The Socially Relevant Film Festival in New York is a film festival that focuses on socially relevant film content, dealing with human interest stories that raise awareness to social problems and might offer positive solutions through the powerful medium of cinema. This festival believes that through raised awareness, expanded knowledge about diverse cultures, and the human condition as a whole, it is possible to create a better world free of violence, hate and crime.
The team here at Concrete Rose Magazine were honored to partner up with Rebel Minded Media to attend the event. The festival was located at Bow Tie cinemas in Chelsea section of Manhattan, the energy upon entry was invigorating. This festival is truly based on its core value of creating a safe space for individuals of all walks of life. We had the pleasure to view various films and Q&A's with film makers and cast.
Please see below Film Reviews :
Film : " Hungry"
Directed and Produced by Jillie Simon and Thomas Simon
This short film is about a grade school teacher who has a fear of speaking up in public (other than in front of her kids). But when she finds out that children in her school are going hungry because of federal cutbacks in the school lunch programs, it compels her to do things she wouldn't have thought she could do, including confronting a Congressman, in order to help the children.
This film is understandable and necessary, the team here at Concrete Rose are primarily from NYC and have encountered this situation directly and indirectly. Many families across the nation not just in NYC go through a trial of fighting with the local school system to ensure quality food and or transportation. The director did a brilliant job by incorporating the children and the NYC landscape into the film, giving it a level of depth not seen in many "Hollywood" films.
The lead actress Jillie Simon played the idealistic teacher role perfectly giving the audience a sense of compassion for her cause. Last but not least the child stars acted as naturals never missing a beat or a queue when on screen. The final outcome was a promising one, our fearful teacher 1 stood next to a cause she believed in and overcame her fears to win a battle for the defenseless.
Film : " I am NOT from Barcelona"
Directed by Filmmaker Stéphane Leclercq and Screenwriter Muriel Allart
This film follows a young Belgian man (Alex) who runs away from his family problems to join in Barcelona, a Spanish girl he just met at a party, Olivia. He arrives in a militant squat shared by young Europeans and illegal immigrants. To stay with Olivia, he will have to learn about how to become an activist, as he embarks on a hunger strike. This film captured viewers with the amazing acting by lead actor Baptiste Moulart who won Best lead actor during the award ceremony on the final night of the festival. The lead character Alex takes the audience on an emotional roller coaster during his quest for love and purpose. The visual landscape and symbolism placed was well written and directed capturing how far would go to complete there mission.