2020 Festival

Archived: Freeload

MICHIGAN premiere! Director in attendance.
Cost: $5
Tickets: at the door only
Location: 1215 Turner St.

*Alcohol offered at this event

Mustang Bar /

Documentary Feature, Short Film

Film Information


Over a year of traveling, the young riders in FREELOAD seek adventure and answers on America’s freight trains. Pony Boy and Rachel nurture their new relationship through wanton travel until they find themselves stuck in Texas, working low-wage jobs, when finally, they find the means to escape.

Blackbird and Skrappe are an unstoppable duo with big dreams and a broken past. They feed out of dumpsters and boldly ride any train car they want. In New York City, they’re unmoved by the Occupy Wall Street movement. They visit Blackbird’s grandmother, and then meet up with Skrappe’s brother, Christmas, to free him from his social ties. And Dice, the soft-spoken mystic that almost seems immortal, travels through some of the country’s most pristine landscapes as he guides us through his life on the trains.

In the end, the subjects of FREELOAD travel to the sugar beet harvest in North Dakota, where transients around the country hope to fatten their pockets for the winter.

Daniel Skaggs / 2013 / 65 minutes / English / USA

Film Information

Imported from China

This documentary, created by Filmmakers Troy Hale and Associate Professor Geri Zeldes Alumit, follows several Chinese international students who are grappling with finding a place in an American universitand within the larger U.S. context. The film demonstrates how relationships are nurtured and shaped across cultural boundaries.

In 2006, only 96 undergraduate students at MSU were from China. This fall, the numbers are expected to soar to more than 4,000 or 13 percent of the undergrad population; this means one out of eight undergrads will be from China.  MSU is not alone. Colleges and universities throughout the country are seeing an influx of students from China. Of the top 20 universities with the largest number of Chinese international students, eight are from the Big Ten.

Nearly 200,000 Chinese international students are studying in the United States, accounting for 25% of the international student population.

The economic impact of Chinese international students was about $14 billion last year, and politicians say that the increase of students from China has been a significant factor in the economic recovery of the U.S.

Seri Alumit Zeldes, Troy Hale / 2013 / 31 minutes / English, Mandarin / USA, China