The 10th Annual Human Rights Arts and Film Festival Announces 1st Selections!

Happy 10th birthday HRAFF! yes, one of Australia’s fastest growing and most respected film festivals hits the big decade milestone this year in May and they’ve just announced their first selections for this year’s line up!

Check out the presso below!

Celebrating a milestone 10th Anniversary, the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival (HRAFF) is back for 2017 with an exciting new selection of international and locally made films, a vibrant arts program and topical forums. Opening 4 May in Melbourne, the festival then tours a highlight package to Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane.

This first sneak peek into the 2017 program includes HRAFF’s first world premiere, international festival favourites and works of bravery, resilience, activism and compassion specially curated to inspire, activate and celebrate. The full program will be released April 4, but while you wait in anticipation for the grand reveal, the first six sessions will be available for purchase from Tuesday February 28 for a limited time (only until 6 March midnight!).

The first highlight films include:

The world premiere of Happyland by director Marti Salva is set in Manila’s slum communities of Baseco and Happyland (from a local word ‘hapilan’ for dumpsite) where most residents live in makeshift homes built with scavenged waste. In 2016, street artists Cheeseagle and Kaff-eine decided to change this with an art installation and housing project. They raised money and installed thirty large art tarpaulins, featuring Kaff-eine’s portraits of local residents. The art tarps can be used as shelter for up to 120 residents. The film follows the daily life in Baseco and Happyland, interwoven with captivating interviews of the dynamic individuals featured on the art tarps. This session will include a post-film Q&A with filmmakers.

An exhibition of Kaff-eine’s work will also be showcased as part of the HRAFF program at No Vacancy in Federation Square. Kaff-eine will also participate in a workshop as part of this year’s HRAFF Goes West event held at the Footscray Community Arts Centre.

Other documentaries include the international film festival favourite Raving Iran which spotlights the music of Iranian DJ’s Blade & Bear whose music is deemed illegal in their country. Susanne Regina Meurs followed the DJ’s for a year, during a crucial phase in their lives. She films their life in Tehran, where they are constantly on their guard, and capture them as they experience the freedom of Switzerland. Most of the footage was shot using mobile phones, for reasons of security. Watch the trailer here.

From the Netherlands comes Radio Kobanî. When liberation came to The Syrian border town of Kobanî, 20-year-old Kurdish reporter Dilovan started a radio station. She and her friend Biter report on refugee camps, talk to survivors and interview fighters and musicians. Watch the trailer here.

Filmed over 10 years, Australian feature documentary Constance on the Edge by director Belinda Mason is an unflinchingly honest portrayal of one refugee family’s resettlement story in Australia. This session will be followed by a post-film Q&A with the producer Marguerite Grey.  Watch the trailer here.

Winner of the Golden Bear for Best Film at the Berlin Film Festival (2016), Hear My Eyes: Fire at Sea is Gianfranco Rosi’s incisive, poignant and deeply moving portrait of the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa – and the humanitarian crisis occurring in the seas around it. The film is both a masterly work of documentary filmmaking and a timely call for urgent action. This session is a special event and will feature a live rescore by Evelyn Ida Morris (Pikelet) and a group of specifically chosen musicians who will provide a completely original score to accompany the film using a variety of rare instruments from Ethiopia and the middle-east.

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize Best Documentary Feature at Tribeca Film Festival (2016), director Craig Atkinson’s Do Not Resist is a shocking exposé that crosses the United States to reveal the heavily militarized face of policing and the insidious racism that lies just below the surface. Masterfully observed and extremely topical given the vast amount of films this year on the topics of police brutality. Watch the trailer here.

We are also excited about our special Opening Night film and after-party. We’re not going to tell you what it is yet though, but we can say it’s the Australian premiere of a highly publicised and controversial documentary. You won’t want to miss being part of this very special presentation.

The Festival kicks off in Melbourne on 4 May, followed by the National Tour across Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane.

Buy your early bird tickets for these titles now

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MELBOURNE 5 May – 18 May

Film Venue: ACMI

Art Venues: No Vacancy, Footscray Community Arts Centre, the Immigration Museum, Fitzroy Library, Newport Substation, Koorie Heritage Trust

23 May – 27 May

Venue: Dendy Cinema Newtown

29 May – 31 May

Venue: Palace Electric Cinema

BRISBANE 1 – 3 June

Venue: Palace Barracks

** featured image is from the film HAPPYLAND