MFA 2015 Films


Frivolous Things

Directors:  Kathi Barnhill, Joe Jowers, and Walidah Muhammad

In Ghana, 50 infants die for every 1000 live births.  In the U.S. the mortality rate is only 6 per 1000. Frivolous Things is the story of the strength and courage needed by midwives and doctors at Ridge Hospital in Accra, Ghana in the fight to save babies and effect positive change in a resource-poor developing country.

Through the sustained efforts of Kybele, a US-based NGO, and the trust and determination of the Ghanaian people, we witness faith that the seemingly impossible can become possible as they battle unforeseen obstacles when trying to open a life saving neonatal intensive care unit.



Director:  Merritt Peele

Homeplace is a story about how where we’re from makes us who we are. Filmmaker Merritt Peele explores his family’s roots in Colerain, NC, a tiny town with a long history and little time left.

As Colerain slowly fades away, its citizens, sons, and daughters must face difficult questions about personal responsibility, the value of heritage, and the choices we make.  Although these questions have no answers, Homeplace examines how memory tries to wrestle with them.


Soldier Butterfly

Directors: Tetiana Kharchenko and Safyah Usmani

Soldier Butterfly offers an intimate portrait of a Muslim American college student and Reserved Officers’ Training Corps cadet. The filmmakers follow Fatima as she confronts questions of identity and faith while tackling the demands of being both a student and future military officer.



Directors: Diane Hodson and Jasmine Luoma

unmappable is a documentary short that weaves together the life and work of noted iconoclastic psychogeographer, and convicted sex offender, Denis Wood. This meditative portrait will unveil the inner workings of a man whose work is lauded as poetic, artful and innovative – a man who unapologetically pushes boundaries both personally and professionally.

The film explores the events that have defined his life by pointing at ideas, thoughts, and beliefs that we usually do not think of as being mappable or explainable.