Looking for a productive, guilt-free way to procrastinate? Or something a bit different to do around Melbourne? Look no further! Browsing the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival (HRAFF) Program and grabbing tickets is the way to go!

Now in its 12th year, HRAFF explores diverse and inspiring human stories through the mediums of film, art, music and discussion forums. They believe artists and creatives have always been at the forefront of social change, actively working to engage and inspire audiences on human rights issues.

This year’s festival opens on Thursday 9th May and there’s an amazing line up of events running until Saturday 25th May. Founder and Chairperson of HRAFF, Evelyn Tadros – who is also Melbourne Law School Alumni – has made life easy by hitting us with her top five picks for law students:

2040 + Q&A
Thursday 9th May 6:30pm @ ACMI Cinemas

For those of you who feel overwhelmed about climate change and want to see a possible pathway to a positive, sustainable future, then don’t miss this year’s Opening Night film, 2040. The film follows director, Damon Gameau (That Sugar Film) around the world to explore what the future would look like by 2040 if we embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shifted them to the mainstream. It is beautifully structured as a visual letter to his 4-year-old daughter.

Featuring a Q&A with Gameau himself, the screening is also followed by an after-party (you can buy tickets for both in a bundle or separately). Your law ball hangover will be gone and forgotten, so why not sign up for a great night out to brighten up week 9!

The Panama Papers
Saturday 11th May 8:30pm @ ACMI Cinemas
Encore Wednesday 22nd May 6pm @ ACMI Cinemas

For those of you who want to understand the biggest global corruption scandal in history, The Panama Papers provides a shocking and comprehensive inside look. The film unpacks how 300 journalists from 107 media organisations in over 80 countries worked together, putting their lives and careers at risk, to break a story of political corruption, economic inequality and even murder.

Australia Says Yes + Q&A
Wednesday 15th May 6pm @ ACMI Cinemas

For those of you who love love, Australia Says Yes is an emotional documentary that goes behind-the-scenes of the Yes campaign as they strategise to deliver marriage equality in Australia. It also explores Australia’s dark past of criminalizing homosexuality, and the trailblazers who bravely stood up for gay rights in an era when homosexuality carried the death penalty.

Following the screening is a Q&A with director Kirk Marcolina.

Stop the Boats + Q&A
Saturday 18th May 6:15pm @ ACMI Cinemas
Encore Thursday 23rd May 8:30pm @ Cinema Nova and Lido Cinemas

For those of you who want to really understand the impact of Australia’s asylum seekers policy, Stop the Boats is not to be missed. Filmed in secret and smuggled out on USB Drives a few shots at a time, the film is told from the perspective of detainees themselves in Manus and Nauru, including children and award-winning journalist and Manus detainee, Behrouz Boochani.

Following the screening is a Q&A with Behrouz Boochani and director Simon Kurian.

Wik v Queensland + Q&A
Sunday 19th May 4:30pm @ ACMI Cinemas

For those of you who want to hear Indigenous peoples’ perspectives on land rights and cultural rights, this event is for you! Wik v Queensland is an incredible documentary told from the perspective of the Wik Peoples as they fight for their Native Title rights both inside and outside of court.

After the screening there is a Q&A with a great line up of speakers, including:
Dean Gibson – director of the film
Aunty Janine – Latji Latji Elder
Dr Shireen Morris – lawyer and researcher in Indigenous constitutional recognition
Dr Bryan Keon-Cohen AM QC – retired barrister, writer and activist, and one of the key lawyers in the Mabo case

Highly recommend checking out the rest of HRAFF’s 2019 Program for more stellar events at – there’s something for everyone!

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