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10 Documentaries you cannot miss at the Human Rights & Arts Film Festival

We selected a list of documentaries you should not miss at the 10th Human Rights & Arts Film Festival that is taking place in Melbourne from May 4th – 18th.

Important Note: This festival takes place in Melbourne but later tours around Australia. Be sure to check the schedule at the bottom of this posts. Thanks – AFF Admin

An Insignificant Man by Vinay Shukla and Khushboo Ranka – India | 2016 – 95 min.

Commonly referred to as ‘the Bernie Sanders of India’, former bureaucrat Arvind Kejriwal achieved the impossible in 2013. Placing human rights issues such as corruption, sanitation and electricity prices at the heart of his policy platform, this political nobody was swept to astounding success in his campaign to be Chief Minister of Delhi as head of the Common Man’s Party. Filmmakers Ranka and Shukla spent a year with Arvind Kejriwal to produce this incisive documentary that captures the aspiring ascent of this humble figure. An Insignificant Man introduces us to a radically different politician, whose victory is all the more significant when set against the backdrop of our contemporary global political climate.

Schedule
May 15th, 2017 – Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) – Melbourne – 6:00 pm

Awards & Festival Selection
TIFF 2016
BFI London 2016

Trailer

Check It by Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer – USA | 2016 – 91 min.

Armed with Louis Vuitton bags and pink tasers, a group of black queer youth band together to fight back against the violence and prejudice they experience on the streets of Washington DC. With support from community leaders, flamboyant gang members Tray, Skittles and Day Day attempt to harness their creativity and passion into futures in fashion and professional boxing – a seemingly insurmountable task when prostitution and theft are typical means of survival. Directors Flor and Oppenheimer explore systemic oppression, identity, and self-determination in the colourful and dramatic resistance of these gay and genderqueer teenagers.

Schedule
May 8th, 2017 – Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) – Melbourne – 6:00 pm
May 27th, 2017 – Dendy Cinemas Newtown – Sydney – 6:30 pm

Awards & Festival Selection
Tribeca 2016
Hot Docs 2016
IDFA 2016

Trailer

Do not resist by Craig Atkinson – USA | 2016 – 73 min.

Winner of the Best Documentary Prize at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, Do Not Resist presents an unsettling examination of the rapid militarisation of the United States police force. Shot over 11 years, this pertinent documentary picks up at the Ferguson, Missouri riots, and travels across America in a thorough exposition of the insidious attitudes and behaviours that have come to define American policing culture. Director Craig Atkinson takes the audience beyond police lines, providing insight into the individuals and institutions embroiled in the issue, and painting an intimate portrait of those affected by the inordinate racism and brutality. Urgent and unsettling, this documentary provides an abrupt reminder of the ongoing challenges facing contemporary society.

Schedule
May 17th, 2017 – Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) – Melbourne – 8:15 pm

Awards & Festival Selection
Tribeca 2016
Hot Docs 2016
Human Rights Watch 2016
Grand Jury Prize, Tribeca 2016

Trailer

Nowhere to Hide by Zaradasht Ahmed – Norway, Sweden, Iraq | 2016 – 86 min.

Winner of IDFA’s top accolade for Best Feature-Length Documentary, one humble paramedic with a camera shows us his Iraq in Nowhere to Hide. An insider’s look at a country left in shambles by a power vacuum and an ethnic civil war. It’s Nori Sharif’s vocation to help the injured, but as Iraq’s Diyala Province goes from bad to worse to ISIS in the aftermath of American troop withdrawal, it’s his own life and family he must protect. Harrowing images of a land torn asunder mark this dire documentation of a man and country’s survival. Hiding may not be an option, but hope is.

Schedule
May 13th, 2017 – Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) – Melbourne – 8:30 pm

Awards & Festival Selection
Gothenburg 2017
Best Documentary, IDFA 2016

Trailer

Plastic China by Jiu-Liang Wang – China | 2016 – 82 min.

Yi Jie is eleven years old. She is the eldest daughter of Peng, a worker in Kun’s plastic waste household-recycling workshop – one of five thousand in the region. Kun and Peng’s families live with each other among mountains of plastic as they sort through it by hand. The toll it takes on their physical health and wellbeing is clear. As the leading importer of plastic waste, China receives ten million tons per year from most of the developed countries around the world, relying on rural workers to process it. The landscapes in this frank, poignant documentary tell a universal story of social inequality.

Schedule
May 17th, 2017 – Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) – Melbourne – 6:00 pm

Awards & Festival Selection
Sundance 2017
IDFA 2016

Trailer

Radio Kobani by Reber Dosky – The Netherlands | 2016 – 72 min.

