Human Rights Watch Film Festival Returns to MOPA

Release Date: 
January 7, 2014

Using the Power of Film to Make a Difference

Museum of Photographic Arts Presents 2014 Human Rights Watch Film Festival

(San Diego, Calif.) -- The Human Rights Watch Film Festival will come to San Diego for its fourth year, with screenings scheduled at the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) from January 23 through January 27, 2014. The Human Rights Watch Film Festival highlights the power of film to make a difference.

The festival includes six films from five countries – spanning a cross-section of critical human rights issues facing people around the world.   Filmmakers and human rights experts will be present to discuss the issues raised by the films with the audience.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of programming this festival is that it always reveals thought-provoking and often surprising themes distilled from the past year’s human rights films,” said festival director John Biaggi. “At the core of all the films in this year’s festival is the inspiring strength of individuals standing up for themselves, their rights and their communities.”

The opening night film, THE NEW BLACK, highlights the rapidly changing views of LGBT marriage within the eyes of the black church.  

The festival features two powerful films on Africa including Harry Freeland’s IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN, a story of two men with albinism in Tanzania pursuing their dreams in the face of virulent prejudice. TALL AS THE BAOBOB TREE, a  drama by Jeremy Teicher, follows  a young  Western African woman as she tries to secretly earn enough money to save her younger sister from child marriage.

THE UNDOCUMENTED follows the journey of a young Mexican man who searches for his father, Francisco, who disappeared in the Sonora Desert trying to enter the United States.  RAFEA SOLAR MAMA follows a Bedouin woman who is selected for a unique program that seeks to train 30 illiterate women from different countries to become solar engineers over the course of six months. MY AFGHANISTAN  explores  the lives of civilians living in the constant shadow of violence.

“The Human Rights Watch Film Festival continues to be the leader in using film for inspiring change,” said Deborah Klochko, executive director of MOPA. “Through these powerful documentaries we are able to share the global joy, pain and challenges that can touch each of us. MOPA is pleased to continue our partnership with Human Rights Watch to present this important program.”

OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION: Thursday, January 23, 6 p.m.

Thursday, January 23, 7 p.m.

The New Black

Followed by a Q&A with director Yoruba Richen and film subject (see website for details.)

Coffee and dessert to follow.

The New Blacktells the story of how the African American community is grappling with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in light of the marriage equality movement and the fight over civil rights. 

Friday, January 24, 7 p.m.

Rafea: Solar Mama

Followed by a Q&A with director MonaEldaief

When Bedouin mother Rafea is selected for a unique development project, she travels to join 30 illiterate women from different countries to train to become solar engineers. Will she be able to empower the other women in the village to join her in the struggle to rewire the traditions of the Bedouin community?

Saturday, January 25, 3 p.m.

My Afghanistan: Life in the Forbidden Zone

Followed by a Q&A with John Sifton, Asia Division, Human Rights Watch

My Afghanistan depicts a country where civilians are the greatest victims of the war, and Afghans struggle to live in the constant shadow of violence.

Saturday, January 25, 7 p.m.

The Undocumented

Followed by Q&A with director Marco Williams and film subject (see website for details.)

Since 1998 the remains of over 2,000 border crossers have been found in the southern Arizona desert. The Undocumented tells the story of Marcos Hernandez, as he searches to find his father who disappeared after attempting to cross the border to the United States.

Sunday, January 26, 3 p.m.

In the Shadow of the Sun

Followed by a Q&A with Shantha Rau Barriga, Director, Disability Rights Program, Human Rights Watch

Filmed over six years, In the Shadow of the Sun tells the story of two men with albinism in Tanzania pursuing their dreams in the face of virulent prejudice.

Sunday, January 26, 7 p.m.

Tall as the Baobab Tree

Followed by a Q&A with director Jeremy Teicher

When an accident suddenly threatens their family’s survival, a father decides to sell his 11-year-old daughter, Debo, into an arranged marriage. Torn between loyalty to her elders and her dreams for the future, older sister Coumba hatches a secret plan to rescue her younger sister from a future she did not choose.

SCREENING FOR TITLE I SCHOOLS

Monday, January 27, 10am

Tall as the Baobab Tree

Free for Title I Schools – Contact Lori Sokolowski at 619.238.7559 X236 or sokolowski@mopa.org to reserve.

Followed by a Q&A with director Jeremy Teicher

When an accident suddenly threatens their family’s survival, a father decides to sell his 11-year-old daughter, Debo, into an arranged marriage. Torn between loyalty to her elders and her dreams for the future, older sister Coumba hatches a secret plan to rescue her younger sister from a future she did not choose.

TICKETS:

Single screening tickets for the 2014 Human Rights Watch Film Festival are $4 for MOPA Members, $6 for students, seniors and military service members and $8 for the general public. Festival passes are available for purchase and cover admission to all six festival films. Festival passes are $15 for MOPA Members, $25 for students, seniors and military service members and $35 for the general public. For more information or to purchase tickets go to mopa.org/hrwff.

PRESS OPPORTUNITIES: For additional information, including requests for high-res images and interviews, please contact Danny Cappiello at pr@MOPA.orgor 619.238.7559 X203.

MOPA Information:The Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) is one of the leading museums in the United States devoted exclusively to photography, film and video. Since its founding in 1983, the Museum’s endeavors consistently address cultural, historical and social issues through its exhibitions and educational programs. Learn more at mopa.org

ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Human Rights Watchis one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, we give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes. Our rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse. For 30 years, Human Rights Watch has worked tenaciously to lay the legal and moral groundwork for deep-rooted change and has fought to bring greater justice and security to people around the world. To learn more about our work or to make a donation, visit www.hrw.org.