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Human Rights Watch Film Festival, June 11-21; Docs on the Black Panthers, Stand Your Ground Law, Arab Spring Among 16 Films Featured

Major Talent on View here on vitally important issues. Highly Recommended.

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THE 2015 HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH FILM FESTIVAL

Co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFC Center
June 11-21, 2015

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival will be presented from June 11 to 21, 2015 with 16 films from across the globe that celebrate the power of individuals and communities to effect change, Human Rights Watch said today. Now in its 26th edition, the festival is co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFC Center.This year’s film festival is organized around three themes:

Art Versus Oppression, Changemakers and Justice and Peace.

The festival also features a series of special programs, including a discussion around the ethics of image-making in documenting human rights abuses, a master class on international crisis reporting and digital storytelling, and a multimedia project on the women activists of the Arab Spring.“This year’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival is all about challenging the status quo,” said the festival’s creative director, John Biaggi. “From fighting government corruption in Guatemala, to fighting to bring back the female voice in Iran, to fighting against the stereotyping of young African-American men in the US, the films this year showcase both the need and determination of individuals to reform unjust social, cultural and political systems worldwide.”

 

Children walk by Panther Power graffiti.

Children walk by Panther Power graffiti.

The festival will begin on June 11 with a fundraising Benefit Night for Human Rights Watch featuring Matthew Heineman’s harrowing look into Mexico’s drug war, Cartel Land. Winner of the US documentary directing and cinematography awards at the Sundance Film Festival, the film exposes two contemporary vigilante movements, one on either side of the US-Mexico border.

Director Marc Silver and special guests will be at the June 12 Opening Night screening of another Sundance award-winner, 3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets. This documentary centers on the 2012 shooting death of a black teenager, Jordan Davis, at a Florida gas station and the trial of his killer, Michael Dunn.

 

The Closing Night screening on June 21 will be the renowned documentarian Stanley Nelson’s The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, a history of the Black Panther Party in the US, featuring rare archival footage, from the Party’s beginnings to its ultimate dissolution. The director and some of the film’s subjects will be on hand for a discussion afterward.

#3 Black Panthers from Sacramento, Free Huey Rally, Bobby Hutton Memorial Park in Oakland, CA, 1969. Photo courtesy of Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch

 

Art Versus Oppression

 

The Iranian filmmaker Ayat Najafi’s musical journey No Land’s Song follows his composer sister Sara’s attempts to organize a concert in Tehran despite restrictions prohibiting female solo singers from performing before a mixed audience. The festival is pleased to present Najafi with its 2015 Nestor Almendros Award for courage in filmmaking.

Winner of the Toronto Film Festival’s audience award for documentary, Hajooj Kuka’s Beats of the Antonov immerses viewers in the world of the Sudanese farmers, herders and rebels of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain regions, who defiantly continue to tend their lands and celebrate their musical heritage in the face of a government bombing campaign.

Filmed before, during and after the Arab Spring, Francois Verster’s kaleidoscopic The Dream of Shahrazad uses the metaphor of Shahrazad—the princess who saves her life by telling stories—to explore the ways in which creativity and politics coincide in response to oppression.

New York’s own The Yes Men team with the filmmaker Laura Nix for The Yes Men Are Revolting, which follows the activist-pranksters as they pull the rug out from under mega-corporations, government officials and the media in a series of stunts designed to draw awareness to climate change.

Changemakers

Joey Boink’s intimate documentary Burden of Peace follows Claudia Paz y Paz, Guatemala’s first female attorney general, as she prosecutes the former dictator Efraín Rios Montt for his role in the genocide of nearly 200,000 Mayan Guatemalans.

Andreas Dalsgaard’s Life Is Sacred reveals how the unorthodox presidential candidate Antanas Mockus and his enthusiastic young activist supporters attempt to reverse the vicious cycle of violence that is part of everyday life in Colombia.

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Gini Reticker’s The Trials of Spring, which will be shown in its world premiere, tells the stories of three Egyptian women who risk everything to fight for change in their country. This feature documentary anchors a larger multimedia project at the festival about women activists from the Middle East and North Africa.

Beth Murphy’s What Tomorrow Brings, which will be presented as a work-in-progress screening, chronicles a year in the life of the first all-girls school in a remote, conservative Afghan village.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, the closing night film, is also featured in this theme.

Justice and Peace Joshua Oppenheimer’s multi-award-winning The Look of Silence, the companion piece to his The Act of Killing (HRWFF 2013), focuses on a village optometrist who confronts the men who murdered his brother during Indonesia’s anti-communist purges of the 1960s.

