The Respect Human Rights Film Festival has launched its third programme, with an impressive line-up of moving and thought-provoking films and documentaries.
The festival, now in its third year, will run from 4-7 October and will highlight a range of films covering topical issues such as immigration, healthcare, homelessness, asylum seekers, LGBTQ+ rights, workers’ rights and environmental concerns.
The highly regarded festival will welcome a record number of patrons and filmmakers from across the world to screenings in An Cultúrlann, the James Connolly Visitor Centre and Studio 34 in Belfast.
As well as a number of feature length films and documentaries, several short-films and panel discussions will explore the wider cultural, human and socio-political implications of conflict.
The festival will open with the hard-hitting documentary, “A Dignified Death” which poses questions on assisted suicide and illustrates the emotional strain on family and friends throughout this journey. A Q&A with its Dutch Director, Jesse van Venrooij will follow.
All screenings are non-ticket events, except for the opening and closing galas where tickets can be acquired on www.respectfilmfestival.com.
Stephen Rea, Festival Patron said:
“As patron of the Respect Belfast Human Rights Film Festival, I’m honoured to be involved in this grass roots festival that is going from strength to strength, demonstrating the increasing demand for films that raise important human rights issues both locally and internationally. It is of increasing importance that festivals like this empower, educate and advocate for those without a voice.
“In a period of political uncertainty, it is important that we double down on our efforts to advocate for those that are marginalised within society. Respect Human Rights Film Festival is one such outlet that opens the door for reasoned debate and discussion around many difficult subjects.”
Seán Murray, Director of Respect Human Rights Film Festival said:
“We are thrilled to launch the Respect Human Rights Film Festival for a third year with a range of films that tackle major human rights issues.”
“Across Ireland we have witnessed a dramatic increase in homelessness in our towns and cities and so it is timely that a major theme of this year’s festival once again addresses the homeless crisis.”
“As filmmakers in a post-conflict society we face many obstacles, however the increase in production of local films sees a welcome focus on issues that can be seen as difficult to talk about.”
“As such, we have curated a programme which encourages debate on many issues, and which also demonstrates a real local passion for film and promotes human rights issues across society”.
“Without our volunteers and partners, this festival would not be possible. We are thankful to them and to all those filmmakers who will travel to Belfast for the festival.”
Top 4 picks from Respect Human Rights Festival
4 October Opening Night – A Dignified Death
Directed by Jesse van Venrooij, in this documentary Eelco choses death by legal euthanasia. A film about his mission, breaking the taboos of assisted suicide, while also illustrating the emotional strain on family and friends as they prepare for his final journey.
5 October – Bosnia Herzegovina: The Cold Peace
In November 1995, the Dayton Agreement stopped the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it did not build a real peace. A quarter century after the end of the 1992-1995 conflict, a filmmaker, a cooperator and a writer went looking for conflict’s witnesses, the same people who, after the signature of the peace agreement of 1995, rolled up their sleeves in order to rebuild a country, but instead of it, the country became prisoner of nationalism, corruption, poverty and hatred, in a society put to the test by grief and neglect.
6 October – Are you Proud?
The LGBTQ+ movement in the UK has fought bruising battles for equality. Directed by Ashley Joiner, Are You Proud? brings together rare archive footage and interviews from across a spectrum of historical campaigns to celebrate the movement’s landmark achievements.
6 October Closing Gala – Eminent Monsters
Directed by Scotland’s Stephen Bennett, this film traces the roots of the western governments love of torture. This includes extraordinary firsthand testimony and Q&A from the Hooded Men.
The film festival is supported by the QFT, Film Hub NI, Fáilte Feirste Thiar, Belfast Film Festival and Féile an Phobail.