Winner of the Best Dutch Documentary Award at IDFA 2016, Radio Kobani is a moving documentary about the struggle to rebuild lives after the Syrian border town of Kobani was captured by IS forces in 2014. Filmed over a three-year period, this intimately rendered film follows a 20-year-old Kurdish reporter Dilovan Kiko, who starts a radio station with friends following the liberation of the town. Radio Kobani uses honest interviews with refugees and survivors and often confronting imagery of the carnage wrought by IS forces to weave a compelling portrait of the sense of cautious optimism that can spring from devastation.

Schedule
May 8th, 2017 – Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) – Melbourne – 8:00 pm

Awards & Festival Selection
IDFA 2016
Best Dutch Documentary, IDFA 2016

Trailer

Sonita by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami – Iran, Germany | 2015 – 91 min.

Acclaimed documentarian, Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, brings us the remarkable and exhilarating story of Sonita. This multiple award-winning film (including two major accolades from Sundance) follows Sonita Alizadeh, a young Afghan refugee living in Iran who dreams of becoming a rap superstar. But Sonita’s family have other plans – to force her into an arranged marriage. An activist, Sonita’s fearless lyrics reflect Maghami challenges the idea of a documentary as she is compelled to intefere, but it’s Sonita’s tenacity and talent that see her steer her own life in an unexpected direction.

Schedule
May 16th, 2017 – Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) – Melbourne – 6:00 pm

Awards & Festival Selection
Sundance 2016
IDFA 2016
One World 2016

Trailer

Stranger in Paradise by Guido Hendrikx – The Netherlands | 2016 – 72 min.

A simple classroom is the setting for this complex exploration of the starkly relevant topic of mass global immigration. A wholly unique documentary selected to open IDFA 2016, Stranger in Paradise deconstructs the opposing ideologies that have shaped the debate. An actor talks to recently arrived migrants about the gap between their idea of ‘better lives’ in Europe, and the reality of the red tape they will face in order to make these dreams a reality. In turn, the audience is asked to play devil’s advocate and confront their own assumptions about a now familiar narrative. This refreshing and challenging film is not to be missed.

Schedule
May 6th, 2017 – Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) – Melbourne – 2:30 pm

Awards & Festival Selection
True/False Film Fest 2017
Special Jury Award from Dutch Documentary, IDFA 2016

Trailer

The Opposition by Hollie Fifer – Australia | 2016 – 76 min.

Steeped in a legal dispute that prevented its release, The Opposition details the struggle of 3,000 residents of the Paga Hill community in Papua New Guinea who watched as police bulldozed their homes to make way for a luxury resort. Two community leaders rose to help, but were driven down different paths in their individual pursuit for justice. Australian director Hollie Fifer’s pursuit of the truth, wherever it led, prompted one subject to file an injunction against the film’s release. Right triumphing over might never seemed so daunting.

Schedule
May 4th, 2017 – Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) – Melbourne – 6:30 pm – OPENING NIGHT
May 7th, 2017 – Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) – Melbourne – 5:00 pm
May 29t, 2017 – Palace Electric – Canberra – 6:30 pm
June 1st, 2017 – Palace Electric – Brisbane – 6:30 pm

Awards & Festival Selection
Hot Docs 2016
IDFA 2016

Trailer

Zach’s Ceremony by Aaron Petersen – Australia | 2016 – 92 min.

“I’m not black. I’m not white. I’m sort of in the middle.” Zach Doomadgee is an Indigenous Australian teenager in Sydney torn between two worlds. On the cusp of manhood, Zach tries to navigate his way between urban modernity and ancient cultural heritage, but doesn’t feel accepted in either space. As his 16th birthday approaches, his dedicated but domineering father helps him prepare for Ceremony – the ancient initiation rite for men in their family – hoping to provide Zach with the guidance and assurance he is seeking. Shot over the course of 5 years, this coming-of-age film brings to light the issues of identity and belonging felt by many Indigenous adolescents today.

Schedule
May 7th, 2017 – Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) – Melbourne – 2:30 pm

Awards & Festival Selection
Sydney Film festival 2016
Hot Docs 2016
Melbourne International Film Festival 2016
Audience Award – Best Documentary, Sydney Film Festival 2016

Trailer

To know more about this festival please go to the Festival Profile or to the Official Website.

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  1. […] via 10 Documentaries you cannot miss at the Human Rights & Arts Film Festival — Asian Film Festiva… […]

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