The psychological toll of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is laid bare in Laurent Bécue-Renard’s Of Men and War, which looks at a group of combat veterans at a group therapy center as they struggle to overcome their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and rebuild their lives.

Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe’s (T)ERROR puts the filmmakers on the ground during an active FBI counterterrorism sting operation as they follow “Shariff,” a black revolutionary-turned-informant, in his attempt to befriend a suspected Taliban sympathizer and build a case against him.

The Israeli-born director Tamara Erde’s This Is My Land takes viewers inside six independently run schools in Israel and the occupied West Bank to investigate how history is taught in this contested region.

Through stop-motion animation, drawings and interviews, Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan’s The Wanted 18 recreates the true story of the Israeli army’s pursuit of 18 cows whose independent milk production on a Palestinian collective farm was declared “a threat to the national security of the state of Israel.”

The Benefit Night’s Cartel Land and Opening Night’s 3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets are also featured in this theme.

Special Programs

A Right to the Image
By examining various bodies of work from the worlds of human rights filmmaking and photography, documentarian Pamela Yates, photographer Susan Meiselas and Charif Kiwan, co-founder of Abounaddara Collective, will explore the notion of “a right to the image” that protects the dignity of subjects, as well as the integrity of the journalists, image-makers and researchers who work in these situations.The Trials of Spring: A Multimedia Initiative
The Trials of Spring is an initiative that aims to elevate the stories of the women who were on the front lines of the uprisings that swept the Arab world in 2011. The project includes six short films profiling women from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria, a feature documentary focused on Egypt, and an outreach campaign that will bring these stories to stakeholders, educators and grassroots organizations around the world. This program will feature a selection of the short films and a discussion with the multi-disciplinary team.

The Unravelling: Human Rights Reporting and Digital Storytelling

During this master class, the Human Rights Watch emergencies director, Peter Bouckaert, and leading photojournalist Marcus Bleasdale will focus on their multimedia project The Unravelling to show how Human Rights Watch used the techniques and strategies of international crisis reporting and digital storytelling to reveal the little-known humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic. Bleasdale was awarded the Robert Capa Gold Medal by the Associated Press in 2015 for his work for Human Rights Watch in the Central African Republic.

In conjunction with this year’s film program, the festival will present Turkana, an exhibition by the photographer Brent Stirton that documents the challenges that the Turkana people of Kenya face in accessing their rights to water, health and livelihood. It will be featured in the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater for the duration of the festival.

Complete Program and Schedule Information:
ff.hrw.org

 

The Benefit Screening will be shown at The Times Center, 242 W. 41st St. All other films will be screened at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, 165 W. 65th St. (between Amsterdam and Broadway) and at the IFC Center, 323 Sixth Ave. (at W. 3rd St.)

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets are available online at filmlinc.com for the screenings at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and ifccenter.com for the IFC Center, as well as directly from each of the organization’s box offices. Film Society of Lincoln Center: $14.00 General Public, $11.00 Seniors & Students, $9.00 FSLC Members. IFC Center: $14.00 General Public, $10.00 Seniors & Children, $9.00 IFC Center Members. A discount package is also available for screenings at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. For more information, call the Film Society at 212-875-5600 or IFC Center at 212-924-7771 or visit ff.hrw.orgTicket On Sale Dates: May 19 – Pre-sale to Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFC Center Members; May 21 – General Public. For discounted tickets and festival updates, sign up for the mailing list at www.hrw.org/filmconnect. Follow the festival on Twitter @hrwfilmfestival.

Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. We work tenaciously to lay the legal and moral groundwork for deep-rooted change and fight to bring greater justice and security to people around the world. Through the Human Rights Watch Film Festival we bear witness to human rights violations and create a forum for courageous individuals on both sides of the lens to empower audiences with the knowledge that personal commitment can make a difference. The film festival brings to life human rights abuses through storytelling in a way that challenges each individual to empathize and demand justice for all people. To learn more about our work or to make a donation, visit www.hrw.org

Film Society Of Lincoln Center
Founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center works to recognize and support new directors, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility and understanding of film. Among its yearly programming of film festivals, film series and special events, the Film Society presents two film festivals in particular that annually attract global attention: the New York Film Festival and New Directors/New Films which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment magazine and a year-round calendar of programming, panels, lectures, educational and transmedia programs and specialty film releases at the Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.

