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Syracuse University Human Rights Film Festival Celebrates 15 Years

The festival opens on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m with award-winning documentary. "For Akheem"

Sep 25, 2017 — Article by: News Staff

For Ahkeem Film Cover

The Syracuse University Human Rights Film Festival celebrates its 15th anniversary this year as it once again brings to Central New York an outstanding lineup of critically acclaimed films addressing social justice issues from around the globe.

The festival opens on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium, Newhouse 3, with a screening of “For Ahkeem,” directed by Jeremy Levine and Landon Van Soest. Premiering earlier this year at the Berlin and Tribeca film festivals, and lauded by Jet magazine as “THE millennial documentary on Black girlhood,” this award-winning documentary offers an intimate and timely portrait of an African American teenager in St. Louis as she struggles against institutional racism, social marginalization and self-doubt. Levine and Van Soest will introduce the film.

A catered reception will be held for Opening Night from 6-7 pm in the Newhouse 3 Lobby (Waverly Entrance). Cool festival T-shirts will be given to the first attendees to arrive at each screening.

The theme of belonging further resonates in “Memories of a Penitent Heart,” which screens on Friday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium, Newhouse 3. Filmmaker Cecilia Aldarondo cracks open a Pandora’s box of unresolved family drama as she explores the life and death of her uncle Miguel, who died of an AIDS-related illness 25 years ago. The screening will be introduced by Aldarondo.

The festival continues on Saturday afternoon at the Shemin Auditorium in the Shaffer Art Building with screenings of “The Good Postman,” about a Bulgarian village coping with the refugee crisis, and “Plastic China,” about the recycling industry in China.

All films are either closed-captioned or subtitled in English. Computer Assisted Real-Time Translation (CART) will also be available at all screenings for the introductions and discussions. If you require other accommodations, please contact Kristen Northrop ( or 315.443.7358).

Full information can be found on the festival website:

Contact Information

Amy Manley