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The Dramatic Stories, Personal Sacrifices Behind the Headlines

( – Gay News & Press Network) – Posted by

This year’s programme includes ten UK premieres and three exclusive previews organised around five themes: Armed Conflict and the Arab Spring; Human Rights Defenders, Icons and Villains; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Rights; Migrants’ Rights and Women’s Rights and Children’s Rights.

“This year’s programme demonstrates the risks filmmakers take to capture the stories behind the headlines, and our centrepiece film, the E-Team, reveals the tenacity and heroic efforts of human rights activists to bring war crimes to the world’s attention,” said John Biaggi, Human Rights Watch festival director. “We look forward as ever to welcoming many filmmakers and film subjects to festival screenings, which will give audiences insight and understanding into some of the most complex situations in the world today”.

On 18 March at the Curzon Mayfair, a fundraising benefit film and reception for Human Rights Watch will feature a screening of Jehane Noujaim’s Academy Award® nominated The Square followed by discussion with special guests moderated by David Mepham, UK director at Human Rights Watch.

The Opening Night event on 20 March at the Curzon Soho will be the UK premiere of Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus attended by the director Madeleine Sackler, the director. The Belarus Free Theatre is an acclaimed troupe that defies Europe’s last remaining dictatorship. With smuggled footage and uncensored interviews, Sackler’s film conveys not only the group’s great emotional, financial, and artistic risks but also their risk of censorship, imprisonment, and exile.

The festival will close on 28 March at the Ritzy with the UK premiere of Return to Homs, winner of the World Cinema Jury Prize, Documentary, Sundance Film Festival 2014. Tamara Alrifai, Middle East/North Africa advocacy and communications director at Human Rights Watch, will discuss the film with a special guest.

Between August 2011 and August 2013 Derki filmed a group of young revolutionaries in the western Syrian city of Homs who fight for justice through peaceful demonstrations. As the army acts ever more brutally and their city transforms into a ghost town, the young men begin to take up arms. The close-up camerawork takes the viewer right into the city, and scenes of grim battles in a deserted city soon replace those of lively protest parties in the streets.

This year’s programme features a centrepiece event: a special preview of Ross Kauffman and Katy Chevigny’s E-Team, winner of the Excellence in Cinematography Award, Documentary, Sundance Film Festival 2014. When atrocities are committed in countries held hostage by ruthless dictators, Human Rights Watch sends in the E-Team (Emergencies Team), a collection of fiercely intelligent individuals who document war crimes and report them to the world.

Kauffman and Chevigny take viewers to the front lines in Syria and Libya, where shrapnel, bullet holes, and unmarked graves provide mounting evidence of atrocities by government forces. The crimes are rampant, random, and often unreported—making the E-Team’s effort to get information out of the country and into the hands of media outlets, policymakers, and international tribunals even more necessary. Ross Kauffman, Katy Chevigny and the film’s subjects will attend the festival screenings.

The festival will also feature Abounaddara Collective Shorts From Syria followed by a panel discussion. Abounaddara is a collective of filmmakers working towards providing an alternative image of Syrian society. Since April 2011, the collective has produced one short film every week, using a very particular cinematographic language – a sort of ‘emergency cinema’. Working in a state of emergency, the collective’s members are subject to certain constraints: difficult access to film sites, the need to protect the safety of those filmed, even the state of the internet connection. The event will include screenings of five Abounaddara Collective shorts and a discussion about ‘emergency cinema’ in the context of Syria and other countries in the region.

Panelists include: Tamara Alrifai of Human Rights Watch; Rachel Beth Anderson, filmmaker of First to Fall; and Charif Kiwan, spokesperson for the Abounaddara Collective

Other titles within Armed Conflict and the Arab Spring include Rachel Beth Anderson & Tim Grucza’s First to Fall, a story of friendship, sacrifice, and the madness of war. Hamid and Tarek leave their lives as students in Canada and travel to Libya, their homeland, to join the fight to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi although neither of them has ever picked up a weapon. A second-hand video camera becomes Hamid’s ticket to the front, where he documents battles to liberate the city of Misrata. He eventually earns a gun and becomes a fully-fledged soldier with an AK-47 in one hand and his video camera in the other. Meanwhile Tarek joins a training camp and eventually a katiba — a freedom fighter battalion — in Misrata. In a battle to liberate Zawya, his hometown, Tarek’s life will change forever. Rachel Beth Anderson & Tim Grucaz will attend festival screenings.

Sara Ishaq, filmmaker of The Mulberry House, (UK premiere) is Yemeni-Scottish. In 2011, after 10 years away, she travels back to Yemen and takes her camera along. She hopes to feel at home in the place that was once so close to her heart, but the complications soon become clear. Outside the gates of her family home, people are protesting President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s authoritarian rule, and Ishaq and her family quickly become caught up in the movement. Ishaq contributes by acting as a local correspondent, sharing news with the international press. In this personal film, Ishaq captures events in her own home throughout this tumultuous period, when multiple changes are afoot. Sarah Ishaq will attend the festival screenings.

