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Human Rights Arts & Film Festival 2017

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All images courtesy of HRAFF

The Human Rights Arts & Film Festival 2017 marks its 10 year strong presence in continuing to inspire and engage audiences with social justice and human rights issues. Screening from 4 May to 3 June, National Tour dates are as follows: -


If you're passionate about human rights films, buy a Full Festival Pass or Mini Pass, and save! For individual tickets, purchase via the website program.


Kicking off in Melbourne with an Opening Night event on 4 May at 6.30pm, there'll be an after-party at ACMI's Lightwell to herald the 10th Anniversary celebrations with free drinks, food and entertainment. As a special event, an HRAFF Mini-Pass cannot be used to purchase a ticket for the party. Exempt from classification, the screening of The Opposition is restricted to people over 18 years.

This 76 minute documentary details the struggle of 3,000 residents of the Paga Hill community in Papua New Guinea who watched helplessly as police bulldozed their homes to make way for a luxury resort. So powerful was the pursuit of the truth, this doco was steeped in legal disputes designed to block its release.

The Closing Night event in Melbourne on 18 May at 7pm will have a post-film Q&A with the director Jonathan Olshefski. Again, you cannot purchase tickets to this event with a HRAFF Mini-Pass.

Quest is 105 mins long and was a critics' favourite at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Olshefski's stunning feature debut shows the simple beauty and necessity of human kindness through an intimate portrait of the Rainey family in North Philadelphia. Despite their own hardships, this family provide support and sanctuary not only for their family but also to the greater community within their home music studio. Shot over nearly a decade see the turmoil, sorrow and joy this family encounters and overcomes with bravery and humility.


The HRAFF Goes West: Music and Movement special event in Melbourne on 13 May highlights our rich multicultural and indigenous tapestry with performances and panel discussions from the musicians and artists involved in the Key of Sea. This will be followed by a screening of the debut film from Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre, Stephen Page's Spear as part of the FCAC Black Screen program.

There will be a post-film Q&A with producer John Harvey from Brown Cab Productions. This will be an amazing free event about a collaborative music project by some of Australia's best established artists and extraordinary musicians who brought their cultural heritage from across the sea, escaping war, hardship or persecution.

Melbourne and Sydney scoring the major share of screenings, you'll find the Cineseeds program (in Melbourne) that caters to the youth component to create awareness and to stimulate discussion amongst young audiences around human rights themes. The two films selected this year includes Satellite Boy and Zach's Ceremony.

An astonishing film about courage, cultural heritage and true friendship, Satellite Boy will captivate you as Pete and his best friend Kalmain set out across the stunning Kimberley landscape in an effort to reach the city and stop the demolition of their home. Not suitable for children under 5 and parental guidance is recommended for ages 6-12.


Zach's Ceremony is shot over the course of 5 years and is a coming-of-age film that highlights the issues of identity and belonging felt by many Indigenous adolescents today. Suitable for children aged 15 plus, and if under aforementioned age, must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Both films are a Special Event and again HRAFF Mini-Pass cannot be used to buy a ticket.

Choose what you see by city, topics or event types on the website. There are quite a few interesting free events in the ART section, and Forums you won't want to miss.

The gala film screening and cocktail party rates highly with promises of a stellar night of entertainment with special guest MC Matt Tilley, a selection of short human rights films, cocktail party, silent auction and address by Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Human Rights Commisison. The Raffle tickets when purchased, will put you in the draw to win 10 bottles of Penfolds Grange Vintage 1991-2000 (prize value $8,740).

Stay updated via the website and Facebook Page.

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Why? 2017 Human Rights Arts & Film Festival
When: 2017: Melbourne 4-18 May; Sydney 23-27 May; Canberra 29-31 May;l Perth1 June; Brisbane 1-3 June; Hobart 2 June
Where: Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane & Hobart
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