Thursday, March 20, 2008

2008 New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival is coming together

Hi all,
It looks like this year will be the festival's best year yet. We are all so excited about what this year has to offer!

Twelve days, more than fifty films, at least twenty directors presenting their films, five world premieres, plus workshops, performances, parties, and more.

The Fifth Annual New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival

April 9 – 20, 2008

This year, we are proud to welcome Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme, who will be presenting his film Right To Return: New Home Movies From the Lower Ninth Ward on April 9 at John McDonogh High School. The screening begins at 7 pm, and will be preceded by a reception at 6 pm. We are also excited to host an afterparty for the screening at the Mother-In-Law Lounge, featuring Al “Carnival Time” Johnson.

The next night, Thursday, April 10, at 7 pm, we present the New Orleans premiere of Taxi To The Dark Side, the 2008 Academy Award-winner for best documentary feature.

Also on Thursday, at 9:30 pm, we invite you to Caramel, a new romantic comedy from Lebanon. The film is the most highly acclaimed film in Lebanon’s history, was selected for Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, and was Lebanon's official submission to the 2008 Academy Awards for best foreign language film.

On this website you can find out all about the festival. We have full descriptions of all the films and programs, short video previews of festival films, schedule and venue information, and more. Also on this site, you can buy festival passes and membership. Festival passes get you free admission to all parties and films, including the opening night party ($20) and the bounce hip-hop concert on April 10 (also $20). Please support the festival, and buy passes and membership for yourself and friends. With your help, we will continue to be a resource for community and social justice in New Orleans.


Many people think that human rights means documentaries, but this year we have comedies, action films, science fiction, and more. In addition to Caramel, don’t miss Waiting for Zigzigland, a comedy about a Palestinian cab driver in Los Angeles; Eréndira Ikikunari, an action film about indigenous resistance to Spanish colonization; and the world premiere of The Fullness of Time, an experimental science fiction film from the director of Drylongso and the producers who brought Waiting For Godot to the Lower Ninth Ward.

This year’s festival is filled with music and performances. In addition to our opening night performances, we are hosting a concert featuring New Orleans best bounce music on Saturday, April 19 at 11:30 pm. And, throughout the festival, we have parties and performances – see our schedule for more, and check back for updates! We also have programmed some incredible musical films, including Ya Heard Me, a film about New Orleans bounce; From the Mouthpiece on Back, a film about To Be Continued Brass Band; Finding Our Folk, which features performances by Hot 8 Brass Band, among other musicians; War/Dance, a portrayal of breathtaking and inspiring music and dancing from Uganda; profiles of young breakdancers from Texas in Inside the Circle; and stunning hip-hop performances from Senegal in Democracy in Dakar.

This year we continue to showcase the best films from New Orleans and around the world. We have incredible filmmaking from almost every continent, exemplified by the film Arabs And Terrorism – a fresh new documentary exploring differing perspectives on this issue, filmed in 40 countries. We present strong artistic visions from Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, including The Birthday, a film about sex changes in Iran; When The Clouds Clear, about a an Ecuadorian village’s resistance to a copper mine; In The Name of the Son, about a prisoner of war coming from Bosnia to the US; and Intimadad, an intimate portrait of a couple from rural Mexico. See an exclusive look at the Iraqi resistance in Meeting Resistance; experience a lyrical and beautifully poetic view of the economic collapse in Argentina in Maybe Buenos Aires; and experience The Truth From Palestine, a special series of new short films from Palestine, highlighting grassroots voices not generally heard in the US.

We always prioritize showcasing youth, and especially young people from New Orleans. This year, don’t miss new films from the New Orleans program, Students at the Center (SAC), directed by Kalamu Ya Salaam and Jim Randalls. Among the student-directed films this year, be sure to check out A Jazz Journey, and Moving On, both by students from SAC; and the world premiere screening of Wade in the Water, which was made in collaboration with New Orleans students in Central City. For other youth programming, catch Digital Resistance, made in collaboration with Palestinian youth from refugee camps, and In Solidarity, a film about a trip that six Black high school students from Baltimore took to Nicaragua.

Our festival celebrates the best of New Orleans filmmaking, bringing you the first chance to see local filmmaking at its best. In addition to the premieres of Wade in the Water and The Fullness of Time; we are proud to present the world premieres of Vows of Silence, New Orleans writer Jason Berry’s new film about corruption and sexual abuse in the Catholic church; Cut Off, Broderick Webb and Edward Holub’s new film about public housing in New Orleans; and the first New Orleans festival screening of Glory at Sea, a new fiction film from New Orleans filmmaker Benh Zeitlin.

