Join us for the new 2018-19 season of this popular documentary film series that brings people of all ages together for screenings and community-driven conversations. We invite local residents, school groups and organizations to learn about and discuss important issues and newsworthy topics. Meet new people, share stories, and join the conversation.

Free tickets to these community screenings are available at the Rafael box office and online, please click below to reserve your seat(s)


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Not everyone who died for their country had to die for their country. The widow of a Navy helicopter pilot killed in a 2014 training exercise spurs an investigation that uncovers a long history of institutional failings that led to her husband’s death. Told through the eyes of survivors–pilots, mechanics and family members– viewers are taken on a journey from a single helicopter squadron into the heart of the murky inner workings of the American defense establishment. The first film to come from the Investigative Reporting Program at UC-Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism is an expose that is both poignant and revealing. Director: Zachary Stauffer. (US 2018) 78 minutes plus discussion.

Discussion and Q&A immediately following screening
Director Zachary Stauffer
Producer Jason Paladino

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Eric Butler, a Hurricane Katrina survivor and pioneer of the restorative justice movement, relocates to Oakland, where he put his no-nonsense approach into practice counseling vulnerable Black and Latino teenagers at a high school in Richmond. Shot over two years, the film follows Butler’s impassioned efforts to nurture troubled youth and keep them in school, fighting racial discrimination by replacing snap suspensions and expulsions with gritty, intimate and honest mentoring. But when his own teenage son is arrested, he begins to question his methods and ability as both a teacher and a father. Circles is an inspirational portrait of a father desperate to provide his son with the leadership and compassion he never received from his own.

Discussion and Q&A immediately following screening
Confirmed Guest: Eric Butler, film subject, restorative justice counselor
Invited Guest: Cassidy Friedman, director



Set against the backdrop of the physician shortage and opioid epidemic in rural America, The Providers follows three healthcare providers in northern New Mexico. Amidst personal struggles that at times reflect those of their patients, the journeys of the providers unfold as they work to reach rural Americans who would otherwise be left out of the healthcare system. With intimate access, the documentary shows the transformative power of providers’ relationships with marginalized patients.

Discussion and Q&A immediately following screening
Matt Willis, MD, MPH, –  Marin County Public Health Officer
Steven Siegel  – Chief Executive Officer at Coastal Health Alliance
Gabriel Klapman, MD – Coastal Health Alliance
Dr. Heather Carlberg – Psychiatrist

The film will be preceded by:

Dignity at a Monumental Scale
Director Kelly Whalen

When images of everyday Navajo life began appearing at a monumental scale on abandoned buildings, roadside stands and water towers across the Four Corners region, it was a surprise for many in the community to discover it was the work of Chip Thomas, a long-time resident known by many as a healer of another kind. (8 min.)

Additional funding for this program was provided by ITVS and the Independent Lens Pop-Up Innovation Fund

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HIGH SCHOOL 9-1-1 chronicles a year in the life of an ambulance service in Darien, Connecticut that just happens to be the only one in the nation run by high school students.This one-of-a-kind organization services 20,000 residents, 365 days a year, 24/7 and responds to over 1,500 emergency calls annually. The foundation of Darien EMS–Post 53 is the empowerment of young people through adult and peer mentorship. “Posties” are taught a multitude of managerial, critical thinking, and emergency medical skills and then given the responsibility to implement what they have learned by actually running their own EMS organization.

Discussion and Q&A immediately following screening
Guest: Director/Producer/Editor Tim Warren

Tim Warren was a member of Darien EMS–Post 53 from 1982 to 1985 and served as its VP of Operations his senior year of high school.

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Creative sparks fly when young Swazi orphans are invited to tell their own story, inspired by harsh life experience and rich imagination. Famed South African storyteller Gcina Mhlophe encourages them to envision a character and draw, write, and enact the adventure. Together they invent Liyana and recount her dangerous quest to rescue her twin brothers, which is brought to life by gorgeous 3D and 2D animation. Directors Aaron and Amanda Kopp highlight the simple joy and beauty of the children at work and play in their group home on a farm. The horrors they’ve faced—hunger, abuse, violence, death of parents from HIV/AIDS—haven’t diminished their creativity and willingness to hope. Through collective storytelling, the orphans deepen their resilience by shaping Liyana’s quest and becoming heroes and heroines in their own lives.