In addition to E Team, three other titles play within Human Rights Defenders, Icons and Villains: Watchers of the Sky, Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me and Big Men.

Inspired by Samantha Power’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book ‘A Problem From Hell’, Watchers of the Sky (UK premiere) (winner of the Documentary Editing Award / US Documentary Special Jury Award for Use of Animation, Sundance Film Festival 2014), is the latest documentary by the award-winning filmmaker Edet Belzberg. In her characteristic cinéma vérité style, Belzberg interweaves the stories of five exceptional humanitarians — Benjamin Ferencz, Raphael Lemkin, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Samantha Power, and Emmanuel Uwurukundo — whose lives and work are linked together by the on-going crisis in Darfur. Through the stories of these contemporary characters, the film uncovers the forgotten history of the Genocide Convention and its founder Raphael Lemkin, the international lawyer who dedicated his life to preventing genocide.

In Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me, (UK premiere) (winner of the Special Jury Award, IDFA 2013), the filmmaker Khalo Matabane uses conversations with politicians, activists, intellectuals, and artists to question the meaning of freedom, reconciliation and forgiveness—and challenges Mandela’s legacy in today’s world of conflict and inequality. The film juxtaposes Matabane’s inner quest for coherence with the opinions both of people who knew Mandela and of those whose political perspectives were shaped by him. Matabane weighs equally the words of his subjects, leading viewers to question these concepts as well. Khalo Matabane will attend the festival premiere screenings.

A cautionary tale about the toll of American oil investment in West Africa, Big Men reveals the secretive worlds of both corporations and local communities in Nigeria and Ghana. The director, Rachel Boynton, gained unprecedented access to Africa’s oil companies and has created an account of the ambition, corruption, and greed that epitomise Africa’s ‘resource curse.’ The film uncovers the human impact of oil drilling and contains footage of militants operating in the Niger Delta. Rachel Boynton will attend festival screenings.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights

Cameroon has more arrests for homosexuality than any other country in the world. For Born This Way (UK premiere) the filmmakers Shaun Kadlec and Deb Tullmann gained intimate access to the lives of four young gay Cameroonians, to offer a portrait of day-to-day life in modern Africa. This is a story of what is possible in the global fight for equality. Shaun Kadlec will attend festival screenings. Born This Way is co-presented with BFI Flare: London LGBT Festival.

Can Candan’s My Child introduces a courageous group of mothers and fathers in Turkey, who are parents of LGBT individuals. They have not only gone through the process of accepting their children for who they are personally, but have taken the next step: to share their experiences with other LGBT families and the public. Seven parents intimately share their experiences as they redefine what it means to be parents and activists in a homophobic and transphobic society. Two of the film’s subjects and two producers will attend festival screenings.

Migrants Rights

Mano Khalil’s The Beekeeper (UK premiere) relates the story of Ibrahim Gezer, a displaced Kurdish beekeeper from southeast Turkey, and his experience of integration into Switzerland. The turmoil of the decades-long conflict between the Turkish state and the armed Kurdish guerrilla movement, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), robbed Gezer of everything he had: his wife, two of his children, his country, and over 500 bee colonies—his means of making a living. He has been left only with his love for bees and his unshakeable faith in humanity.

A visual essay in five parts, Evaporating Borders, looks at what it means to be displaced and examines the idea of belonging and notions of diaspora, exile, and migration. Filmed on the island of Cyprus, one of the easiest points of entry into Europe, the film explores the lives of asylum seekers and political refugees. Through the microcosm of the current situation on the island, the filmmaker Iva Radivojevic explores tolerance and immigration practices throughout Europe and the Western world—where migrating populations have become subject to a variety of human rights abuses. Iva Radivojevic will attend the exclusive preview screenings.

Women’s Rights & Children’s Rights

Scheherazade’s Diary (UK premiere) is a tragicomic documentary that follows women inmates through a 10-month drama therapy/theatre project set up in 2012 by the director Zeina Daccache, at the Baabda Prison in Lebanon. Through ‘Scheherazade in Baabda’, these ‘murderers of husbands, adulterers and drug felons’ reveal their stories—tales of domestic violence, traumatic childhoods, failed marriages, forlorn romances, and deprivation of motherhood. In sharing their stories, the women of Baabda Prison hold up a mirror to Lebanese society and all societies that repress women. Zeina Daccache will attend the festival screenings.

