Posted on 30 March 2015
The last week of March saw the third York Human Rights Film Festival take place in a number of venues across the city, ranging from the conventional cinema to more alternative spaces such as pubs and art venues. The theme of this year's festival was 'protest', and so the short and feature length documentaries looked at what different shapes protest can take at all levels, from the local to the global.
The festival was opened on 23 March by Dangerous Acts: Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus at CityScreen Picturehouse, followed by a Q&A with the Belarussian LGBT rights activist Katsiaryna Borsuk. It was followed on 24 March by the award-winning The Square, a film about the revolution in Egypt. Sherif Azer, an Egyptian activist who studies the use of cyberactivism and social movements in human rights, led a discussion after the screening. Thursday 25 March saw Bananas*!, a documentary about Nicaraguan banana plantation workers taking on a multinational corporation, and a thought-provoking presentation and discussion with the York Law School's Dr Carrie Bradshaw. Finally on Sunday 29th a double bill of 7 Lives and Syrian Shorts at the Fleeting Arms showed life after the revolution in Tunisia, and Syrian mobile phone short films respectively. The film festival also featured community screenings at the Golden Ball pub and Nevermind.
Besides the feature length films the festival showcased work by CAHR's students. During the module "Culture and Protest" students had learnt about participatory film making, which gave them the skills to film and produce three short films. Meet the Defenders sees CAHR's visiting human rights defenders discuss what protest means to them, whereas another film followed the work of the York based NGO Food not Bombs and a third one looked at University of York students doing a sit-in to raise awareness for the rights of refugees.
For more details, check out York Human Rights Film Festival 2015.
Image: Dr Carrie Bradshaw (left) discusses corporate social responsibility after the screening of Bananas*! at Orillo Studio.