The Human Rights Arts & Film Festival will be celebrating its fifth year of the festival from 15th – 27th May 2012. HRAFF will return for eleven day to Melbourne to champion the awareness, participation and inspiration of human rights: “The message we hope to transmit is one focused on change, inspiration, passion, creativity, inclusion, and most of all, of possibility.”
Contemporary cinema, fine art and music make up a dynamic line up for HRAFF, with the festival getting underway at different locations in and surrounding the city. Particular locations include the Abbotsford Convent, The Forum Theatre and ACMI. In the meantime, HRAFF have released a few teasing details of what is to come on the line-up this year.
A particular event anticipated by HRAFF to be a popular success is the feature length documentary film, ‘Buffalo Girls’ which tells the story of ‘two Thai girls embroiled in the world of child boxing.’ With a recent premiere at Slamdance, it challenges the audience to question whether it is “exploitation, empowerment or economic necessity” that leads to some 30,000 child boxers being pitted against one another whilst strangers to families wager on the fight.
Accompanying ‘Buffalo Girls’ on the cinematic line-up is Jon Shenk’s ‘The Island President’. The film documents the first year in office of the Maldives’ President Mohamed Nasheed as, after battling for thirty years to fully introduce democracy to the islands, he now takes on the environment. The potential three foot rise of sea levels threatens to make 1200 islands of the collective nation uninhabitable and the film culminates with Nasheed’s visit to the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009. From the film of a nation to a personal film of one man, ‘Planet of Snail’ tells the story of Young-Chan, a deaf and blind man reliant upon – like a snail - tactile senses and communication by touch.
Regarding the musical line-up, HRAFF has announced that Tinpan Orange will headline a full day of musical entertainment, ‘Rhythm & Rights’, at Abbotsford Convent. Alongside these few released details, The Human Rights Arts & Film Festival will announce the full program of music, art and cinema on Monday 16th April.