New Day Films 50th Anniversary at Duke


New Day Films Celebration

Founders of New Day Films, from left: Liane Brandon, Jim Klein, Julia Reichert, and Amalie Rosthchild
Founders of New Day Films, from left: Liane Brandon, Jim Klein, Julia Reichert, and Amalie R. Rothschild

New Day Films was founded in 1971 by four feminist filmmakers, Julia Reichert, Jim Klein, Liane Brandon, and Amalie Rothschild, who were frustrated by mainstream distribution channels.  The ground breaking co-op would grow to over 300 titles and 140 filmmakers today.

Duke University's Archive of Documentary Arts and Screen/Society, along with the Power Plant Gallery, are proud to present four days of screenings and discussions celebrating more than 50 years of New Day Films.

The Archive of Documentary Arts at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library is the home of the New Day Films collection, which includes the original founder's films and the ever-expanding digital films collection. While New Day turned 50 in 2021, it is with great pleasure that we able to gather again in the Ruby Theater this October 2022 to explore some of the films from the archive.

Generous support for this program is provided by: Asian American & Diaspora Studies Program, Cinematic Arts, MFA Experimental and Documentary Arts Program, and Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History & Culture. And a special thanks to: Forum for Scholars and Publics, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, The Center for Documentary Studies, and Duke Arts/Vice Provost for the Arts. 


Wednesday, October 19th, 7pm - VIRTUAL

Virtual discussion with New Day Films founders Julia Reichert, Jim Klein, Liane Brandon, and Amalie R. Rothschild.

Register here for this event.


Thursday, October 20th, 7pm - FOUNDERS' FILMS

All screenings are in person at the Rubenstein Arts Center, Duke University (2020 Campus Drive). Masks will be required. See our COVID-19 information at the bottom of this page. All events in this series are free.


Growing Up Female, 1971, 50mins
by Jim Klein and Julia Reichert
illustrated background with blue and grey tones with muted salmon colored flowers, and black and white photo of a woman, and title of film

Growing Up Female is the very first film of the modern women's movement. Produced in 1971, it caused controversy and exhilaration. It was widely used by consciousness-raising groups to generate interest and help explain feminism to a skeptical society. The film looks at female socialization through a personal look into the lives of six women, age 4 to 35, and the forces that shape them--teachers, counselors, advertising, music and the institution of marriage. It offers us a chance to see how much has changed--and how much remains the same. Purchased by more than 400 universities and libraries.

Anything You Want To Be, 1971, 8mins
by Liane Brandon
A young woman at a podium holding a sign that says Sandy for Class President, but president is crossed out and instead Secretary is written underneath

Anything You Want To Be was one of the earliest and most popular films of the Women's Movement. Made in 1971, this groundbreaking film about a teenager's humorous collision with gender role stereotypes was one of the first to explore the external pressures and the more subtle, internal pressures a girl faces in finding her identity. In a series of comical vignettes, a bright high school girl finds that, despite her parents' assurance that she can be "anything she wants to be," she is repeatedly foiled by social expectations and media stereotypes. As a part of the growing women’s movement, this film helped give voice to a generation of women whose expectations, opportunities and career choices were extremely limited. Anything You Want To Be is a founding film of New Day Films. It was restored with a grant from the Women's Film Preservation Fund and was recently honored with screenings at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, Barbican Centre in London and at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Betty Tells Her Story, 1972, 20mins
by Liane Brandon
Different portrait of the same woman and the title of the film

Betty Tells Her Story is the poignant tale of beauty, identity and a dress - and is considered a classic of documentary filmmaking. Made in 1972, it was the first independent film of the women’s movement to explore the issues of body image, self-worth and beauty in our culture - and to explore the ways in which clothing and appearance affect a woman’s identity.

It is the saga of Betty's search for "the perfect dress"- how she found just the right one, felt absolutely transformed, and… never got to wear it. Then Betty tells her story again. This time, her feelings emerge and the story is strikingly different. The contrast between the two stories is haunting.

