CENDEP Human Rights Film Festival

Oxford Brookes University Annual Film and Music Festival

7th Annual Festival: 27 February - 8 March 2009
Visions of our Common Humanity: Ten awakenings

At the 7th Annual Human Rights Film and Music Festival, prizes were awarded to four films.

The 2009 Audience Choice Award went to Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Peronnaud, 2009, France). A jury comprised of Vice-Chancellor Janet Beer, Lord Mayor Susanna Pressel, Oxford Councillor Bob Price, David Woodman (Roehampton University), Kate Sheill (Amnesty International), and Emily Smith (Modern Art Oxford) awarded the following prizes:

  • Best Short Film went to: Féminin, Masculin (Sadaf Foroughi, 2007, Iran)
  • The runner-up was: My Body, My Weapon (Kavita Joshi, 2007, India)
  • A Special Jury Award for Best Soundtrack went to: Freedom from Fear (Milena Kaneva, 2008, Burma/Bulgaria)
  • A Special Jury Award for Originality went to: Interferenze (Zoe D'Amaro, 2007, Italy/The Netherlands)

The schedule for the 2009 festival was as follows:

Friday 27 Feb

awakening to HUMAN RIGHTS

Main Lecture Theatre, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane Campus

6.30pm, Welcome from Oxford Brookes University Chancellor and Human Rights Campaigner, Shami Chakrabarti.

7pm, Between Joyce and Remembrance (Mark Kaplan, 2003, South Africa, 68mins)

Following the unforgettable story of the family of student activist, Siphiwo Mtimkulu, who was tortured and murdered by a former colonel in the apartheid government’s hated security police. Shot over 7 years, this documentary offers a deeper understanding of the difficulty of reconciling with torturers, knowing they will receive no punishment and raises questions about the nature of truth, forgiveness and reconciliation.

8pm, Performance from London Lucumi Choir

The London Lucumi Choir is an Afro-Cuban choir who were finalists in the BBC Radios Choir of the Year competition.
Myspace & Youtube: London Lucumi Choir

Saturday 28 Feb 2009

awakening IDENTITY

Asian Cultural Centre, Manzil Way

2pm, Sometimes in April (Raoul Peck, 2005, Rwanda, 140mins)

Based on true events, this gripping film tells the story of how the lives and relationship of two brothers, one of whom is in the military and one a radio personality, are changed forever - as they are divided along political lines - in the midst of the Rwandan genocide.

Persepolis (2007)

4.15pm, Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud, 2007, Iran, 92mins)

Animated in the style of a graphic novel, Persepolis describes the heartfelt story of a young girl overcoming numerous obstacles in a difficult world. The young girl is sent to Austria to study, away from her loving family in Iran where she grew up, to a society which is prejudice against her because of her Middle Eastern looks. Eventually she returns to her family in Iran but finds she is forced to move once again due to pressures of Iranian society.

TV Room, Oxford Union, Frewin Court

6.30pm, Kekexili: Mountain Patrol (Chuan Lu, 2004, Tibet, 90mins)

Formed in 1993, the Kekexili mountain patrol is made up of civilian volunteers who trek through the harsh unforgiving mountains of the Tibetan playeau in response to the declining numbers of the Tibetan antelope due to illegal poaching. Based on a true event, the film follows the patrol - through the breathtaking landscape - after a member has been murdered by a poacher.

8.30pm, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Stephan Elliott, 1994, Australia, 104mins)

Mitzi, Felicia and Bernadette - two drag queens and a transsexual woman - embark on a road trip to Alice Springs in a second-hand bus they dub 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert'. They party, they fight, they turn heads and are rescued by an open-minded mechanic who helps them to continue on their journey. Fabulous costumes, colourful characters and fine performances.

Sunday 1 March

awakening SELF

St Barnabas Community Centre, Canal St, Jericho

5pm, Footloose (Herbert Ross, 1984, USA, 107mins)

Considered one of the best cheesy films of the 80's, Footloose follows the story of Ren MCormack who has moved from Chicago to a small town where the town government has banned dancing and rock music. Ren, who likes to dance and doesn't like to take orders, must figure out a way to get around the law and dance at the senior prom.

Monday 2 March

awakening COMPASSION

Main Lecture Theatre, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane Campus

12pm, Presentation by Founder of Change for Burma, Ben Rogers, on Burma’s Crimes Against Humanity: A Test-Case for the Responsibility to Protect

Oxford Synagogue, Richmond Rd, Jericho

6pm, It's a Free World (Ken Loach, 2007, UK, 96mins)

Angie has been messed about in the past and has a point to prove. With her wit, ambition, energy and flat-mate Rose she sets up a recruitment agency. This realistic film discusses migrant workers, flexible labour, double shifts and us – the happy consumers. RSVP to connections@ojc-online.org for this event.
Followed by a discussion led by Dr Hugo Slim, a leading international academic in humanitarian studies.

Tuesday 3 March

awakening FAITH

The Imam and the Pastor (2006)

TV Room, Oxford Union, Frewin Court

6pm, The Imam and the Pastor (Alan and David Channer, 2006)

The Imam and the Pastor documents two men who played a leading role in negotiating an historic peace accord in Northern Nigeria, Imam Ashafa and Pastor Wuye, who now work together bridging religious conflicts that have killed thousands.
Followed by a discussion with leaders in the Christian, Muslim and Jewish faith comunities in Oxford.

