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2018 Human Rights Arts & Film Festival

The Human Rights Arts & Film Festival (HRAFF) has launched its 2018 program of over 50 films and events. The festival tours to Canberra on 29 May – 2 June.

The Human Rights Arts and Film Festival aims to make human rights relevant, accessible and engaging to Australians through film, art, music and forums. HRAFF attracts a diverse audience of 15,000 – 20,000 people each year, many who would not normally engage in human rights.

The festival has become one of the leading and largest public human rights events, telling meaningful stories that help create a different world. In the past twelve months, it has been recognised by the Graham F. Smith Peace Foundation and the Future Leaders Justice Prize.

The 2018 festival aims to create awareness on pressing human rights issues across five major themes: conflict and global people movement, gender equality, Indigenous rights, rehabilitation and retribution, and the environment.

The festival is headlined by Australian film After the Apology, directed by Larissa Behrendt. Behrendt is an Indigenous (Eualeyai/Gammilaroi) filmmaker, novelist, lawyer and academic. Her landmark documentary After the Apology explores the practise of Aboriginal child removal.

Aboriginal children are being removed at almost double the rate of the time of Rudd’s Apology speech. After the Apology also reveals that Indigenous children are ten times more likely to be placed in out of home care than non-Indigenous children. “Film provides a mechanism for telling real stories that highlight the need for change,” said Behrendt. “More than statistics, research and legal arguments, personal stories show the real reasons for the need to protect human rights”.

The festival also shines a light on the issue of gender equality. Her Sound, Her Story, directed by Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore, examines sexism within the Australian music industry. By showcasing over 40 women from different areas of the music industry, Her Sound, Her Story provides insight into the pressures of being a female musician.

Other leading picks from the festival are: Jaha’s Promise, about the practice genital mutilation; A Better Man,an intimate look at violence against women; Food Fighter, about food waste; Last Man in Aleppo about the remaining besieged citizens in Aleppo, Syria; The Song Keepers, telling a  joyous and poignant story of an Aboriginal women’s choir.

“We know that statistics change policy but film and art change people’s hearts and minds, and that’s enduring change”, said Aleta Moriarty, the CEO of HRAFF.

The festival is supported by The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The High Commission of Canada, Lush, City of Melbourne, Film Victoria, Plan Australia, The Graham F Smith Peace Fund, Bank Australia, Maribyrnong Council, RMIT University, STARTTS, Australian Communities Foundation, Australian National University, The US Consulate to Australia, Melbourne University, the Saturday Paper and the Guardian Newspaper.

Tickets can be purchased at

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