Saturday, March 14, 2015

2nd annual SR SOCIALLY RELEVANT FILM FEST opens -- showcasing timely, issue-oriented films

The 2nd edition of New York's SR SOCIALLY RELEVANT FILM FESTIVAL opens this Monday, March 16 and runs  through Sunday, March 22, 2015 at several venues, including the Tribeca Cinemas, Maysles Cinema, The Quad Cinema and SVA. Offering timely and socially engaging films, some of which will have their world and U.S. premieres here, the fest will also include various tributes and industry panels. Films from some 35 countries will be screened at this not-for-profit film festival showcasing socially relevant film content, while raising awareness of social problems and current issues.

The festival was inaugurated last year by Nora Armani, shown at left, actor/filmmaker/Founding Artistic Director of SR, who created the festival in response to the proliferation of violence and violent forms of storytelling. Notes Ms Armani, “I strongly believe that the violence portrayed on our screens and in video games is responsible for the banalization of evil in our societies and the proliferation of violent forms of communication. Most films today encourage mis-representation, reinforce stereotypes and create an escapist passive attitude in youth and adults towards major social issues. In reverse, simply by focusing more on socially relevant themes, positive social change can be promoted through the powerful medium of cinema.”

This year’s lineup includes films that address a wide range of issues including gun control and police brutality, race relations and discrimination, violence against women and women's empower-ment,  LGBT rights, conflict in the mideast, the environment and climate change, the US economy and the oil rush, immigration and exile. The festival opens with the US premiere of the new Turkish/ German/French co-production COME TO MY VOICE (Were Dengê Min) by Hϋseyin Karabey, shown above, which will screen at CUNY Graduate Center, Proshansky Auditorium on March 16th, and is by invitation through the Festival. The film premiered at the Berlinale in 2014 and is sponsored by the German Consulate General in New York in partnership with SR Film Fest and MEMEAC (Middle East Middle East America Center) at CUNY Graduate Center.

Industry Panels will be held at the School of Visual Arts MFA SocDoc (136 W 21st Street, in Chelsea) and will address such issues as film distribution, storytelling and diversity casting. The Festival’s other sponsors and partners include Unifrance, The French Embassy Cultural Services, Cinema Libre Studio, MFA SocDoc School of Visual Arts, The Left Tilt Fund, Alouette Communications, IndiePix, Film Freeway, Final Draft, InkTip, The Candy Factory, Copenhagen Restaurant, Dailymotion, French Morning, Go Magazine, and a number of Industry and Media partners and supporters (see the festival's website for the full listing).

Screenings will take place at Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street, NYC; Maysles Cinema, 343 Malcolm X Blvd / Lenox Ave (Between 127th and 128th Streets); The Center for Remembering & Sharing (CRS), 123 4th Avenue near Union Square; and the Quad Cinema on 13th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. To see the entire slate of films and/or to purchase tickets for this years' roster, simply click here.

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