Tenth Human Rights Arts & Film Festival Launches 2017 Program
12 April 2017 at 3:11 pm
The 10th Human Rights Arts & Film Festival (HRAFF) has launched its complete program for 2017, beginning in Melbourne, Thursday 4 May – followed by a national tour in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth and Hobart, throughout May and June.
Highlights of the full Melbourne program include Australia’s first ever Oscar-nominated foreign language feature film Tanna (dirs. Martin Butler, Bentley Dean – Festival guest), about a young couple from the Yakel tribe in Vanuatu whose relationship is threatened by their elders’ insistence upon tribal customs; and the 2015 Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner Dheepan (dir. Jacques Audiard, A Prophet, Rust and Bone), which offers a searing examination of the immigrant experience in contemporary Europe.
The line-up joins the pre-released opening night film – the Australian premiere of Hollie Fifer’s previously-maligned documentary The Opposition (director Hollie Fifer and protagonist Joe Moses in attendance) and the early announcement of the World Premiere of Happyland (Melb only; director Marti Salva, producers Emile Cheesman and Kaff-eine in attendance); accompanying Happyland exhibition and part of the arts program includes Raving Iran, Radio Kobani (Aus premiere), Constance on the Edge, Do Not Resist and the special Hear My Eyes presentation of Oscar-nominated Fire at Sea set to a live score by Evelyn Ida Morris (Pikelet).
Additionally, the festival is extremely honoured to present Sundance Film Festival favourite Quest (dir. Jonathan Olshefski – Festival guest), as its closing night film. Quest offers a profound illumination on race, class and community in its profile of Christopher “Quest” Rainey and Christine “Ma Quest”, and their North Philadelphia home, which also functions as their music-studio. Olshefski follows them over the course of a decade, as they open their hearts and home to their underprivileged community and family-at-large.
An Australian premiere screening (only) in Melbourne include Stranger in Paradise (dir. Guido Hendrikx), an insightful and original work that explores the opposing ideologies behind mass global migration; An Insignificant Man (dirs. Vinay Shukla and Kushboo Ranka) about the radical politician Arvind Kejriwal, aka “the Bernie Sanders of India”; The Pearl of Africa (dir. Johnny von Wallstrom), an exceptional document of what it means for one courageous transgender woman living in Uganda in the face of anti-homosexuality laws; and Nowhere To Hide (dir. Zaradasht Ahmed), which offers a harrowing insider’s view into Iraq after US withdrawal, an incisive film that won Best Documentary at IDFA 2016.
Highlights of the touring program include Café Waldluft (dir. Matthias Kobmehl), an empathetic view of the refugee crisis in a small German mountain town; The Freedom to Marry (dir. Eddie Rosenstein), which documents the former Obama administration’s journey towards the landmark ruling in the US Supreme Court for marriage equality; and Check It (dir. Dana Flor, Toby Oppenheimer) which documents the first LGBTI “gang” to emerge on the streets of Washington DC as a response to the violence experienced by gay and gender-queer teens.
HRAFF is also presenting an afternoon of collaborative street art and creation with one of Melbourne’s top street artists, Kaff-eine (Happyland), part of HRAFF Goes West. Create with Kaff-eine – free for all-ages, at Footscray’s Phoenix Youth Club.
The festival’s arts program includes a variety of exhibitions and events from Melbourne and around the world. 1rts sessions include HRAFF Goes West event Music and Movement, the Footscray Community Arts Centre offers a free-dive into the multicultural music project Key of Sea, and a free screening of Spear, directed by the artistic director of Bangarra Dance Theatre Stephen Page.
Finally, the HRAFF Talks program invites filmmakers, artists, experts and activists into forums as an opportunity to extend on discussions provoked by the film and arts program, alongside several live and video post-film Q&As. The line-up for HRAFF Talks this year includes: Industry Forum: Cinema and Social Impact, Building Communities: Immigration and Integration , Protest and Solidarity: First Nations and Indigenous Peoples, All is Love: Families and Marriage Equality. High profile panelists include writer Benjamin Law , 2015 NSW Young of Australian of the Year Genevieve Clay-Smith, and contemporary choreographer and dancer Amrita Hepi .
“HRAFF is proud to present a dynamic, inclusive and engaging program for the 10th Anniversary Festival and we look forward to your company in celebrating this major milestone,” the festival’s program director Lauren Valmadre said.
Buy tickets to the Melbourne program here: HRAFF.ORG.AU
More information on the national tour here: HRAFF.ORG.AU/TOUR