Film Festival Raises Awareness About Global Issues

Illuminating Oppression: 9th Annual Film Festival, brings worldwide documentaries and feature films to Syracuse's big screen.

In an entertainment culture where Hollywood rules, independent films and documentaries with important messages can be overshadowed. Illuminating Oppression, The 9th Annual Human Rights Film Festival is rasing awareness through film at Syracuse University.  

Tula Goenka, an associate professor for the television-radio-film program at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, is one of the co-directors of the festival. She has worked on several award winning documentaries and collaborated with many famous filmmakers. As a member of a human rights organization, there is no one more suited to compile a festival made up of meaningful films.

Films featured at the three day event, will highlight issues that are important in America and around the world. The lineup includes five films on human rights topics ranging from the impact of AIDS in San Francisco, to nonviolent movements in Palestine. Each film raises awarness about timely issues that need to be brought to the world's public platform.

This year marks the second Digital Witness Symposium highlighting the topic of archiving digital human rights media. The symposium coincides with many of the film subjects being screened, including African American history, AIDS and the Holocaust. Speakers will include filmmakers Sam Pollard and Jim Hubbard.

The screenings on Thursday and Friday will include a panel discussion and a Q-and-A session following each film. Nadav Greenberg from Just Vision, producers for the documentary Budrus, local AIDS activists and professor Roger Hallas for We Were Here will serve as panelists.

 I Am, the only feature in the field of documentaries, made up of four short films, raises awarness for issues such as sperm donation and child abuse in the society of modern day India. It has been selected for film festivals around the world and has won a handful of awards, making it a perfect must-see film to end the festival.

Illuminating Oppression will take place at the Life Sciences Complex Auditorium from Thursday, Sept. 15, through Sept. 17. For show times and to view trailers, visit

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