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Film Festivals

New York Human Rights Watch Film Fest takes to Streaming

Coded Bias

The latest film fest to switch to a digital platform is the New York edition of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival (HRWFF). Running June 11 - 20, 2020, the HRWFF will be streamed for audiences from

The opening night film, Belly of the Beast, directed by Erika Cohn, looks into the oppressive practice of involuntary sterilizations of women in the federal prison system. Radio Silence, from Juliana Fanjul,  tells the story of fierce radio journalist Carmen Artesegui, who was censored by the Mexican government for fighting against corrupt disinformation. Máxima, directed by Claudia Sparrow, about the noted environmental Goldman Prize winner Máxima Acuña, who fought intimidation, violence and criminal prosecution in a fight to keep her home in Peru. Coded Bias looks at how the world of AI has been dominated by white men, leading to misinformation being taken as fact. Down a Dark Stairwell, about criminal justice and race in NYC, and the HBO film Welcome to Chechnya by David France (How to Survive a Plague) which uses deep fake technology to mask the identities of gay Chechnians trying to escape the country.

Many of the films will also include live Q&As with filmmakers and special guests that will be streamed (be sure to register for them ahead of time).

To learn more, go to:

Human Rights Watch Film Festival New York: Digital Edition
June 11 - 20

Museum of the Moving Image takes First Look Festival to MUBI


Interrupted by the Covid 19 pandemic, the Museum of the Moving Image is shifting the 2020 First Look Festival to the streaming platform MUBI. The festival features four films: ManBird Talk (Dir. Xawery Żuławski), Searching Eva (Dir. Pia Hellenthal), Transnistra (Dir. Anna Eborn), and Nofinofy (Dir. Michael Andrianaly), will stream each Monday in May exclusively on MUBI.

  • Nofinofy
    Available Starting May 4
    Dir. Michael Andrianaly. France, Madagascar. 2019, 72 mins. When his hairdressing salon is destroyed by the municipality, Romeo must leave the high street of Toamasina for a harder-to-find shack in a residential neighborhood. Intimately observed yet effortlessly reflective of issues confronting Madagascar today, Nofinofy is a marvel of economy as of patient empathy.
  • Transnistra
    Available Starting May 12
    Dir. Anna Eborn. Sweden, Denmark, Belgium. 2019, 96 mins. Shot on 16mm and set in the self-declared nation of Transnistria (Priednestrovia), this film follows a group of 16 year olds over a cycle of seasons, witnessing the end of their youth and their first attempts forging futures either within or beyond their small community.
  • Searching Eva
    Available Starting May 18
    Dir. Pia Hellenthal. Germany. 2019, 84 mins. A writer, a model, a queer activist, a sex worker, a social media personality—all of these apply to the Italian-born Eva Collé. Yet, director Pia Hellenthal takes care to never define Eva, whose notoriety is dispersed among various platforms and avatars and purposely avoids being pigeonholed into a fixed identity.
  • Bird Talk
    Available Starting May 25

    Dir. Xawery Żuławski. Poland. 2019, 138 mins. Working from an unrealized script by his father, the late Andrzej Żuławski, award-winning Polish filmmaker Xawery Żuławski unleashes a wild, urgent, friskily entertaining explosion of cinema, spilling into hybrid nonfiction. In a society increasingly leaning towards conformity, faith, and reactionary politics, the film highlights characters operating on its fringes.

First Look is the Museum’s annual festival of new, innovative international cinema. The 9th edition, scheduled for March 11 through 15, was cut short after the first two days as the Museum building was closed in efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. The Museum of the Moving Image also features streaming films on its website of View From Home and Live Online streaming events.

To learn more, go to: or

SeriesFest Goes Virtual

SeriesFest, the non-profit organization dedicated to supporting underserved voices in episodic storytelling, is joining the list of festivals pivoting to a streaming format. Launching April 15, SeriesFest will host industry creatives through virtual writers rooms, creator hangouts, network watch parties and online Pitch-A-Thons. 

The main festival, scheduled for June 18 to the 24th, will happen as scheduled, but online, with streamed screenings followed by extended Q&As with talent and creators of TV favorites and premiere content on YouTube. These events bring exclusive access to fans while also celebrating the rich history of episodic storytelling.  

SeriesFEst will also have ongoing watch parties for viewers to participate in, which include live Q&As. Watch parties scheduled include:

  • April 15- One Tree Hill, Q&A with James Lafferty and Stephen Colletti

  • April 29 - New Amsterdam, Q&A with Ryan Eggold

  • April Date TBA - Disjointed, Q&A with Betsy Sodaro

Launching April 16, a series of virtual roundtable conversations surrounding all things indie episodic will be hosted by SeriesFest alumni. Available to stream on YouTube, two to five creators will host hour long conversations around indie topics including Female Filmmakers, Sparking Creativity, The Art of the Pitch, Creating The Season One Arc, International Independent Content, Benefits and Challenges of Online Release. The Art of the Pitch will be hosted by Emil Pinnock and Ian Robertson, the team behind SeriesFest: Season 3’s award-winning pilot, Up North. Pinnock and Robertson will lead the interactive workshop on what they've found are the three most important areas to prepare for - the people, the package and the pitch.

To learn more, go to:


12th Annual ReelAbilities Film Fest Goes Online for Latest Edition

The 12th Annual ReelAbilities Film Fesitval
is joining the recent trend of film festivals shifting to online platforms in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Running March 31 to April 6, ReelAbilities is dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories, and artistic expressions of people with disabilities. Now the festival can be enjoyed from the comfort of your living room.

Films will be available online for 24 hours beginning at the scheduled start time and Q+As with filmmakers and guests will take place after the film’s first screening concludes. Films will still be fully accessible, presented with open captions and audio description. Q+As and panels will be broadcast in interactive livestream with captioning.

The festival includes the world premiere of Brian Thomas’ documentary Amy’s Victory Dance, the story of a former professional dancer who is run over by a 15-ton New York City express bus and her triumphant path back to the stage after the near loss of her life and leg. Oliver Sacks: His Own Life is a documentary about the foremost neurologist of the 21st century from director Ric Burns. Serbian director Raško Miljković’s debut feature film The Witch Hunters is a poignant tale about 10-year-old Jovan, who has cerebral palsy, and his imaginative world and adventurous friendship with his classmate Milica.

"We feel that these stories still need to be told and that creating community is as important as ever. For the first time ever, we will present the majority of our films, Q+As, and conversations online. We believe this will allow us to advance our mission of accessibility, making our films and conversations available to our community at times when gathering together in person is not possible." says Isaac Zablocki, the director of ReelAbilities Film Festival:

To learn more, go to:

ReelAbilities Film Festival
March 31 - April 6, 2020

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