Wednesday 4 March

awakening STRENGTH

Main Lecture Theatre, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane Campus

5pm, Invisible Children (Jason Russell, Bobby Bailey and Laren Poole, 2006, Uganda, 60mins)

In the spring of 2003, three young Americans left in search of a story. What they found was a tragedy that disgusted and inspired them. According to the United Nations, since 1986 Ugandan children as young as 5 have been abducted by the rebel group Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) to turn into fighters, porters & sex slaves. Today, the Invisible Children project works to help those children and end the conflict in Uganda.
Followed by a discussion from those involved in the Invisible Children project.

The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo (2007)

7pm, The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo (Lisa F Jackson, 2007)

Shot in the war zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo, through inspiring and chilling interviews with activists, peacekeepers and soldiers, the film shatters the silence that surrounds the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.
Followed by a discussion led by a speaker from Christian Aid.

Thursday 5 March

awakening CONSCIENCE

Main Lecture Theatre, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane Campus

12 noon, Bringing to light the true causes of the war in Congo (A presentation by Reverend Theodore Ngoy)

Reverend Theodore Ngoy is a Congolese Pastor, Lawyer, elected Member of Parliament for Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a former candidate for the Presidential Elections in Congo.

6pm, Rendition (Gavin Hood, 2007, USA/ Egypt, 122mins)

Reese Witherspoon stars as the wife who desperately tries to track her Egyptian-born husband down who disappeared on a flight back to the US. He is sent to a secret detention facility in the country where the terrorist bombing he is suspected of occurred. A CIA analyst, played by Jake Gyllenhall, observes the unorthodox interrogation and is forced to question his assignment.

Friday 6 March


Oxford Brookes University, Reinvention Centre, Gipsy Lane Campus

6pm, An evening of short films

Days & Hours (2007)
An intimate view of an unlikely sanctuary in San Francisco where row after row of St Boniface Church is filled with homeless people asleep in the pews. www.stylofilms.com

Salim Baba (Tim Sternberg, 2007)
An Oscar nominated short featuring Salim Muhammad who from the age of ten has made a living using a hand-cranked projector to screen discarded scraps of films for the children from the surrounding neighbourhoods.

Feminin Masculin (Sadaf Foroughi)
Farahnaz Shiri is the first female in the male dominated society of Tehran. Mrs. Shiri is struggling to prove herself in this society and resisting a series of injustices that she faces as a woman in the Iranian society.

Interferenze (Zoe D'Amaro)
Due to the lack of public access television in Italy, in 2002 pirate local TV stations started to pop up, known as the Telestreet network. Interferenze looks at Orfeo TV, the pirate station who initiated the movement.

My Body My Weapon (Kavita Joshi)
Irom Sharmila has been on a hunger strike for 7 years. Protesting about the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act enforced in the region which lets people be arrested, shot and even killed on suspicion alone.

Recycled Life (2006)

Freedom From Fear (Milena Kaneva 2008)
This is a film about 'Metta Sutta', the Buddhist prayer of loving-kindness and its power, narrated by 81 year old Burmese spiritual leader the Venerable U Kovida, who was once arrested and tortured by the Burmese regime.

Recycled Life (Leslie Iwerks and Mike Glad, 2006)
Thousands of families have thrived in the Guatemala City Garbage Dump, recycling the city’s trash. This Oscar nominated film looks at the generations that have been shunned by society and ignored by the government until a disastrous and fateful event in January 2005.

A jury consisting of the following members will join the evening and award a prize for 'Best Short Film' : Vice-Chancellor Janet Beer (Oxford Brookes University), David Woodman (Roehampton University), Eddie Berg (British Film Institute), Susanna Pressell (Lord Mayor of Oxford), Elise Benjamin (Deputy Lord Mayor), Bob Price (Oxford Councillor), Michael Stanley (Modern Art Oxford) and Kate Sheill (Amnesty International)

Born Into Brothels (2004)

Saturday 7th March

awakening HOPE

Asian Cultural Centre, Manzil Way

2pm, Born Into Brothels (Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski, 2004, India, 85mins)

Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Feature, Born into Brothels is a portrait of several unforgettable children, whose mothers work as prostitutes in the red light district of Calcutta. Each child is given a camera and taught to look at the world with a new set of eyes.

The Corner Club, Turl St, Oxford

7pm, The Hull Freedom Trail (Claudio Von Planta, 2007, UK/ Africa)

The Hull Freedom Trail (2007)

Award winning Cameraman and Director - Claudio von Planta, who has worked on projects such as Long Way Round and Long Way Down, directed this uplifting documentary, which follows 24 people from Hull as they drive five 4x4 vehicles from the UK to Sierra Leone to donate the vehicles to Humanitarian organisations that focus on anti-trafficking.
Followed by a discussion led by initiator and organiser of the Hull Freedom Trail project, Jonathan Richards

Sunday 8th March

awakening JUSTICE

St Barnabas Community Centre, Canal St, Jericho

2pm, Provoked (Jag Mundhra, 2006, India, 113mins)

Provoked (2006)

Provoked is the true story of Kiranjit Ahluwalia, a Punjabi woman who moved to the UK with her husband who began to become increasingly alcoholic and abusive – both physically and verbally. After 10 years, Kiranjit kills her husband by setting fire to him. She is sentenced to prison for life for premeditated murder. However, the help of the Southall Black Sisters - an NGO which fights against domestic violence - helps her get justice.

Baby Simple, Cowley Rd

7pm, Closing gala, presentation of awards & screening of best short film, Pub Quiz, DJ

Please note this schedule is subject to change

For details of the venues please see the following websites:

The 2009 festival also includes an exhibition, in the main foyer, Gipsy Lane, from PhotoVoice an award winning International charity supporting positive social change for marginalised communities by providing them with photographic training with which they can advocate, express themselves and generate income.

The Human Rights Film and Music festival is part of Oxford Brookes University’s Love and Justice Month 2009.

The listings from last year's (2008) film festival can be seen here.