Author Archives: Labor Film Database


As of October 9, 2019. Festivals in italics have not been confirmed as still being active. If you have info about a missing labor film festival — or updated info on one of those listed below — please email

Barre, Vermont: Labor Film Night at the Socialist Labor Party Hall
Bilbao, Spain: LAN Festival audiovisual obrero
Bristol, South West England: Bristol Radical Film Festival
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Construir Cine Film Festival
Dublin, Ireland: Dublin Workers Film Festival
Dublin, Ireland: Progressive Film Club
Dundalk, MD: Epic Moments In U.S. Workers’ History
East Lansing, Michigan: MSU Film Studies Series on “Work/Place” 
Glasgow, Scotland: GMB Glasgow General Apex Branch Labor Films

Haifa, Israel: Haifa International Labor Film Festival
Homestead, Pennsylvania: Battle of Homestead Foundation Movie Program
Honolulu, Hawaii: LaborFest Hawaii
Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir: Turkey International Labor Film & Video Festival
Liverpool, England: North West Labour Film Festival 
London, UK:
London Labour Film Festival
London, UK: London Socialist Film Co-op
Madrid, Spain: Muestra de Cine y Trabajo (Labor Film Program)
Malmö, Sweden: Nordic Labour Film Festival
Milan (Sesto San Giovanni), Italy: Labour Film Festival
Missoula, Montana: Montana Labor Film Festival
New South Wales, Australia:  Australian International Labour Film Festival
New York City, New York: Labor Goes To The Movies
New York City, New York: Workers Unite! Film Festival
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Americans in Struggle
Pioneer Valley, MA: Pioneer Valley Labor Film Festival
Rochester, New York:
Rochester Labor Film Series
San Diego, California: May Day Workers Film Festival
San Francisco, California: LaborFest International Working Class Film and Video Festival
Santa Cruz, Monterey & Santa Clara, California: Reel Work May Day Labor Film Festival
Santa Fe, New Mexico: New Mexico Labor Film Festival
Sao Paolo, Brazil: Brazilian International Labour Film Festival
Seattle, WA: MayWorks
Taipei, Taiwan: Taiwan International Labor Film Festival
Tolpuddle, UK: Tolpuddle Radical Film Festival
Vicenza, Italy: Working Title Film Festival
Washington, DC:
DC Labor FilmFest 


Highly Recommended Labor Films INDEX

This list of classic labor films is drawn from recommendations by experienced labor film festival organizers; if you have suggestions for additions, please submit them in the comments section below or email them to us at

At The River I Stand (1993)
The Axe (Le Couperet) [2005]
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Bound for Glory (1976)
Burn! (1969)
Baran (2001)
Brassed Off (1996)
Black Girl (La Noire de…) (1965)
Bread and Roses (2000)
Billy Elliot (2000)
Cradle Will Rock (2000)
Chicken Run (2000)
Clerks (1994)
Chop Shop (2007)
The Company Men (2010)
For Man Must Work or The End of Work (2000)
The Full Monty (1997)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Great Pretenders, The (2007)
The Gronholm Method (El Método) [2005]
H-2 Worker (1990)
Happy Lands, The (2012)
Harlan County, USA (1976)
How Green Was My Valley (1941)
Hula Girls (2006)
Human Resources (1999)
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
It’s a Free World (2007)
The Killing Floor (1985)
Live Nude Girls Unite! (2000)
Life and Debt (2001)
Man Push Cart (2005)
Mondays in the Sun (2002)
Modern Times (1936)
Matewan (1987)
9 to 5 (1980)
Native Land (1942)
The Navigators (2001)
Norma Rae (1979)
North Country (2005)
Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037 (2007)
Nothing But A Man (1964)
The Organizer (I Compagni) [1963]
Office Space (1999)
Our Daily Bread  (1934)
Outsourced (2006)
Riffraff (1936)
Roger & Me (1989)
Reds (1981)
Silkwood (1983)
The Soul’s Haven (Il posto dell’anima) [2003]
Salt of the Earth (1954)
Strike (Stachka) [1925]
Time Out (2001)
Uprising of ’34 (1995)
The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006)
Work Hard, Play Hard (Violence des échanges en milieu tempéré) [2006]
Workingman’s Death (2006)
The Young Karl Marx [Le Jeune Karl Marx; Der Junge Karl Marx)


Working Title Film Festival

Working Title Film Festival

Latest: October 1-5, 2019
Location: Vicenza, Italy
Founded: 2016

Synopsis: Film festival about work, with a view to present independent audiovisual production about the world of work, and the several topics related to it, through original points of view and languages.
The goal is to offer visibility to not-mainstream audiovisual works and to the emerging cinema, building a network that links independent filmmakers and the audience.
The festival wishes to provide a contemporary point of view on the latest employment models and conditions, focusing not only on their negative aspects, and bond to precariousness, fragmentation, and a reduction of the workers’ rights, but also creative opportunities.

