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Gianluca Costantini
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Gianluca Costantini draws for HRW Film Festival in New York 2022

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival Presents
Full Lineup of Cinematic Works in New York Edition, May 20-26, 2022
Co-presented by Film at Lincoln Center and IFC Center

New York, April 12, 2022 — The Human Rights Watch Film Festival, now in its 33rd year, will present a full edition of 10 groundbreaking new films, available both in-person and online nationwide in the U.S., from May 20 to 26, 2022. For the first time in two years, the New York festival will be back with a full program of in-person screenings at Film at Lincoln Center and IFC Center, with in-depth discussions with filmmakers, film participants, activists and Human Rights Watch researchers. The festival will continue to offer the opportunity to watch all 10 new films online across the U.S. with a full digital edition of the film festival.
This year’s edition highlights activism and features courageous individuals around the world standing up to powerful forces and demanding change. John Biaggi, Director of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, said, “We are thrilled to be back in theaters after two years away, bringing our audience a full slate of powerful films tackling urgent human rights issues including China, Russia, the climate crisis and reproductive rights.”

The full 2022 lineup is as follows:
Clarissa’s Battle, Tamara Perkins, USA
Delikado, Karl Malakunas, Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia, USA, UK
Eternal Spring, Jason Loftus, Canada
The Janes, Tia Lessin, Emma Pildes, USA
Midwives, Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing, Myanmar, Germany, Canada
The New Greatness Case, Anna Sishova, Finland, Croatia, Norway
No U-Turn, Ike Nnaebue, France, Nigeria, South Africa, Germany
Rebellion, Maia Kenworthy, Elena Sanchez Bellot, UK, Poland
Up To G-Cup, Jacqueline van Vugt, Netherlands
You Resemble Me, Dina Amer, France, Egypt, USA

The Janes by directors Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes.

“The partnership between Film at Lincoln Center and Human Rights Watch is more important than ever in demonstrating the power of film to shine a light on international crises and individuals fighting for freedoms and human rights around the world,” said Lesli Klainberg, President of Film at Lincoln Center. “History has shown that film not only empowers understanding, but also ignites urgent public dialogues about how to help the most vulnerable.”

John Vanco, Senior Vice President and General Manager at IFC Center, said, “IFC Center is proud to continue our partnership with the Human Rights Watch Film Festival and support their mission to use cinema to shine a light on important issues.”

The festival opens with Rebellion, the exhilarating behind-the-scenes story of Extinction Rebellion (XR), following the group as it takes daring steps to draw attention to the climate emergency, and confront both internal tensions and the harmful power structures in the climate movement itself. The festival will close with the Sundance Film Festival hit, The Janes, which showcases a group of brave and bold women, many speaking on the record for the first time, who built an underground, clandestine network in 1970s Chicago for women seeking safe, affordable, but otherwise illegal, abortions.

With stunning animation and powerful interviews, Eternal Spring tells the gripping story of brave members of a religious movement who protest their persecution by the Chinese government by hijacking the local TV station. And, the one drama in this year’s festival, You Resemble Me, is an impressive first feature by Dina Amer which explores the complex life of Hasna Aït Boulahcen, a survivor of abuse in France who sought support and opportunities to belong, but whose life was cut short by her radicalization. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival and its executive producers are Spike Lee, Spike Jonze, Riz Ahmed and Alma Har’el.

In Delikado, three environmental defenders are tested as never before in their battle to save their home, Palawan, an island paradise in the Philippines, from the illegal destruction of its forests, fisheries and mountains. Clarissa’s Battle features the single mother and unstoppable activist Clarissa Doutherd, who works tirelessly to build a coalition of parents in Oakland, California, to fight for local and federal child care funding. With brave honesty a group of Kurdish and Yazidi women reveal the challenges they face in a male-dominated society in Up To G-Cup.