Discussion and Q&A immediately following screening
Guest: Director Aaron Kopp

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FROM BAGHDAD TO THE BAY follows the epic journey of Ghazwan Alsharif, an Iraqi refugee and former translator for the U.S. military. Wrongfully accused of being a double agent, tortured by the U.S. military and ostracized from family and country, we follow Ghazwan as he struggles to rebuild his life in the San Francisco Bay Area while coming out as an openly gay activist.

Discussion and Q&A immediately following screening
Guests: Director Erin Palmquist and film subject Ghazwan Alsharif

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INVENTING TOMORROW follows six young scientists from Indonesia, Hawaii, India and Mexico as they tackle some of the most complex environmental issues facing humanity today – right in their own backyards. Each student is preparing original scientific research that he or she will defend at ISEF, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Framed against the backdrop of the severe environmental threats we now face, we immerse the audience in a global view of the planetary crisis, through the eyes of the generation that will be affected by it most. Program 104 min + Q&A

Q&A immediately following screening
Guest: Sahithi Pingali

Sahithi Pingali is the 18-year-old creator of WaterInsights, an innovative technology-based platform for crowdsourcing water monitoring. She is currently expanding WaterInsights further through her non-profit organization, the Satkaro People Foundation, and has won several national and international awards for her work. Sahithi recently completed high school at Inventure Academy in Bangalore, India and is in her first year at Stanford University.

Thank you to our Community Partner Marin County Office Of Education

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Follow the first government-sanctioned truth and reconciliation commission in the U.S., which investigates the devastating impact of Maine’s child welfare practices on Native American communities. With exclusive access to this groundbreaking process and never-before-seen footage, Dawnland reveals the untold narrative of Indigenous child removal in the United States.

Q&A immediately following screening
Guests: Antionette Fabela

Antoinette Fabela is of Ojibwa, Aztec and Mayo ancestry and lives in Auburn, California where she works as an Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) CORE trainer, ICWA Qualified Expert Witness (QEW), advocate, and consultant. She has provided QEW training for the American Indian Resource Center in Oakland, the National Indian Justice Center in Santa Rosa, and other ICWA training for individual tribes in Northern and Southern California, and she worked as an Emergency Response/On-Going Native Services Social Worker in Placer County for 15 years.

Co-Presented with Museum for the American Indian
Located in Marin County and situated on a site of an actual Miwok Village, the Museum is dedicated to providing the people of Northern California with programs and exhibits that deepen understanding and appreciation of Native American cultures.


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Life After Life follows the stories of Harrison, Noel, and Chris as they return home from San Quentin State Prison. After spending most of their lives incarcerated, they each struggle to overcome personal demons and reconstruct their fractured lives. Grappling with day-to-day challenges and striving for success, they work to reconnect with family and provide for themselves for the first time in their adult lives. As their stories unfold over weeks, months and years, the precarious nature of freedom after incarceration in America is revealed.

Q&A immediately following screening
Guests: Director Tamara Perkins; Film Subject Noel Valdivia, Sr.


Effective March 1, we have changed the ticketing system for Community Cinema. Community Cinema tickets will now be processed through the Rafael Box Office rather than through Eventbrite, in order to help us better streamline our systems.

Community Cinema tickets are still free, but you must have a ticket to attend the screening. Please select the “Print-at-Home” option when ordering your ticket online, and then either print your ticket at home to bring with you, or show it on your mobile device at the door.

Please arrive earlyfor all Community Cinema screenings. Since this is a free screening, we experience many no-shows and must overbook the theater in order to compensate. Your ticket will not guarantee you a seat if we are already full when you arrive.

You will no longer receive reminder emails about your attendance or asking if you need to cancel, so if you register for a screening but find you are unable to attend, we would be extremely grateful if you would email us at [email protected] to cancel your reservation so we can offer your seat to another patron (and help us pare down the number of aforementioned no-shows).

Thanks for your support of Community Cinema!