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Hurricane Experts Available for Media

University of Houston experts, including Patrick Bordnick, associate professor and director of the Child and Family Center for Innovative Research in the Graduate College of Social Work, are prepared to comment on the topics related to hurricane season preparation and response.

Kim Usey

International Documentaries Screened at UH

April 15, 2009 - Houston - International documentaries tackling a range of global issues and perspectives will be screened at the University of Houston on Saturday, April 18. The Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival - the longest-running premiere showcase for international documentaries in the United States - will be presented by the department of Anthropology and the Program in Visual Studies, hosted by the Texas Learning and Computation Center (TLC2).

The festival, a program of the American Natural History Museum in New York City, presents titles that tackle diverse and challenging subjects.

"The Mead Festival provides socioculturally oriented films that would be difficult to see anywhere else in the city," says Dr. Jerome Crowder, anthropology research professor. "These are current, topical pieces made by engaged filmmakers from around the world, not otherwise available, and we are fortunate to be able to present them at the University of Houston."

The six films being shown are grouped in three issue areas: rethinking gender, beyond borders, and the politics of water. The festival will begin at 2 p.m. and will run through 7:30 p.m.

The schedule of films is as follows:

"Rethinking Gender"

  • 2 p.m. - "The Birthday," a 63-minute film from filmmakers from Iran and the Netherlands, which examines Iran's government support of transsexuality and the complex issues of gender and sexuality in an Islamic society.

"Beyond Borders"

  • 3 p.m. - "Grito de Piedra" (Scream of the Stone), a film from Bolivia and the Netherlands that looks at the cultural impact of the conversion of tapped-out Bolivian silver mines to a tourist destination.
  • 4:30 p.m. - "Stranger Comes to Town," a 28-minute U.S. film that combines Department of Homeland Security animations with border stories, video game images and Google Earth, to focus on the question of border and identities.

"Politics of Water"

  • 5:10 p.m. - "The Water Front," a U.S. film detailing a Michigan water-privatization battle.
  • 6:10 p.m. - "Gimme Green," a U.S. film looking at the $40-billion American obsession with the perfect lawn.
  • 7 p.m. - "Village of Dust, City of Water," a 28-minute Indian film about water access and social exploitation in India, where rural water supplies are redistributed to booming cities.

Each film will be accompanied by audience discussion.

"Through these films, we have the opportunity to see American culture - to see ourselves," Crowder said. "Our hope is that viewers will rethink their perspectives on culture and society and will be more aware as they water the lawn or travel the globe. It's a unique opportunity for reflection, and we are glad to have the cutting-edge facilities of TLC² right here at UH to enable us to present the festival."

For more information, visit the Mead program Web site at, or contact Dr. Jerome Crowder at or 713-743-4264.

WHAT: The Margaret Mead Traveling Film and Video Festival; free and open to the public

2 - 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 18

The Texas Learning & Computation Center (TLC2) Visualization Theater, PGH216 (Hoffman Hall)

The UH Department of Anthropology, the Program in Visual Studies, and the Texas Learning & Computation Center (TLC2)

For more information about UH visit the university's Newsroom at