The inaugural Festival of Commonwealth Film will screen seven feature films and a programme of shorts with a distinct human rights focus from all the regions of the Commonwealth.
The line-up includes the BAFTA-winning “I Am Not A Witch’ as well as British Oscar entry “My Pure Land”. All films are intensely thought-provoking and topical and Q&As will take place with the directors and film makers after each screening.
The festival is supported by Commonwealth Writers (part of the Commonwealth Foundation) and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, and has been designed and scheduled to lead up to and compliment the Commonwealth Peoples Forum and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
The full list of feature films are as follows:
1. I Am Not A Witch [UK/Zambia] (fiction; 2018 BAFTA winner for Outstanding Feature Debut by a British Director)
2. My Pure Land [UK/Pakistan] (fiction but based on a true story; Britain's official 2018 entry for the Oscars' Best Foreign Language Film category)
3. Leitis in Waiting [US/Tonga] (documentary about Tongan transgender activists; European Premiere)
4. Not My Life [US production, shot in 14 countries including 5 Commonwealth nations] Doc about human trafficking and modern slavery, narrated by Glenn Close; UK Premiere
5. Cargo [Bahamas] (fiction about human trafficking in the Bahamas; European Premiere)
6. Simshar [Malta] (fiction about a Maltese fishing boat disaster against the background of the European migrant crisis; Malta's first-ever official entry into the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars)
7. Lipstick Under My Burkha [India] (fiction, originally refused certification by India's censors because of its “lady-oriented” story, about four women exploring their sexuality in modern India)
The short film programme will include two films from first-time writer-directors in Papua New Guinea, and two films from Tonga, one of which is by renowned women's rights advocate 'Ofa-Ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki.