SRFF 2022

27-30 October 2022 Coventry / Birmingham

Can films promote or propagate the truth of human experience? Or only mask or manipulate it? Privileging the discussion of its films, as much as the sharing of them, SRFF harnesses their power to air difficult topics, to create debate and to build connection across peoples and places.

Now in our 8th edition, the West Midlands human rights film festival returns to put the spotlight on film, social justice and debate.

See this year’s programme below or download the full programme


@ mac Birmingham | Buy Tickets

In February 2021, a successful military coup in Myanmar yielded a period of brutal repression to the Burmese people. Myanmar Diaries is a compilation of short films and user-generated footage that chronicles the aftermath of the coup as told by ten anonymous young Burmese filmmakers under the name of The Myanmar Film Collective. An urgent film of creative resistance that sheds light to a dramatic situation seldom seen in the news.

Dir: The Myanmar Collective / 70 min / 2022 / Burmese, English subtitles

Post-screening discussion with film’s co-producer Corinne Van Egeraat, key UK-based activist Zoya Phan from Burma Campaign UK and Mohammed Shahabuddin (Shahab) (Professor of International Law and Human Rights, University of Birmingham), and Professor Michele Aaron (Film and Television Studies, Warwick)

FRIDAY 28 Oct | 19:45 pm

@ Warwick Arts Centre | Buy Tickets

Beautiful, part-animated, story about members of the controversial/ banned spiritual group Falun Gong who stood up to the Chinese Communist Party by hacking a state TV signal. A film that engages creatively with traumatic memories while condemning Chinese human rights abuse and religious persecution.

Dir: Jason Loftus / 86 min / 2022 / Chinese (Mandarin), English, English subtitles

Post-screening panel with film’s director, film’s artist Diaxiong and Dr James C. Taylor (Teaching Fellow in Film and Television Studies, Warwick)

SATURDAY 29 OCT | 1 pm

@ Warwick Arts Centre | Buy Tickets

A hidden family story that delves into the filmmaker’s two half-brothers’ institutionalisation at the now-closed Huronia Regional Centre, a notorious medical institution in Ontario for children with developmental disabilities. A gripping personal quest that recognises systematic institutional practices of neglect and abuse against vulnerable children at Huronia and elsewhere in the twentieth century.

Dir: Barri Cohen / 90 min / 2022 / English (Canadian)

Post-screening panel with film’s director, Professor Hilary Marland (specialist in social history of mental health care, Warwick), and Dr Angharad Butler-Rees (disability rights activist and research fellow in Sociology, Warwick)

SATURDAY 29 OCT | 4:00 pm

@ Warwick Arts Centre | Buy Tickets

Seven stories of individuals living in the UK and fleeing their countries from war, domestic violence or ethnic hatred. An artful, intimate yet socially-loaded work that discloses the tragic stories of everyday people searching for a better life in a foreign country, but that years after their arrival they still have no permission to work, face loneliness, or are threatened by potential repatriation.

Dir: Anna Konik / 71 min / 2022 / English, Arabic, Ibo, Amharic, and Geez with English subtitles

Post-screening discussion with film’s director, film participants Mohamed Alie Jalloh and Angela Obi, Last Mafuba (founder and CEO of Inini Initiative), Professor Leslie Topp ( co-founder of the Compass Project, Birkbeck) and audiovisual artist and filmmaker-in-residence at Warwick, Duncan Whitley.

SATURDAY 28 OCT | 7: 30 pm

@ Warwick Arts Centre | Buy Tickets

When young Berliner of Iranian origin Nico is assaulted in a xenophobic attack, her self-assured notion of integration and belonging destabilises. A geriatric nurse by profession, Nico’s amicable relationship with her patients deteriorate after the attack, as well as the friendship with her best friend Rosa. Decided to overcome her trauma, Nico starts Karate lessons, in a crucial moment of her life in which she recovers her self-confidence and meets Macedonian woman Ronny.

Dir: Eline Gehring / 75 min / 2022 / German, Spanish, Macedonian, Persian, English, English subtitles

Pre-recorded introduction by film’s director Eline Gehring and film’s producer and leading actress Sara Fazilat.

Post-screening discussion with Katherine Stone (Associate Professor in German Studies, Warwick), Dr Leila Mukhida (specialist in German visual culture and Director of Studies in Modern and Medieval Languages at Trinity Hall) and Debora Guma (co-director of MiX queer film festival, Milan)

+ RECEPTION AT 6:00 pm, with thanks to:

SUNDAY 30 OCT | 12:00 pm

+ I DREAM | short film by Zahraa Ghandour & Tarek Turkey | 4 mins

@ mac Birmingham | Buy Tickets

Baghdad in My Shadow tells the stories of a group of exiled Iraqis frequenting a popular cafe in London, whose lives violently change after a series of events occur: the arrival of an unwelcomed and not completely unknown customer coming from Iraq, plus the radicalisation of a young regular of the cafe. A social thriller with glimpses of melodrama that deals openly with sensitive topics in the Arab world such as domestic violence and women’s emancipation, sexual freedom, or religious extremism.

Dir: Samir / 108 min / 2019 / Arabic, English, English Subtitles

Post-screening discussion with films’ directors, Dr Katherine E. Brown (Reader in Religion and global security, University of Birmingham) and activist-scholar Dr Balsam Mustafa (Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow in Politics and International Studies, Warwick), and Dr Pablo Alvarez, whose research interests include Iraqi cinema.

SUNDAY 30 OCT | 3:30 pm

@ mac Birmingham | Buy Tickets

*Simultaneous screening @Warwick Arts Centre |Buy Tickets

Kathrin is a New Yorker woman with MND, a neuromuscular desease that not only has completely paralysed her body, but has deteriorated her marriage and the family’s financial situation. A profoundly intimate, layered and wryly funny portrait of a family at breaking point & Kathryn in the last stages of MND.

Dir: Adam Isenberg, Noah Arjomand, Senem Tüzen / 75 min / 2021 / English

Post-screening panel with film’s directors, Palliative Medicine Consultant Anna Lock ( Sandwell PCT) and Professor Michele Aaron (Film and Television Studies, Warwick)

In partnership with local group BrumYODO. Supporting conversations about death and dying.

+ RECEPTION at 6pm