Berit Madsen’s Sepideh – Reaching for the Stars, introduces viewers to a young Iranian woman who dares to dream of a future as an astronaut. At night, she stares up at the universe. At home, full of hope and longing, she watches recordings of the first female Iranian in space, Anousheh Ansari. When her father died suddenly six years earlier, Sepideh discovered that she could feel closer to him by watching the stars. And so her dream was born. But not everyone appreciates her boundless ambition. As we follow Sepideh, it becomes clear just how much at odds her dreams are with her current reality and the expectations of those around her.

Jasmila Zbanic’s drama For Those Who Can Tell No Tales (UK premiere) is inspired by the play ‘Seven Kilometers North-East’ written by Kym Vercoe who plays herself in the film. A summer holiday in Bosnia-Herzegovina leads Vercoe, an Australian tourist, to discover the silent legacy of wartime atrocities in a seemingly idyllic town on the border of Bosnia and Serbia. An overnight stay at the Viilina Vlas hotel in Visegrad inexplicably gives way to anxiety and sleepless nights. Back in Australia, she finds out that the hotel was used as a rape camp during the war. Questions around the region’s atrocities begin to haunt her, as does the question of why the guidebook, or the town itself, made no mention of the event. The testimonies she later finds online compel her to return to Visegrad and investigate this hidden history for herself.

Richie Mehta’s drama Siddharth is set in New Delhi. Twelve-year-old Siddharth is sent away by his father, Mahendra, to work in a trolley factory to help support their family. When he fails to return for the Diwali festival, his distraught father begins a desperate search to find his missing son. The authorities believe that Siddharth may have been abducted and trafficked. Mehta brings to life Mahendra’s moving, tangled, and often futile-seeming journey with a touch that transforms it into both a commentary on modern India and a portrait of one family within that society.

An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker, from the acclaimed Bosnian director Danis Tanovic, enlists a cast of non-professionals to reconstruct a harrowing personal ordeal that became a national scandal. Struggling to make ends meet as a scrap-metal forager in the remote Roma community of Poljice, Nazif Maujic has a routine that becomes a desperate fight for survival when his partner, Senada, suffers a miscarriage. Without medical insurance or the means to pay the couple are denied admittance to the local hospital. So begins a hellish 10-day odyssey pitting the couple against social prejudice and a callous bureaucracy, exposing the institutional discrimination faced by Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Roma minority.

In Hisham Zaman’s Before Snowfall (UK premiere) Siyar, the oldest son in his household, confronts the question of family honour after his older sister, Nermin, flees an arranged marriage. The film is a look at killing in the name of honour, at the intricate web of connections that sustain the brutal tradition, and the unbelievable lengths to which some will go to see it through.

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Music Profile Page:

Note:  You Must have your profile complete to post stuff.  Make sure you completed the artist / band section of your profile questions.  We have a place there you can add links to other sites that you use to promote your music.  You can edit this from your profile page.  Doing This Will Add You To Our Music Recording Artist Listings and promote you into our music center.

How To Add Your Music Info To Your Profile Page:

You must first be a member our Connect Social Network.  If your not already a member you will find a link in the right column of this page to join.

Here Is What To Do:

1.  Once you are become a member sign in to the site.

2,  After your signed in look up to the top right corner of the site.  The very top where the black bar is.  mouse over where it says ” Howdy, With Your Name”.

3. Scroll down to where it says “Profile”.  Another box will open,  Find and click on “Edit”.

4. Your “Edit Base Profile Group” will open.  These are the questions you completed when you joined the social network.  You can edit them if you wish. Make sure you check off you are a recording artist account.  It is one of the first questions on the first profile questions page.  That will put you in the feed with the other artist.

5. Next, Look for the box above the questions that say “LGBT Recording Artist Bio”.  Click on the box and it will open another set of profile questions that will ask you about your music.  These will be added to your profile page and it will add you to our Music Center.  Be sure to pick the best Categories the explains your music.

6.  You must also make sure your base profile questions are complete and you have uploaded a photo the represents you.

If you would like to give out or add a link to your page of all your post use this:

You can post status massages in your activity feed as you can on other social networks.  They will show up on your page and in the social network wire but will not be featured on the site..  When you post under our music section it gets featured on the site.

Be sure to also join our LGBT Music Center Artist Private Group

Feel free to contact us if you need help



Rules For Music and Band Accounts

Welcome To The Site

Hey.. Welcome To!

So you are now a new member.  What now?

We have made a list of things you should do as a new member.


For Personal Accounts:


Complete Your Profile – You need to upload a profile photo.  All new accounts must have a profile photo.  It does not have to be one of you.  It can be your dog, cat or your back yard.  We don’t care.  Just make it something that represents you.  To Add your photo Go To Howdy, On The Top Right Corner Of The Site.  A box will open and you will find a link for your profile.  Follow it to edit your avatar.  There are additional questions in the profile question area that you have to complete for them to show up.  When filling out your profile questions look for the categories tabs about the questions.  There are more questions.  You can add your stats or if you have a web site you can add info about it.  If you’re a music recording artist or a business you will find a space for that to.  If you’re visiting someone elses profile you can see their info by clicking on the Profile link on their page.


