From Syria To South Dakota, IIFF Docs Presents Stories Of Life And Resistance In A Changing World

Over three days, a selection of groundbreaking documentaries will shed light on the powers that be and on those resisting them.

ALBA’s human rights documentary film festival, Impugning Impunity, returns to New York for its 2017 season, opening Friday, September 22, at the historic Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV) and running until Sunday, September 24. Over three days, a selection of groundbreaking films will shed light on the powers that be and on those resisting them. The festival will highlight the documentary’s unique ability to contest the status quo and offer strategies for resistance by fostering a dialogue about justice, activism, and equality. ALBA’s human rights documentary film festival honors the heritage of the 2,800 American men and women who, during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) joined the International Brigades to fight against fascism.

This year’s festival will present 18 non-fiction features and shorts from 11 countries. The lineup includes three world premieres, three US premieres, and six New York premieres. The festival’s jury is composed of Spanish investigative filmmaker Montserrat Armengou, Emmy-winning director Laurens Grant, and Richard Peña, former program director of the Film Society of the Lincoln Center, Director Emeritus of the New York Film Festival, and Professor of Film Studies at Columbia University. They will honor the best film from the Official Selection with the Harry Randall Award for Best Human Rights Documentary Feature. The festival will also award a prize to the Best Documentary Short.

This year’s program offers a wide range of non-fiction modes, perspectives and aesthetic approaches: from the desire to bear witness through rigorous investigative work and participatory camera work to first-person approaches and poetic observational pieces, including performative films that approach documentary in fresh and exciting ways. The range of compelling subjects showcased throughout the films is as wide as their narrative styles.

With a special focus on marginalized perspectives and loyal to the festival’s belief in dealing with today’s most pressing issues, the films in the official selection address the Syrian refugee crisis, the rise of neo-nationalist movements, the plight…

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