IFC Center
IFC Center is a state-of-the-art cinema in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. Opened in June 2005 following an extensive renovation of the historic Waverly Theater, the theater expanded in 2009 and now boasts five screens. IFC Center presents the very best in new foreign-language, American independent and documentary features to audiences and is also known for its innovative repertory series and festivals, showing short films before its regular features in the ongoing “Short Attention Span Cinema” program, and special events such as the guest-programmed “Movie Nights” and frequent in-person appearances by filmmakers. In 2010, IFC Center launched the acclaimed DOC NYC festival, a high-profile showcase that celebrates nonfiction filmmaking. For additional theater information, current and upcoming program details and more, visit www.ifccenter.com


PROGRAM DETAILS

Benefit Film & Reception
Thursday, June 11, 6:00 pm, The Times Center, 242 W. 41st St.

CARTEL LAND (panel discussion with filmmakers and others)
Matthew Heineman—US/Mexico—2015—98m—doc—In Spanish with English subtitles

With unprecedented access, Cartel Land is a harrowing look at the journeys of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy—the murderous Mexican drug cartels. In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as “El Doctor,” leads the Autodefensas, a citizen uprising against the violent Knights Templar drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Meanwhile, in Arizona’s Altar Valley—a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley—Tim “Nailer” Foley, a US veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon that aims to stop Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across the US border. Filmmaker Matthew Heineman embeds himself in the heart of darkness as Nailer, El Doctor, and the cartel each vies to bring its own brutal brand of justice to a society where institutions have failed. Cartel Land is a chilling meditation on the breakdown of order and a devastating portrait of what can happen when citizens take the law in their owns hands. Directing Award and Special Jury Award for Cinematography, US Documentary, Sundance Film Festival 2015. Courtesy of The Orchard. Opens theatrically on July 3.

Screening followed by discussion: Featuring filmmaker Matthew Heineman and Jose Miguel Vivanco, Executive Director, Americas division, Human Rights Watch. Moderated by Leonard Lopate, Host, The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC AM & FM.

For further information about the event or to purchase tickets, please call 212-249-6188 or email benefitny@hrw.org. Tickets start at $500.

Opening Night Film & Reception
Friday, June 12, 7:00 pm, Film Society of Lincoln Center

3½ MINUTES, TEN BULLETS (New York premiere screening followed by discussion with filmmaker Marc Silver and others)
Marc Silver—US—2015—98m—doc

In November 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida, four unarmed African-American teenagers stop at a gas station to buy gum and cigarettes. When a middle-aged white man parks beside them, an altercation begins over the volume of rap music playing in the teens’ car. In a matter of moments, Michael Dunn fires 10 bullets into their car, killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis instantly. Directed by Marc Silver (Who is Dayani Cristal?), 3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets is a seamlessly constructed, riveting documentary that explores the danger and subjectivity of Florida’s Stand Your Ground self-defense laws. The film weaves Dunn’s trial with Jordan Davis’s parents’ wrenching experiences in and out of the courtroom. The result is a powerful story about the devastating effects of racial bias and the search for justice within the US legal system. As the deaths of Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner galvanize the public and begin to shape national dialogue and policy, the intimate and moving 3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets brings the conversation back home—to the impact felt by families across the country for whom reform can’t come fast enough. Special Jury Award for Social Impact, US Documentary, Sundance Film Festival 2015. Courtesy of Participant Media. Opens theatrically in New York on June 19.

Screening followed by discussion: Featuring filmmaker Marc Silver, executive producer Orlando Bagwell, and Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, Co-Director, US Program, Human Rights Watch. Moderated by Khalil Gibran Muhammad, director, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Closing Night Film
Sunday, June 21, 6:30 pm, IFC Center

THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION (Screening followed by discussion with filmmaker Stanley Nelson and film subjects)
Stanley Nelson—US—2015—116m—doc

#2 Charles Bursey hands plate of food to a child seated at Free Breakfast Program.  Photo courtesy of Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch.PJ_v1

In the 1960s, change was coming to America, ready or not. A new revolutionary culture was emerging, and those seeking to drastically transform the system believed radical change was not only feasible, but imminent. For a short time, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense put itself at the vanguard of that change. Whether they were right or wrong, good or bad, the group and its leadership remain powerful and enduring figures in our popular imagination nearly 50 years after the Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is a feature documentary that includes eyewitness accounts from the first members who joined the organization, rank-and-file members in cities like Chicago, Oakland, Los Angeles, and New York, as well as the voices of lawyers, journalists, scholars, police officers, and former FBI agents. Opens at Film Forum on September 2.

Screening followed by discussion: Featuring filmmaker Stanley Nelson and film subjects.

