SR Socially Relevant Film Festival NY – SRFF 2023
Six NARRATIVES FEATURES in competition
OPENING NIGHT – 2nd Feature
Thurs. March 16, 2023 – 9:30 PM – Waler Rade Theater, Lincoln Center
- Tnaash | North American Premiere
Boudy Sfeir | Lebanon | 2022 | 86 mins
After the August 4th Beirut Port explosion a judicial reform brings about the first trial by jury in Lebanon where 12 citizens are about to decide the fate of an illegal Syrian refugee accused of brutally killing a social activist known for helping the damaged community after the blast, but will they be able to put aside their pre-existing issues to offer an impartial verdict? TRAILER
Fri. March 17, 2023 – 7:15 PM – Cinema Village
- The Anxiety of Laughing | New York Premiere
Robin Uriel Russin | United States | 2021 | 104 mins
When Joey, a young man disabled with Cerebral Palsy, is about to marry his able-bodied fiancee Leah–against the objections of her mother–their lives take a drastic turn when Leah is in a serious car accident. TRAILER
Q&A with the director.
Sat. March 18, 2023 – 7:30 PM – Cinema Village
- Asphalt | World Premiere
Charlotte Madsen | Denmark | 2022 | 81 mins
Lasse is a disillusioned truck driver from Jutland. He lives his life like he drives his truck straight ahead with his hand on the steering wheel and the other hand around the secret bottle. Until the instant, a young woman jumps in front of his truck. Lasse pulls the brakes at the last minute and to his surprise, he realizes that the woman is his daughter, René, who he hasn’t seen in 15 years. A journey begins that afternoon that will turn their lives upside down as they get the chance to restore a family while trying to abandon the hope of starting a new one. TRAILER
Q&A with the director & lead actor.
Sat. March 18, 2023 – 9:30 PM – Cinema Village
- Division | New York Premiere
Jason Winn | United States | 2022 | 99 mins
A z-list actress connects with a fan who has opposing political views, will they come together or prove we’re too far apart? When Andi and Mason’s inevitable confrontation goes viral, it leads to consequences for them that ripple far beyond her quiet southern street. Andi, a minor actress who has moved to Atlanta with her inattentive fiance, Zach, starts vlogging while stuck inside during the pandemic. In doing so, she connects more deeply with her fan, Mason, and is tempted by his attention. TRAILER
Q&A with the director.
Sun., March 19, 2023, 7:15 PM – Cinema Village
- It’s Spring… | New York City Premiere
Roman Musheghyan | Armenia | 2022 | 105 mins
Aram Amatuni is a retired special forces spy who has devoted his entire life to serving and protecting his country. His son, Gnel, is a successful businessman who hasn’t forgiven his father for putting the needs of his country before those of his own family. This conflict between father and son reaches its climax when Amatuni’s grandson, a talented violinist who has the opportunity to study in one of the best European music academies, inspired by his grandfather’s ideology goes against his father’s wishes and enlists in the mandatory military service.TRAILER
Q&A with the director and lead actor.
Screens online only
- Sisters | North American Premiere
Hoho Liu | Taiwan | 2021 | 85 mins
Yu-ting, a 16-year-old high school student, came home to find a sister of her age. In fact, the “sister” was her cousin from Vietnam, her mother’s hometown. Her uncle had broken his leg, so her mother promised to get the underage girl to work in Taiwan in the name of her adopted daughter. Was Yu-lan her sister or a migrant worker? Yu-ting thought that the fake sister stole her life. She couldn’t help but deny the equality of them and report to the police that Yu-lan was an illegal migrant worker… TRAILER
- We have a total of 6 narrative features, five screen in-person and online and one screens online only.
- Asphalt is a World Premiere and the main actor and director are coming.
- Tnaash, the Opening night second feature, is a North American Premiere.
- The others are New York Premieres, and
- It is Spring… is a New York City Premiere.
