Human Rights Arts and Film Festival

Campaigning for change article written on the 27 Apr 2011

Human Rights and Arts Film Fesitval

This year, as in past gone by, Oxfam Australia is proud to be supporting the Human Rights and Arts Film Festival.

This year, we are sponsoring the screening of three films:

Moving to Mars follows two refugee families from Burma over the course of a year that will change their lives completely. Forced from their homeland by the repressive military junta, they have lived in a Thai refugee camp for many years. A resettlement scheme offers them the chance of a new life, but their new home, in the British city of Sheffield, will be different to everything they have ever known.

The Indigenous people of Takuu, a tiny low-lying atoll in the South Western Pacific, have an impossible decision to make. Water is rising, and as their land starts to disappear, their way of life is under threat. As they prepare for a terrifying tidal flood to rip through their community, they must ask the question: do we stay, or do we leave our homeland forever? There Once was an Island reveals the human face of climate change in the Pacific, challenging audiences everywhere to consider their own relationship to the earth and the other people on it.

In the heart of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, United Nations soldiers guard a heavily fortified building known as the “special court.” Inside, Issa Sesay awaits his trial. Prosecutors say Sesay is a war criminal, guilty of heinous crimes against humanity. His defenders say he is a reluctant fighter who protected civilians and played a crucial role in bringing peace to Sierra Leone. With unprecedented access to prosecutors, defence attorneys, victims and  Sesay himself, War Don Don puts international justice on trial for the world to see.

These films will be touring the country as part of the festival – please do come along to a screening near you and have a chat to our volunteers about the issues raised by the films.

Melbourne
Moving to Mars: 9pm, Tuesday 17 May, Australian Centre for the Moving Image
There Once Was An Island: 6:30pm, Friday 20 May, Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Seminar: Progressive Media: Creating and Exhibiting Films for Social Activism, 2pm, Saturday 21 May, Australian Centre for the Moving Image
War Don Don (Melbourne festival closing night): 6:30pm, Sunday 22 May, Capitol Theatre

Moving to Mars will also be touring the country
Alice Springs: 6pm, Saturday 28 May, Olive Pink Botanical Gardens
Brisbane: 6:30pm, Friday 3 June, Venue TBC
Sydney: 6:30pm, Saturday 4 June, Dendy Newtown
Byron Bay: 7pm, Saturday 4 June, Dendy Byron Bay
Adelaide: 7pm, Friday 10 June, Mercury Cinema
Perth: 6pm, Friday 10 June, Luna Cinema Paradiso

War Don Don will be screening in Canberra
2pm, Sunday 29 May, National Film and Sound Archives

Of course, there’s much more on offer than just these three great films. Please check out the full program for your city and get out to see some fascinating films, documentaries and events.