Thursday, June 10, 2010

OUT IN THE SILENCE To Screen In The 2010 Human Rights Watch International Film Festival In New York - June 21, 22 & 23

NEW YORK – Now in its 21st year, the 2010 Human Rights Watch Film Festival — the world’s foremost showcase for films with a distinctive human rights theme — creates a forum for courageous individuals on both sides of the lens to empower audiences with the knowledge that personal commitment can make a difference. A co-presentation of Human Rights Watch and The Film Society of Lincoln Center, the festival will run from June 10 to 24 at the Film Society’s Walter Reade Theater.

Thirty extraordinary works from 25 countries will be screened, 28 of which are New York premieres. A majority of the filmmakers will be on hand after the screenings to discuss their films with the audience.

“The Human Rights Watch Film Festival reflects the condition of the world we live in, including the top news events around the world,” said John Biaggi, the festival director. “No one is immune to the rippling effects when human rights are violated, whether here in our country or far away. It affects us all.”

This year’s festival is organized around three themes, beginning with Accountability and Justice. OUT IN THE SILENCE, screening on June 21, 22 & 23, delves into aspects of this theme by following three Americans caught up in a same-sex marriage controversy as they confront three of society’s most formidable forces—the church, the school system, and prevailing social norms.

The film captures the controversy that ensues when filmmaker Joe Wilson's same-sex wedding announcement is published in the newspaper of Oil City, the small Pennsylvania hometown he left long ago. Drawn back by a plea for help from the mother of a gay teen being tormented at school, Wilson's journey dramatically illustrates the challenges of negotiating the morally charged issue of sexual orientation and the potential for building bridges when people with differing opinions approach each other with openness and respect.

A Human Rights Watch Podcast of an interview with filmmakers Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer, along with HRW's Boris Dittrich, can be heard HERE.

More information about the film festival screenings can be found HERE.

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