A Doula Story documents one woman’s fierce commitment to empower pregnant teenagers with the skills and knowledge they need to become confident nurturing mothers. A woman of remarkable magnetism and complexity, Loretha Weisinger returns to the same disadvantaged neighborhood, where she once struggled as a teen mom. She uses compassion and humor to teach the young mothers-to-be about everything from the importance of breast-feeding and reading to their babies to the practical details of communicating effectively with health care professionals. Teenage pregnancy is a fact of American life. Nearly 10 percent of births in this country are to teens, many of them poor, uneducated and alone. A community doula (from the Greek word for birth attendant) for more than 10 years, Loretha knows that pregnant teens need guidance and education, not judgment or pity. In the face of overwhelming challenges—from absentee fathers and drug addiction to the disparagement of society—doulas are making a difference in the futures of young mothers and their babies.

Daniel Alpert---USA---2005---60 mins.

Before directing The French Connection, The Exorcist, and Killer Joe, William Friedkin made one of the most powerful documentaries you’ve never seen. On March 20, 1953, five black men robbed a meatpacking plant in Chicago’s Union Stock Yards. Their getaway went awry, and a security guard was shot and killed. Within a week, all five men were arrested. Four received jail sentences and were eventually paroled. The fifth, Paul Crump, then 22, confessed under questionable interrogation tactics, then retracted, only to be convicted and sentenced to the electric chair. After 14 stays of execution, Crump met Friedkin, then a local TV director, in the Cook County Jail. Friedkin so believed in Crump’s innocence and his worth as a human being that he and his cinematographer Bill Butler (Jaws) took to the streets with lightweight cameras to appeal for Crump’s return to society. The resulting film contributed to the commutation of Crump’s sentence and launched Friedkin’s Hollywood career.

“Crude, rude, and bursting with 'tude, Crump is historically a kind of verite-era prophecy of Errol Morris's The Thin Blue Line--both in its focus on an unjustly convicted death-row convict and in its brazen chop-shop approach to the precepts of documentary filmmaking” (Village Voice). Winner of the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

William Friedkin---USA---1962---60 mins.

Do No Harm tells the incredible and often outrageous story of two men in a small, southern town who endured relentless attacks in order to draw national attention to the plight of the medically uninsured and bring about reform. “I couldn't hire enough staff to know where all of the skeletons are buried. We need whistleblowers,” says Sen. Charles Grassley of Dr. John Bagnato and Charles Rehberg, who exposed significant unethical practices towards uninsured patients at Phoebe Putney Hospital, a non-profit hospital in Georgia. They uncovered millions of dollars in offshore bank accounts and lucrative for-profit businesses under the control of the non-profit hospital. Board members held exclusive contracts with the hospital and politicians received timely contributions. And shockingly – it was all legal. Do No Harm follows the stories of these unlikely activists who sacrificed much in order to expose and rectify injustices in the non-profit hospital system.

Rebecca Schanberg---USA---2009---55 mins.