USF Hosts Annual Human Rights Film Festival April 9-11, 2015

Advocacy and social justice film screenings from international and student filmmakers

SAN FRANCISCO (April 8, 2015) ­— The University of San Francisco (USF) will host its 13th annual Human Rights Film Festival, an event that seeks to promote awareness and discussions of global human rights injustices through films from around the world. The festival is free and open to the public, and will take place from April 9-11 at USF’s Presentation Theater (2350 Turk Boulevard, at Masonic in San Francisco).

“At times, students and viewers in the festival are moved to become activists for specific human rights causes,” said USF Professor Pedro Lange Churión, chair of the Latin American Studies Program and co-organizer of this year’s festival. “They come out of the festival with a wealth of information and awareness related to human rights issues afflicting our world. This information is crucial in influencing their choices, both in their every day lives and as active political subjects.”

This year’s festival, hosted by Cine Acción, addresses a range of global and domestic issues such as: poverty, violence against women, LGBT rights, the environmental impacts of oil drilling, and political repression. Some films are selections from the Human Rights Watch Traveling Film Festival.

Highlights of the three-day festival include:

  • Thursday, April 9 at 3:30 p.m. – The Hunting Ground
    Weaving together footage and first person testimonies, the film follows the lives of several undergraduate sexual assault survivors, while documenting the institutional cover-ups of rape crimes on U.S. campuses and the traumatic aftermath.
  • Friday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. – The Land of Many Palaces
    This documentary focuses on Ordos, China, where thousands of farmers are being relocated into a new city under a government plan to modernize the region. The film follows a government official whose job is to convince these farmers that their lives will be better in the new city, and a farmer in one of the last remaining villages who is pressured to move. Directors Adam James Smith and Song Ting will be at USF for a discussion following the film screening.
  • Saturday, April 11 at 5:30 p.m. – Ariel
    This feature documentary is a story of a 33-year-old man who sets out to rebuild his broken identity after losing his legs in an accident in Mendoza, Argentina. His introspective journey of healing and transformation explores the ongoing duel between man and machine. The film’s director, Laura Bari, will be at USF for a discussion following the screening.

The three-day festival will also features works produced by USF students and alumni. For a full schedule and descriptions of the selected films, please visit

In keeping with the social justice mission of USF, the Human Rights Film Festival seeks to make the university a center for the promotion of human rights, as well as a platform to raise consciousness to the violations and abuses of human rights in the United States and elsewhere around the globe.

Media interested in learning more about USF’s Human Rights Film Festival, or to request interviews, please contact Anne-Marie Devine Tasto, senior director of media relations, at (415) 422-2697 or

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world's most innovative and stunning cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco’s first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student's passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World from Here.” For more information, please visit