HRAFF: Proudly Supporting Women in Film

As always, HRAFF are proudly celebrating women in film and this year we have an incredibly strong line-up of female champions, including:


Chasing AsylumEva Orner (Australia)

Eva Orner FilmmakerOrner’s previous works include include Untold Desires (Best Documentary at the Australian Film Institute Awards, the Logie Awards and the Australian Human Rights Awards) and Strange Fits of Passion (nominated for the Critics’ Award at the Cannes Film Festival). Orner won an Academy Award and an Emmy for the 2007 documentary about US military torture that she produced, Taxi To The Dark Side. Remaining aware of Australian current affairs whilst living in the US for a decade, Orner was compelled to act and return home to explore Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers in the film Chasing Asylum.

“As a filmmaker, this is the sort of work I do, and I thought I can’t just keep watching this, I have to do something,” she said via Skype to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Eva Orner will participate in a post-film Q&A at the Melbourne, Alice Springs, Darwin and Perth screenings.


They Will Have to Kill Us FirstJohanna Schwartz (UK)

Women in Film Johanna SchwartzJohanna Schwartz has produced and directed films for broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, Discovery, National Geographic, The History Channel, PBS, CNBC, CNN and MTV. She works internationally with a particular focus on Africa.

“I am so proud to bring these musician’s stories to the world. They’ve been through hell, and survived to sing about it. Though the conflict in Mali is still far from over, with extremist attacks continuing in the north and south to this day, I have no doubt that these musicians will continue to stand up and fight for their right to sing.” – Johanna Schwartz

Johanna Schwartz joins us via Skype at the Melbourne and Sydney screenings.

MalloryHelena Třeštíková (Czech Republic)

Female Filmmakers Helena TřeštíkováRespected filmmaker Třeštíková, has made over fifty documentaries in her career, often investing many years in her subjects. She specialises in time-lapse projects that chronicle people’s life stories on long-term basis, and Mallory is no exception. Over 13 years Trestikova followed the life of Mallory, a recovered drug addict faced with the challenges of homelessness, unemployment and depression.

“As in Trestikova’s other work, the helmer’s sincere interest in her subject whittles away whatever prejudice audiences might have toward addicts, thieves, outcasts and other so-called “losers.” Instead, we come away from her films sensitive to the fact that had fate’s whims wafted another way, we could conceivably find ourselves in her subjects’ shoes.” – Variety


Hooligan SparrowNanfu Wang (China/America)

hooligansparrow-nanfu-wang-500x500Hooligan Sparrow, the story of the titular Chinese women’s rights activist, is the feature debut of Sundance and IFP-supported filmmaker and Sundance Documentary Fund recipient, Nanfu Wang.

“I followed Sparrow with my camera, eventually becoming a target myself: Chinese national security agents harassed my family, intimidated my friends and summoned me for interrogation.” – Nanfu Wang

Director Nanfu Wang will join us via Skype post-film.


GTFOShannon Sun-Higginson (USA)

sunhigSun-Higginson’s first feature documentary GTFO, about women in the video game industry, was inspired by the harassment she observed in the live-streaming competition, Cross Assault. The film was funded on Kickstarter and premiered at SXSW 2015.

“My biggest fear for this movie is that it scares young women away from this industry, which is really growing and thriving right now,” Ms. Sun-Higginson said to the New York Times. “Obviously the more women and the more diverse people in general who join the industry, the better.”


See also:

Driving With SelviElisa Paloschi (Canada)

There will be a post-film Q&A with Director Elisa Paloschi.

Call Me DadSophie Wiesner (Australia)

There will be a post-film Q&A with Director Sophie Wiesner.

FlockingBeata Gårdeler (Sweden)
Maya Angelou And Still I RiseRita Coburn-Whack (w Bob Hercules) (USA)
DroneTonje Hessen Schei (Norway)
Censored VoicesMor Loushy (Israel)
The Armor of LightAbigail Disney and Kathleen Hughes (USA)


We also have a huge contingent of Australian and international female short filmmakers, including:

The Face of the Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul Kitty Green (Australia)
WorkmateGenevieve Clay-Smith (Australia)
In My ShoesMonique Schafter (Australia)
Symphony of Strange WatersSaba Vasefi (Australia)
NajiKimberley West (Australia)
BlueyDarlene Johnson (Australia)
A Few SecondsNora El Hourch (France/Morocco)
ListenRungano Nyoni (Zambia)
Maman(s)Maïmouna Doucouré (France)
Letting You GoKim Faber (The Netherlands)

Aside from the female’s working behind the scenes, we also have a number of films centred around female driven roles.
Browse these in our program.

Spread the Word & Share

Subscribe To Our Newsletter