Human Rights Film Festival launches in Birmingham
The city’s award-winning Birmingham International Film Society (BIFS) is set to host its first ever Human Rights Film Festival, next month.
Highlighting an array of film productions which have increasingly been focused on human rights issues, the Festival kicks off at 6.30pm on Tuesday 6 September at the Birmingham Library Theatre, with a reception and opening address from special guest speaker, Simon Davies, Director of Privacy International.
“There are so many films coming out at the moment that raise a variety of human rights issues, we thought the best way to present them would be in a Festival,” explained film programmer Max Simpson, one of the four local film enthusiasts who founded BIFS in 2008.
“We hope the Festival will help promote awareness of human rights in the West Midlands and encourage debate.”
The reception will be followed by an exclusive preview screening of the acclaimed Iranian film The Green Wave (12A), at 7.30pm, at the Birmingham Library Theatre.
Professor A.C. Grayling, Master of the New College of the Humanities, London – as well as reknowned author, philosopher and supporter of Human Rights – has voiced his support for BIFS’s West Midlands Human Rights initiative:
“One of the most impactful ways to educate people about human rights is through film, and the West Midlands Human Rights Film Festival performs a huge service in this respect. Few people will be unchanged by what the Festival puts before their eyes.”
The Festival programme covers a range of issues and Articles relating to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The majority of screenings are Birmingham Premieres, and will be complete with guest speakers, including directors, academics, and representatives of issue-based groups.
Highlights include a preview screening of the multi-award-winning You Don’t Like the Truth – 4 Days Inside Guantánamo, with guest speaker, Moazzam Begg, Director of Cageprisoners, the organisation for human rights.
The World Premiere of Defeat of the Champion, a powerful documentary about Project Champion, a terrorism initiative which was challenged in Birmingham. The Premiere will be attended by the film’s Director, Ken Fero.
Our Generation, an eloquent award-winning Australian documentary which reveals how poorly the Aborigines have been treated throughout history. Director, Sinem Saban, will be at the screening to discuss her film.
Other venues that are showing films in partnership with the Festival include the Midlands Arts Centre (mac), Vivid, the Light House in Wolverhampton and Birmingham Library Theatre.
The Festival is funded by Screen WM and the British Film Institute, and supported by leading documentary film distributor Dogwoof Films. The Festival runs until Tuesday 4 October 2011.
For more information, visit: www.birmingham-film.org.