UNC Asheville to Host Third Annual Human Rights Film Festival
UNC Asheville’s Amnesty
International chapter will hold its third annual Human Rights Film
Festival January 26-28. As the largest film festival of its kind in
the Southeast, 11 films will be screened at UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky
Auditorium and at Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company. Most
intermissions will feature short films by local documentarian
Rebecca MacNeice. All films are open to the public; screenings at
UNC Asheville are free while showings at Asheville Pizza and Brewing
Company are $2 general admission at the door.
“Punam,” “Rosita,” “Winter in
Baghdad” and “Homefront” will be shown Friday, Jan. 26, at UNC
Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium from 7 p.m. to midnight.
will begin at 7 p.m. The 28-minute film follows Punam Tamang, a
nine-year-old girl who lives in Nepal. Serving as her family’s
caretaker since her mother’s death, Tamang sees little of her
father, who works long hours in a rice factory to provide enough
money for his children to attend school.
will be screened at 8 p.m. Award-winning directors Barbara Attie
and Janet Goldwater tell the true story of Rosa, a nine-year-old
Nicaraguan girl who became pregnant as the result of a rape.
Fearing for their daughter’s life and mental health, Rosa’s
parents battle two governments and the Catholic Church in their
quest to obtain an abortion for their daughter.
Baghdad” will be screened at 9:30 p.m. Filmmaker Javier
Corcuera spent several months in Baghdad in 2004, becoming
particularly close with a group of teenage boys who, despite
constant obstacles, managed to attend school and hold down
A screening of
“Homefront” will wrap up the evening at 11 p.m. Over
19,000 U.S. soldiers have been wounded in Iraq. Director Richard
Hankin follows one of them, former army ranger Jeremy Feldbusch,
who struggles to navigate through life as a blind and partially
film festival continues Saturday, Jan. 27, with "Sierra-Leone's
Refugee All Stars," "Rain in a Dry Land" and "KZ" from 7:30 to 11:15
p.m. at UNC Asheville's Lipinsky Auditorium.
“Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars” will
begin at 7:30 p.m. The 80-minute film tells the story of a group
of six Sierra Leonean musicians who form a band while living as
refugees in the Republic of Guinea.
“Rain in A Dry Land” will be screened at
9:30 p.m. This film chronicles the lives of two extended Somali
Bantu families as they leave behind a 200-year legacy of
oppression in Africa to face new challenges as immigrants in the
An 11:15 p.m. screening of “KZ” will
conclude the evening. “KZ” explores Mauthausen, a touristy
Austrian town that was once home to a former concentration camp.
Director Rex Bloomstein captures the feelings of tour guides,
travelers and residents living and working in the town.
The series will wrap up on Sunday,
Jan. 28, with “Switch Off,” “Source,” “Black Gold” and “Darwin’s
Nightmare” from noon to 8 p.m. at UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky
begins at noon. The 2005 film chronicles the Pehuenche-Mapuche
people living in Chile as they are forced to move to higher
ground because the construction of a large dam flooded the
valley they lived in for over four centuries. Despite
constitutional protections for indigenous people, the current
government has done little to enforce their rights against the
wealthy multinational who took their home.
will be screened at 2 p.m. Azerbaijan, a country noted for its
corrupt government, is chronicled as it becomes the site of a
major oil, gas and pipeline project led by BP. The filmmakers
interview a cross-section of people affected by the oil boom,
including politicians, oil company employees, businessmen and
will be screened at 3:45 p.m. The 78-minute film follows
Tadesse Meskela, the leader of an African coffee cooperative, as
he travels the world in an attempt to save 75,000 struggling
farmers from bankruptcy.
The final film
of the day, “Darwin’s Nightmare,” will be shown at 8 p.m.
The documentary follows the booming multinational industries of
fish and weaponry and the alliances it creates along Lake
Victoria in Tanzania.
In conjunction with the screenings
at UNC Asheville, two special showings will take place at Asheville
Pizza and Brewing Company.
will be screened at 9:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26.
Made in China” will debut at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27.
The documentary follows the path of Mardi Gras beads from the
factories of Fuzhou, China to the streets of New Orleans.
For more information, call Mark Gibney, UNC Asheville Belk Professor
of Humanities, at
- Dr. Mark Gibney, UNC Asheville
Belk Professor of Humanities, 828/250-3870
- Jill Yarnall, UNC Asheville Public Information Assistant Director,