Block Six:

Out of This World

Take a step into another world and watch this block of award-winning films. Explore the cult of George Van Tassel and the perspectives of children during Communist China or present-day Pakistan, then discuss the films with the filmmakers and historian Greg Eghigian.

Calling All Earthlings

Jonathan Berman

USA; 2018, 77mins

Calling All Earthlings explores a UFO cult led by George Van Tassel, who claimed to have combined alien guidance with the writings of Nikola Tesla.

Empty Skies

Wenting Deng Fisher & Luke Charles Fisher

China; 2019, 18mins

A boy and his new friend hunt their village’s last sparrow for a reward to save his sick Grandma during Communist China’s Great Leap Forward (1958-1961). This film was a finalist for the Student Academy Award in 2018.

Sitara: Let Girls Dream

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Pakistan; 2019, 15mins

Set in the old city of Lahore in the 1970s, Pari, a 14-year-old who dreams of working as a pilot, spends her days making paper planes to launch into the sky and reading her book about Amelia Earhart. Director Sharmeen Obaid-Chiney is aPakistani journalist, filmmaker, and activist who is a recipient of two Academy Awards and six Emmy Awards.

Division Street: Fish Out of Water

Traven Rice

USA; 2019, 7mins

A withdrawn young girl is sent off to live with her cantankerous Jewish grandmother on the Lower East Side. At first, it feels like punishment. But then she begins to see the neighborhood as a place of gritty wonderment. For more info