Art Versus Oppression

BEATS OF THE ANTONOV (New York premiere + Q&A with filmmaker)
Hajooj Kuka—Sudan/South Africa—2014—68m—doc—In Arabic with English subtitles

Over two years, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka lived alongside farmers, herders, and rebels displaced to the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain regions, filming their lives within hillside hideouts and refugee camps. Destructive air raids are but occasional moments in an unexpected film, which instead focuses on the vibrant musical heritage of the region: a pulsing lifeblood of cultural resilience in the face of everyday conflict. After a raid, it is not unusual to hear the sound of laughter and music signaling that a strike is over. Young women exert a powerful agency through “Girls Music,” and improvised compositions become a wry commentary on the daily injustices of war. Winner of the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, Beats of The Antonov is a celebration of defiant cultural expression and a unique perspective on the complex realities of a divided Sudan. Beats of The Antonov will be broadcast on POV on August 3.

Saturday, June 13, 7:00 pm, IFC Center
Sunday, June 14, 8:45 pm, Film Society of Lincoln Center

THE DREAM OF SHAHRAZAD (New York premiere + Q&A with filmmaker)
Francois Verster—SouthAfrica/Egypt/Jordan/France/Netherlands—2014—107m—doc— In English, Arabic and Turkish with English subtitles

Filmmaker Francois Verster explores how music and storytelling can serve as an outlet for citizens to process political upheaval. Using the metaphor of Shahrazad—the princess in the classic tale of “The 1001 (Arabian) Nights” who saves lives by telling stories to the murderous Sultan Shahriyar—and filmed before, during, and after the so-called Arab Spring, the film weaves together a web of music, politics, and storytelling to explore the ways in which creativity and politics coincide in response to oppression. A series of unforgettable characters all draw their inspiration from “The 1001 (Arabian) Nights,” including a conductor who uses Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade suite as a tool for Istanbul political education, a young female Lebanese internet activist; a visual artist who finds his own “dream of Shahrazad,” and a Cairo theatre troupe who turn the testimonies of mothers of the Egyptian revolution martyrs into storytelling performances. This richly kaleidoscopic film is at once observational documentary, concert film, political meditation, and visual translation of an ever-popular symphonic and literary classic.

Friday, June 19, 9:00 pm, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Saturday, June 20, 4:30 pm, IFC Center

NO LAND’S SONG (US premiere + Q&A with filmmaker and film subject)
Ayat Najafi—France/Germany/Iran—2014—93m—doc—In English, Farsi and French with English subtitles

The Islamic revolution of 1979 banned female singers from appearing in public in Iran. They are no longer allowed to perform solo, unless to an exclusively female audience. Recordings of former female icons can only be bought on the black market. But Sara Najafi is determined to refresh the cultural memory by roaming Tehran in the footsteps of famous singers of the 1920s and 1960s. She is about to revive the female voices in the present as she courageously plans an evening of Iranian and French female soloists to rebuild shattered cultural bridges—a concert that is not allowed to take place. For two-and-a-half years, director Ayat Najafi follows the preparations between Tehran and Paris that are always touch and go. What’s still possible? What goes too far? Sara’s regular meetings with the Ministry of Culture shed light on the system’s logic and arbitrariness, though officials there can only be heard and not seen. Can intercultural solidarity and the revolutionary power of music triumph? A political thriller and a musical journey, No Land’s Song never loses sight of its real centre—the female voice.

Saturday, June 13, 9:00 pm, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Sunday, June 14, 6:30 pm, IFC Center
Thursday, June 18, 9:30 pm, IFC Center

NESTOR ALMENDROS AWARD
Renowned cinematographer and filmmaker Nestor Almendros (1930–1992) was a founder of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, actively involved in the selection of films and the promotion of human rights filmmaking. Even while deeply immersed in his own projects, he took the time to call the Festival team to mention a strong documentary or promote a work-in-progress. Believing in the power of human rights filmmaking, Nestor devoted himself to becoming a mentor to many young filmmakers. It is in the Festival’s loving memory of Nestor and our desire to celebrate his vision that we proudly bestow this award to filmmakers for their exceptional commitment to human rights.

The Festival is delighted to present director Ayat Najafi—filmmaker of No Land’s Song—with our 2015 Nestor Almendros Award for courage in filmmaking.
THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING (Screening + Q&A with filmmakers)
Laura Nix and the Yes Men—US—2014—90m—doc

For the last 20 years, notorious activists the Yes Men have staged outrageous and hilarious hoaxes to draw international attention to corporate crimes against humanity and the environment. Armed with nothing but quick wits and thrift-store suits, these iconoclastic revolutionaries lie their way into business events and government functions to expose the dangers of letting greed run our world. In their third cinematic outing (after The Yes Men and The Yes Men Fix The World), they are now well into their 40s, and their mid-life crises are threatening to drive them out of activism forever—even as they prepare to take on the biggest challenge they’ve ever faced: climate change. Courtesy of The Orchard. Opens theatrically at IFC Center following its festival screening.

