The Human Rights Arts & Film Festival 2013

by EM News April 26, 2013
The 6th Human Rights Arts & Film Festival (HRAFF) has announced the full program of films, art and forums on offer at the 2013 festival. The Festival opens in Melbourne on 9 May and then tours nationally to Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane and Alice Springs.

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May 02, 2013 02:15 AM to
June 06, 2013 02:15 PM



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0403 274 299

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Thrilling Documentary 'Alias Ruby Blade' announced as opening night film

Intrigue, romance and revolution all come together in HRAFF’s hotly anticipated Opening Night film, Alias Ruby Blade.  This action-packed documentary chronicles the tumultuous birth of a new nation in East Timor and the remarkable relationship between, Kirsty Sword, a young Australian activist, and the incarcerated enigmatic leader of the Timorese resistance in Jakarta, Kay Rala "Xanana" Gusmão.

Alias Ruby Blade captures their incredible story and demonstrates the astonishing power of individuals to change the course of history. The Opening Night is proudly presented by Australian Ethical Super and will be followed by a Q&A with Kirsty Sword Gusmão, the films director Alex Meillier , producer Tanya Meillier – the conversation will be facilitated by highly acclaimed Australian director Robert Connolly.

Closing the Festival is the inspirational documentary In the Shadow of the Sun which looks at the harrowing reality of ritual Albino killings in Tanzania.  Albinos in Tanzania are traditionally perceived as mythical beings: ghosts who cannot die; the embodiment of a family curse. In 2007, after a wave of albino murders, a disturbing myth is exposed: witch doctors claiming the limbs of albinos will bring wealth and good fortune.  For Josephat Torner, an albino himself, the only choice is to take action.

Shot over six years, In the Shadow of the Sun is the story of a man who stands up to persecution, putting his life on the line to change the world in which he lives. The film will be followed by a Q&A with director Harry Freeland and documentary subject Josephat Torner. Facilitated by award winning journalist Jo Chandler.

"This year, more than ever, we are re-framing how you see human rights on screen. With a beautiful children’s film from French master animators, a radical Filipino shockumentary, to the Australian premiere of the new work by acclaimed New York filmmaker Jonathan Caouette, this program will surprise and intrigue you”, said HRAFF Director Ella McNeill.

Brand new to the 2013 program is CineSeeds — an inspiring and educational event for young people and their parents alike.  CineSeeds will showcase the magical 2D animation film, Zafara, which explores themes of loyalty, love and freedom and was inspired by the true story of the first giraffe to arrive in France.

Other highlights of the HRAFF program include:

Winner of the 2013 Grand Jury Award at SXSW, Ben Nabor’s fascinating documentary William and the Windmill which follows a young Malawian, William Kamkwamba, who becomes an international sensation after building a windmill from junk parts to generate electricity to rescue his village. With this newfound fame comes complexities – this documentary follows William’s struggle to fulfil expectations and simultaneously follow his own dreams.

New York-based director Ben Nabor will be a guest of the Festival, the film screening will be followed by a Q&A.

Fascinating and confronting exhibition Requiem curated by renowned photographer, Tim Page. The free photographic exhibition at the Yarra Gallery, Federation Square, will display a selection of photos taken by Cambodian and foreign photographers who were killed or went missing during the Cambodian civil war.

Don’t miss a story about brotherhood and belonging in My Brother the Devil, a slick and energetic portrayal of migrant youth pushed to the fringe; and Ombline, the masterful debut by French writer-director Stéphane Cazes, in which audiences are taken to the darkest corners of prison life as a young mother struggles to raise her child behind bars.

This year, HRAFF has curated its film, forum and art program according to interesting and thought provoking themes, see attached release for more information on each section.


WHAT: The Human Rights Arts and Film Festival

WHEN: Thursday 9 – Thursday 23 May 2013

WHERE: ACMI Cinema's, Yarra Gallery Federation Square, The Dax Centre, The Ownership Project, Bella Union and RMIT Link Arts and Culture space


NATIONAL TOUR DATES: SYDNEY:  28 – 30 May 2013, ALICE SPRINGS:  31 May – 2 June 2013, CANBERRA:  3 – 5 June 2013, BRISBANE:  4 – 6 June 2013, PERTH:  4 – 6 June 2013

More information about this event…