Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Feb 22-Mar 4

The Human Rights Watch International Film Festival is a touring festival of films by Human Rights Watch, an organization dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. The festival highlights human rights issues and struggles, and includes both dramas and documentaries. It started in New York in 1994 before expanding to London in 1996. They now tour various cities in Canada and the United States.

The 8th annual Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival starts tonight at TIFF Bell Lightbox. The festival continues until March 4.

Tonight's opening film is Ali Samadi’s The Green Wave, a documentary about the disturbing Iranian presidential elections in 2009. The special guest Payam Akhavan, Professor of International Law at McGill University in Montreal and co-founder of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre, will attend the gala screening.

Events start at 6 PM with a reception at Malaparte (on the 6th floor at the TIFF Bell Lightbox) followed by the Canadian premiere of The Green Wave at 8pm. Dr. Akhavan will participate in a Q&A following the screening.

The full lineup of films is very strong. Die Fremde (When We Leave) by Feo Aladag was awarded the Bronze Deutscher Filmpreis (Lola) last year in addition to winning Best Actress for Sibel Kekilli. It tells the haunting story about so-called "honour killings." The First Grader is a rousing tale of an eighty-four-year-old Kenyan who decides to get an education, and was a runner-up to The King's Speech for the Audience Award at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. You Don't Like the Truth takes a harsh look at how our own Canadian authorities participated in the abuse of Omar Khadr at Guantanamo. Life, Above All is a gripping story told from the perspective of a brave young girl, based on a novel by Canadian author Allan Stratton. The Oath presents a fascinating portrait of brothers-in-law who were affected by the U.S. "war on terror" and was named one of the top two documentaries of 2010 by Eugene Hernandez of the The Film Society of Lincoln Center.

8th annual Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival schedule

The 8th annual Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival opens February 22, 2011 with the Canadian premiere of Ali Samadi’s documentary, The Green Wave, about the tumultuous 2009 Iranian presidential elections. The festival runs until March 4, 2011.
All screenings take place at 8 pm at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

Tuesday, February 22nd — The Green Wave — Cinema 1
Wednesday, February 23rd — When We Leave — Cinema 3
Thursday, February 24th — You Don’t Like the Truth — Cinema 3
Friday, February 25th — Enemies of the People — Cinema 3
Saturday, February 26th — Familia — Cinema 3
Sunday, February 27th — The First Grader — Cinema 3
Monday, February 28th — 12 Angry Lebanese — Cinema 3
Wednesday, March 2nd — Life Above All — Cinema 3
Thursday, March 3rd — The Oath — Cinema 3
Friday, March 4th — Illegal — Cinema 3


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