RISE Film Festival

Film, Film festivals
Two African-American protesters clutch their necks in Stephen Maing's powerful doco Crime + Punishment
Photograph: Supplied A scene from director Stephen Maing's powerful doco Crime + Punishment

Time Out says

This United Nations-backed film fest challenges racism in all its forms

Community-based streaming platform Fanforce TV has teamed up with the United Nations, no less, to deliver a rally cry of empowering movies in the virtual RISE (Racial Injustice, Social Equality) Film Festival. If you feel emboldened to speak up by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is the perfect way to fire your fervour.



Drawing focus on the UN’s ‘Let’s Stop Racism’ campaign, this collection of six award-winning films is designed to spark important conversations. The line-up includes Jonathan Olshefski’s jaw-dropping Quest. An absolute cracker, the filmmaker spent over a decade checking in on the African-American Rainey family in North Philadelphia, only for an all-too common tragedy to unfold. Through the family, you witness the joy of Obama’s rise to the presidency, but also the grim realisation that not much changes for those doing it tough in America.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied, who faced the wrath of a concerted right-wing media campaign she says ultimately drove her to leave Australia behind, is involved in Paul Scott’s doco Are You Racist? It looks at the issue from a scientific angle. Dan Parris’ Show Me Democracy features seven St Louis college students pushing for change during the Ferguson uprising.

Canadian filmmaker Julia Ivanova’s powerful doco Family Portrait in Black And White follows Ukrainian woman Olga Nenya’s struggle to raise 16 biracial orphans in the face of pretty demoralising racism in a small and small-minded Eastern European town.

Dance fans will really dig Bronx Gothic. Directed by Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times), it’s an intimate portrait of writer, choreographer and theatre-maker Okwui Okpokwasili and her acclaimed one-woman show of the same name. It draws on her childhood in the '80s to deliver a smooth moving coming-of-ager, with the doco delving deep into her creative process and family history.

The clutch of brilliant movies is accompanied by thought-provoking panel discussions and Q&As, including with Ivanova, Parris, and also Emmy-award winning director Stephen Maing. His doco Crime + Punishment champions the brave NYPD officers who expose illegal quota practices.

You can find out more and stream the films here from August 21-28. It's billed in US dollars, so keep your eye on the conversion rate. You can grab single tickets for US$10, or US$40 for the lot. 

Want more movies to make you think? Check out the digital MIFF.


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