The New Greatness Case offers remarkable access to a group of young Russians entrapped by the secret service, resulting in unjust trials and prison sentences, echoing the intensified crackdown on dissent and free expression in Russia seen on the news every day. In Midwives, amid an environment of ever-increasing chaos and violence against the Muslim Rohingya population in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, two midwives, one Buddhist and one Muslim, work side by side in a makeshift clinic, providing medical services to the opressed minority community. No U-Turn, by the celebrated Nigerian director Ike Nnaebue, takes viewers on a journey with Nigerian citizens leaving their country, traveling north through Africa and beyond in search of work and opportunity to build a future, despite the known and unknown challenges lying ahead.


As always, the festival strives to prioritize space for identities, viewpoints, forms of expertise and experiences either silenced or marginalized in the film industry, news, and media. Seventy percent of this year’s filmmakers are women and 70 percent are sharing a story about their own region. This program reflects the festival’s ethos of celebrating diversity of content and perspective. Select films in this year’s festival will be audio described for audience members who are blind or have low vision, and closed captions will be offered for deaf and hard of hearing members of the audience. See website https://ff.hrw.org/newyork for accessibility specifications for each film in the lineup.

To View the Films

Tickets will be available for sale beginning April 21 for members of IFC Center, Film at Lincoln Center and Human Rights Watch, and April 22 to the public. Audiences will be able to purchase In-Theater tickets online or at the Film at Lincoln Center and IFC Center box offices. For ticket prices and more please visit https://ff.hrw.org/newyork, https://www.filmlinc.org or https://www.ifccenter.com. Virtual tickets can be purchased online for each film for $9 for General Public and $6 Members, or a digital festival pass that will provide access to all 10 films online can be purchased for $70. Further discount information available on ff.hrw.org. The full festival will be available to rent on the festival streaming site from May 20, 9am EDT until 11:59pm PST May 26, 2022. Please visit ff.hrw.org for details and accessibility options for each digital presentation.

To purchase tickets and to access program updates, please visit https://ff.hrw.org/newyork.
Download film stills here: HRWFF Media Downloads

About the Films

Rebellion
U.S. Premiere
Directed by Maia Kenworthy and Elena Sanchez Bellot, 2021, Documentary, 82 minutes, English

Rebellion brings viewers behind-the-scenes with Extinction Rebellion (XR), as the group confronts the climate emergency – reminding the world there is no time to wait. Emerging as action on climate change dangerously slipped from the political agenda, XR took bold steps to break through the deadlock: mass civil disobedience. It worked. In 2019, within days of XR protests and over 1,000 arrests, the UK Parliament declared a climate emergency and propelled the issue back into public consciousness. Countries around the world followed suit. Yet, just as XR became a global phenomenon, internal tensions rose within the group, with XR Youth calling out the movement for perpetuating structural and social inequalities and focusing on climate change rather than acknowledging the need for climate justice. Rebellion reminds viewers to question white Western environmentalism and push back against a fight that ignores structural racism and oppression.

“If we want to change anything, if we want to do anything radically different, we have to start putting different voices at the center.” — Savannah Lovelock, Film Participant, Rebellion

“I think the reason why the question, ‘Is it too late?’ annoys me is because – is it too late for whom? And for what? I feel like it’s very important for people to ask a better question, frankly. Which is: what can I do? And what needs to be done?” — Farhana Yamin, Film Participant, Rebellion

In-person screening:
Friday, May 20, 7:00pm, Film at Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater
Digital screening:
Available to watch at your own pace, any time between May 20-26, 2022 on the festival’s digital streaming platform.

