Human Rights Arts and Film Festival

Human Rights Arts and Film Festival in Brisbane

Human Rights Arts and Film Festival

We are proud to announce that the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival will be travelling to Brisbane for the first time on March 6th and 7th.

Presented by the Brisbane Powerhouse, the festival uses film to tell inspiring, courageous and defiant stories of those affected by, and those striving to promote human rights around the world.

With films from the Pacific to Greenland, the festival aims to put a human face to the otherwise abstract concept of human rights. Through a diverse program examining issues of climate change, homelessness and the amazing contribution an individual can make to the world through sheer determination, HRAFF dismantles traditional notions of human rights and who should be interested in them and aims to create awareness in the broader Australian community about issues that affect us all.

This festival is more than just food for thought: it&8217s about growing and feeding a brighter future! The first ever Brisbane festival will be opened on March the 6th by Councillor David Hinchcliffe in the Visy Theatre of the Brisbane Powerhouse. Each session will feature a number of films as well as guest speakers or a forum discussion of the issues raised in the films. We are extremely fortunate to have the support of passionate and knowledgeable speakers including Debra Beattie and Malcolm Campbell.

Tickets for the festival are only $13.50 concession and $15 adult. Festival passes are also available for $39 for adult and $36 for concession. The incredible enthusiasm for Human rights and film in Brisbane and the extremely limited number of tickets mean that the event is sure to sell out fast. Dont miss this opportunity to be part of the first Brisbane Human Rights and Arts Film Festival. Tickets are available from

Media and popular culture play a huge role in raising human rights consciousness. They make other people&8217s injustices our own. Festival Patron - Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG

The Festival

Opening night Friday March 6 - 8PM Brisbane Powerhouse

After the official opening of the first Brisbane Human Rights Arts and Film festival by Councillor David Hinchcliffe the festival will begin with the screening of the short film A Different Kind of Gun (United Nations Film Festival 2007 - Gold Medal winner International Documentary Film Festival 2007 - Official Selection). A Different Kind of Gun offers a heartbreaking insight into the plight of Sudan&8217s children, whose lives have been ravaged by war, violence and displacement. The children, however, have not given up. They have hope that an education will grant them a better future. Narrated and filmed almost entirely by children, this is their story.

The opening night feature film Day after Peace has received critical acclaim and numerous awards - Cannes International Film Festival 2008 Official selection BritDoc Festival 2008 Official selection Zimbabwe International Film Festival 2008 Official Selection Cinema Verite, Paris 2008 Official Selection. It follows the infectiously idealistic Jeremy Gilley a British actor-turned-activist and founder of the Peace One Day organization The Day After Peace charts Gilleys attempts to create a day of simultaneous global ceasefire and non-violence in the conflict hot-spots of the globe, a day where people put down their weapons for 24 hours and experience calm and peace, perhaps for the first time. Over more than 10 years, Gilley struggles as his dream faces financial obstacles, cynicism and ethical dilemmas. Against the odds, with a plan so big it seems like total naivete, can Jeremy walk the tightrope between political diplomacy and agitating change, between symbolism and action Featuring Jude Law, Angelina Jolie, the Dalia Lama, Kofi Annan, Annie Lennox and Johnny Lee Miller, The Day After Peace is not to be missed!

&8230this festival is not about a political message. It is about a human message. A message of hope, courage and triumph against the odds. Festival Patron - Phillip Noyce, Director

REEL Change Short Films - Saturday March 7 - 4pm Brisbane Powerhouse Proudly sponsored by Make Poverty History

Make Poverty History and HRAFF have joined forces this year to present Reel Change: Short films on the human impact of climate change. Receiving close to 70 submission within only a few months, the final selection is an eclectic and delightful mix of documentary, drama, animation, experimental comedies and stock motion which deals with the first climate refugees on the Carteret Islands, the impact of the drought on Aussie farmers and Mr Pipiks sceptical view of Climate change.

Perhaps no issue demonstrates the shared human condition in light of the recent tragic bush fires in Victoria and the flooding in North Queensland. Be prepared to be touched by these striking films as they discuss and illustrate issues plaguing communities in Australia and the world over. The short films will be followed by an engaging panel discussion led by Debra Beattie, Senior Lecturer at the School of Arts, Griffith University.

Closing Night Saturday March 7 - 8pm Brisbane Powerhouse Proudly sponsored by Caritas Australia

The closing night session will begin with the short film The Days and the Hours, a documentary meditation that offers an intimate view of the experience of homelessness. At a church in the middle of San Francisco, homeless people are allowed to sleep in the pews in the midst of daily services. Filling row after row, over a hundred exhausted men and women find relief from filthy sidewalks and dangerous city shelters. This simple story includes the voices of homeless people who describe their lives before they slipped off the tracks. &8216The Days and the Hours&8217 is a haiku that gives viewers a window into sanctuary. The closing night feature film is Kicking It (Sundance Film Festival 2008 Official Selection, Tribeca Film Festival 2008 Official Selection), an uplifting story about the power of belief in our own abilities to triumph over adversity. In the summer of 2006, while the football worlds attention was focused on Germany, thousands of players around the globe were training hard and competing to be part of another world cup The Homeless World Cup. It began in 2001 as a wild idea to give homeless people a chance to change their lives through an international street soccer competition. Five years later, the annual Homeless World Cup is an internationally recognised sporting event. Five hundred homeless players from 48 nations would ultimately be selected to represent their respective countries in Cape Town, South Africa coming from such disparate parts of the world as war-torn Afghanistan, the slums of Kenya, the drug rehab clinics of Dublin, and the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina. Win or lose, it would be the journey of a lifetime The opening speech given by Malcolm Campbell (Director of the West End Community House), who has extensive experience working with homeless people in Brisbane. He has personally witnessed the power of sport and community in addressing issues of homelessness.


Inspired by similar festivals around the globe, HRAFF was born in Melbourne in 2007 with the passion and dedication of a group of wide eyed volunteers. After hearing about the festival, Brisbane festival coordinator Ruth Taylor called together a group of friends and volunteers to make sure that the people of Brisbane didnt miss out on this exciting new event. Thanks to the generous support of the festival&8217s sponsors and speakers, together with the hard work of a dedicated volunteer base the dream has become a reality and the festival will travel to the Brisbane Powerhouse for the first time on March the 6th. It will bring together some of Brisbanes most experienced and prolific human rights advocates as well as representatives from community groups, civil rights groups and the arts. This festival is more than just food for thought: it&8217s about growing and feeding a brighter future!

On January 31st, the team held a successful fundraising dinner at the fabulous Muooz restaurant run by the Muooz Eritrean Womens Cooperative, providing employment and training opportunities for refugee women. The enthusiasm for the festival and the warm support shown by the guests and the staff of Muooz justified the HRAFF teams belief that the people of Brisbane are passionate about human rights and that the time is right for HRAFF to come to our screens. The passion and achievements of the HRAFF team are driven by the belief that the power of art not only broadens the awareness of human rights within the general Australian community, but engages and inspires action and positive change in our world.

For further information about the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival please visit the site or for further media information, feel free to contact or Peter McNaughton on 0430350445.

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