What do you call artists who advocate? Artivists, of course. The filmmakers on show at the Artivist Film Festival (sixth annual, in fact) are on a mission to raise public awareness of global causes, from animal rights to preservation of the environment — and the entire shebang is absolutely free. The scheduled films include: Peter Bratt's La Mission (Dec. 1, 8 p.m.), set in the San Francisco district of the same name, follows the turmoil between a homophobic Latino dad and his gay son; Arthur C. Smith's documentary Ice Bears of Beaufort (Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m.) captures the quiet habitat of Alaskan polar bears; Bryan Single's Children of War (Dec. 2, 9 p.m.) chronicles the rehabilitation of child soldiers from the Lord's Resistance Army of Uganda; Douglas Tirola's An Omar Broadway Film (Dec. 3, 7:15 p.m.), a collaborative work with inmate Omar Broadway, details life inside the maximum-security gang unit of Newark, New Jersey's Northern State Prison; Brian Malone's Intelligent Life (Dec. 3, 9:30 p.m.) examines, photo-essay style, the unintended consequences of America's life of convenience; Gerard Ungerman and Audrey Brohy's Belonging (Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m.) warns of spiraling populations and vanishing resources; Matt Katsolis' Dia De Luz (Day of Light) (Dec. 4, 9 p.m.) tours a Nicaraguan trash-dump community; Brandon Bond's VICKtory to the Underdog (Dec. 5, 1 p.m.) reports on the tattoo artist's dog-rescue efforts. The festival concludes with the 2009 Artivist Awards in the categories of International Human Rights, Children's Advocacy, Environmental Preservation and Animal Advocacy.

Dec. 1-5, 2009

LA Weekly