Between Friday, April 15 and Sunday, April 17, six films were screened at the Lory Student Center Theater during the opening days of the weeklong inaugural ACT Human Rights Film Festival. Photos from the opening weekend can be viewed online.
Joey Boink’s “Burden of Peace,” kicked off the festival Friday evening (pictured at left). The documentary follows the nearly four-year term of Guatemala’s first female attorney general, Claudia Paz y Paz, whose dedication to justice followed a rocky yet inspiring path.
Soft spoken and humble, Boink generously shared his experiences making the film during a post-screening Q&A session. Film-goers continued one-on-one conversations with Boink during the festival’s opening night reception in the West Ballroom.
Over the next two days the festival screened “American Arab,” “Kings of Nowhere,” “Justine,” “Stories of Our Lives,” and “Not My Life,” hosted two more filmmakers, Usama Alshaibi and Betzabé García, as well as the Call to ACT Nonprofit Fair, and engaged audiences in intimate conversations about racism, same-sex relationships in Africa, poverty, and the ethical challenges of being a documentary filmmaker.
“I was so impressed with the festival and my screening,” says Alshaibi, whose Q&A session following “American Arab” captured the heart of what makes sharing human rights cinema such an impactful experience.
On Saturday evening during a private reception, Dr. Scott Diffrient thanked the funders of the William E. Morgan Endowed Chair of Liberal Arts for making his research into human rights cinema and his vision to establish a human rights film festival at CSU a reality.
During the same reception, Dr. Greg Dickinson, chair of the Department of Communication Studies, and Jim Vidakovich, alumnus and Liberal Arts Development Council member, announced the formation of a national ACT Human Rights Film Festival Advisory Committee, that aims to transform ACT from a local to a nationally-recognized event.
Follow festival developments at the ACT website, www.actfilmfest.org, and mark your calendar for the second annual festival, occurring April 14-21, 2017.