Reel Awareness Amnesty International Human Rights Film Festival

Reel Awareness Amnesty International Human Rights Film Festival –November 22nd – 25th, 2007  Toronto premiere!

TORONTO, ON,Canada (RUSHPRNEWS) November 16, 2007 -Peru, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Uganda, Rwanda and the United States all commit human rights violations, attracting the scrutiny of filmmakers. The NFB Mediatheque in Toronto is hosting the Reel Awareness Amnesty International Human Rights Film Festival from November 22 to 25. Eight films will screen, some of them followed by discussions with the directors or other special guests.

Adventurous pioneers have transformed Peru’s harsh northern desert into a fertile valley of mango and lime orchards. But their work is threatened when gold is discovered by a Canadian mining company. Fear, violence and murder rock their once quiet community. In the midst of chaos, a martyr’s vision unites farmers and leads them down a revolutionary path of non-violent resistance. These brave men and women confront corrupt politicians and the global mining industry in an epic and colourful tale of resistance.

7pm – 9:30pm TAMBOGRANDE: Mangos, Murder, Mining

Ernesto Cabellos and Stephanie Boyd / Peru / 2007 / 86min
• Main Competition Award, Dignity and Work Film Festival (Poland)
• 52nd Valladolid Film Festival, Spain, October 2007
GUEST SPEAKER: Ulises Garcia (film protagonist)

7pm – 9:30pm BLING: A Planet Rock
Raquel Cepeda/US/2007/87min
Toronto premiere!
BLING is an 87-minute documentary that takes a hard-hitting look at how the flashy world of commercial hip-hop played a significant role in the 10-year civil war in Sierra Leone, West Africa. The term “bling” refers to the shine emanating from polished diamonds that represent the status symbol for hip-hop luminaries and fans alike. BLING follows three hip-hop celebrities: Raekwon (Wu Tang Klan), Paul Wall and Reggaetón king, Tego Calderon. They visit the capital of Freetown where they survey the devastated country, meet the hip-hop community, as well as encounter refugees and former child soldiers first hand. The film effectively captures the hip-hop community’s reaction to the human rights violations and the complexities that still exist, while presenting a much needed global perspective for our youth through the dominant voice of hip-hop.


2:30pm – 4:30pm ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS
Evan Mulvad and Anka al-Erhayem/Denmark/2006/59min
In September 2005, Afghanistan held its first parliamentary elections in 35 years. Among the candidates for 249 assembly seats was Malalai Joya, a courageous, controversial 27-year-old woman who had ignited outrage among hard-liners when she spoke out against corrupt warlords at the Grand Council of tribal elders in 2003. ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS is a revelatory portrait of this extraordinary freedom fighter and the way she won the hearts of voters, as well as a snapshot of life and politics in war-torn Afghanistan.

5:00p – 7:00pm MADE IN LA
Almudena Carracedo / USA / 2007 / 70min
Toronto premiere
Made in L.A. follows the remarkable journey of three Latina immigrants working in L.A.’s garment factories as they launch a three-year battle to bring a major clothing retailer to the negotiating table. In intimate vérité style, Made in L.A. offers a rare and poignant glimpse into this “other” California, where immigrants toil for sub-minimum wages.
Pierre Guyot / France/ 2006 / 52min
Toronto premiere
In 1994 “the thousand hills radio” in Rwanda followed minute by minute the last genocide of the 20th century when over a million people died. The Democratic Republic of Congo also experienced a devastating civil war that produced millions of victims. With the help of journalists, Radio Okapi was born from a will to do things differently: to bring people fair and balanced information and to make radio an instrument of peace. Director in attendance.
• “Autrement Vu” Award, Festival International du Grand Reportage et du Documentaire de Societe (France)
• Special Jury Prize, Festival International du Film des Droits de l’Homme de Bangui (Central African Republic)


2:30pm – 4:30pm CHILD SLAVERY
Richard Alwyn/BBC/UK /2007/ 90min
It’s almost 200 years since the abolition of slavery in most countries. But across the world, the slave trade is booming like never before – a business worth billions of dollars a year. As many as 14 million children are enslaved today worldwide – more than at any time in history. Children are bought and sold like bags of sugar. They break stones in quarries, clean and cook for their owners, work the plantations and service Western sex tourists. They are beaten, abused, denied any contact with their family and often worked to death. Many of their captors do not see the practice as wrong. This film tells five extraordinary stories of children around the world, who share their experiences of slavery in their own words.

Azra Rashid/ Canada / 2007 / 56min
(Synopsis to be included shortly)

7:30pm – 10pm WAR/DANCE
Andrea Nix Fine & Sean Fine / USA / 2007 / 105min
War Dance tells the story of Uganda’s brutal civil war through the eyes of children. For their entire lives, Dominic, Nancy and Rose lived in a dangerous war zone. War Dance follows their historic journey to the Uganda National Music and Dance Competition. Devastated by the horrors of war, they carry the hopes and dreams of their village as they struggle to become national champions.
• Best Documentary Award, Sedona International Film Festival
• Documentary Directing Prize, Sundance Film Festival

GUEST SPEAKERS : Mariatu Kamara, former child-victim of war, Susan McClleland, journalist, recipient of 2005 Amnesty International Media Award, Shelley Saywell, filmdirector.

November 25 2007
07:30 PM, 05:00 PM, 02:30 PM
November 24 2007
07:30 PM, 05:00 PM, 02:30 PM
November 23 2007
07:00 PM
November 22 2007
07:00 PM

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