SR Socially Relevant Film Festival NY – SRFF 2023
DOCUMENTARY FEATURES in Competition
OPENING NIGHT Feature – First Film – RED CARPET 5:30 PM
March 16, 6:00 PM Walter Reade Theater – Lincoln Center
- Shabu | US Premiere
Shamira Raphaëla | The Netherlands | 2021 | 75 mins
Fourteen-year-old Shabu is a good-natured, creative, and street-smart boy from the south of Rotterdam. When he wrecks his grandmother’s car on a joyride, his whole family is angry with him. He has a summer to make amends before his grandmother returns from a vacation in Suriname. He then spends a summer trying to make money for the car while pursuing his passion: making music. TRAILER
Fri. March 17, 2023 – 3:30 PM – Cinema Village
- Ballymanus | North American Premiere
Patrick Sharkey, Séan Doupe | Ireland | 2022 | 52 mins
On 10 May 1943, something came ashore on Ballymanus strand in rural Donegal, Ireland. The next day, nineteen people, mostly children, were dead. A generation of the small townland was lost. Calls for answers were silenced by the authorities. No one has been held accountable. The disaster is unknown outside of the close-knit community, and barely spoken of within it. Ballymanus tells the story of one of the worst tragedies in modern Irish history, through the words of the victims’ descendants and the memories of the few remaining survivors. TRAILER
Fri. March 17, 2023 – 5:30 PM – Cinema Village
- Only Child | New York Premiere
Andy Ames | Canada | 2021 | 70 mins
With only her birth mother’s name and her town of birth in hand, a 60-year-old adoptee from Dublin navigates the misogynistic landscape of Ireland’s past in a relentless search to find her. The film chronicles her 20-year journey navigating the hypocrisy of a society that prohibited access to birth control while condemning unwed mothers and their children, leading her to reframe her identity in light of what and who she finds. TRAILER
Voices of Canada series
Sat. March 18, 3:00 PM – Cinema Village
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream In Prison | New York Premiere
Bushra Azzouz | United States | 2022 | 100 mins
“It’s almost like for three hours we weren’t in prison,” says Zeb, one of the prison inmates in rural Eastern Oregon who arrives at the transformative possibility of re-imagining his life story, past and future, while putting on Shakespeare’s comedic tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Prison, under lock-down. As the journey unfolds, themes of gender identity and the challenges faced by BIPOC prisoners are deftly explored, and the power of the arts to challenge and heal, even under the most difficult circumstances, is affirmed and celebrated. TRAILER
Sat. March 18, 4:30 PM – Cinema Village
- We Will Not Be Silent | New York Premiere
Brian Seifferlein, David Koehn | United States | 2021 | 53 mins
This documentary film follows 8 students as they work toward perfecting a message for the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Youth Rally and March. 5th grade students and their families confront the racist history of the United States and find their voices to share with the world. TRAILER
Q&A with the director.
Sat. March 18, 5:30 PM – Cinema Village
- Incorrigible – A film about Velma Demerson | New York Premiere
Karin Louise Lee | Canada | 2021 | 45 mins
In 1939 Velma Demerson was jailed for falling in love with a Chinese man. Pregnant and without legal counsel, Velma was sentenced to one year in a Toronto prison where she was tortured by a eugenicist doctor who attempted to abort her child. 60 years later she sued the Canadian government for wrongful incarceration, and until her death at age 98 in May 2019, continued to fight for the rights of the thousands of women imprisoned on the grounds of “incorrigibility” until 1964. Gemini Award-winning director Karin Lee has made a documentary film about her life. TRAILER Q&A with the director. Voices of Canada series
Sun. March 19, 3:30 PM – Cinema Village
- Still a revolutionary – Albert Einstein | World Premiere
Julia Newman | United States | 2019 | 79 mins
He was not the remote genius of present day myth. Still A Revolutionary – Albert Einstein, tells the real story of his life long firebrand activism. TRAILER
Q&A with the director – moderated by NYWIFT.
Sun. March 19, 7:30 PM – Cinema Villa
- Beno’s Son | US Premiere
Ilán Lieberman | Mexico | 2022 | 102 mins
Ilán, a fifty-two-year-old visual artist, takes his family on a musical road trip, trying to reconstruct the chaotic, creative life and tragic death of his father, Beno Lieberman, a pioneer of folklore research in Mexico. Revisiting remote mountain and jungle villages, they listen to local musicians – some of whom Beno recorded in the 1960s and ‘70s – who continue to play the very same music today. As Ilan confronts the mystery and pain of his father’s suicide, his son and two daughters pose difficult questions that address the reasons for the silence that often surrounds the act of suicide. And, while exploring the richness, intensity and variety of authentic Mexican folk tradition, Ilán comes to terms with his feelings about his father by sharing Beno’s enduring musical legacy. TRAILER
Q&A with the director & producer.
