Presenting the best films and artwork from around the world, the annual Human Rights Arts & Film Festival (HRAFF) will challenge, touch and inspire audiences from all walks of life.
For a fortnight in Melbourne, and three weeks across the country, HRAFF exhibits a selection of contemporary cinema, music and fine art. In its eighth year, HRAFF continues to provide a shared site whereby artists, human rights organisations and the Australian public are united by their desire to contribute to social change.
Opening the festival in Melbourne is the powerful I Will Not be Silenced. Australian Charlotte Campbell Stephen was attacked and raped by a gang of men while living in Kenya in 2006. Spurred on by comments from one of her lawyers that “no one wins rape cases in Kenya”, she decides to take her rapists to court. This was to be the beginning of seven years of struggling through the frustrating labyrinth of Kenya’s legal system. Undaunted, Charlotte ploughs on, becoming involved in advocacy groups and bringing hope to Nairobi’s many rape victims, in a story of justice, indomitable spirit and female solidarity.
Highlights from the programme include:
Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story – Abundance is the success story of the human species, but how much food do we actually waste? Canadian food lovers, Jen and Grant, dumpster-dive head first into the issue of consumption and wastage, by surviving solely on food waste for six months.
Ivory Tower – In 2014, student debt in America trickled into over 1 trillion dollars. This terrifying figure is the basis of esteemed documentarian Andrew Rossi’s (Page One: Inside the New York Times) latest investigatory project, Ivory Tower. Stimulating and shocking, this worldwide trend of skyrocketing tuition is an urgent issue that ultimately begs the question, is it worth the cost?
Pervert Park – An issue often considered too difficult to address, Pervert Park carefully explores the daily life of residents at Florida Justice Transitions, a halfway home to 120 registered sexual offenders. This bold, innovative and important documentary neither demonises nor sympathises with its subjects, but rather provides a deeper context and contemplation of an issue too often ignored.
A Quiet Inquisition – Nicaragua is one of five countries where it is illegal to terminate a pregnancy, even in instances of rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life. Leading OBGYN, Dr. Carla Cerrato, is constantly faced with this dilemma, as she risks persecution daily by honouring her medical and moral obligations. This compelling documentary expertly handles a highly contested issue with a humanistic and brave perspective.
HRAFF 2015 will be held in Melbourne from 7 – 21 of May before heading around the country on tour. To view the full programmee and book tickets, head over to the festival website. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.