Festival

2017 marks the 12th annual Amnesty International Toronto Human Rights Film Festival.

The festival brings together inspiration and information in a collection of must-see films. Join us November 16 – 18, 2017 at Imagine Cinemas Carlton, Toronto.

Worldwide, talented filmmakers brave threats and danger to capture moving stories about human rights abuse, resistance and struggle. Their films have the power to take us away from our own lives and examine the complexity of the human condition. These are stories that simply have to be told – these are the stories told at REEL AWARENESS.

 

Warehoused

Dir: Asher Emmanuel, Vincent Vittorio, 2017, USA, 74min

November 16, 2017 - 6:00pm
Imagine Cinemas Carlton Cinema
20 Carlton St
Toronto, ON M5B 2H5
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FESTIVAL OPENING RECEPTION 6pm – 7pm: Before the screening please join us for an opening reception in the foyer of Imagine Cinemas Carlton. The reception will be followed by the screening at 7pm.

FILM SYNOPSIS
An estimated 12 million people live in refugee camps worldwide and only 0.1% are resettled, repatriated, or integrated into normal society each year. The feature-length documentary, “Warehoused”, explores the plight of long-term refugees through a glimpse into the lives of those living in Dadaab, Kenya, one of the world’s largest refugee camps. We see the camp’s inner workings through one man’s journey to do everything in his power to provide for his family. This man’s story is not unique however; it accentuates the much larger problems that long-term refugees have faced for centuries. Organizations like the UNHCR work to provide assistance to refugees, but these are only temporary fixes to often protracted refugee crises. “Warehoused” tells the story of these courageous men and women and how they struggle through hostile circumstances to find a place they can call home.

Q&A after the screening

Guest speaker: HaEun Kim, Teaching Assistant, YorkU

HaEun Kim is a secondary school teacher completing her Masters of Education at York University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English/History and Bachelor of Education from York. She is currently working towards two graduate diplomas in Language Learning and Refugee and Migration Studies alongside with her Masters degree. Her research interests include language and literacy education, refugee education, border studies, and barriers that prevent access to learning in urban contexts such as inner-city Toronto as well as settings considered to be education in emergencies. HaEun worked as a Teaching Assistant for the course, “Global Issues and Education”, in the April term in Dadaab, Kenya. She is currently supporting the documentation efforts of the BHER project in Toronto.

Our People Will Be Healed

Dir: Alanis Obomsawin, 2017, Canada, 97min

November 17, 2017 - 7:00pm
Imagine Cinemas Carlton Cinema
20 Carlton St
Toronto, ON M5B 2H5
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FILM SYNOPSIS

Alanis Obomsawin’s 50th film, reveals how a Cree community in Manitoba has been enriched through the power of education. The Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre in Norway House, north of Winnipeg, receives a level of funding that few other Indigenous institutions enjoy. Its teachers help their students to develop their abilities and their sense of pride. In addition to teaching academic subjects, the school reconnects students with their ancestral culture.

The fifth film in a cycle that began with The People of the Kattawapiskak RiverOur People Will Be Healed adopts an optimistic tone without denying a dark past. It bears witness to the tragedies that have befallen the Plains Cree, such as being confined to reserves, forbidden to practise any cultural ceremonies, including the Sun Dance, and sent off to residential schools. But first and foremost, the film conveys a message of hope: that in an appropriate school environment, one that incorporates their people’s history, language and culture, Indigenous youth can realize their dreams.

Q&A After the screening

Guest speaker: Patty Wesley Briscall Krawec

Patty Wesley Briscall Krawec is an Anishnaabe – Ukrainian woman with roots in Lac Seul First Nation.

Her Anishnaabe name is Wabanan Anangokwe, morning star woman. The morning star is the light which appears just before dawn, when the night is dark and the light has not yet begun. Eighteen years in social work, including work with sexual assault victims and in the field of child welfare have shown just how dark the night can be.  Patty is an active member of her local Indigenous community and a Board member of the Fort Erie Native Friendship Center.  She also sews ribbon skirts and shirts, traditional clothing worn for ceremony and visibility. Some have been donated to fundraisers such as the Onaman Collective and Stop Alton Gas.  These skirts are visible on Instagram via Patty WBK.

