Celebrating Stories of Nonviolence: World BEYOND War’s 2023 Virtual Film Festival

Join World BEYOND War for our 3rd annual virtual film festival!

This year’s “Celebrating Stories of Nonviolence” virtual film festival from March 11-25, 2023 explores the power of nonviolent action. A unique mix of films explores this theme, from Gandhi’s Salt March, to ending war in Liberia, to civil discourse and healing in Montana. Each week, we’ll host a live Zoom discussion with key representatives from the films and special guests to answer your questions and explore the topics addressed in the films. Scroll down to learn more about each film and our special guests, and to purchase tickets!

How It Works:

Day 1: Discussion of "A Force More Powerful" on Saturday, March 11 at 3:00pm-4:30pm Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5)

A Force More Powerful is a documentary series on one of the 20th century’s most important and least-known stories: how nonviolent power overcame oppression and authoritarian rule. It includes cases of movements, and each case is approximately 30 minutes long. We’ll watch Episode 1, which contains 3 case studies:

  • In India in the 1930s, after Gandhi had returned from South Africa, he and his followers adopted a strategy of refusing to cooperate with British rule. Through civil disobedience and boycotts, they successfully loosened their oppressors’ grip on power and set India on the path to freedom.
  • In the 1960s, Gandhi’s nonviolent weapons were taken up by black college students in Nashville, Tennessee. Disciplined and strictly nonviolent, they successfully desegregated Nashville’s downtown lunch counters in five months, becoming a model for the entire civil rights movement.
  • In 1985, a young South African named Mkhuseli Jack led a movement against the legalized discrimination known as apartheid. Their campaign of nonviolent mass action, and a powerful consumer boycott in the Eastern Cape province, awakened whites to black grievances and fatally weakened business support for apartheid.
Panelists:
David Hartsough

David Hartsough

Co-Founder, World BEYOND War

David Hartsough is a Co-Founder of World BEYOND War. David is a Quaker and a lifelong peace activist and author of his memoir, Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist, PM Press. Hartsough has organized many peace efforts and worked with nonviolent movements in such far-flung locations as the Soviet Union, Nicaragua, Philippines, and Kosovo. In 1987 Hartsough co-founded the Nuremberg Actions blocking munitions trains carrying munitions to Central America. In 2002 he co-founded the Nonviolent Peaceforce which has peace teams with over 275 nonviolent peacemakers/peacekeepers working in conflict areas around the world. Hartsough has been arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience in his work for peace and justice more than 150 times, most recently at the Livermore nuclear weapons laboratory. His first arrest was for taking part in the first civil rights “Sit-ins” in Maryland and Virginia in 1960 with other students from Howard University where they successfully integrated the lunch counters in Arlington, VA. Hartsough is active in the Poor Peoples Campaign. Hartsough served as the Director of PEACEWORKERS. Hartsough is a husband, father and grandfather and lives in San Francisco, CA.

Ivan Marovic

Executive Director, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict

Ivan Marovic is an organizer, software developer and social innovator from Belgrade, Serbia. He was one of the leaders of Otpor, a youth movement which played a critical role in the downfall of Slobodan Milosevic, Serbian strongman in 2000. Since then he’s been advising numerous pro-democracy groups around the world and became one of the leading educators in the field of strategic nonviolent conflict. In the last two decades Ivan has been designing and developing learning programs on civil resistance and movement building, and supporting the development of training organizations, such as Rhize and the African Coaching Network. Ivan helped develop two educational video games that teach activists civil resistance: A Force More Powerful (2006) and People Power (2010). He also authored a training guide The Path of Most Resistance: A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning Nonviolent Campaigns (2018). Ivan holds a BSc in Process Engineering from Belgrade University and an MA in International Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Ela Gandhi

South African peace activist & former Member of Parliament; granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi

Ela Gandhi is the granddaughter of Mohandas 'Mahatma' Gandhi. She was born in 1940 and grew up in the Phoenix Settlement, the first Ashram established by Mahatma Gandhi, in the Inanda district of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. An anti-apartheid activist from an early age, she was banned from political activism in 1973 and served ten years under banning orders of which five years were under house arrest. Gandhi was a member of the Transitional Executive Council and gained a seat as a member of the ANC in Parliament from 1994 to 2003, representing Phoenix which is in the Inanda district. Since leaving parliament, Gandhi has worked tirelessly to fight all forms of violence. She founded and now serves as Trustee of the Gandhi Development Trust which promotes non-violence, and was a founder member and chair of the Mahatma Gandhi Salt March Committee. She also serves as Trustee of the Phoenix Settlement Trust and is co President of the World Conference on Religions for Peace and chairperson of the Advisory Forum of KAICIID International Centre. Honorary Doctorates were conferred on her by the Durban University of Technology, University of KwaZulu Natal, Sidharth University and Lincoln University. In 2002, she received the Community of Christ International Peace Award and in 2007, in recognition of her work to promote Mahatma Gandhi's legacy in South Africa, she was awarded the prestigious Padma Bushan award by the Indian Government.

David Swanson (moderator)

Co-Founder & Executive Director, World BEYOND War

David Swanson is Co-Founder, Executive Director, and a Board Member of World BEYOND War. David is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk World Radio. He is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and was awarded the 2018 Peace Prize by the U.S. Peace Memorial Foundation.

Day 2: Discussion of "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" on Saturday, March 18 at 3:00pm-4:30pm Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4)

Pray the Devil Back to Hell chronicles the remarkable story of the Liberian women who came together to end a bloody civil war and bring peace to their shattered country. Armed only with white T-shirts and the courage of their convictions, they demanded a resolution to the country’s civil war.

