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Justice Film Festival Opens at the Sheen Center Oct. 6 With Morgan Freeman’s National Geographic Series ‘The Story of Us’

The Justice Film Festival returns to The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in Lower Manhattan Friday to Sunday, Oct. 6-8, with a selection of films that highlight conscience and activism.

The festival opens Friday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. with Morgan Freeman and executive producer Lori McCreary’s “The Story of Us,” the follow-up to the critically acclaimed National Geographic series, “The Story of God.” “The Story of Us” is a journey of cultural exploration, including questions about what makes us who we are. Ms. McCreary and Freeman will participate in a talk-back after the screening.

The festival spotlights the works of innovative filmmakers committed to telling stories of moral and ethical resonance. It continues Saturday, Oct. 7, with documentary features and shorts that explore the environment, education, autism, personal struggle and redemption.

The early afternoon session begins at 1 p.m. with a nine-minute short, “Cycle of Change,” by Sarah Frei. Set in Guatemala, the film is the story of a woman who expands her personal horizon through the pursuit of bicycle-pedal technology.

“Behold the Earth,” by director David Conover, shows the disconnection between “America and the outdoors” and proposes informed dialogue between faith and science as a means to heal the divide. Grammy Award-winning musician Dirk Powell scores the film.

The late afternoon session, beginning at 4 p.m., includes director Lara Stolman’s “Swim Team,” which chronicles the rise of Jersey Hammerheads, a competitive swim team with autistic teen recruits. The film looks at their moving quest for inclusion, independence and a life beyond limitations.

The evening session begins at 7 p.m. with “Peripheral,” a 13-minute short about artist Jimmy Abegg, who is adapting to the loss of his sight, even as he expands his artistic vision.

Director Joseph Campo closes Saturday’s screenings with “Outcasts,” a highly anticipated and profoundly moving documentary about the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. It follows the members of the religious order “to the margins” where they serve the lost and forgotten in Central America, New York, London and Ireland in accordance with the call of the Gospel.

Sessions on Sunday, Oct. 8, take place at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. They include the exclusive screening of the PBS feature “Sacred.” Academy Award-winning director Thomas Lennon and 40 filmmaking teams capture the sights and sounds of faith practices throughout the globe.

For a complete list of films: https://sheencenter.org/shows/justice/

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