The Janes
Directed by Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes, 2022, Documentary, 101 minutes, English
Grand Jury Prize Documentary Nominee, Sundance Festival, 2022

In the spring of 1972, police raided an apartment on the South Side of Chicago –arresting and charging seven women who were part of a clandestine network. Using code names, fronts, and safe houses to protect their identities and their work, they built an underground service for women seeking safe, affordable abortions in the pre-Roe v. Wade era, a time when abortion was a crime in most states and even circulating information about abortion was a felony in Illinois. They called themselves “Jane.” Oscar-nominated Tia Lessin and Emmy-nominated Emma Pildes’ revelatory documentary could not be more timely, The Janes offers first-hand accounts from the women at the center of the group, many speaking on the record for the first time. This galvanizing documentary tells the story of the past and, potentially, the future. Courtesy of HBO Documentary Films

“The Janes highlights the real dangers of restrictive abortion laws and the harms of criminalizing abortion. It really shows just how much is at stake right now in the US.” —Annerieke Smaak Daniel, Researcher, Women’s Rights Division, Human Rights Watch

In-person screening:
Thursday, May 26, 7:00pm, IFC Center
Digital screening:
Available to watch at your own pace, any time between May 20-26, 2022 on the festival’s digital streaming platform.

Clarissa’s Battle
World Premiere
Directed by Tamara Perkins, 2022, Documentary, 90 minutes, English

Single mother and organizer Clarissa Doutherd is building a powerful coalition of parents. They’re fighting for child care and early education funds, desperately needed by low-and middle-income parents and children across the United States. Driven by her own experience losing child care and becoming unhoused with her infant son, Xavier, she seems to be everywhere at once – at hearings, election rooms, and rallies from Oakland, California to Washington, DC. But juggling this work with raising her son pushes Clarissa into a personal health crisis far too common among stressed, working mothers, especially women of color. When the lockdown pushes more families into desperate circumstances, Clarissa and her coalition redouble their efforts, with the stakes higher than ever. Clarissa’s Battle offers an insight into an erupting movement, as communities across the country follow Clarissa’s successes, setbacks and indomitable resilience.

“When we build from the ground up, from the grassroots up, when we include seniors, when we include monolingual Spanish speakers, when we include everybody from the community to come and campaign and fight for justice for our children, then that’s how we win.” —Clarissa Doutherd, Film Participant, Clarissa’s Battle

In-person screenings:
Saturday, May 21, 8:00pm, Film at Lincoln Center, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Sunday, May 22, 5:15pm, Film at Lincoln Center, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center
Digital screening:
Available to watch at your own pace, any time between May 20-26, 2022 on the festival’s digital streaming platform.

Delikado
New York Premiere
Karl Malakunas, 2022, Documentary, 94 minutes, English, Filipino
Official Selection, Hot Docs 2022

Palawan in the Philippines appears to be an idyllic tropical island, with its powder-white beaches and lush forests making it one of Asia’s most visited tourist destinations. But for a small network of environmental crusaders, it is more akin to a battlefield. Bobby, Tata and Nieves – a charismatic lawyer, a former illegal logger and a fearless politician – are three magnetic leaders fighting to stop corporations and governments seeking to plunder increasingly valuable natural resources. Often from Indigenous communities, environmental defenders in the Philippines are killed with impunity and the killers are rarely caught. The battles these climate activists fight are shared by allies worldwide –but the abusive government of President Rodrigo Duterte adds urgency to this deepening human rights crisis.

Delikado is an important and powerful film. The tension is palpable throughout … but so is the incredible courage of the environmental defenders portrayed.” —Luciana Tellez-Chavez, Researcher, Environment and Human Rights Division, Human Rights Watch

In-person screenings:
Sunday, May 22, 8:00pm, Film at Lincoln Center, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Tuesday, May 24, 9:00pm, IFC Center
Digital screening:
Available to watch at your own pace, any time between May 20-26, 2022 on the festival’s digital streaming platform.