Friday, June 12, 9:30 pm, IFC Center

Changemakers

BURDEN OF PEACE (New York premiere + Q&A with filmmaker)
Joey Boink—Guatemala/The Netherlands—2015—76m—doc—In Spanish with English subtitles

Burden of Peace follows Guatemala’s first female attorney general, Claudia Paz y Paz. After taking office, Paz y Paz obtains spectacular results, including the arrest of a former head of state charged with committing genocide. But her determined efforts encounter strong resistance from powerful elites that have typically felt above the law. With extraordinary access to Paz y Paz from the beginning of her term, we witness her battle to bring to justice powerful criminals and corrupt politicians. Burden of Peace is an epic tale of personal sacrifice, hard-fought change, and hope.

Tuesday, June 16, 7:00 pm, IFC Center
Thursday, June 18, 8:45 pm, Film Society of Lincoln Center

LIFE IS SACRED (New York premiere + Q&A with filmmaker)
Andreas Dalsgaard—Denmark—2014—104m—doc—In Spanish with English subtitles

Violence is part of everyday life in Colombia, where the military, guerrillas, paramilitaries, and drug cartels have been fighting for decades, and hundreds of thousands of people have been killed. But the unorthodox presidential candidate Antanas Mockus and his enthusiastic young activist supporters attempt to reverse the vicious cycle with an imaginative and positive election campaign. As mayor of Bogotá, dressed in a Superman costume and with an indomitable trust in the good of his fellow citizens, he took on towering crime rates and people’s bad traffic habits. But his idealism is both his strength and his weakness in an aggressive political system in which he struggles to restore people’s faith in being able to make a difference. Can good ideas and an idealistic drive alone change a political culture where violence is rampant? This is the portrait of an inspiring man and a powerful youth movement, whose stories are relevant far beyond Colombia’s borders.

Thursday, June 18, 7:00 pm, IFC Center
Saturday, June 20, 9:00 pm, Film Society of Lincoln Center

THE TRIALS OF SPRING (World premiere + Q&A with filmmaker)
Gini Reticker—Egypt—2015—76m—doc—In English and Arabic with English subtitles

Three women in post-2011 Egypt fight for the original goals of the Arab Spring—“Bread, Freedom and Social Justice” for all. The battles they wage each day reflect the country and its women at an uncertain crossroads. In this moving journey, we meet brave women who take great risks to create change. A formerly veiled widow provides guidance for revolutionaries 40 years her junior. A young women’s rights activist demands an end to sexual harassment. A human rights defender from a rural military family is arrested and tortured in 2011, setting off a personal quest for justice that mirrors the trajectory of Egypt’s uprisings. Directed by Academy Award-nominated Gini Reticker (Pray the Devil Back to Hell, Asylum, and A Decade under the Influence), The Trials of Spring reveals the vital and under-reported role of women in the region.

Friday, June 12, 7:00 pm, IFC Center
Sunday, June 14, 6:00 pm, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Monday, June 15, 8:45 pm, Film Society of Lincoln Center

WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS (Work in Progress screening + Q&A with filmmaker)
Beth Murphy—Afghanistan—2015—85m—doc—In English and Dari and Pashtu with English subtitles

What Tomorrow Brings is the story of the first all-girls’ school in a remote Afghan village. The film traces the inter-connected stories of students, teachers, village elders, parents and tenacious school founder Razia Jan, who teaches a nation, a community and the students themselves that girls also count. While the girls learn to read and write, their education goes far beyond the classroom to become lessons about tradition and time. They discover their school is the one place they can turn to understand the differences between the lives they were born into and the lives they dream of leading.

Friday, June 19, 6:30 pm, Film Society of Lincoln Center


Justice and Peace

THE LOOK OF SILENCE (Screening + Q&A with special guests)
Joshua Oppenheimer—Denmark/Indonesia/Norway/Finland/UK—2014—103m—doc— In Indonesian and Javanese with English subtitles

The Look of Silence is Joshua Oppenheimer’s powerful companion piece to the Oscar-nominated The Act of Killing. Through Oppenheimer’s footage of perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered and the identities of his killers. The documentary focuses on the youngest son, an optometrist named Adi, who decides to break the suffocating spell of submission and terror by doing something unimaginable in a society where the murderers remain in power: he confronts the men who killed his older brother and, while testing their eyesight, asks them to accept responsibility for their actions. This unprecedented film initiates and bears witness to the collapse of 50 years of silence. Courtesy of Drafthouse Films. The film will open theatrically on July 17.

