ACT Human Rights Film Festival celebrates five years of film, community and social justice at CSU

Scene from The Cave

A scene from The Cave by Feras Fayyad, one of the films that will be featured in the ACT Human Rights Film Festival this spring.

On April 3, the ACT Human Rights Film Festival will open at the Lory Student Center Theatre at Colorado State University, celebrating its fifth annual run as Colorado’s only film festival wholly dedicated to the intersection of art and social justice.

The nine-day festival, produced by CSU’s Department of Communication Studies, will feature more than 20 feature-length and short films curated from over 200 titles released and submitted over the past year. Filmmakers and film subjects from around the world will join ACT for conversations and to share deeper insights into their films. Festivities get underway at 6 p.m. in the lobby of the Lory Student Center Theatre with the festival’s opening night reception.

“The quality and diversity of films to choose from this year is extraordinary,” says Beth Seymour, ACT managing director. “Filmmakers are sensitively capturing intimate stories of resilience that inspire us. We received a record number of brave and compassionate films submitted this year from artists around the world.”

Call for submissions

Through the Student Lens: Colorado State University Film Festival is currently accepting CSU student and alumni film submissions for its inaugural festival occurring Thursday, March 26. Through the Student Lens is sponsored by ACT Human Rights Film Festival. Submission guidelines are posted on the ACT website and FilmFreeway. Deadline to submit is Feb. 24.

Through the Student Lens creative image

One highlight of the 2020 festival is a free screening of The Cave by Feras Fayyad. Recipient of a 2020 Oscar nomination for best documentary feature, The Cave delivers an unflinching account of besieged civilians seeking hope and safety in the subterranean hospital known as the Cave, where pediatrician and managing physician Dr. Amani Ballour and her colleagues Samaher and Dr. Alaa work as equals alongside their male counterparts, doing their jobs in a way that would be unthinkable in the oppressively patriarchal culture that exists above. The film will screen during ACT’s closing weekend.

Films selected for the 2020 festival cover a broad range of topics, including access to medical care, incarceration, peace and justice, identity and the intersection of political and ecological upheaval. To accommodate consideration of some of the newest films released, the festival’s programming committee is still finalizing the schedule. ACT will release the complete festival lineup on March 10 when individual ticket sales go live.

ACT Film Fest logoFestival passes will be available for purchase through the festival’s website beginning Thursday, Feb. 6, for a limited time. Passes are the easiest and most economical way to experience the festival. Patrons can choose from either an “All Festival” pass that is good for one admit into every festival screening, or a five-day pass that is good for all screenings the week of April 3-7 or April 7-11. Learn more about pass and ticket sales here.

Kickoff party with Odell

ACT will give away a handful of passes and tickets at its annual kickoff party on March 10 starting at 7 p.m. at Odell Brewing. The event features this year’s “Screening Session” — an easy-sipping ale crafted by Odell in support of ACT — sneak peeks of festival film selections, film and festival trivia, healthy snacks and more. RSVP for the Kickoff Party here.

Presenting sponsors for the 2020 festival include CSU’s College of Liberal Arts, the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, The Lyric,and Colorado Creative Industries (CCI), which awarded ACT its first-ever Colorado Creates grant.

“Receiving a Colorado Creates grant from CCI is a tremendous honor,” Seymour says.
“Colorado Creates is CCI’s largest grant program, providing critical financial support that helps cultural organizations produce and present arts and cultural activities. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be recognized and supported in this way.” 

ACT is also joined by several other campus, community and nonprofit partners whose services and support help make ACT a deeply community-driven event.  ACT is only possible thanks to those strong campus and community supporters.

Celebrate ACT with Five for Five

To galvanize support for ACT and commemorate five years of bringing award-winning and unforgettable social justice documentary film to Fort Collins and Colorado State University, festival organizers have created a “Five for Five” campaign that launches March 10.

“Reaching five years is a tremendous benchmark for any film festival,” says Carol Busch, director of ACT marketing. “For us, this is an extraordinary feat. So we devised a fun way for everyone to help us celebrate our fifth year and give back at the same time.”

ACT organizers offer the following five ways to support ACT in its fifth year.

  1. Contribute to ACT today (and include the number ‘5’ in the amount of your gift)
  2. Attend five ACT events in 2020
  3. Connect with five ACT nonprofit “Call to ACT” partners throughout the year
  4. Identify five ways you’ll advance human rights in 2020 (go to actfilmfest.org for ideas)
  5. Invite five friends to “ACT” with you (see numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4)

Festival-goers from out of town — or other patrons looking for a fun way to experience the festival — have a sixth way to celebrate ACT in 2020: Take advantage of a special room package at The Elizabeth Hotel that features a discounted room rate and one free drink at the Magic Rat (per guest), plus one festival voucher (per guest). The offer expires March 12. Rooms can be booked directly through The Elizabeth Hotel.