It Happens To Us, 1972, 32mins
by Amalie R. Rothschild
Nine Squares with portraits of different women

First released in 1972, It Happens To Us remains the classic plea for a woman's legal right to choose.Each of the main four methods are fully described by a physician and pertinent medical statistics are interspersed throughout. It presents the most cogent arguments, through the personal stories of a wide range of women both rich and poor, young and older, black and white, married and unmarried, as to why ending a pregnancy must remain an available choice. In particular, it reminds people of the consequences of when abortion was illegal and what life was like before the Roe vs Wade 1973 Supreme Court decision.


Friday, October 21st, 7pm - FEATURE FILM, plus Q&A

All screenings are in person at the Rubenstein Arts Center, Duke University (2020 Campus Drive). Masks will be required. See our COVID-19 information at the bottom of this page. All events in this series are free.


Far East, Deep South, 2020, 76mins, plus Q&A with filmmaker Larissa Lam
by Baldwin Chiu and Larissa Lam
A young Chinese man with a camera photographing the Welcome to Mississippi sign

Far East Deep South sheds light on the history of Chinese immigrants in the American South and the discrimination they faced during the late 1800s to mid-1900s through the emotional journey of Charles Chiu and his family as they travel from California to Mississippi to find answers about Charles’ father, K.C. Lou. With the help of local residents and historians, the family learns about the interconnected relationship between the Black and Chinese communities in the Jim Crow era and the impact of restrictive immigration policies that kept their family apart for generations. Through a series of stunning discoveries at the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum and the National Archives, the Chiu family also uncover how deep their roots run in America. This unforgettable story offers a poignant perspective on race, immigration, and American identity. The film features notable leaders, authors and historians such as U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu, Dr. Gordon Chang, Dr. Jane Hong, Dr. John Jung, Dr. Robert Voss, Tyree Boyd-Pates and Past National President of Chinese Americans Citizens Alliance, Carolyn Chan.


Saturday, October 22nd, 2pm - Shorts Program

All screenings are in person at the Rubenstein Arts Center, Duke University (2020 Campus Drive). Masks will be required. See our COVID-19 information at the bottom of this page. All events in this series are free.


Deadly Deception - General Electric, Nuclear Weapons, and Our Environment, 1991, 27mins
by Debra Chasnoff
Poster showing a skull and title Deadly Deception, with text

Driven by intensely personal testimony and painstaking research, Deadly Deception exposes what GE never wanted its customers to know: a shocking pattern of negligence and misinformation spanning several decades. These tragic stories are answered by the inspiring activism of the GE Boycott, a grassroots campaign run by corporate accountability organization, Corporate Accountability International, to pressure GE out of the nuclear weapons industr. Nine months after this film won the Oscar® for Best Documentary Short Subject, GE pulled out of its work in the nuclear weapons industry, and organizers of the GE boycott declared victory in their grassroots campaign.


A Cerebral Game, 2017, 7mins
by Reid Davenport
photo of a baseball base out of focus, with a fence in the foreground in focus

Baseball was so much more than a game for Reid Davenport when he was growing up. It was about belonging and being a teammate, despite having cerebral palsy. While Reid didn’t play, he relished talking about his beloved New York Yankees with his teammates, eating sunflower seeds and yelling advice to players. This was the closest Reid would ever come to playing the game he loved. However, as Reid entered his teenage years, he started to feel increasingly like an outcast. In this intimately personal film, A Cerebral Game, Reid explores the parallel between his adolescent loneliness and his ultimate rejection of the game he loved. Reid narrates his own story and uses his shaky movements to mirror both the physical and emotional experience of going through adolescence with a disability.

Bachelorette, 34, 2009, 30mins
by Kara Herold
illustrated pink packground, top of wedding cade with figure,

Kara, I just remembered, I met the perfect man for you He's 30, you're 30, it's perfect! The only problem is that he's Catholic and Republican, but that's nothing that can't be changed. CALL ME! Kara's mother is obsessed with getting her daughter married. Kara, a single artist and filmmaker in San Francisco, has her doubts. Through the microcosm of her often hilarious interactions with her mom, Kara Herold's Bachelorette, 34 examines the pressure society puts on women to find "Mr. Right."