A story of sacrifice, unity and transcendence, Pray the Devil Back to Hell honors the strength and perseverance of the women of Liberia. Inspiring, uplifting, and most of all motivating, it is a compelling testimony of how grassroots activism can alter the history of nations.

Panelists (more to be announced soon):

Abigail E. Disney

Producer, Pray the Devil Back to Hell

Abigail E. Disney is an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and activist. Her latest film, "The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales," co-directed with Kathleen Hughes, made its world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. She advocates for real changes to the ways capitalism operates in today's world. As a philanthropist she has worked with organizations supporting peace building, gender justice and systemic cultural change. She is Chair and Co-Founder of Level Forward, and founder of Peace is Loud and the Daphne Foundation.

Rachel Small (moderator)

Canada Organizer, World BEYOND War

Rachel Small is based in Toronto, Canada, on Dish with One Spoon and Treaty 13 Indigenous territory. Rachel is a community organizer. She has organized within local and international social/environmental justice movements for over a decade, with a special focus on working in solidarity with communities harmed by Canadian extractive industry projects in Latin America. She has also worked on campaigns and mobilizations around climate justice, decolonization, anti-racism, disability justice, and food sovereignty. She has organized in Toronto with the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network and has a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University. She has a background in art-based activism and has facilitated projects in community mural-making, independent publishing and media, spoken word, guerilla theatre, and communal cooking with people of all ages across Canada.

Day 3: Discussion of "Beyond the Divide" on Saturday, March 25 at 3:00pm-4:30pm Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4)

In Beyond the Divide, audiences discover how a small-town art crime sparks furious passion and reignites animosity left unresolved since the Vietnam War.

In Missoula, Montana, a group of people from the “wrong side of the tracks” decided to commit an act of civil disobedience by painting a peace symbol on the face of an enormous communications panel that sat atop a hillside overlooking the town. The reaction essentially divided the community between anti-war and military-establishment supporters.

Beyond the Divide traces the aftermath of this act and follows the story of how two individuals, a former Vietnam explosives engineer and a fervent peace advocate, come to a deeper understanding of each other’s differences through conversation and collaboration.

Beyond the Divide speaks to the historical divide between veterans and peace advocates, yet the wisdom and leadership modeled by the two primary characters is especially timely in today’s politically divisive world. Beyond the Divide is a starting point for powerful conversations about civil discourse and healing.

Panelists:

Betsy Mulligan-Dague

Former Executive Director, Jeannette Rankin Peace Center

Betsy Mulligan-Dague has a 30 year history as a clinical social worker helping families and individuals address challenges in their lives. She has taught numerous groups to look at ways they can understand the emotions and needs behind communication. From 2005 until her retirement in 2021, she was the Executive Director of the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, where she continued to focus on ways people can increase their communication skills to become better at peacemaking and conflict resolution, believing that our differences will never be as important as the things we have in common. Her work is featured in the documentary, Beyond the Divide: The Courage to Find Common Ground. Betsy is a past president of the Missoula Sunrise Rotary Club and currently serves as the Chair of the State Peacebuilding & Conflict Prevention Committee for Rotary District 5390 as well as a board member of the Waterton Glacier International Peace Park.

Garett Reppenhagen

Executive Director, Veterans For Peace

Garett Reppenhagen is the son of a Vietnam Veteran and grandson of two World War II Veterans. He served in the U.S. Army as a Cavalry/Scout Sniper in the 1st Infantry Division. Garett completed a deployment in Kosovo on a 9-month peace-keeping mission and a combat tour in Baquaba, Iraq. Garett gained an Honorable Discharge in May of 2005 and began working as a veterans advocate and a dedicated activist. He served as the Chairman of the Board of Iraq Veterans Against the War, worked in Washington, DC, as a lobbyist and as Vice President of Public Relations for the Nobel Prize winning Veterans For America, as a Program Director for Veterans Green Jobs and was the Rocky Mountain Director for Vet Voice Foundation. Garett lives in Maine where he serves as the Executive Director for Veterans For Peace.

Saadia Qureshi

Gathering Coordinator, Preemptive Love

After graduating as an Environmental Engineer, Saadia worked for the government to ensure compliance of landfills and power generation facilities. She took a pause to raise her family and volunteer for several non-profits, ultimately discovering herself by being an active, responsible citizen in her hometown of Oviedo, Florida. Saadia believes meaningful friendships can be found in unexpected places. Her work to show neighbors how similar we are regardless of differences led her to peacemaking. Currently she works as a Gathering Coordinator at Preemptive Love where Saadia hopes to spread this message to communities nationwide. If she's not participating at an event around town, you may find Saadia picking up after her two girls, reminding her husband where he left his wallet, or saving the last three bananas for her famous banana bread.

Greta Zarro (moderator)

Organizing Director, World BEYOND War

Greta has a background in issue-based community organizing. Her experience includes volunteer recruitment and engagement, event organizing, coalition building, legislative and media outreach, and public speaking. Greta graduated as valedictorian from St. Michael’s College with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Anthropology. She previously worked as New York Organizer for leading non-profit Food & Water Watch. There, she campaigned on issues related to fracking, genetically engineered foods, climate change, and the corporate control of our common resources. Greta and her partner run Unadilla Community Farm, a non-profit organic farm and permaculture education center in Upstate New York.

Get Tickets:

Tickets are priced on a sliding scale; please choose whatever works best for you.
Note that tickets are for the entire festival – purchasing 1 ticket gets you access to all films and panel discussions throughout the festival.

Translate To Any Language