local artists and performers. When registered, you will receive updates by email about the event and a link to watch the week’s film from May 5-11.

Local artists and musicians have created works that honor workers and celebrate the need for social justice and equity. The "bread" - food, clothing and housing, as well as the "roses" - beauty of life are valued. We will hear and see works by artists and dive deeper into the issues of a living wage to prevent homelessness. U. Utah Phillips offers a model of observing compassionate acts in communities around the U.S. Here in the Monterey Bay region, Compassionate Monterey County (CoMoCo) honors local exemplars who offer support to those experiencing homelessness in our area.

Panelists include: Jennifer Colby, moderator; Charles Hall, filmmaker; Duncan Phillips; Jimmy Kelly, musician; Sarah Ringler, artist; Shirley Flores Muñoz, Pajaro Gallery Curator; Linda Bynoe, CoMoCo; Lisa Berkley CoMoCo; and Marissa Kobylenski, honoree from iHelp Homeless program, Monterey.

Donations to Reel Work made this week will be split between Utah’s Place, the Hospitality House shelter in Nevada City established by Utah Phillips, and iHelp, the Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program serving the Monterey Penninsula.

Watch the trailer for Tales From The Long Memory

(Charles Hall, 2020, 54 min, USA)

In the autumn, when the leaves are down, it’s the time that folk singing rabble rouser Utah Phillips thinks about hitting the rails. As a young man he crisscrossed the country on freight trains in search of teachers that would help to understand himself and where he came from. During this time he experienced the ultimate freedom of having no home ahead and none behind but he also experienced the works of mercy as he faced the difficulties of his journey. He discovered the dynamic struggle of people to organize themselves and demand a quality of life for themselves and those around them that provides bread yes, but roses too.

Watch the trailer for Tales From The Long Memory on Facebook.
Watch the full film Tales From The Long Memory on Vimeo through May 11.

May 14, 2021

Italian Labor History

Register for the Online Discussion on Friday morning, May 14 at 10am with filmmaker Ludovica Schiaroli about how workers fared in Italy in the last century, followed by audience Q&A. Once registered, you will receive updates by email about the event and a link to watch the week’s film from May 8-14.

GIOTTO: The Proletarian Twentieth-Century of Giordano Bruschi
Trailer for Giotto

(Ugo Roffi & Ludovica Schiaroli, 2020, 57 min, Italy)

World premiere! Historical events of resistance and social struggle of Italian workers as told by Giordano Bruschi, partisan, worker, protagonist and witness of the last century.

Watch the trailer for Giotto.
Watch the full film Giotto on FilmFreeway through May 18.

May 18, 2021

Global Economics

Register for the Online Discussion on Tuesday, May 18 at 6pm PDT with filmmakers Aaraón Díaz Mendiburo and Jeff Gould. After registering, you will receive updates by email about the event and links to watch the week’s films from May 12-18.

The discussion will be moderated by local activist Ernestina Saldaña.

Watch the trailer for Port Triumph

(Jeff Gould, 2018, 61 min, El Salvador)

In the 1970s, the 1500 organized workers of Puerto el Triunfo – mostly women - thanks to their struggles were among the more privileged laborers in the country. Then, state repression eliminated union leaders or drove them into exile. By 1990, the shrimp industry collapsed. The film provides a window into neoliberalism.

Watch the trailer for Port Triumph.
Watch the full film Port Triumph on Vimeo through May 18.

Watch the trailer for Migranta con M de Mamá

(Aaraón Díaz Mendiburo, 2020, 25 min, Mexico)

Three migrant women in Canada under the Agricultural Worker Program open their hearts to let us delve into the complex world of maternity from afar. Their narratives help us to reflect on the several dimensions that pervade migration processes. Being women, they put at risk their emotional stability and their children's.

Watch the trailer for Migranta con M de Mamá on YouTube.
Watch the full film Migranta con M de Mamá on Vimeo through May 18.

May 25, 2021

IATSE Local 611 Presents: Passion And Pay

Register for the Online program on Tuesday, May 25 at 7pm PDT about the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts, followed by audience Q&A. Once registered, you will receive updates by email about the event and links to watch the week’s films from May 19-25.

This event is hosted by IATSE Local 611. Business Agent Andrew Hurchalla narrates the Union’s Passion And Pay presentation, followed by Local 611 President Poco Marshall moderating the discussion about IATSE history, operations, contemporary issues, and organizing/mobilizing strategies with Union member panelists including International Representative Peter Marley, safety and training mentor Eddie Raymond, former International Organizer Sandra England, and Local 134 Past President Jon Curcio.

IATSE Local 611 has provided theatrical, motion picture, entertainment, commercial and industrial production labor in the Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties since 1926. This includes Lighting, Audio Engineering, Video Engineering, Camera, Rigging, Carpentry, Make Up, Wardrobe, Grip, Props, and more.


Passion and Pay will be presented during the online discussion on May 25.

IATSE ROADSHOW: Why Unions Still Matter

(IATSE International, 2020, 89 minm USA)

Labor educator Diane Thomas-Holladay's presentation that she has given to many IATSE Locals.

Watch the recorded webinar IATSE Roadshow.


(IATSE Local 776, 2012, 28 min, USA)

Background and history of how IATSE came into being. This production was completely put together by Union people for Union people on the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Union.

Watch the full film History of IATSE on YouTube.

JUNE 1, 2021

The Third Harmony: Change for a New Generation

Register for the Online Discussion on Tuesday, June 1 at 7pm PDT on the topic of nonviolence, with audience Q&A. Once registered, you will receive updates by email about the event and a link to watch the week’s film from May 26-June 1.

The panel includes filmmaker Michael Nagler, founder and president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence; Silvia Morales, Executive Director of the Resource Center for Nonviolence; and Mariam Gafforio, Nonviolent Global Liberation program member. Sponsors of this event are the Resource Center for Nonviolence of Santa Cruz and the Metta Center for Nonviolence in Petaluma.

THE THIRD HARMONY: Nonviolence and the New Story of Human Nature
Watch the trailer for The Third Harmony

(Michael Nagler, 2020, 44 min, USA)

This is the story of nonviolence through the testimony of seasoned activists, including the highly dramatic story of how women and children were recently saved from death by unarmed international actors, part of a new institution in civilian protection. We get a glimpse of the power of the force that Gandhi called nonviolence, and its implications for a whole new “story” of what it means to be a human being. What if people were as well trained in waging peace as soldiers are in waging war?

Watch the trailer for The Third Harmony on Vimeo.
Watch the full film The Third Harmony on Vimeo through Jun 1.

Page last updated 5/29/21

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