Press Release

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SR SOCIALLY RELEVANT FILM FESTIVAL 2nd Edition Showcases Broader Slate of Issue Oriented Films

The 2nd edition of the SR SOCIALLY RELEVANT FILM FESTIVAL NEW YORK runs from March 16 – 22, 2015 at Tribeca Cinemas, Maysles Cinema and SVA. The festival’s timely and socially engaging selection offers World and U.S. premieres, in addition to a slate of tributes and industry panels.

PRLogFeb. 3, 2015NEW CITY, N.Y.Films from over 30 countries including Armenia, Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Haiti, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kurdistan, Lebanon, Liberia, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Palestine, Patagonia, Peru, Romania, Russia, South Korea, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tibet, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE and the USA.

SR SOCIALLY RELEVANT FILM FESTIVAL NEW YORK is a new not-for-profit film festival showcasing socially relevant film content. Nora Armani, Actor/Filmmaker and Founding Artistic Director of SR, created the festival in response to the proliferation of violence and violent forms of storytelling. “I strongly believe that the violence portrayed on our screens and in video games is responsible for the banalization of evil in our societies and the proliferation of violent forms of communication. Most films today encourage mis-representation, reinforce stereotypes and create an escapist passive attitude towards major social issues. By simply focusing on socially relevant themes, positive social change can be promoted through the powerful medium of cinema.”

Why SR is so socially relevant this year?2015_OpeningNight_flyer
This year’s lineup includes a wide range of issues:
Gun control & police brutality
Race relations & discrimination
Violence against women & empowering women
LGBT rights
Conflict in the Mideast
The environment & climate change
The US economy & oil rush
Immigration & exile

The Festival opens with the US premiere of the Turkish/German/French co-production COME TO MY VOICE (WERE DENGÊ MIN), directed by Hϋseyin Karabey, screens at CUNY Graduate Center, Proshansky Auditorium on March 16th, and is by invitation. The film premiered at the Berlinale in 2014 and is sponsored by the German Consulate General in NY in partnership with SR Film Fest and MEMEAC.

The opening and closing parties will be held at Botequim Brazilian Restaurant Monday, March 16th and Sunday, March 22nd, sponsored by One Five Hospitality and Fair Vodka. Industry Panels will be held at the School of Visual Arts MFA SocDoc (136 W 21st Street, in Chelsea).

The Festival’s other sponsors include: Unifrance, The French Embassy Cultural Services, Cinema Libre Studio, MFA SocDoc School of Visual Arts, The Left Tilt Fund, Alouette Communications, IndiePix, Film Freeway, Final Draft, InkTip, The Candy Factory, Copenhagen Restaurant, Dailymotion, French Morning, and Go Magazine.

Press are invited to complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres at Copenhagen Restaurant to interview, write reviews, surf and chill!
For tickets and more information visit the web site: http://www.ratedsrfilms.org.
Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street
Maysles Cinema, 343 Malcolm X Blvd / Lenox Ave (Between 127th and 128th Streets)
The Center for Remembering & Sharing (CRS), 123 4th Avenue near Union Square
Industry Panels will take place at SVA MFA SocDoc in Chelsea, 136 W 21st Street, 1st Floor, Chelsea

Nora ARMANI
Founding Artistic Director of SR, Actor & Filmmaker

Nora Armani is an award-winning actor/filmmaker with International stage and screen credits in many languages. She has curated and organized film events, and guest-curated film festivals internationally and in the US. She holds a M.Sc. degree in Sociology from The London School of Economics (LSE). For full bio and filmography visit her website or on IMDb.

Official Selection SR Film Fest Narrative Feature Competition
1. Come To My Voice (Were Dengệ Min) – 101’- Germany/Turkey/France – 2014 – (US Premiere)
Directed by Hϋseyin Karabey
Opening Night Film at CUNY Graduate Center – Note: Screens out of competition
In a remote Kurdish mountain village, little Jiyan is worried about her father who is arrested by the Turkish police as a suspected guerilla. He will be released when his family surrenders his gun. Only he has never possessed one! With her grandmother Jiyan embarks on a journey crossing mountains and valleys to find the elusive gun and save her father from prison.
Themes: Discrimination, Gun control, Turkish/Kurdish conflict
The film was screened at the Berlinale in 2014
Sponsored by the German Consulate General New York and MEMEAC CUNY

2. Destination: Planet Negro -102’- USA 2014 – (New York Premiere)
Directed by Kevin Willmott
In this slapstick comedy we see a witty satire about influential African-American figures, W.E.B DuBois and George Washington Carver. They time warp to the present to discover unbelievable developments like young men with drooping pants and the election of a black president.
Themes: Race Relations in the USA
Q & A with the director or producer or actors

