International Rescue Committee (IRC)

International Documentary Film Series

Meet three courageous people in three riveting films at the 7th Annual International Documentary Film Series.  All films are on Mondays at 7pm.  

General Tickets
Series Pass:   $35 
Individual Ticket:   $15

Student or IRC Volunteer Tickets 
Series Pass:   $25 
Student/IRC Volunteer:   $10

MapTheaterPurchase tickets on line through our secure check out page.   Please purchase online ticket before 3:30pm on the day of the film.

The International Documentary Film Series will be held at La Jolla Village Cinemas (Landmark) at 8879 Villa La Jolla Drive (near 5 fwy and Nobel).

The International Documentary Film Series is a benefit for the IRC in San Diego. Thanks to a generous sponsor, 100% of ticket sales will go to the IRC in San Diego.  

Omo Child - The River and the Bush   
Monday, June 1, 2015 at 7pm

Omo Child: The River and the Bush is a documentary film which tells the amazing true story of a young man’s journey to end the ancient practice known as Mingi in the Omo Valley, Ethiopia. Mingi means curse and any child who is thought to be Mingi must be killed according to ancient cultural traditions. Lale Labuko, from the Kara tribe, was convinced that no curse existed. He set out to change this practice in the Omo Valley.  This film follows Lale over a five year period as he returns to his village and attempts to end this practice.

Speakers:  John Rowe (Director) and Lale Labuko 

John Rowe has spent many years traveling the world and photographing some of its most intriguing people and cultures. This includes Southeast Asia, India, Mongolia, China, Japan and Africa. In 2004, his love for people and their cultures led him to Southwest Ethiopia and the tribes of the Omo Valley. He has since made many trips to The Omo, photographing and documenting the life and struggles of the tribal people – often with Lale Labuko as his guide.

Lale Labuko, age 30, was born into the Kara tribe in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley and was one of the first of his tribe to receive a formal education. This exposure to the world outside of the Omo Valley led Lale to realize the devastation of Mingi and the critical importance of ending this outdated tribal practice.  Outlawing – and stopping – Mingi has become Lale’s life mission. As you will see in Omo Child, he is working hard to make sure his generation of tribal members brings an end to Mingi forever.  Lale divides his time between Ethiopia and the United States where he is a student at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. He is married and has two young children. 


Special Dine In Fundraiser!  Before seeing Omo Child, have dinner (or just chips and guacamole) at the Chipotle Mexican Grill at La Jolla Village Square (across Nobel Drive).  Mention the IRC when you order.  Chipotle will give the IRC in San Diego 50% of the proceeds from customers who mention IRC from 5 to 9pm that evening.   Chipotle is located at 8657 Villa La Jolla Drive.



The Defector - Escape from North Korea 
Monday, May 18, 2015 at 7pm

Would you risk your life for freedom?  Dragan is a human smuggler who leads North Korean defectors across borders for a living.  Filmed undercover, this film follows Dragan and the defectors on a perilous journey and explores universal questions about human rights, smuggling, and the pursuit of freedom. 

Speaker:  Professor Stephan Haggard

Stephan Haggard, Ph.D., is the Director of the Korea-Pacific Program and Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at UC San Diego.    

Professor Haggard has written extensively on the political economy of North Korea with Marcus Noland, including Famine in North Korea: Markets, Aid, and Reform (2007) and Witness to Transformation: Refugee Insights into North Korea (2011).  Haggard is the co-author of the North Korea: Witness to Transformation blog at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Professor Haggard is the editor of the Journal of East Asian Studies and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  



#Chicago Girl    
Monday, May 11, 2015 at 7pm

Ala'a, a 19-year-old student in Chicago becomes involved in Syrian protests from her childhood bedroom using social media, Skype, and camera phones. What began as peaceful protests escalated into violence. This film follows Ala'a and her Syrian friends as they present footage to the world about what is going on in Syria.

'#chicagoGirl: The Social Network Takes On A Dictator' from on Vimeo.

Speaker:  Ala'a Basatneh 

Currently a college student, Ala'a Basatneh has accomplished things way beyond her years as you will see in #ChicagoGirl.  She is majoring in Political Science and will graduate in December 2015.  She is a Syrian American and is very proud of her culture and past, even teaching Arabic at a local community center.  Her ultimate goal is to build a bridge between the Arab world and the United States.  

For her work to help Syrians, she was named a Human Rights Hero of 2014 by Amnesty International.    



These films represent the views of contributing documentary filmmakers and do not represent formal positions of the International Rescue Committee.


Click here to see the list of films shown in the past.

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