Profiles in Courage: Short Documentaries from HBO

Guests Expected

Several directors from this program expected to attend and participate in a special Q&A following the screening.


Ebola in Liberia, LGBT rights protests in Cuba, a brave Nepalese couple seeking to regain their eyesight. HBO has long been the acknowledged leader in the documentary world, and never more so than now. These inspiring short films show the unique global perspective and entertaining storytelling style that make HBO such an important contributor to film culture.

Body Team 12—shortlisted for the Academy Award for documentary short—introduces Gairma Sumo, one of a team of body collectors working in Liberia amidst the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. Often treated with suspicion and outright hostility by families who wish to perform traditional burial ceremonies for their loved ones, the men and women of Body Team 12 risk their lives to keep the disease from spreading.

The elderly couple featured in Irene Taylor Brodsky’s inspiring new short, Open Your Eyes, have been blind for years. When a mobile surgery team from the SEVA Foundation arrives in rural Nepal, the two make the day-long journey for the chance to regain their vision.

Mariela Castro, the bold daughter of the country’s current President, Raul Castro, was “born into a homophobic society.” She is now a tireless fighter for LGBT rights and the eradication of prejudice in her country and Mariela Castro’s March: Cuba’s LGBT Revolution introduces us to a rich array of stories and people as she continues to seize every opportunity to change hearts and minds. This screening is a sneak preview.

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Jon Alpert’s films include One Year in the Life of Crime and Baghdad ER. He is the co-founder of New York’s Downtown Community Television (DCTV), the country’s oldest non-profit community media center. He has won 15 Emmy Awards.

Irene Taylor Brodsky is the Emmy- and Peabody Award–winning director of Heart of the Country, Hear and Now and The Final Inch. Her work has appeared on HBO, CBS, A&E, Fox and the History Channel. Brodsky lived in Kathmandu for several years, documenting the lives of the disabled in the Himalayas.

David Darg is the co-founder of the news website RYOT. He has been a reporter for Reuters, the BBC and CNN. Darg’s previous short documentaries include Mitimetallica and Baseball in the Time of Cholera.
Film Details
  • Running time: 93
  • Print Source: HBO