Saturday, June 13, 9:15 pm, IFC Center  

OF MEN AND WAR (Screening + Q&A with filmmaker)
Laurent Bécue-Renard—France/Switzerland—2014—142m—doc

A secret battle consumes a dozen combat veterans long after their return from the front. The warriors in Of Men and War have come safely home to the United States after serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they are unable to escape the battlefield that rages in their own minds. Ghosts and echoes of the war fill their lives. Threats seem to spring out from everywhere. Wives, children, and parents bear the brunt of their fractured spirits, struggling to help their loved ones regain their lives. At The Pathway Home, a first-of-its-kind PTSD therapy center, the film’s protagonists resolve to end the ongoing destruction. Their therapist helps the young men forge meaning from their trauma. Over years of therapy, Of Men and War explores their grueling paths to recovery, as they attempt to make peace with themselves, their past, and their families.

Saturday, June 20, 5:30 pm, Film Society of Lincoln Center

(T)ERROR (Screening + Q&A with filmmakers)
Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe—US—2015—84m—doc

(T)ERROR is the story of Saeed “Shariff” Torres, a 62-year-old former Black Panther-turned-counterterrorism informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The film is the first documentary to place filmmakers on the ground during an active FBI counterterrorism sting operation. (T)ERROR interweaves Shariff’s fascinating journey with a penetrating look at the government’s broader counterterrorism campaign, bringing viewers face-to-face with issues of domestic surveillance, racial profiling, entrapment, freedom of speech, and freedom of religious expression. Taut, stark and controversial, (T)ERROR illuminates the fragile relationships between individuals and the surveillance state in modern America and asks, “Who is watching the watchers?” Special Jury Award for Break Out First Feature, US Documentary, Sundance Film Festival 2015.

Sunday, June 14, 9:00 pm, IFC Center

THIS IS MY LAND (Screening + Q&A with filmmaker)
Tamara Erde—France—2014—93m—doc—In English and Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles

If change happens one person at a time, by opening minds and replacing hatred with understanding, what will the future hold for the next generation of Israeli and Palestinian children? Attending school each day, reciting their national anthem, and memorizing the history that lead their people to the reality they currently face—the possibility for peace in the future begins in the classroom today. This Is My Land follows several Israeli and Palestinian teachers as they help their students understand the complicated, segregated, and often violent world around them, filtered through the state-approved curriculum. Tending to the needs of each student, and sifting through decades of personal pain, loss, and struggle, the decisions of the teachers and school administrators leave a lasting and profound impact on these impressionable young minds and the generations to come. Will society continue to embrace hatred, pain, and division, or somehow find a way to impart the tools for reconciliation, tolerance, and acceptance? This Is My Land poses powerful questions about the subjectivity of history and how society can lay the groundwork for a peaceful future.

Monday, June 15, 6:15 pm, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Wednesday, June 17, 9:00 pm, IFC Center  

THE WANTED 18 (New York premiere + Q&A with filmmakers and special guests)
Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan—Canada/Palestine/France—2014—75m—doc—In English, Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles

Through a clever mix of stop motion animation and interviews, The Wanted 18 recreates an astonishing true story: the Israeli army’s pursuit of 18 cows, whose independent milk production on a Palestinian collective farm was declared “a threat to the national security of the state of Israel.” In response to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, a group of people from the town of Beit Sahour decides to buy 18 cows and produce their own milk as a co-operative. Their venture is so successful that the collective farm becomes a landmark, and the cows local celebrities—until the Israeli army takes note and declares that the farm is an illegal security threat. Consequently, the dairy is forced to go underground, the cows continuing to produce their “Intifada milk” with the Israeli army in relentless pursuit. Recreating the story of the “wanted 18” from the perspectives of the Beit Sahour activists, Israeli military officials, and the cows, Palestinian artist Amer Shomali and veteran Canadian director Paul Cowan create an enchanting, inspirational tribute to the ingenuity and power of grassroots activism. Courtesy of Kino Lorber. Opens theatrically in New York on June 19.

Saturday, June 13, 6:30 pm, Film Society of Lincoln Center

Special Programs

A RIGHT TO THE IMAGE
Participants include: Charif Kiwan, Co-founder of and spokesperson for the Abounaddara Collective; Susan Meiselas, photographer and President & Acting Executive Director, Magnum Foundation; Pamela Yates, filmmaker and Co-founder & Creative Director, Skylight Pictures

In our hyper-mediatized world, victims of wars and mass violations of human rights are often depicted in terms of bodies rather than individuals. Representations of human suffering and injustice are not only aesthetic choices; they are also political and ethical choices. In an era where images can be captured in one place and consumed instantly around the world, certain paradoxes and dilemmas are relevant to all legal systems. Thus comes the proposed concept of “a right to the image”—complex, multilayered, and not associated with any single right but a group of rights. By examining different bodies of work from the worlds of film and photography, we explore the notion of a right to the image that protects the dignity of subjects, as well as the integrity of the journalists, filmmakers, photographers, and researchers who work in these situations.

