6th Annual North Dakota Human Rights Film & Arts Opens November 1

October 19, 2022

Fargo, N.D. (October 19, 2022) – The 2022 North Dakota Human Rights Film and Arts Festival returns on November 1 for its sixth annual series of film screenings, artist workshops, panel luncheons, and community discussions. Thirty-nine films from 10 countries will be screened, each speaking to an important human rights or social justice theme. Nineteen community conversations, educational workshops, and in-person filmmaker Q&A discussions will occur throughout the state.

The festival is from November 1 – December 11, 2022, throughout North Dakota. The main in-person theatrical screenings and presentations will take place in Fargo from November 1-5. Satellite screenings and public conversations will take place in Grand Forks (November 8), Bismarck (November 10), Minot (November 15), and Jamestown (December 6). All in-person and online events hosted by the festival are free and open to the public.

The festival will open with an Opening Ceremony and Awards Presentation on Tuesday, November 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the Radisson Blu. Special guest Jon Harris, the artist who captured the world’s attention with his work CRITICAL RACE THEORY, will join Frederick Edwards, Director of Black Cinema and Programming for the Festival, for a conversation about the intersections between social justice and art.

Jonathan Harris

Filmmaking workshops will take place November 2-4 at the Plains Art Museum beginning at 9:30 a.m. Workshops will be followed at 11:30 a.m. with a free community meal and luncheon panel discussion at the Main Branch of the Fargo Library. Film screenings and community discussions will continue into the afternoon and evenings at the historic Fargo Theatre. On Saturday, workshops and luncheon panel discussions will be held at the Elevate Meeting and Events Center in the Loretta Building. While all events are free and open to the public, registration is appreciated to accommodate seating and food count. Attendees can reserve seats for each activity at the festival’s events page.

For 2022, the festival partnered with numerous Fargo-Metro groups to develop inclusive and representative programming. A full schedule of events is available online, as is a downloadable Festival Guide. Highlights of the festival include:

    Each night of the festival at the Fargo Theatre, students from the Umoja Writing Workshops at Fargo Public Schools will open the event. They will share a variety of written, spoken, or musical performances.

    The Hawaiian and Polynesian performing troupe Island Breeze will join the festival at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 1, at the Fargo Theatre for a blessing, traditional protocol, and gift exchange with area Indigenous leaders. Following the screening of THE WIND AND THE RECKONING, the first narrative feature film to capture the story of the Battle of Kalalau, where a Native Hawaiian ranching family stands up against a newly established colonial government, Island Breeze will host a second performance for audiences.

    On Thursday, November 2, at the Fargo Theatre, the North Dakota Human Rights Film and Arts Festival has partnered with Prairie Public to bring filmmaker Kevin Shaw to screen his film LET THE LITTLE LIGHT SHINE. Following the screening, the community conversation Seeking Education Equity will take place featuring area educators. This program is made possible by a grant from American Documentary | POV, with funding provided by the Open Society Foundations.

    On Saturday, November 5, at 1:30 p.m., the North Dakota Human Rights Film and Arts Festival has partnered with North Dakota State University’s Department of Biological Sciences for the English premiere of the film, WATER TALKS: PERCEPTIONS FROM SIERRA GORDA. Produced by Dr. Tatiana Lobato de Magalhães of the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, UAQ, and Dr. Marinus Otte, Fulbright Specialist and Professor at NDSU, the film captures stories from individuals impacted by a loss and deterioration of water in their community. Both Tatiana and Marinus will join the festival for a conversation about the film following the screening.

    For the first time, the North Dakota Human Rights Film and Arts Festival is introducing luncheon panel discussions at the Main Branch of the Fargo Library. Wednesday, November 2, through Friday, November 4. the community is invited to join the festival for a free lunch and a discussion about social justice and art. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m., and the program begins at noon.

    Conversations range from Indigenous Storytelling and Creative Placemaking to Funding your Social Justice-Themed Project to the Importance of Community-Created Media.

    On Saturday, November 5, the free luncheon and discussion will move to Elevate, where African Diasporic and Indigenous Relationships in Media will be the focus of the discussion.

    Filmmaker and artists workshops will take place at the Plains Art Museum on Wednesday, November 2, through Friday, November 4, at 9:30 a.m. Current working artists and filmmakers will lead discussions about The Art of Storyboarding and Representation, ARTivisim and the Art of Storytelling in Film, and Mental Wellness for Filmmakers.

    On Saturday, November 5, workshops will move to Elevate for a 9:30 workshop titled, Virtual Reality: My Weapon of Choice for Social Justice.

    The festival will have in-person theatrical screenings and community discussions throughout North Dakota. Thirty-nine films from 10 countries will be screened, each speaking to an important human rights or social justice theme. Nineteen community conversations, educational workshops, and in-person filmmaker Q&A discussions will occur throughout the state.

    An official listing of all 39 films and community discussions is available at the festival’s website at www.ndhrff.org.

    Highlights of the Official Selections of the festival include:

    The regional premiere of THE WIND AND THE RECKONING will take place on Wednesday, November 2, at 6:30 p.m. at the Fargo Theatre. The narrative feature reveals the real-life story of a Native Hawaiian ranching family that defies the newly established colonial government and faces down American mercenaries rather than have their freedoms callously ripped away. For the first time in a feature film, the Battle of Kalalau unfolds through the eyes of the islands’ indigenous people as they take a stand against oppression.

    LET THE LITTLE LIGHT SHINE will screen Thursday, November 3, at 6:30 p.m. The feature documentary features the story of the National Teachers Academy (NTA), a top-ranked, high-performing elementary school located in the fastest-growing neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, considered a beacon for Black children. As the neighborhood gentrifies, a wealthy parents’ group seeks to close NTA and replace it with a high school campus. How will NTA’s students, parents, and educators fight to save their beloved institution? A co-production of POV and ITVS, in association with Black Public Media. This program is made possible by a grant from American Documentary | POV, with funding provided by the Open Society Foundations.

      BRING HER HOME will screen on Friday, November 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the Fargo Theatre. The feature documentary follows three Indigenous women — an artist, an activist, and a politician — as they work to vindicate and honor their relatives who are victims of the growing epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. As they face the lasting effects of historical trauma, each woman searches for healing while navigating the oppressive systems that brought about this crisis.

        In addition to the in-theatre screenings, films and discussions will be presented online as part of the festival’s Virtual Cinema. Films will be available beginning midnight on Sunday, November 6, through midnight on Sunday, December 11. Audiences can view the films on their TV’s with the Eventive app found on Apple TV and Roku streaming devices. Viewers can also watch or cast on their computers, tablets, or mobile phones.

        Tickets may be reserved for each session at the festival’s website, www.ndhrff.org. While not required, reservations are appreciated to help with seating and meal counts.

        The North Dakota Human Rights Film and Arts Festival is a program presented by the non-profit organization, The Human Family, a North Dakota based 501(c)(3) dedicated to promoting human rights and social justice through film and art.

        The mission of the North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival is to educate, engage, and facilitate discussion around local and worldwide human-rights topics through the work of filmmakers and artists. The festival is a non-partisan event, and all are welcome and encouraged to attend.

        The festival is supported in part through grants by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fargo Arts and Culture Commission, the North Dakota Council on the Arts, the Arts Midwest GIG Fund, and the Arts Partnership, with support from the Cities of Fargo, Moorhead, and West Fargo.

        For more information about the 2022 North Dakota Human Rights Film and Arts Festival or to arrange interviews with visiting filmmakers, contact Sean Coffman at (701) 205-0248.

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