Seeking to actively engage and move audiences on human rights issues, the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival (HRAFF) is thrilled to announce its 2015 program, which includes 31 feature films, 18 shorts, 15 forums, five exhibitions, and the 2014 Sundance Candescent Award-winning Marmato. Taking centre stage as the spotlight film at this year’s Festival, Marmato is a gripping documentary about the Columbian mountain village, which sits on top of one of the world’s last reserves of gold. As a wealthy and powerful global mining company threatens to tear the mountain down, the people of Marmato fight to save their identity and 500 years of cultural heritage.
The Festival opens with I Will Not Be Silenced, the true story of Australian Charlotte Campbell Stephen, who, after being raped by a gang of men while living in Kenya in 2006, embarks on a seven-year struggle through the frustrating labyrinth of Kenya’s legal system. Undaunted, Charlotte continues to seek justice, becoming involved in advocacy groups and bringing hope to Nairobi’s many rape victims. This potent, shocking and moving film is a story of an indomitable spirit and female solidarity. Charlotte Campbell Stephen and director Judy Rymer will attend the screening, which will be followed by a Q&A.
The Festival closes with The Beekeeper. Bees have been a constant throughout Ibrahim Gezer’s life, from upheaval and war in his homeland to his new home in Switzerland. Set in the stunning vista of the Swiss Alps, The Beekeeper is a beautiful human portrait of a remarkable individual who draws comfort and wisdom from bees.
Other program highlights include Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story, which explores how much food we actually waste and its global impact; Ivory Tower, a fascinating documentary about the student debt crisis in America and its implications for higher education; and Pervert Park, which explores the daily life of 120 registered sex offenders in a halfway house in Florida. This bold, innovative and important documentary provides a deeper context and contemplation on an issue too often ignored.
For the first time HRAFF presents The Breakfast Sessions in Melbourne this year—four forums over two weekends on topics at the forefront of the human rights debate, including domestic violence, climate change, refugees and women’s rights. Looking to offer fresh perspectives and new insights, panels have been assembled to bring a variety of opinions, knowledge and expertise. Breakfast will be available at these sessions, which take place on 9-10 and 16-17 May between 10-11am at ACMI’s Optic Kitchen and Bar. Registration for these sessions is essential.
The Festival opens in Melbourne on 7 May then tours nationally to Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Alice Springs and Darwin.
For the full festival program and tickets visit: http://www.hraff.org.au
Melbourne, 7 – 21 May, ACMI and Bella Union
Canberra, 22 – 25 May, Palace Electric Cinema
Sydney, 26 – 30 May, Dendy Cinema Newtown
Darwin, 30 May – 1 June, Deckchair Cinema
Brisbane, 2 – 4 June, Brisbane Powerhouse
Perth, 2 – 4 June, Cinema Paradiso
Alice Springs, 5 – 7 June, Totem Theatre