Monday, June 15, 7:00 pm, IFC Center

 

THE TRIALS OF SPRING: A Multimedia Initiative
Participants include: Lauren Feeney, Digital Director; Gini Reticker, Executive Producer; Beth Levison, Producer; Dalia Ali, Director, Life’s Sentence; Ann Derry, Editorial Director of Video Partnerships, The New York Times; Brian Storm, Digital Strategist / MediaStorm

Women were on the front lines of the uprisings that swept the Arab world in 2011. Young and old, rich and poor, veiled and unveiled, they took to the streets beside men, their signs held high or hands cupped around their mouths to amplify their voices. But as the jubilation of revolution gave way to the convoluted process of governing—and often the chaos and blood of war—women disappeared from the mainstream story. Behind the scenes, however, they continue to play vital roles—keeping schools open and mouths fed, tending to the sick and injured, keeping the world informed through blogs and social media, lobbying for human rights, running for office, building alliances, even drafting constitutions for fledgling democracies. The Trials of Spring is a multimedia initiative that aims to elevate the stories of these women. The project includes six short films profiling women from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria, a feature documentary focused on Egypt (screening as a US premiere in this year’s festival), and an extensive outreach campaign that will bring these stories to stakeholders, educators, and grassroots organizations around the world. This program will feature a selection of the short films and a discussion with the multi-disciplinary team. How did they devise and develop an approach and strategy to create such an initiative, and how did they use this framework to build strategic collaborations with partners such as The New York Times?

Wednesday, June 17, 7:00 pm, IFC Center

THE UNRAVELLING: Human Rights Reporting and Digital Storytelling

During this unique masterclass event, Human Rights Watch Emergencies director Peter Bouckaertand leading photojournalist Marcus Bleasdalewill discuss the essentials of international crisis reporting – from on-the-ground investigation methods to techniques for ensuring stories reach the broadest audience possible. In November 2013, Peter and Marcus began a journey to draw attention to a humanitarian crisis in a country that few people in the world even knew existed. The aim was to document the war crimes and horrific bloodshed that was taking place in the little-known country of the Central African Republic. Culminating in the multimedia project The Unravelling, their investigations have become the most important source of information on a crisis that continues today. This program includes documentary footage from The Unravelling as well as discussions on how the project was produced and disseminated. We will learn how Peter and Marcus used every tool available to put the story on the map and the methods they used to capture photographs, videos and satellite imagery. We will also learn how they crafted their material into a compelling narrative for the public and policy-makers.

Peter Bouckaert is Human Rights Watch’s Emergencies director and an expert in humanitarian crises. He is responsible for coordinating the organization’s response to major wars and other human rights crises.

Marcus Bleasdale is one of the world’s leading photojournalists and has collaborated with Human Rights Watch for over a decade. He is dedicated to covering under-reported issues and uses his images to influence policy makers around the world. Bleasdale was awarded the Robert Capa Gold Medal by the Associated Press in 2015 for his work for Human Rights Watch in the Central African Republic.

Thursday, June 18, 6:30 pm, Film Society of Lincoln Center
TURKANA: Photography by Brent Stirton for Human Rights Watch

Kenya’s Turkana County is home to nearly one million people and the largest desert lake in the world. Turkana County has long experienced periods of cyclical drought, but new climate patterns, combined with threats to Lake Turkana from hydroelectric and irrigation projects in Ethiopia, present immediate and long-term dangers to the lake and to the people who depend on it for survival.

In 2014, photographer Brent Stirton accompanied a Human Rights Watch team of researchers to document the challenges that the Turkana people face in accessing their right to water, health, and livelihood.

Brent Stirton, senior staff photographer for Reportage by Getty Images, is a native of South Africa and has an extensive history in the documentary world. Stirton’s work has been published by National Geographic Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, The Discovery Channel, The New York Times Magazine, The London Sunday Times Magazine, and CNN. Stirton is the official photographer for the Global Business Coalition against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He works closely with the World Wide Fund for Nature photographing campaigns on sustainability and the environment. Stirton has worked extensively on the issue of water rights, photographing in some 30 countries on this theme. A joint effort with Human Rights Watch on the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea, published in an online multimedia report, won a Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media. He has also received awards from the Overseas Press Club, the Frontline Club, the World Press Photo Foundation, and Pictures of the Year International. His images are in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Johannesburg Museum of Modern Art.

