UWHFF 2022 Program

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We follow along with fashion photographer, German Vazquez, on his trip back to Puerto Rico where we witnessed his process, explored the island, and got an inside look into some of his challenges.

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16-year-old Daniel is excited, he just graduated from the Youth Law Enforcement program for young teens who want to pursue a career in law enforcement. During his short walk home, Daniel encounters a few unsavory officers. Scared and alone, Daniel contacts his parents who are also police officers. When Daniel’s parents finally arrive at his location, the situation intensifies, ending with a single gunshot.

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A short film made during lockdown in response to the Atlanta Spa Shootings that examines how we process and hold grief. It serves as a reminder that the hate crimes against the Asian American community are not new and are still very much ongoing.

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Alma’s recipe follows Alma Romero’s routine as a promotora de salud (health promoter) for Puentes de Salud, a non-profit offering medical care to Latinx and immigrant communities in Philadelphia. Her story takes us to Puebladephia—a South Philly area majorly populated by Mexican immigrants from Puebla—to learn how important Romero’s work as a promotora has been to the community during the Covid-19 pandemic, and how fake news has been impacting the Latinx community during these trying times.

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After being accused of a crime by her ex-boyfriend, 17-year-old My Le was incarcerated in a detention facility for adults. This film follows her journey to becoming a youth organizer for the Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project (YASP) and her fight to abolish ACT 83, while also revealing how some media practices assist in criminalizing young people of color.

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Just weeks before the pandemic hit, Jeannine Cook opened Harriett’s Bookshop in Philadelphia as a way to celebrate Black women authors, activists, and artists. Since then, her work has taken on a larger role in the fight for space and sovereignty. Co-directed by Raishad M. Hardnett and Aidan M. Un.

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On May 31, 2020, residents of 52nd Street, in the predominantly Black neighborhood of Cobbs Creek, were attacked by the Philadelphia Police Department in response to unrest over the murder of George Floyd. Private university police forces from the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), Drexel University and other organizations also participated in the crackdown. “Testimony: 52nd St. and the Invisible Violence of UPenn” is a short stop-motion animation film based on the experience of 52nd St. resident and UPenn employee, Amelia Carter. Through her testimony, Amelia explores what led to UPenn’s participation in the attack and attempts to disrupt the normalization of everyday acts of institutional violence perpetrated by the university. Through her own self-reflection, Amelia invites the audience to question the societal conditioning that leads to complicity in the face of this violence and imagines a world where community care is prioritized over policing.

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THE TIME THEIF showcases the work of software engineer turned artist Steven Taylor who uses his photography to capture authentic moments that give credence to the beautiful legacy of blackness and black culture in Philadelphia and the world at large. Steven opened the first black-owned, singled artist fine art photography gallery in the United States to create creative conversation in his majority-black community of Germantown.

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A young Harlemite blindly clings onto the American Dream as he struggles to make rent in rapidly gentrifying Harlem. His brother, a young Black Revolutionary, tries to wake him up from the illusion that his boss is looking out for his best interests

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'United We Heal' A journey to Black freedom, is a short film that dives into the history of Black pain and struggle in America. Through the tradition of spoken word and dance the short aims to express not only what Black people have been through in terms of living in a system of white supremacy and oppression but where Black people are moving forward. Which is to equality, freedom, joy, economically self-sustained and most importantly healed and whole as a community.