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Rachel Antell

Rachel Antell

Documentary Film and Video


Rachel Antell received a Masters of Theology from Harvard Divinity School, and worked for many years on a project researching religious pluralism and spirituality in the United States. Her production experience includes two CD-ROMs: On Common Ground: World Religions in the United States, and Encarta Africana: An Encyclopedia of Black History and Culture. She is a long-time political activist, and hopes to use documentary film to affect social change.

Death on a Friendly Border

digital video

JUNE, 2001
Death on a Friendly Border explores the difficulties faced by the thousands of migrants each year in attempting to make the journey across the border. Since the mid-1990s when the United States began militarizing the US-Mexican border, an average of one person a day has died trying to cross into our country. This film attempts to put a human face on this international tragedy. The film takes place in three locations; San Pedro Chayuco, a tiny town in the mountains of Oaxaca from which we follow the story of one woman who attempted to cross the US desert with her baby; a migrant shelter in Tijuana where people live in a liminal state having been caught by Border Patrol and waiting to try again; and in the border region of the US where we hear from a human rights activist, a Border Patrol Agent, and a citizen who spends his weekends putting water in the desert.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Angelus Award, Outstanding Non-Fiction Filmmaking, Los Angeles, 2001
Best Student Documentary, San Francisco Latino Film Festival, 2001
NextFrame Film Festival, 2001
Kasseler Dokufilm and Videofest, Germany, 2001
FIDEC, Belgium, 2001
Providence Women's Film Festival, 2001
Laborfest, 2001
United Nations Film Festival, 2001
Slamdance Film Festival,2002
Havana Film Festival, 2002
DoubleTake Documentary Film Festival, 2002
San Diego Latino Film Festival, 2002
Brooklyn International Film Festival, 2002
Edgeworks Short Film Festival, 2002
Independent View,KQED-TV, 2002
Video-i, KTEH, 2002
Worldlink-TV, 2002
RTVE, Spain, 2002

A Fortune In Change

16mm color film

JUNE, 2000
A Fortune in Change is a portrait of Tracy Gary, a woman who grew up with extreme wealth and has dedicated her life to giving away her inheritance. The film explores the contradictions of Tracy's childhood which included parties, private planes, and boarding school as well as half to three quarters of each month away from her family. It then follows her evolution into an adult who has dedicated her life to creating community organizations, breaking the barrier of silence around class, and organizing other wealthy people to do the same.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

One Reel Film Festival, 2001
Film Arts Foundation 2000, Cinequest 11
Women in the Director's Chair, 2001
Broadcast on KQED Independent View, 2000-2001

Her Own Law

digital video

Co-directed by Jennifer Petrucelli
MARCH, 2000
Her Own Law is about a woman's right to choose how and where to have her baby and the ways in which that choice is threatened. The video explores the practice and philosophy of homebirth midwifery -- and considers ways in which doctors and midwives might work together to provide a continuum of care for all women.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Women In the Director's Chair, 2001
Providence Women's Film Festival, 2001
Tiburon Film Festival, 2002

Not a Luxury

16mm black and white film


Not a Luxury is a portrait of two Bay Area spoken word artists, Roxanne Hanna-Ware and Kev the Messenger. The film focuses on the art form and message of Afrocentric poetry, and the meaning it has had in the lives of the two artists.