ACT Human Rights Film Festival: April 14-21, 2017

The second edition of the ACT Human Rights Film Festival opens Friday, April 14, at CSU’s Lory Student Center Theater. Tickets go on sale March 16 at the festival’s website,

Panti Bliss
Panti Bliss joins ACT on opening night, April 14, for the screening of The Queen of Ireland.

The weeklong festival features the most critically acclaimed and recently released international documentary films that explore a range of human rights themes, including art as resistance, women’s rights, war and genocide, immigration and exile, LGBTQ rights, and race and class in America. Be sure to check the site for film titles, synopses, trailers, and screening times and locations.

The festival closes Friday, April 21, with the Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro, followed by a community reception in the Lory Student Center’s West Ballroom.

Five Colorado premieres

The curated festival’s lineup represents the most relevant and acclaimed films produced within the last two years, and they are not yet available in wide release. Five of the selected films are Colorado premieres. There will be a special advance screening of The Apology, which follows the personal journeys of three former “comfort women” who were among the 200,000 girls and young women kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.

Directors and film subjects from around the world will appear in person for the majority of post-screening talk-back sessions, including Razia Jan, founder of one of the first Afghanistan schools for girls; Rory O’Neill, whose alter ego Panti Bliss became the spokesperson for marriage equality in Ireland; and director Johanna Schwartz, whose film They Will Have to Kill Us First follows musicians in Mali in the wake of a jihadist takeover and subsequent banning of music.

They Will Have to Kill Us First film
They Will Have to Kill Us First director Johanna Schwartz will attend the ACT Human Rights Film Festival.

New in 2017

The festival has some new offerings this year:

  • Simplified ticketing: Non-student festival patron tickets are $10 each or $30 for four. Student tickets are $5 each, or $15 for four. Group discounts are also available.
  • On Saturday, April 15, the film What Tomorrow Brings, sponsored by RamEvents, is free to CSU students with a valid ID.
  • Winners from the first-ever student short film competition will be screened throughout the week.

ACT is produced by CSU’s Department of Communication Studies and is the Intermountain West’s only film festival dedicated to human rights. ACT curates the most relevant, recent and acclaimed documentary and narrative fiction human rights cinema produced around the world. Learn more at


Festival kicks off with Odell brew

Odell Brewing Co. hosts the ACT Human Rights Film Festival Kickoff and Release Party at its taproom on Tuesday, March 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. 

Screening Session IPA from Odell Brewing
Odell Brewing created the Screening Session IPA specially for the film festival

Taste the 2017 Screening Session IPA, brewed exclusively for ACT, win festival tickets and T-shirts, and meet some of this year’s Call to ACT nonprofit partners. Free food, live music, a VR demo and announcement of a festival closing-night special guest round out the evening.


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