Erdogan: the Making of a Sultan

Dir: Gilles Cayatt, 2016, 57min

November 18, 2017 - 3:30pm
Imagine Cinemas Carlton Cinema
20 Carlton St
Toronto, ON M5B 2H5
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FILM SYNOPSIS

In this acclaimed new documentary, Emmy and BAFTA award-winning director, Gilles Cayatte, and expert on Turkish affairs Guillaume Perrier, profiles President Erdogan. Featuring an exclusive new interview with Fethullah Gulen, the man accused of instigating the coup, as well as insights from Erdogan’s supporters and opponents, it portrays a leader whose sense of identity seems rooted in his power.

Q&A after the screening

Guest speaker: Gloria Nafziger, AI Canada Campaigner

Gloria is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University, with Master’s degree in Social Work. She has worked with refugees in Toronto since 1986. She was a founding co-director of Metro Toronto Host Program (now Culture Link), and previously worked as a Refugee Coordinator for Mennonite Central Committee Canada. She worked with CUSO in Mozambique from 1990-92 where she learned more about the conditions which produce refugees. She has been a Refugee Coordinator at Amnesty International since 1996. Her work currently involves campaigning and advocacy on behalf of refugees in Canada. She also provides support for AI campaigns and volunteer country experts. She is the president of the board of Sojourn House, a shelter for refugees in Toronto, and was a member of the executive committee of the Canadian Counsel for Refugees from 2008-2012.

 

The Trial: The State of Russia vs Oleg Sentsov

Dir: Askold Kurov, Estonia / Poland / Czech Republic, 2017, 75min

November 18, 2017 - 5:30pm
Imagine Cinemas Carlton Cinema
20 Carlton St
Toronto, ON M5B 2H5
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FILM SYNOPSIS
Oleg Sentsov is a Ukrainian filmmaker, Euromaidan activist and native of Crimea. After the Russian annexation of Crimea, he became an active opponent of the occupation. In May 2014 he was arrested by the Russian security service, charged with planned terrorist attacks and transported to Moscow. After over a year in custody, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, despite the fact that the testimonies were given under duress and evidence was insufficient. Sentsov never pled guilty.

Director Askold Kurov follows the progress of the trial and the attempts of Oleg’s family, friends and lawyers to save him from prison. The notorious case inspired protests around the world: the European Film Academy and many renowned filmmakers such as Pedro Almodovar, Wim Wenders, Agnieszka Holland, Ken Loach, Johnny Depp and others called for Oleg’s release. Kurov’s investigation gradually reveals an absurd and frightening Kafkaesque story about how anyone can become a victim of a ruthless state machine.

 

A Heart That Never Dies

Dir: Erling Borgen and Tom Heinemann, 2015, 82min

November 18, 2017 - 7:30pm
Imagine Cinemas Carlton Cinema
20 Carlton St
Toronto, ON M5B 2H5
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FILM SYNOPSIS

Journalists, lawyers, political activists, human rights organizers, and others are  fighting an almost overwhelming struggle to survive in corrupt regimes and governments that suppress the peaceful exercise of freedom of expression or violate other basic human rights.

Why do these people do this? How many sacrifices are they willing to make to promote or protect human rights, including the freedom raise critique about the exercise of power in their countries?

Can the price be too high? Who – with a sound mind – would criticize Europe’s last dictator? Who would dare to openly expose the drug cartels in Latin America or the ultra neo-Nazi’s in the Balkans?

Would you – as a political dissident – have the courage to publicly raise your voice against the last absolute monarch in Africa, the battle against corruption in South East Asia or stand up for woman’s rights in Egypt.

Some do – and others will.

This is the story of six people – each with a heart that never dies.