Eternal Spring
U.S. Premiere
Directed by Jason Loftus, 2022, Documentary, 86 minutes, Mandarin Chinese, English

In March 2002, members of the outlawed spiritual group Falun Gong hijacked a state TV station in China. Their goal was to counter the government narrative about their practice. In the aftermath, police raids sweep Changchun City, and comic book illustrator, Daxiong (Justice League, Star Wars), a Falun Gong practitioner, is forced to flee. He arrives in North America, blaming the hijacking for worsening a violent repression. But his views are challenged when he meets the lone surviving participant to have escaped China, who is living in Seoul, South Korea. Combining present-day footage with 3D animation inspired by Daxiong’s art, Eternal Spring retraces the event on its 20th anniversary, and brings to life an unprecedented story of defiance, harrowing eyewitness accounts of persecution, and an exhilarating tale of determination to speak up for political and religious freedoms, no matter the cost.

“History has taught Chinese people a lesson: dare to stand up to the Party, and you will suffer.”—Daxiong, Film Participant, Eternal Spring

In-person screenings:
Monday, May 23, 6:15pm, Film at Lincoln Center, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Tuesday, May 24, 6:30pm, IFC Center
Digital screening:
Available to watch at your own pace, any time between May 20-26, 2022 on the festival’s digital streaming platform.

Midwives
New York Premiere
Directed by Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing, 2022, Documentary, 91 minutes, Rohingya, Rakhine, Burmese
Winner, World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Excellence in Verité Filmmaking, Sundance 2022

Hla and Nyo Nyo live in a country torn by conflict. Hla is a Buddhist and the owner of an under-resourced medical clinic in western Myanmar, where the Rohingya (a Muslim minority community) are persecuted and denied basic rights. Nyo Nyo is a Rohingya and an apprentice midwife who acts as assistant and translator at the clinic. Despite living in the area for generations, Nyo Nyo and her family are still considered intruders. Risking her own safety daily by helping Muslim patients, she is determined to become a steady healthcare provider and resource for the families who desperately need her. Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing’s remarkable feature debut was filmed over five turbulent years in Myanmar, shining a spotlight on these courageous women who unite to bring forth life, despite the risks and challenges of their own, offering a rare insight into the complex reality of Myanmar and its people.

In-person screenings:
Saturday, May 21, 5:15pm, Film at Lincoln Center, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Monday, May 23, 6:30pm, IFC Center
Digital screening:
Available to watch at your own pace, any time between May 20-26, 2022 on the festival’s digital streaming platform.

The New Greatness Case
World Premiere
Anna Shishova, 2022, Documentary, 92 minutes, Russian

With the current intensified crackdown on dissent and free expression in Russia, The New Greatness Case brings viewers into the life of young Russians caught in the crossfire. Anya was an ordinary teenager, discussing Russian politics and social issues on the internet with a group of friends, when a secret agent joined their chat group and rented them a meeting space – pushing them toward direct physical action. Police stormed their homes to arrest and jail the teens, accusing them of plotting to overthrow the government and fabricating charges of extremism. Three years later, Anya’s mother, continuing her desperate fight to prove her daughter’s innocence, has transformed from a loyal follower of Vladimir Putin to a hunger-strike enacting political activist. With hidden camera footage, and an intimate relationship with the protagonists, the director, Anna Shishova, shows the complete repression of present-day Russia, and how young, free-thinking people, are seen as a threat to the government.

“A courageous and dedicated film with incredible scenes. The case against the kids is so grotesque, it keeps you watching for the next twist.” —Bill Van Esveld, Associate Director, Children’s Rights Division, Human Rights Watch

In-person screenings:
Tuesday, May 24, 9:00pm, Film at Lincoln Center, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Wednesday, May 25, 6:30pm, IFC Center
Digital screening:
Available to watch at your own pace, any time between May 20-26, 2022 on the festival’s digital streaming platform.

