Film Festival Today

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A Festival Focus On Human Rights

Written by: FFT Webmaster | June 14th, 2011

The 22nd annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival is back again at Lincoln Center, bringing New York audiences a compelling series of stories of resilience from across the globe.  Human Rights Watch, one of the world’s leading independent human rights organizations, is hosting this provocative series that is meant to spur vital dialogue about the universal issues that grip our time. One of the most striking themes in this year’s selection is the power of media in all its forms to influence the craft of filmmaking and to impact human rights. Many titles are making their exclusive New York or U.S. debuts.


The festival will launch on June 16 with a fundraising Benefit Night for Human Rights Watch, featuring the Bosnia-set political thriller THE WHISTLEBLOWER. The film, directed by Larysa Kondraki, stars Oscar winner Rachel Weisz as an American police officer who takes a job working as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia. Her expectations of helping to rebuild a devastated country are dashed when she uncovers a dangerous reality of corruption, cover-up and intrigue amid a world of private contractors and multinational diplomatic doubletalk. The film, which will be distributed by the Samuel Goldwyn Company later this year, won the Audience Prize at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

The main program will begin on June 17, with the Opening Night presentation of GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR,  the latest documentary from Festival veteran Pamela Yates. The Festival Centerpiece on June 25 is SING YOUR SONG, the inspirational portrait of legendary singer/actor/activist Harry Belafonte, who will be present at the screening to discuss the film and his life’s work. On June 26, the Festival will host NO BOUNDARIES: TIM HETHERINGTON, a special tribute to the visionary work of the late photographer, filmmaker and journalist, who was killed last month covering the civil war in Libya.


The Closing Night screening on June 30 will be the premiere of LIFE, ABOVE ALL, a moving coming-of-age drama set in a South African township ravaged by HIV/AIDS. For people of conscience or those who want to get a deeper understanding of the issues that are now shaping our world, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival is an unmissable event. For more information on the complete series, visit:

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