Sun. March 19, 9:30 PM – Cinema Village
- The Renegade Legacy of Bleecker and MacDougal | New York Premiere
Karen kramer | United States | 2022 | 72 mins
Scenes of ground-breaking subversive poetry, radical music and activism that started more than 50 years ago in small cafes in New York City and went on to help change the political and social nature of the US. are interwoven with current scenes of today’s contemporary poets, protest singers, and activists who are using their work for social change. With Iconic legends, this documentary celebrates creativity, protest, ways to fight conformity. TRAILER Q&A with the director.
Tues. March 21, 7:00 PM – Columbia Maison Française
- We Grew up together | North American Premiere
Adnane Tragha | France | 2022 | 79 mins
The Gagarin housing project is an iconic symbol in Ivry Sur Seine in the inner suburbs of Paris, which was destroyed in 2020. The film brings it back to life through the words of its former residents and the lens of Adnane Tragha who grew up across from it and evokes memories of the housing project. Daniel, Loïc, Karima, Yvette, Foued, Samira, and Mehdy tell their stories and relive their feelings. Difficulties, as well as solidarity, stigmas as well as mutual aid, and good memories, as well as bad ones across time and experiences, are touched upon. “We grew up together” paints, in small personal touches, the history of a housing project like so many others, and becomes a hymn to working-class neighborhoods. TRAILER – Q&A with the director.
Wed. March 22, 7:00 PM – Columbia Maison Française
- Ever, Rêve | New York Premiere
Olivier Morel | France | 2018 | 116 mins
Ever, Rêve traces the steps to the creation of an African & French feminist legend, a 1968 activist, a famous playwright, and a poet who participated in all the “wars of liberation” of our time. It is the poetic journey of Hélène Cixous. The characters are depicted through a cinematic language that privileges a sequential progression whose goal is to unveil the mysteries of an intellectual artist’s creative search, of her intimate inspirations, and of her anti-racist and anti-sexist political involvements.
The film flows like a work of fiction featuring the Algerian-born philosopher Jacques Derrida and artist Adel Abdessemed, Ariane Mnouchkine, and her cosmopolitan theatre company as Hélène Cixous’s entourage. Cixous explores the wounds of our time and allows us to hear the cry of literature. The history of dozens of members of her German-Jewish family who were assassinated in the death camps, and the trauma of the recent wars of decolonization in Africa are part of the life of this major figure of French literature born in Oran, Algeria shortly before the start of the Second World War. TRAILER Q&A with the director.
Closing Award Night Film
Thurs. March 23, 5:00 PM – JCC Harlem
- Maka | North American Premiere
Elia Moutamid | Italy | 2022 | 51 mins
Maka presents Geneviéve Makaping’s life in Italy and perilous migration journey. By sharing Makaping’s experience as the first Black news editor in Italy, Maka speaks out against the media representation of immigrants and offers an evocative examination of the intersection between sexism and racism in Italy. From Moroccan-born Italian director Elia Moutamid, this riveting documentary offers a poignant exploration of displacement, identity, and belonging. TRAILER
Q&A with the producer.
- We have a total of 12 documentary features that screen in-person and are in the competition in this category.
- Still a Revolutionary is a World Premiere and the director if a member of NYWIFT (NY Women in Film and TV) – who will probably moderate the Q&A..
- Shabu is the Opening night first feature, a US Premiere, distributed by IndiePix, and sponsored by them and Dutch Culture USA – The Netherlands Consulate in New York.
- The others are mostly New York Premieres, with two North American Premiers.
- The Surprise Film is…ITHACA, screening on Friday,, March 17, at 9:30 PM.
Early Bird $7 single tickets and $100 all-access passes are now on sale for a limited time only, here.
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Trailers are al on the festival YouTube Channel and on the website.