No U-Turn
New York Premiere
Ike Nnaebue, 2022, Documentary, 94 minutes, English, Igbo, French, Nigerian Pidgin Special Mention, Documentary Award, Berlinale 2022

As a young man, celebrated Nigerian director Ike Nnaebue left Nigeria taking the route via Benin, Mali, and Mauritania to Morocco where he was forced to turn back, unable to reach Europe. In his first documentary, No U-Turn, he retraces the life-changing journey he made over 20 years ago. Along the way, he meets those who are taking the same trip and, through conversations with them, tries to understand what motivates young people today to expose themselves to the dangers of a passage into an uncertain future. Most are aware of the dangers of traveling undocumented by road, yet more and more are joining the ranks of those who take this risk, despite widely circulated images and terrifying testimonies found online of people who have been lured into slavery and bondage. Overlaid with a powerful poetic commentary, this self-reflective travelogue hints at the deep longing of an entire generation for a better life.

No U-Turn is a strong documentary that provides answers to questions around the motivations for migrating and experiences on the journey.” — Anietie Ewang, Researcher, Africa Division, Human Rights Watch

“Why is it unrealistic to dream of a comfortable life in a continent of abundant resources?” —Ike Nnaebue, Director, No U-Turn

In-person screenings:
Tuesday, May 24, 6:15pm, Film at Lincoln Center, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Wednesday, May 25, 9:00pm, IFC Center
Digital screening:
Available to watch at your own pace, any time between May 20-26, 2022 on the festival’s digital streaming platform.

Up To G-Cup
World Premiere
Jacqueline van Vugt, 2022, Documentary, 80 minutes, Kurdish, Arabic

Northern Iraq’s first lingerie store not only sells underwear, but also acts as a meeting place where women connect to their bodies and sensuality after overcoming the traumas of oppression, war, and conservative morality. The store is in Suleimaniyah, a city in the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq, where the male management of the mall state: “A billboard of a woman in lingerie is not possible – a woman in a bra and thong but without a head, maybe.” Yet the women in Up to G-Cup are open with each other and the camera. Director Jacqueline van Vugt captures intimate stories about love, sex, shame, and war.

“Women, girls – all their decisions have to be approved by the family. You can’t choose your own husband. Our culture doesn’t allow us to follow our hearts, your heart has to stay hidden.” —Shyaw, Film Participant, Up to G-Cup

“It is my dream that one day in Kurdistan too, lingerie will be seen like other clothes and no longer be a taboo subject.” —Shapol, Film Participant, Up to G-Cup

In-person screenings:
Monday, May 23, 9:00pm, IFC Center
Wednesday, May 25, 9:00pm, Film at Lincoln Center, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center

Digital screening:
Available to watch at your own pace, any time between May 20-26, 2022 on the festival’s digital streaming platform.

You Resemble Me
New York Premiere
Directed by Dina Amer, 2021, Drama, 91 minutes, Arabic, French

Who was Hasna Aït Boulahcen? After the November 2015 Paris bombings, she was labelled “Europe’s first female suicide bomber.” Journalists swarmed to her story, trying to extract details about the mysterious young woman who lived on the outskirts of Paris. In this drama, executive-produced by Spike Lee, Spike Jonze, Riz Ahmed and Alma Har’el, director, Dina Amer, pieces together Hasna’s story from over 300 hours of interviews, from a little girl protecting her younger sister from an abusive home to a young woman who finds herself trying her best to survive on the streets. This nuanced drama shows what happens when society fails to protect a child, and how discrimination, poverty, and abuse facing young people can allow radicalization to plant roots and grow, with devastating impact on the wider community.

“A very compelling depiction of how radicalization happens.” — Sara Kayyali, Syria Researcher, Human Rights Watch

“The film is an invitation to look before and behind the headlines, not for absolute truths or permanent answers, but an insistence on lifting the veils and beginning the conversations that conceal our shared humanity.” — Dina Amer, Director, You Resemble Me

In-person screenings:
Monday, May 23, 9:00pm, Film at Lincoln Center, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Wednesday, May 25, 6:15pm, Film at Lincoln Center, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center
Digital screening:
Available to watch at your own pace, any time between May 20-26, 2022 on the festival’s digital streaming platform.

HRWFFNY / United States

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