Emmet Kirwan, Sorcha Pollack, Bulelani Mfaco and Aoife Kelleher

Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties officially relaunch the Dublin Human Rights Film Award.  Helping to launch the prestigious award which will be unveiled at an intimate gathering on Sunday March 3rd at The Merrion Hotel were Emmet Kirwan, Bulelani Mfaco, Aoife Kelleher, and Sorcha Pollack.

The Dublin Human Rights Film Award will celebrate an outstanding achievement in raising awareness and understanding of human rights through the medium of film. Virgin Media will provide the winner with access to facilities at Virgin Media Television to the value of €1,000, which can include editing, studio time, camera and post audio depending on the needs of the project.

Eight films from the festival programme have been identified as being of special merit in their engagement with the theme of human rights. The shortlist of films will be evaluated by an esteemed adjudication panel which include: film and television director Aoife Kelleher; Irish Times journalist and author Sorcha Pollak; actor, playwright and screenwriter Emmet Kirwan, Direct Provision activist Bulelani Mfaco; and disability advocate and ICCL board member Suzy Byrne.

The aspiring shortlist of films, in alphabetical order, are:

  • A Girl From Mogadishu by Mary McGuckian: Based on the testimony of Ifrah Ahmed the film details Ifrah’s astonishing and powerful journey, from her time in a refugee camp to becoming a leading campaigner.
  • Another Day of Life by Raúl de la Fuente and Damian Nenow: A film which centres on an idealistic journalist tasked with covering civil conflict in Angola in the 1970s.
  • Gaza by Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell: A documentary portrait of the resilience of people in the most challenging of circumstances, set among the communities who live in Gaza.
  • Heartbound: A Different Kind of Love Story by Janus Metz and Dr Sine Plambech: A documentary about a small village in northern Denmark where over 900 Thai women have married and settled.
  • Land Without God by Gerard Mannix Flynn: His deeply personal documentary feature about himself and members of his own family as they recall the effects of decades of institutional abuse.
  • Of Fathers and Sons by Talal Derki: A documentary which centres on a radical Islamist family and their harsh existence as war rages around them in Syria.
  • Rafiki by Wanuri Kahiu: A Kenyan film that revolves around two female friends who fall in love. In doing so, they must face the challenges of family expectations and the conservative society in which they live.
  • The Public by Emilio Estevez: A film about a committed librarian, frustrated at a lack of social justice, allows some of his most vulnerable visitors turn his work space into an impromptu homeless shelter.

The winning film will be announced and presented with the Dublin Human Rights Film Award by Irish civils rights activist and former politician Bernadette McAliskey at a special event to be held in The Merrion Hotel on Sunday March 3rd.


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