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Feast of films at human rights festival
YOUTH rights will be the focus for this year’s Oxford Human Rights Festival, which starts in the city today.
This is the eleventh year of the festival, which is organised by Oxford Brookes University students studying development and emergency practice.
The free event runs until Sunday, and includes a series of lectures and film screenings.
Many of the students on the course have experience of living and working in countries that have witnessed war, disaster and poverty, or are seeking a career in that field.
For the first time, students from the undergraduate film studies programme have joined with the course to put on the programme of ten films and documentaries.
DEP student Thom Banks, who has been involved in organising this year’s festival, said: “The film festival is a great opportunity for people to engage with the key issues of human rights through an exciting and accessible medium.
“The range of knowledgeable and informed speakers the festival attracts is always a highlight too.”
After each screening, a guest speaker will be on hand for a question and answer session about the issues raised by the piece.
The festival starts tonight with Sarabah, the story of Senegalese female rapper Sister Fa as she tours her home country to spread the word about the dangers of female genital mutilation.
The fully booked screening is at the Old Fire Station, Gloucester Green, at 6.30pm and Sister Fa will join the audience via Skype after the show. It will be followed by a screening of documentary The Price of Sex, about sex trafficking, at 8.30pm.
Other films to be screened during the four day festival include Africa United, the tale of three Rwandan children who walk 3,000 miles to the football world cup in South Africa, Salaam Dunk, a documentary about friendship, love and basketball at the American University of Iraq, and The Human Experience, which tells the story of a band of brothers traveling the world in search of answers.
Films will be screened at the Old Fire Station and at the Ultimate Picture Palace in Cowley Road, and free places need to be booked on the festival website.
Special guest speakers include Mark Cousins, director of The First Movie, Jasper Kain and Matthew Kay, directors of Eid and Over the Wall: Football Beyond Borders, along with representatives from organisations such as Christian Aid, Action Aid, Child Soldiers International, and Refugee Resource.