We are an independent festival, promoted by LIES – Laboratorio dell’inchiesta economica e sociale, an association active in the Veneto region (mainly in the cities of Padova and Vicenza) since 2011.

The 4th edition of the festival in 2019 featured an international competition of 20 films and with 30 hosts from 10 different countries besides Italy.

Artistic direction: Marina Resta;
Press office: Giulio Todescan;


Night Shift

Comedy/Sex comedy ‧ 1h 46m

Chuck (Henry Winkler) has given up life as a stockbroker because it was too stressful. Now, he works an easy gig as a night shift attendant at a New York City morgue. His co-worker, Bill Blazejowski (Michael Keaton), on the other hand, is always looking to make a quick buck. When Bill finds out that Chuck’s prostitute neighbor, Belinda (Shelley Long), needs a place to do her work, he convinces Chuck to turn the morgue into a brothel where they can work as her pimps.

Release date: July 30, 1982 (USA)
Director: Ron Howard
Screenplay: Babaloo Mandel, Lowell Ganz
Music composed by: Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, David Foster

(NYT) This Ron Howard comedy takes the mantra “Do what you love” to some zany and enterprising places. The high-concept idea is a slam dunk (two guys run a prostitution ring out of a morgue), but its stars, Henry Winkler and Michael Keaton, bring so much charm to their odd-couple roles that they move them beyond cliché. While the movie has plenty of ’80s sex comedy silliness (and songs by Burt Bacharach), its pimps (or “love brokers,” as Keaton’s character calls them) take a respectful career-style approach to sex work, seeing that their employees get health and dental insurance, while also giving them an ownership stake in a fast-food restaurant. A 401(k) may not be far behind. MEKADO MURPHY


50 Days

2019; 16m

Short documentary that tells the story of the Chicago Hotel Workers strike, from the strike vote to the settlement with the last major hotel chain

Eve Saxon
312 209.1208




The Price of Free (Kailash)

Kailash (original title)

1h 32min | Documentary | 2 November 2018 (USA)

The story of how Kailash Satyarthi launched a built a global movement to rescue children from slavery.


Entire film available online here

Initial releaseJanuary 18, 2018

Docs & the World

Barcelona blog devoted to social and environmental documentaries.

“We have just started a series of posts about films that deal with the question of work in capitalism. We think these films can help to build up the working class conscience so sorely needed nowadays. Unless there is a new, global working class consciousness, underprivileged classes (increasingly extended) are doomed to be crushed by the sheer destructive power of capitalism. With this post we begin an overview of documentary and fiction films that can help to build up, through denunciation and example, that conscience and solidarity more needed than ever.”

Joan Sole

Bitter Money

2016 ‧ Documentary ‧ 2h 43m

Migrants come to the city of East China looking for a better life, but instead find few opportunities and poor living conditions that create violence and oppression.

Initial release: September 9, 2016
Director: Wang Bing
Screenplay: Wang Bing
Cast: Ling Ling, Huang Lei
Awards: Orizzonti Award for Best Screenplay
Nominations: Orizzonti Award for Best Actor, Orizzonti Award for Best Actress

‘Bitter Money’ and ‘Bitter Rice’: Migrant Workers Face Toil and Trouble


The Great Strike 1917

70 minutes.

Documentary about events which shaped Australian society and the labor movement for a century and beyond.

Thousands had stopped work, the government recruited volunteers to break the strike, allowing them to bear arms; unions were deregistered and union leaders charged with conspiracy. It was a time of violent emotions, state violence and individual acts of violence by and against strikers. A striker was shot and killed. A filmmaker had his film embargoed. It was Sydney, 1917.

The world was in the grip of “The Great War”. Rail and tram employees had been forced to work longer hours, with reduced wages and conditions. With the introduction of a new American ‘timecard’ system, tramway and railway workers in inner Sydney walked off the job in protest, triggering the strike.

The stoppage became the biggest industrial upheaval Australia has seen before or since. At its height the strike stopped coastal shipping, mining, stevedoring and transport, and involved tens of thousands of workers in Australia’s eastern states.

Despite being a crushing defeat at the time, it had lasting consequences for the Australian labor movement. It was 100 years ago, but personal stories rarely spoken about were to filter through, reflecting on both the trauma and the positive legacy of the event, which still strongly resonate today.


Mandy King
M: 0410 633 503


Life on the Line

2015 ‧ Drama/Action ‧ 1h 37m

After a family tragedy, Beau Ginner rises to be foreman in a Texas lineman team, upgrading overhead power cables and preventing disasters. However, there is friction when his college-bound niece Bailey’s on-off boyfriend Duncan joins the crew, while another new recruit is hiding PTSD symptoms.

Release date: 2016 (USA)
Director: David Hackl
Music composed by: Jeff Toyne
Executive producers: Chad Dubea, Rosa Morris Peart, Shawn Williamson, Bryant Pike, Jamie Goehring
Producers: Phillip Glasser, Marvin Peart