First ever West Midlands Human Rights Film Festival launches in Birmingham on 6 September 2011

First ever West Midlands Human Rights Film Festival

launches in Birmingham next month

6 September – 4 October 2011

The national-award-winning Birmingham International Film Society
(BIFS) is pleased to announce it will be hosting the first ever West
Midlands Human Rights Film Festival, next month.

‘There are so many films coming out at the moment that raise a variety
of human rights issues, we thought the best way to present them would
be in a Festival,’ said film programmer, Max Simpson, one of the four
local film enthusiasts who founded BIFS in 2008.

‘We hope the Festival will help promote awareness of human rights in
the West Midlands and encourage debate.’

The Festival will be launched on Tuesday 6 September at 6.30pm at the
Birmingham Library Theatre, with a reception and opening address from
special guest speaker, Simon Davies, Director of Privacy

The reception will be followed by an exclusive preview screening of
the acclaimed Iranian film The Green Wave (12A) at 7.30pm at the
Birmingham Library Theatre.

Professor A.C. Grayling, Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College,
London, author, philosopher, and renowned supporter of Human Rights,
has voiced his support for BIFS’s West Midlands Human Rights
initiative: ‘One of the most impactful ways to educate people about
human rights is through film, and the West Midlands Human Rights Film
Festival performs a huge service in this respect. Few people will be
unchanged by what the Festival puts before their eyes.’

The Festival programme covers a range of issues and Articles relating
to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The majority of
screenings are Birmingham Premieres, and will be complete with guest
speakers, including directors, academics, and representatives of
issue-based groups.

Other venues that are showing films in partnership with the Festival
include the Midlands Arts Centre (mac), Vivid, the Light House in
Wolverhampton and Birmingham Library Theatre.

The Festival is funded by Screen WM and the British Film Institute,
and supported by leading documentary film distributor Dogwoof Films.
The Festival runs until Tuesday 4 October 2011.



Highlights of the West Midlands Human Rights Film Festival programme include:

a preview screening of the multi-award-winning ‘You Don’t Like the
Truth – 4 Days Inside Guantánamo’, with guest speaker, Moazzam Begg,
Director of Cageprisoners, the organisation for human rights.

the World Premiere of ‘Defeat of the Champion’, a powerful documentary
about Project Champion, a terrorism initiative which was challenged in
Birmingham. The Premiere will be attended by the film’s Director, Ken

‘Our Generation’, an eloquent award-winning Australian documentary
which reveals how poorly the Aborigines have been treated throughout
history. Director, Sinem Saban, will be at the screening to discuss
her film.

Birmingham International Film Society (BIFS) was founded in 2008 by
Allan Brookfield, Jerome Leavey, Tom Pointon and Max Simpson, four
local film enthusiasts experienced in working in Birmingham’s cinema
exhibition and film education sector. Their aim was to bring a variety
of foreign language and independent cinema releases to Birmingham
which would otherwise not be exhibited in the city and to promote
screenings in collaboration and through partnerships with diverse
local community organisations and groups.

Birmingham International Film Society’s work was recognised at last
year’s British Federation of Film Societies’ annual Awards ceremony,
taking away the coveted title of the Engholm Prize for Film Society of
the Year, as well as winning Best Film Programming, a distinction in
Marketing and Publicity, and a commendation in the Community Award.

Funded by Screen West Midlands (and more recently the BFI), regular
film screenings commenced in May 2008 at the Library Theatre, a
230-capacity venue in Birmingham city centre and part of Birmingham
Central Library.

For further information regarding the Festival and for details of the
full film festival programme, or possible interviews with guest
speakers, please call Jerome Leavey on 07866 237094 or contact BIFS at

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A piece of PR we couldn’t be bothered to re-write.

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