UNC Asheville Will Host Human Rights Film Festival March 20-22

Movie freeze-frame of a large crowd.Scene from "A Cambodian Spring."
March 11, 2019

UNC Asheville will host its ninth Human Rights Film Festival presenting three award-winning films, March 20-22. The films are free and open to everyone, beginning at 7 p.m. with post-screening discussions.

“Although there are many forms of communication in our world, the power of the visual form is not to be underestimated,” says Elina Morrison, president of UNC Asheville’s student chapter of Amnesty International, which is co-sponsoring the festival along with the university’s Human Rights Studies Program. “Film impacts us emotionally and challenges us to act in ways that text and lecture simply can’t.”

Wednesday, March 20 – A Cambodian Spring – This documentary charts the growing wave of land-rights protests in Cambodia and won the Grand Prize at the 2018 Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival, as well as Best Documentary at the 2017 Brooklyn Film Festival. The screening of A Cambodian Spring will be followed by a discussion of “land grabbing” issues led by Inclusive Development International (IDI) co-founders David Pred and Natalie Bugalski.  IDI works with a number of local communities in Southeast Asia and Africa defending against corporate-driven land dispossessions. Highsmith Student Union, Alumni Hall

Thursday, March 21 – Roma – This drama, which won three Oscars at February’s Academy Awards, follows a domestic worker’s journey through domestic and political turmoil in Mexico in the 1970s. Alfonso Cuarón wrote, directed and shot this semi-autobiographical film, which was awarded Best Director, Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography. Juan Sánchez Martinez, assistant professor of Spanish at UNC Asheville, will lead the post-film discussion. The film is rated R. Highsmith Student Union, Alumni Hall

Friday, March 22 – The Sentence – This HBO documentary won the 2018 Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. According to filmmakers, The Sentence “explores the devastating consequences of mass incarceration and mandatory minimum drug sentencing through the story of Cindy Shank, a mother of three young children serving a 15-year sentence in federal prison for her tangential involvement in a Michigan drug ring years before.” Tarrah Callahan, executive director of Conservatives for Criminal Justice Reform, and a UNC Asheville graduate, will lead the post-film discussion. Rhoades Robinson Hall, Room 125

For more information contact Assistant Professor Peter Haschke, director of UNC Asheville’s Human Rights Studies Program, phaschke@unca.edu 828.251.6966.

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