June 11-21, 2015
Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery
Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater
Free and Open to the Public
For hours, visit FilmLinc.com/exhibits

PUBLIC SCREENING SCHEDULE

Thursday, June 11

Benefit Film & Reception
The Times Center, 242 W. 41st St.
6:00             Doors open
7:00             CARTEL LAND (Matthew Heineman—US/Mexico—98m)
Panel discussion with filmmaker Matthew Heineman and others to follow
9:00            Reception

Friday, June 12

The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater:
Opening Night Screening & Reception

7:00              3½ MINUTES, TEN BULLETS (Marc Silver—US—98m)
Panel discussion with filmmaker Marc Silver and others to follow
9:00             Reception in The Furman Gallery, Walter Reade Theater

IFC Center:
7:00            THE TRIALS OF SPRING (Gini Reticker—Egypt—76m)
Q&A with Gini Reticker

9:30            THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING (Laura Nix and the Yes Men—US—90m)
Q&A with Laura Nix and the Yes Men

Saturday, June 13

The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater:
6:30           THE WANTED 18 (Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan—South Africa/Germany—86m)
Q&A with Amer Shomali and others

9:00            NO LAND’S SONG (Ayat Najafi—France/Germany/Iran—93m)
Q&A with Ayat Najafi and film subject Sara Najafi

IFC Center:
7:00            BEATS OF THE ANTONOV (Hajooj Kuka—Sudan/South Africa—68m)
Q&A with Hajooj Kuka

9:15            THE LOOK OF SILENCE (Joshua Oppenheimer— Denmark/Indonesia/Norway/Finland/UK—103m)
Q&A with special guests

Sunday, June 14

The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater:
6:00            THIS IS MY LAND (Tamara Erde—France—93m)
Q&A with Tamara Erde

8:45            BEATS OF THE ANTONOV (Hajooj Kuka— Sudan/South Africa—68m)
Q&A with Hajook Kuka

IFC Center:
6:30            NO LAND’S SONG (Ayat Najafi—France/Germany/Iran—93m)
Q&A with Ayat Najafi and film subject Sara Najafi

9:00            (T)ERROR (Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe—US—84m)
Q&A with Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe

Monday, June 15

The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater:
6:15            THIS IS MY LAND (Tamara Erde—France—93m)
Q&A with Tamara Erde

8:45            THE TRIALS OF SPRING (Gini Reticker—Egypt—76m)
Q&A with Gini Reticker

IFC Center:
7:00            A RIGHT TO THE IMAGE (Various Artists—90m)
Panel Discussion

Tuesday, June 16

IFC Center:
7:00            BURDEN OF PEACE (Joey Boink—Guatemala/The Netherlands—76m)
Q&A with Joey Boink

Wednesday, June 17

IFC Center:
7:00            THE TRIALS OF SPRING: A MULTIMEDIA INITIATIVE (Gini Reticker et al—90m)
Panel Discussion

9:00            THIS IS MY LAND (Tamara Erde—France—2014—93m)
Q&A with Tamara Erde

Thursday, June 18

The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater:
6:30            THE UNRAVELLING: CRISIS REPORTING AND DIGITAL STORYTELLING (Human Rights Watch—90m)
Panel Discussion

8:45            BURDEN OF PEACE (Joey Boink—Guatemala/The Netherlands—76m)
Q&A with Joey Boink

IFC Center:
7:00           LIFE IS SACRED (Andreas Dalsgaard—Denmark—104m)
Q&A with Andreas Dalsgaard

9:30           NO LAND’S SONG (Ayat Najafi—France/Germany/Iran—93m)
Q&A with Ayat Najafi and film subject Sara Najafi

Friday, June 19

The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater:
6:30            WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS (Beth Murphy—Afghanistan—85m)
Q&A with Beth Murphy

9:00            THE DREAM OF SHAHRAZAD (Francois Verster—South Africa/Egypt/Jordan/France/The Netherlands—107m)
Q&A with Francois Verster

Saturday, June 20

The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater:
5:30            OF MEN AND WAR (Laurent Bécue-Renard—France/Switzerland—2014— 142m)
Q&A with Laurent Bécue-Renard

9:00            LIFE IS SACRED (Andreas Dalsgaard—Denmark—104m)
Q&A with Andreas Dalsgaard

IFC Center:
4:30            THE DREAM OF SHAHRAZAD (Francois Verster—South Africa/Egypt/Jordan/France/The Netherlands—107m Middle East)
Q&A with Francois Verster

Sunday, June 21

IFC Center:
Closing Night Film
6:30              THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION (Stanley Nelson—US—116m)
Panel Discussion with filmmaker Stanley Nelson and others to follow

 

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May 13, 2015 - Posted by | ART, BUSINESS, CULTURE, FILM, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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