The fifth Australian Human Rights Arts and Film Festival (HRAFF) opened in Melbourne this week. Vinisha Mulani tells us more:
What started as a group of friends brainstorming in a share-house kitchen six years ago, is now a national film festival in its fifth year, based at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, has Margaret Pomeranz as a festival patron, includes a music festival, art exhibition, forums and the President of the Maldives doing a live Q&A.
But that's not the sole summary of its success - despite its escalation from the kitchen table to ACMI, the success and soul of the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival lies in its content and intent. As inspiring as the festival's establishment and growth, are its films.
From Wrinkles, a Spanish comical animation about Alzheimer's, to Buffalo Girls, about girls in a Muay Thai child boxing tournament, the films range in topics but are all consistent in how you feel when you leave the cinema. HRAFF films can catapult even the most cynical suit-clad individual into a state of inspiration to change the world for the better. (Just a heads up, Australian Volunteers International and Intrepid Travel - there may be an unexplained exponential increase of people lining up in front of your offices over the next month). The Island President is also a program highlight; an inspiring documentary about the president of the Maldives' and how he tackles his small nation's slow extinction in the face of climate change.
Whatever incredible film you choose to watch at HRAFF, you will have something to gain - whether it be inspiration to do something great, raising your awareness in something you had no idea about, or a window into the life of an individual on the other side of the world.
HRAFF's dates around Australia:
Melbourne 15 – 27 May
Canberra 28 – 30 May
Adelaide 29 May – 1 June
Sydney 29 May – 1 June
Brisbane 5 – 8 June
Alice Springs 8 – 10 June
Byron Bay 12 – 15 June
Perth 14 – 16 June
For more detail on the program in general and to purchase tickets: http://hraff.org.au/
Words by Vinisha Mulani