3. The Challat of Tunis -90’ – Tunisia, France, Canada, UAE – 2014 – (US Premiere)
Directed by Kaouther Ben Hania
A man on a motorcycle known as The Challat terrorizes the women of Tunisia by slashing their bottoms with a razor. Ten years after these ‘incidents’ a young determined film director decides to investigate the mystery of the Challat of Tunis.
Themes: Violence against women, video games, empowering women and girls
Tunisian Ambassador will be present (tbc)

4. We Will Live Somewhere Else – 75’- France – 2013 – (US Premiere)
Directed by Nicolas Karolszyk
The story of a struggling African man named Zola who embarks on a dangerous sea journey to across the sea to France in hopes of finding answers and a better life…
Themes: Immigration, Racial discrimination
Q & A with the director (Sponsored by Unifrance)

Official Selection – SR Film Fest – Documentary Feature Competition
1. All in Her Stride – 55’ – Australia – 2014 (New York Premiere)
Directed by Fiona Cochrane
This film depicts elements of Australian actor Leverne McDonnell’s life and documents her facing a terminal diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, with discussion of the topic of euthanasia and her death.
Themes: Cancer, euthanasia

2. Black Harvest – 87’ – Luxembourg/USA – 2014 (North American Premiere)
Directed by Jean-Louis Schuller and Sean Clark
On the remote and barren plains of North Dakota, in what could be considered the “gold rush” of modern times, two men search for redemption by trying to overcome their past.
Themes: US economy, homelessness and the oil rush
Q & A after the screening

3. Cinema Palestine – 79’ – Canada/ Palestine – 2014 – (New York Premiere)
Directed by Tim Schwab
Told through intimate in-depth interviews the film explores the life and work of multiple generations of Palestinian filmmakers and media artists, questioning what it means to be a Palestinian artist in the context of the larger struggle for nationhood.
Themes: Palestinian identity, Middle East Conflict.
Q & A after the screening

High Hopes, directed by the award winning Guy Davidi (director of 5 Broken Cameras), and featuring the soundtrack (High Hopes) donated by Pink Floyd, precedes the film.

4. Cotton Road – 73’ – USA – 2014 – (New York Premiere)
Directed by Laura Kissel
Cotton Road follows the commodity of cotton from farm to factory, across industrial landscapes, to illuminate the human experiences within a global supply chain.
Themes: Cotton plantations, China, clothing manufacture.
Q & A after the screening with a fashion designer to be announced.

5. Gaucho Del Norte – 55’ – USA/Patagonia – 2014 – (East Coast Premiere)
Directed by Sofian Khan/ Andres Caballero
The nomadic two-year journey of Patagonian sheepherder Eraldo Pacheco recruited to work in Idaho with his herd of more than a thousand sheep, as he faces the ups and downs of a psychologically demanding job far away from his home and family.
Themes: Nomadic life – migration
Q & A after the screening

6. Lighter Than Orange – 62’ – Germany 2014 – (New York Premiere)
Directed by Matthias Leupold
Ten North Vietnamese veterans tell about their memories of the war and Agent Orange as well as the struggles they have faced as a consequence of both.
Themes: Vietnam War and Agent Orange
Q & A after the screening

7. Love Is The Highest Law – 83’ – USA – (School of Visual Arts student) – 2014 – (New York Premiere)
Directed by Liliya Anisimova
A unique, firsthand look into three powerful stories connected through the strength of overcoming the stringent same-sex laws both in Russia and the United States and of love triumphing over hardship.
Themes: LGTB rights, discrimination
Q & A after the screening

8. Send in the Clowns – 83’ – USA/ Haiti – 2014 – (New York Premiere)
Directed by Sam Lee
A film about artists with good intentions slowly reveals Haiti’s crippling and conflicted relationship with an arguably more absurd global aid industry.
Themes: Humanitarian aid in Haiti
Q & A after the screening with the Brooklyn-based filmmaker

9. Truth Through a Lens – 92’ – USA – (School of Visual Arts Student) – 2014 (World Premiere)
Directed by Justin Thomas
This stunning feature length debut follows the evolution of Dennis Flores from Brooklyn street kid, subway train tagger to local community organizing legend in the backdrop of recent social issues.
Themes: Police Brutality and gun control
Q & A after the screening with the filmmaker and Activist Dennis FLores

10. We Cannot Go There Now, My Dear (*)- 42’- Lebanon 2014 – (New York Premiere)
Directed by Carol Mansour
The story of Palestinian refugees living in Syria and their lives that are continuously being rebuilt awaiting a return to the homeland ever since they were forced to flee Palestine in 1948.
Themes: Palestinian Refugees fleeing Syria
Q & A after the screening
Carol Mansour is the winner of the 2014 SR Documentary Film Competition Award for her film Not Who We Are, and will be Skyped in for an interview conducted by Christa Salamandra, Professor of Anthropology and Syria specialist at Lehman College.
____________________________
(*)Official Selection Short Documentary Competition

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