Albuquerque Film & Media Experience: Same Difference (USA 2015) With Maribella (USA 2015)
Same Difference (USA 2015) / Documentary
Same Difference is a feature length documentary that presents the lives of two adolescent boys who identify as gay from a young age. Graeme Taylor, now 18 and off to college, grows up and goes to school in a supporting environment that allows him to thrive. Justin Aaberg (1995-2010) unfortunately grows up and goes to a school filled with intolerant backwards policies and scandal. Justin was just one of nine teens that took their lives while attending the Anoka-Hennepin School District between 2009-2011. This resulted in state health officials declaring the school district a suicide contagion, leading to a department of justice investigation. The role the school played in these deaths is explored through Jefferson Fietek, the only openly gay teacher in the district at the time. Additionally Mellisa Thompson, a parent in the district, highlights the shortcomings of the school board and the administration. Dr. Dorothy Espelage, Ph.D, Dr. Antoine Douaihy M.D., and Dr. Liz Winter PhD, LSW, examine the current research on anti-bullying and offer solutions to handling gender issues among adolescents within schools.
Director: Joshua Sweeny
With Maribella (USA 2015) / Narrative Short
A young woman struggles to adjust to unexpected and first-time motherhood while she contemplates taking her life and the life of her newborn baby. She ruminates on past conversations about her pregnancy and tries to make sense of the mixed reactions and advice of those closest to her.
Director: Julia Romero