Make New Freinds – Follow the connect members link in the top menu.  Send some friend request to the people you would like to interact with.  Do not spam our members or you will be suspended.  No link sending.  Please report people who do.  Don’t forget to thank them after they accept.


Post A Blog – All blogs posted by Members are featured on our Connect home page.   They also show up in our rss feeds and gets published in other areas of our site and are even available for syndication.  Would you like to be heard?  Post Your Blog Now.


Join Some Groups – Follow the link in the main menu to our “Groups” under Topics.  Join the ones that are of interest to you.


Social –  The Social Wire is our version of a combination of a and stream.  You can post status message like you would on Twitter and Fackbook.  You can even @ message people like you can on twitter.  You will find a link in the top menu to “The Wire”.  There is also a public message button on all members profile pages so you can @ message them.  In addition there is private messaging via their profile page.


Do You need help with the site?  Check out our Help / How To Group.


Help and Rules For Artist /Band Music Accounts please go here:


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The player on this page offers music from artist who offer a free download.  Not all artist do.

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Would You Like A Free Song Download From A Featured LGBT Indie Music Artist?

Tell Your Friends About The Artist & They Will Give You A Free Song Download!

We Have Free Music Downloads Right From The Artist!
How?  Because They Are Members Of Our Network and Thet Need Your Help.

You are welcome to download a song from above. The artist is giving the download for free for your personal listening use.  However, they need your help. Most of the artist and bands from our LGBT music network have not hit it big yet.  In exchange for the free song they ask that you tell your friends about them.

How can you tell your friends?

We have supplied a link below to each artist’s profile page. We ask that you share the link on your twitter and / or facebook page and tell your friends to check them out.

To Download Your Song”  Click on the song that you like.  Then click on the download link.  Follow the directions that pop up.  Enjoy the song.  Then go tell your friends how awesomely cool the artist is that they giving away a free song that you love so.. much.  Then find the artist you like below in the list.  Copy the link to Artist’s page on  Post the link in your twitter or facebook page or both.  

Thank’s for supporting our independent artist.  Oh.. and be sure to stop by their page and say hello cause they would love to hear from you .    : )

Artist Name:

Linqmusic –

Anna-Gutmanis –

Mark Barnes –

Jaysing –

Sandy Rapp –

ikp4president –

Jay Aquarious –

King I’Wante –

Paul David –

Jon Alkalay –

michael m –


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Artist Can Submit Music Here

After You Share The Link On Your Page You’re Welcome To Share A Link To Your Twitter / Facebook Page In Our Comment Area Below.  We would luv to see your link and you need some Luvin To.   I’m sure the artist would love to see it and they might just follow you back!  : )  Most of our Artist have links in their profile to what social networks they belong to.  If you go to their profile page you can follow them on other social networks.

Music Copyright Notice:  All music streamed from our site is supplied to us by the artist who owns the music.  He or She is a member of our and has a profile on this site.  They have given  a non-excessive license to use the music they have submitted.  They have also given us permission to offer a free download to you.  All music is copyrighted by the artist who owns it. It is for your personal use only.

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Share The Free Music With Your Friends.

How To Post Music

What Can LGBT Recording Artist & Bands Do Here?

Post Your Music Videos  <= Get published in music video list and some get featured on music home page.
Post Music Players From Other Networks  <= get listed with all the music playlist
Post A Music Press Release or Blog  <= Get published in the music news or blogs post.
Get Featured And Offer A Free Download  <= Get featured in the music player at the bottom corner of the site.

You’re welcome to post your music and news via the status message wall but it does not get featured that way and does not get added to our music content.  When you post using links above it will however get posted to your wall.  You must follow the links above if you want to be published in our music content area.

You can post as much music content as you want, but please do not post the same thing more then once.  You’re are welcome to re-publish the date of the post.  Just edit the post.  Status message you can post as many as you want.  We are talking your post to the music page.

Get Help With:

This is a must To Promote Your Music Here => Your Music Profile Page

LGBT Recording Artist / Band Networking – a group for artist to network and interact with the other recording artist on the network.

Other Music Resources We Have

Rules For Music and Band Accounts

If you have problems posting your music you can contact us for help at:

Did you know when you post a music video, playlist, press release or blog it gets featured on the main page and in our connect rss feed?

We are doing a lot to try to help promote you and it does not cost you anything.  Will you help us by sharing some news about us on your web site or social network.  We need some help getting the word out about our LGBT Music Center.

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