On Saturday, November 12, Working Films is hosting a celebration of two films that are part of the line up in the hip local indie film fest Cucalorus.

Rachel Libert and Tony Hardmon’s SEMPER FI: ALWAYS FAITHFUL is an award-winning film that tells a story of particular urgency for NC. Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger devoted 25 years of service to the U.S. Marines, whose motto, “Semper Fidelis,” means “Always Faithful.” When stationed at Camp Lejeune, his 9-year-old daughter died from a rare form of leukemia and Ensminger wants to know why. His exhaustive search for answers leads him to a shocking discovery: the very organization that was supposed to protect its own – the Marine Corps – has been covering up one of the worst cases of toxic water contamination in US history. Demonstrating remarkable dedication and perseverance, Ensminger spearheads a lengthy battle to hold the Marine Corps accountable for its actions and make this information public. Semper Fi won Best Editing Award at the Tribeca Film Festival and Best Documentary and Audience Award at the Woodstock Film Festival.

Working Films is partnering with Semper Fi on NC screenings, including its first “non-festival” premiere in Jacksonville, home of Camp Lejeune, immediately following the Cucalorus screening. We are developing and coordinating a national community engagement campaign with the film in 2012.

Presented as a work-in-progress at Cucalorus, AN AMERICAN PROMISE follows the education of two African American boys. Co-directed by Michele Stephenson and Joe Brewster, the film documents their son, Idris, and his best friend Seun, from the time they are accepted to the Dalton School in New York City, as part of a diversity program. Both families are eager for their sons to get “the best education possible.” Following both boys from kindergarten through their divergent paths to high school graduation in 2012 the film reveals a complex picture of racial identity, education, privilege, and parenting in this groundbreaking personal verité film.

An American Promise is part of Reel Education, Working Films’ collaborative initiative between filmmakers, non-profits, and educators that embeds a collection of powerful documentaries into the work of those leading the charge for education reform.

Festival pass holders, board members, and filmmakers are invited to join us Saturday, November 12, 6pm – 8pm, at the Working Films firehouse on Castle Street and Fifth Avenue. Buy a Cucalorus pass here.

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