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Socially Relevant Film Festival Returns for Third Year

Dance Iranian Style

Now in it’s third year, the rising Socially Relevant Film Festival (March 14 - 20, 2016) has its own blend of panels, documentaries, features, and shorts tackling a range of issues in today’s society in its mission to promote social change through the power of cinema.

Addressing genocide, sexuality, race, and identity, the Socially Relevant film fest assembles filmmakers from around the world for its hard-hitting themes and stories.

Documentaries include:

  • Who Killed the Armenians?
    Dir. Mohamed Hanafy Nasr
    Filmed in three countries: Egypt, Armenia and Lebanon, Who Killed the Armenians? unearths rare footage and interviews related to the genocide of the Armenian people during World War I.
  • The Neighborhood that Disappeared
    Dir. Mary Paley
    In 1962, one of the most massive urban renewal projects in American history sterilized the cultural and ethnic heart of Albany, New York. An arrangement made by first term Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and longtime Albany Mayor, Erastus Corning the 2nd, displaced almost eight per cent of the City's diverse population, razed more than a thousand buildings, dislodged 3,600 households, and closed 350 businesses.
  • The Sex Temple
    Dir. Johan Palmgren
    Christian runs a swingers club in Norrkoping, Sweden. He has just experienced a catastrophe. The club has burnt to the ground. He meets Robin, the owner of the beautiful old theatre in town just about to start a LGBTQ burlesque show, inspired by the Moulin Rouge in Paris, in an effort to attract audiences and solve the theatre’s deficit. Having tenants in the empty cellar seems to be an excellent idea and the two new friends cooperate to bring new life to the theatre, while the townsfolk of Norrkoping are in rage against the upcoming Sex Temple.

 Narrative features include:

  • Caged No More
    Dir. Lisa Arnold
    A 67 year old Cajun woman, discovers that her two goddaughters have disappeared. She risks everything to cross paths with two of the wealthiest and most connected people in New Orleans through a laptop left behind, the only clue that she possesses. Even with their help, no one can foresee the dangers that lie ahead in the dark world of trafficking.
  • Before Spring
    Dir. Ahmed Atef
    A young blogger who lost both eyes during the Egyptian Revolution recounts in flashback the story of the Spring that has finally come to his country. He tells how he and his friends were able to move a mountain. His insight, which often surpassed his ability to see, predicted the coming Egyptian Revolution. This film is based on the true story of five young activist bloggers who should receive the greatest credit for inspiring the Egyptian Revolution.
  • Dance Iranian Style
    Dir. Farshad Aria
    After her refugee claim is denied by the Dutch Immigration Service, Roya, a young Iranian girl is forced to enter an illegal life on the streets of Amsterdam. Attempting to capture the experiences of an illegal refugee, the crew follows Roya from a distance. Entirely shot in Amsterdam, in a film-within-a-film storytelling structure, the film develops through an improvisational work style where fiction and reality interweave.

 There will also be panels and workshops addressing issues like low-budget production and distribution, the applications of virtual reality to filmmaking and documentary storytelling.

To learn more, go to:

Socially Relevant Film Festival
March 14 - 20, 2016

Various locations in Manhattan

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