We also bring some Hollywood to the festival this year. In addition to director Jonathan Demme, don’t miss Chicago 10, an exciting new film from Academy Award-nominated director Brett Morgen, featuring Jeffrey Wright, Roy Scheider, Nick Nolte, and Mark Ruffalo. And, don’t miss this year’s Academy Award-winner for best documentary feature, Taxi to the Dark Side, a stunning exploration of the dark side of the Bush administrations’ war on human rights; the Academy Award-nominated War/Dance, an uplifting and beautiful film about a dance competition in Uganda; and Shock Doctrine, a breathtaking film from writer Naomi Klein and Academy Award-nominated director Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Y Tu Mamá Tambien).

Our festival exists to support movements for social justice – not to just show problems, but to show solutions, to celebrate hope and resistance. April 20, see the New Orleans premiere of the most thorough, up-close perspective on the struggle of the Jena Six, from a journalist who was there long before the corporate media showed up – see Big Noise Tactical Media’s The Jena Six. And, check out a snapshot from New Orleans’ activist past in Rudy Mills’ Neo-Black Leaders and Politics. When the people of Oaxaca, México led an uprising and the corporate media demonized them, they seized the media. See the story in Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad (A Little Bit of so Much Truth). For an unforgettable story of struggle against all odds, see Bilin My Love, a story of one Palestinian village’s inspiring resistance to displacement and dispossession.

In addition to beautiful and inspiring films, incredible performances, and fabulous parties, we have a wide range of other special events, including workshops and discussions with filmmakers, activists, and human rights workers. Katrina Browne, director of the thought-provoking and powerful film about the legacy of racism and slavery, Traces of the Trade, hosts a discussion on the issues raised by her film. New Orleans grassroots and activist filmmakers talk about their films and social justice in New Orleans in Straight Out of New Orleans, a two-part series, Monday, April 14 at the Craige Cultural Center, and Tuesday, April 15 at Southern University of New Orleans. Each evening features different filmmakers. Come for both!

What do human rights internationally have to do with the issues we face in New Orleans? How can we build links with international struggles? What lessons can we learn from movements in other countries? How can the framework of international human rights support the struggle for justice in New Orleans? Hear discussions of these questions and much more from local and international experts at the festival workshop Our Struggle Is Your Struggle: A Discussion on Human Rights in New Orleans and Around the World on Sunday April 13.

On April 21-22, US President Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Harper, and Mexican President Calderón will gather in New Orleans for the North American Leaders’ Summit to discuss the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America – the military arm of NAFTA. How does this affect you, and what can you do about it? Find out at the special festival workshop, NAFTA Gets Militarized: The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America on Sunday April 20, at 12:30 pm.

In support of V to the Tenth, the tenth anniversary of The Vagina Monologues, we are highlighting programming by and about women throughout our festival, including the films Against The Grain, about artists facing state repression in Peru; Black Womyn: Conversations With Lesbians of African Descent, featuring powerful voices such as Def Poet Stacyann Chin and filmmaker Aishah Shahidah Simmons; Mississippi Chicken, about Latina poultry workers; and Tunnel Trade, Laila El-Haddad’s exploration of the smuggling tunnels under Gaza. In addition, we will offer free admission to our April 11 and 12 programming with ticket stubs from the V to the Tenth programming in the Superdome.

We look forward to seeing you at the festival.


Canal Place Cinema
333 Canal St

Craige Cultural Center
1800 Newton St (Algiers)

John McDonogh High School
2426 Esplanade Ave

Mother-In-Law Lounge
1500 N. Claiborne Ave

The Porch
1943 Pauger St

Prytania Theatre
5339 Prytania St

Southern University of New Orleans
6801 Press Drive

Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center
1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd

Ticket Prices:
All programs and events are $8, with the following exceptions:
Wednesday April 9, Opening Night Film: $10
Wednesday April 9, Opening Night Party: $20
Sunday April 13, Human Rights Workshop: Free
Saturday April 19, Screening at the Porch: Free
Saturday April 19, Ya Heard Me Premiere concert and party: $20
Sunday April 20, NAFTA Gets Militarized workshop: Free
Sunday April 20, Award Ceremony: Free
April 11 and 12 festival programming free with pass from V10/Superlove.
New Orleans Film Society members receive discount to the films Taxi to the Dark Side, War/Dance, and Chicago 10.

Buy a festival pass and get free admission to all festival events, including parties and concert.

No comments: