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Human Rights Film Festival


8. - 11. June 2015

Cour 8, Campus of the University of Vienna (Spitalgasse 2, 1090 Vienna)

bad weather option: Aula on the campus of the University of Vienna 

The Human Rights Film Festival ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN MOTION, under the auspices of Cornelius Obonya, takes place from June 8th to June 11th, 2015 and is part of the festivities "650 years University of Vienna". The Openair Festival is dedicated to the relationship between science and human rights and presents issues such as access to higher education, universities being an engines for social chang  and student protest. At the beginning of each plenary session, film directors, scientists of the University of Vienna, as well as experts will give an introduction to the theme of the day.

Admission is free. Please register via email at menschenrechte@univie.ac.at.

Doors open at 7pm.

The food trucks Wrapstars & Hy-kitchen will spoil you with culinary delights and Drinks will be catered by the Ute Bock refugee initiative.

ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN MOTION is organized in cooperation with the City of Vienna, the OPEC Fund for International Development, the Campusfestival, Filmarchiv Austria, Filmclub Drosendorf, the human rights film festival this human world as well as our media Partners Wiener Zeitung, profil online, Radio ORANGE and ray film magazine.

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June 8, 2015: Festive Opening & screening of SEPIDEH - REACHING FOR THE STARS (Austrian premiere)

8 pm: Festive opening of the film festival  

Welcome address Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Heinz W. ENGL, Rector of the University of Vienna

Welcome address Prof. Dr. Manfred NOWAK, Director of the Research Centre Human Rights

Welcome address Mag.a Muna DUZDAR, Council Woman, City of Vienna

Berit Madsen // 2013 // Denmark// 90 min. // Documentary

„Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  (Nelson Mandela)

With the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW), in 1979, a significant instrument for the fight against gender discrimination was created. Among others, this instrument includes the right to access higher education and aims at fostering gender equality between men and women. Austria ratified this convention in 1982, however, some states, such as Iran and the U.S.A., never did. At the University of Vienna, women were permitted only in 1897, 532 years after the university was founded in 1365. Access to higher education for women has always been and still is in some parts of the world, a right that was and is fought for. One example is Iran, where the role of a woman is strongly influenced by the legal and societal regime and “traditional” notions. This is demonstrated, among others, in gender specific restrictions on access to certain subjects of university education. However, there is a women’s movement in Iran, which advertises a different role for women and demands equal rights for women.

Synopsis: Sepideh wants to become an astronaut. She spends her night discovering the secrets of the universe, while her family tries everything to keep her on the ground and fulfill her dream. The expectations of a young Iranian girl are drastically different from Sepideh’s dreams and are endangering her plans to attend university. However, Sepideh doesn’t give up and fights for her dream of university education. Trailer: https://youtu.be/wTzbIc6oiqs

Film discussion with Berit MADSEN (Director) and Jaleh LACKNER-GOHARI (Doctors without Borders; Iran in Vienna). Moderator: Manfred NOWAK (Research Centre Human Rights, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights). The film discussion is held in English.

The entrance is free. We kindly ask you to register at menschenrechte@univie.ac.at, due to limited seating. Doors open at 7pm.

Facebook eventbit.ly/afimSepideh 


Frank Borzage // U.S.A // 1940 // Film// English

„Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.“

(Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Prefilm: The first national socialist student rally in Vienna (Ostmark Wochenschau / 1938 / Vienna / 1 min. / Filmarchiv)

The foundation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international protection of human rights as it is known today are strongly connected with the horrors of WWII and the atrocities of the NS regime. The declaration was an answer of the international society to the atrocities of the Shoah. It was a plea of the international community that Auschwitz and Mauthausen can never happen again and that there is a need for international human rights instruments which are legally binding.

Synopsis: South Germany 1933: The university professor Victor Roth lives a content life with his family, which drastically changes when Hitler rises to power. Most of the neighbors of Roth’s hometown support the new leadership. However, some of Roth’s friends, such as Martin Breitner, refuse to participate. Victor Roth, not an “Aryan” himself, opposes the Nazis’ quest to seek a new “Aryan superiority” at all costs. Roth loses his right to teach at the university and is deported to a concentration camp. The Mortal Storm was one of the first anti-Nazi films in Hollywood, and in Germany screening of the movie was banned under Goebbels. Only in 1957 did the movie premiere in Germany. Trailer: https://youtu.be/aUYKdoEzWgU

Film discussion with Prof. Rudi Gelbard (time witness) and Katharina Kniefacz (University of Vienna, Institute of Contemporary History).

The entrance is free. We kindly ask you to register at menschenrechte@univie.ac.at, due to limited seating.

Doors open at 7pm.

June 10, 2015: FIRE IN THE BLOOD

Dylan Mohan Gray // 2013 // India // 87 min. // Documentary

In Artikle 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights it is noted that everyone has the right "to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefit."

In times of the economization of research, economic interests play a crucial role, especially in the pharmaceutical industry. Through economic interests of pharmaceutical companies, discrimination abounds, disrupting free access to medicine, which is a right stated in article 12 of the International Covenant of economic, social, and cultural rights. This creates tensions between economic interests in privately funded research and principles of research ethics.

Synopsis: FIRE IN THE BLOOD tells the story of how Western pharmaceutical companies and governments blocked access to affordable HIV/AIDS medication for the global south in the years after 1996. This practice cost more than 10 million people’s lives. It is also an inspiring tale of a group of people who decided to fight back and stop the crime of the century and save lives. Shot in four countries, the movie includes contributions from Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu and Joseph Stiglitz. Trailer: https://youtu.be/eVf2UUu_w4o

Film discussion with Dylan Mohan GRAY (Director) and Christiane DRUML (Austrian Bioethics Commission; Medical University of Vienna). Moderator: Manfred NOWAK (Research Centre Human Rights; Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights). The film discussion is held in English.

The entrance is free. We kindly ask you to register at menschenrechte@univie.ac.at, due to limited seating.

Doors open at 7pm.

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June 11, 2015: LESSONS IN DISSENT (Austrian premiere)

Matthew Torne / 2014 / Hongkong / 98 min.  / Documentary

“Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it.” (Howard Zinn)

Universities as places for critical thinking and societal discourse were, from a historical perspective, often places for student protests and therefore a starting point for societal change. The Chinese student democracy movement on Tiananmen Square, the protests of 1968, the green movement in Iran, the student protests in Europe (#unibrennt), as well as the Arab Spring are only a few of the many examples. In Hong Kong’s peaceful protests, students demand democratic fundamental rights, which are set in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 21). One of these movements, “Scholarism”, is portrait in the documentary film “Lessons in Dissent”. “Scholarism” is the reaction to the proposed adaption of the “Moral and National Education” curricula for Hong Kong’s schools in 2011. Joshua Wong is regarded as instrumental in laying the foundations for the “Umbrella Movement” in 2014.

Synopsis: Lessons in Dissent is a portrait of a new generation of Hong Kong’s democracy activists. The student movement “Scholarism”, initiated and led by Joshua Wong, dedicates itself to stopping the introduction of “Moral and National Education” in Hong Kong’s school curricula. The movement questions the education system, the lack of freedom of science and the abuse of fundamental rights in Hong Kong. Joshua Wong’s campaign was supported by a vast amount of the population, with 120.000 people joining the protests. Trailer: https://youtu.be/ePe2orhjiik

Film discussion with Matthew TORNE (Director) and Susanne WEIGELIN-SCHWIEDRZIK (Vicerector of the University of Vienna; Department for Sinology). Moderator: Manfred NOWAK (Research Centre Human Rights; Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights). The film discussion is held in English.

The entrance is free. We kindly ask you to register at menschenrechte@univie.ac.at, due to limited seating.

Doors open at 7pm.

Facebook eventOpens external link in new windowhttp://bit.ly/afimLessonsInDissent

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