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New York Benefit Film and Reception

June 12 at 6:00pm

Private Violence

Opening Night Film and Reception

June 13 at 7:00pm

Scheherazade's Diary

Closing Night - Encore Screening

June 22 at 8:30pm

Download the HRWFF NY 2014 program

and check out our festival trailer (YouTube)

on our Press page

Film Festival, June 12–22, 2014

(World premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Alessandra Zeka and Holen Sabrina Kahn
Year: 2014 / 65m
June 15 / 20

At a public hospital in Nicaragua, OBGYN Dr. Carla Cerrato must choose between following a law that bans all abortions and endangers her patients or taking a risk and providing the care that she knows can save a woman's life.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Various filmmakers
Year: 2013 / 90m
June 19

Abounaddara is a collective of filmmakers working towards providing an alternative image of Syrian society. It was founded in 2010 in opposition to the prevailing representations of Syria found in the Western media.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Madeleine Sackler
Year: 2013 / 76m
June 18

Director Madeleine Sackler goes behind the scenes with the Belarus Free Theatre, an acclaimed troupe of imaginative and subversive performers who, in a country choked by censorship and repression, defy Europe's last remaining dictatorship.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman, directors; Marilyn Ness, producer
Year: 2013 / 89m
June 12

When atrocities are committed in countries held hostage by ruthless dictators, Human Rights Watch sends in the Emergencies Team, a collection of fiercely intelligent individuals who document war crimes and report them to the world.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Iva Radivojevic
Year: 2014 / 73m
June 15 / 17

A visual essay in five parts, Evaporating Borders is told through a series of vignettes that explore the lives of asylum seekers and political refugees on the island of Cyprus.

(US premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Rachel Beth Anderson and Tim Grucza
Year: 2013 / 80m
June 17 / 18

First to Fall is an intimate story of friendship, sacrifice, and the madness of war. It bears witness to the irreversible transformation of two friends, and the price they pay for their convictions.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Jasmila Zbanic
Year: 2013 / 72m
June 16 / 17

Jasmila Zbanic's For Those Who Can Tell No Tales follows an Australian tourist as she discovers the silent legacy of wartime atrocities in a seemingly idyllic town on the border of Bosnia and Serbia.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Sandrine Orabona and Mark Herzog
Year: 2014 / 90m
June 14 / 16

Former US Navy SEAL Chris Beck embarks on a new mission as Kristin Beck. Kristin's journey in search of the American ideals that she protected: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have a whole new meaning as she lives her life truthfully as a transgender woman.

(US premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Khalo Matabane
Year: 2013 / 84m
June 13 / 14

South African filmmaker Khalo Matabane was an idealistic teenager with fanciful ideas about a post-apartheid era of freedom and justice when the great icon of liberation Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990. In a personal odyssey encompassing an imaginary letter to Mandela and conversations with politicians, activists, intellectuals, and artists, Matabane questions the meaning of freedom, reconciliation, and forgiveness.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): blair dorosh-walther
Year: 2014 / 74m
June 18 / 20

One hot August night in 2006, in New York's Greenwich Village, a group of young African-American lesbian friends are violently and sexually threatened by an older man. Out in the Night uncovers how their lives leading up to that night compelled these young women to defend themselves. Through this act, and their audacity to claim innocence in the courtroom, these young women became known as The New Jersey 4.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Cynthia Hill
Year: 2013 / 81m
June 13

Private Violence explores a simple but deeply disturbing fact of American life: the most dangerous place for a woman in America is her own home.

Filmmaker(s): Talal Derki
Year: 2013 / 87m
June 13 / 14

Filmed between August 2011 and August 2013, Return to Homs is a remarkably intimate portrait of a group of young revolutionaries in the city of Homs in western Syria. They dream of their country being free from President Bashar al-Assad and fight for justice through peaceful demonstrations.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Zeina Daccache
Year: 2013 / 80m
June 22 / 22

This engaging tragicomic documentary follows women inmates through a 10-month drama therapy/theater project set up in 2012 by director Zeina Daccache at the Baabda Prison in Lebanon.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Berit Madsen
Year: 2013 / 88m
June 15 / 21

Sepideh is a young Iranian woman who dares to dream—of a future as an astronaut.

Filmmaker(s): Richie Mehta
Year: 2013 / 96m
June 21

In New Delhi, 12-year-old Siddharth is sent by his father Mahendra to work in a factory in another province to help support their family. Siddharth is supposed to come home in one month for the Diwali festival. When he fails to return or call, his distraught father begins a desperate search to find his missing son.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Mano Khalil
Year: 2013 / 107m
June 16 / 17

The Beekeeper relates the touching story of Ibrahim Gezer, a Kurdish beekeeper from southeast Turkey, and his unusual experience of integration into the seemingly conservative heart of today's Switzerland.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Nadav Schirman
Year: 2014 / 101m
June 14 / 16

This real life thriller tells the story of one of Israel's most prized intelligence sources: the son of top Hamas leader Sheikh Hassan Youssef, Mosab Hassan Youssef.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly
Year: 2014 / 89m
June 20 / 21

The Homestretch follows three homeless teens in Chicago as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Sara Ishaq
Year: 2013 / 64m
June 19

After 10 years in Scotland, Sara Ishaq travels back to her childhood home of Yemen and takes her camera along. She hopes to feel at home in the place that was once so close to her heart, but the complications soon become clear.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Joanna Lipper
Year: 2013 / 75m
June 19

Director Joanna Lipper elegantly explores past and present as she tells the remarkable story of Hafsat Abiola, daughter of human rights heroine Kudirat Abiola, and Nigeria's President-elect M.K.O. Abiola, who won a historic vote in 1993 that promised to end years of military dictatorship.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Jennifer Kroot
Year: 2014 / 90m
June 15

From the iconic role of Sulu on Star Trek to Howard Stern and Facebook fame, George Takei's sharp eye, coupled with his wicked sense of humor, continues to challenge the status quo well into the 21st century.

(New York premiere)
Filmmaker(s): Edet Belzberg
Year: 2014 / 114m
June 18 / 19

Watchers of the Sky interweaves five stories of remarkable courage, compassion, and determination, while setting out to uncover the forgotten life of Raphael Lemkin—the man who created the word "genocide" and believed the law could protect the world from mass atrocities.