Award-winning New Zealand filmmakers support Amnesty International’s Film Festival - RePress


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Tuesday, October 26

Award-winning New Zealand filmmakers support Amnesty International’s Film Festival


“What do I do for a living? I live for a living.” – Peter Karena

Acclaimed New Zealand filmmakers Tom and Barbara Sumner Burstyn will attend the Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand screening of their award-winning documentary This Way of Life, at the University of Auckland on Wednesday 27 October. Winner of Best Documentary and Best Director at the 2010 Qantas Film & Television Awards and recently selected for the Oscar qualifying theatrical showcase at Docu Weeks 2010, the film is being screened as part of the Amnesty International Mini Film Festival, ‘Rights, Camera, Action’.

Set against the isolated beaches and mountains of a remote part of the North Island, This Way of Life is an intimate portrait of Peter and Colleen Karena, their six children; and their relationship with each other, nature and horses. In spite of the challenges they face, the Karenas never lose sight of the magic in the everyday. They unite their philosophy with their circumstances, turning hardship into a meaningful and satisfying life.

The Karena family’s choice to live outside of the norm portrays the very different ways people choose to live their lives. “Evicted from land that they have such a strong spiritual connection with touches on some very real indigenous rights issues that we in New Zealand have in our own backyard,” said Amanda Brydon, an Amnesty International intern who is helping organise the film festival.

Following the screening the Burstyns will speak about the film and their journey with the Karenas. Amnesty International Government Relations Manager Chris Kerr will also lead a discussion on the importance of indigenous rights and Amnesty International’s work in this area in New Zealand.

The ‘Rights, Camera, Action’ Film Festival runs from 27-29 October at the University of Auckland, followed by a full day of repeat screenings on 30 October at Waiheke Island’s Artworks Community Theatre. The other films included in the festival are the Ayfer Ergün documentary Against My Will and the exclusive New Zealand premiere of the documentary This Prison Where I Live. Entry to any of the films is by donation, with a recommended koha/donation of $10 (which includes a raffle ticket to Amnesty’s “Action Raffle”).

The interns at Amnesty International are organising the film festival as part of their team challenge to raise awareness of Amnesty’s work around the world. Come along to the festival to show your support for human rights and join in solidarity with human rights defenders wherever they may be.

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