Festival with a passion opens tonight

THE 2012 Human Rights Arts and Film Festival kicks off tonight with a screening of the film “The Island President” at the Arc Cinema.

Jon Shenk’s feature-length, 2011 documentary “The Island President”, follows the Maldivian President, Mohamed Nasheed, on his journey to take on the UN in Copenhagen and combat climate change to stop his nation from sinking under rising sea levels.

The UN’s 2009 climate summit in Copenhagen is about to take place and Nasheed is campaigning for the world to recognise that his nation, consisting of almost 2000 islands, is facing extinction. Nasheed sets off to persuade the world to commit to the only target for carbon emission that will guarantee the salvation of the Islands.

A small fish in a big pond, Nasheed must convince the developing world that his plight is their own. Paced by a stirring Radiohead score, it’s David meets Goliath in this incredible documentary about a small nation’s struggle against climate change.

The film screens tonight at 7pm.

“Our School”, will screen on Tuesday, May 29 at 7pm and explores progress amidst tradition, presenting a poignant tale of three Roma “gypsy” children trying to find acceptance in a Romanian city school. The documentary follows the children over five years, depicting their struggle to overcome stigma, racism and poverty with courage and a child’s spirit.

“Splinters”, to screen on Wednesday, May 30, 7pm, is a story about the evolution of indigenous surfing in Papua New Guinea and the first national competition in the seaside village of Vanimo. For the surfers of the village, this is a unique opportunity to compete, but deep-set tribal rivalries hinder community progress days before the competition.

The 2012 Human Rights Arts & Film Festival, Arc Cinema, National Film & Sound Archive, Mccoy Circuit, Acton, Canberra, May 28-30. More information at www.hraff.org.au

PHOTO: Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed… small fish in a big pond.


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