Cruisin' J-Town, 1975, 24mins
by Duane Kubo and Visual Communications
A young Japanese man playing the saxaphone

In Cruisin' J-Town, the roots of the popular jazz fusion band Hiroshima are evident in the opening scenes of pre-redevelopment Little Tokyo. Against a vibrant backdrop of community gatherings, daily interaction with people of various backgrounds, and band rehearsals, the group members discuss the sociological and cultural pulse of the early 1970s. Dan Kuramoto describes the political movements of the 1960s out of which Asian American music and art emerged. June Kuramoto relates being ridiculed in her youth for playing the Japanese koto, while percussionist Johnny Mori delves into the influence of African American, Latino and rock music on his art. A revealing dialog between Dan Kuramoto and El Teatro Campesino’s Danny Valdez underscores the meaning of pan-ethnic unity, and a spirited, cross-cultural rendition of El Teatro Campersino’s “America de los Indios” closes the film on an inspiring note. Cruisin' J-Town is the creation of Duane Kubo, one of the founding members of the vanguard Asian American media arts organization, Visual Communications. The film, one of the most popular titles in the Visual Communications library, is considered a classic of its time.

Becoming Johanna, 2016, 27mins
by Jonathan Skurnik
A young transwoman sitting on a couch talking to the camera

How does it feel when your mom prays everyday for you to be someone else? That’s the struggle Johanna, a 16 year old transgender Latina faces. At first her mom thinks she’s confused, or joking, but as Johanna’s transformation continues, her mom simply can’t handle the fact that her son is Becoming Johanna. After prayer doesn’t change anything, Johanna’s mom tries therapists and a mental hospital in her quest to “fix” her daughter's gender identity. While she was born a boy, Johanna is a young woman on the inside and nothing but living a lie can change that. Becoming Johanna is a compelling story that follows the struggles transgender teens face every day. In the end, Johanna refuses to let her mother’s rejection define her life and she continues the journey toward becoming comfortable in her own skin. Johanna’s story is as beautiful as she is, and will leave you hopeful that we can build communities that accept all of our children just the way they are.



As we welcome audiences back for in-person screening events, we are prioritizing the health and safety of our extended community. Keeping each other safe during events will require collaboration and we are grateful for your support. Screen/Society and the Rubenstein Arts Center will adhere to all university, local, and state regulations on and off campus, which are subject to change on short notice depending on public health conditions.

Vaccination Status: We strongly encourage audience members to be fully vaccinated or have a recent negative PCR test before attending an event.  Duke University currently requires all students and employees to be vaccinated. More information on Duke University’s COVID-19 response.

Masking: We require masks for all indoor screenings. Current Duke University guidelines for campus visitors apply to all presentations on campus. Don’t have a mask? We’ll supply one. Please keep your mask on throughout the screening event.

Stay Home If You Are Feeling Sick: If you are feeling or showing symptoms of COVID-19 or if you believe you might have come into contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, please stay home.

Seating: For our screenings, seating is based on a first-come basis. We encourage everyone to be respectful during performances and maintain distancing as they feel comfortable.

Enhanced Cleaning: Venues on Duke University’s campus are operating under restricted access and receive enhanced cleaning and sanitization of high-touch surfaces. Duke University venue ventilation is in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Hand Hygiene: Hand sanitizer stations are positioned throughout campus venues for your convenience.

Healthy Team: All employees and vendors are required to be symptom free before entering the building, as well as wear masks at all times, and frequently wash their hands during shifts.




Archive of Documentary Arts, Screen/Society, Power Plant Gallery


Asian American & Diaspora Studies Program; Cinematic Arts; MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts; Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History & Culture; Duke Arts

A young woman at a podium holding a sign that says Sandy for Class President, but president is crossed out and instead Secretary is written underneath


Caitlin M. Kelly