SR Socially Relevant™ Film Festival unveils its 11th edition of narrative and documentary features

NEW YORK—The 11th anniversary edition of the SR Socially Relevant™ Film Festival (SRFF) will open in New York City on March 13 at the Maysles Documentary Center, March 14 at MRHS, March 15-17 at Cinema Village, and March 18 at the National Arts Club for the Awards Ceremony. The online section will start on March 19.

The 11th edition of the SR Socially Relevant™ Film Festival covers a broad range of socially relevant human interest stories. The Official #SRFF2024 Selection was unveiled at a Zoom session on Press Day on Thursday, February 8 to press and media, cultural representatives, sponsors and partners in New York City. A video will be posted on the SRFF YouTube Channel.

The SRFF 2024 Competition Categories are Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Narrative Short, Documentary Short, Women Directed films and Rejoice Resist: BIPOC Films and Filmmakers.

The films, program groupings and synopses are posted on the website under the 2024 Program. The trailer and the Meet the Filmmakers interview series can be found on the Festival YouTube Channel.

“Eleven years have gone by quickly. We are proud to have had the opportunity to present over 700 socially relevant films from 40 countries, the work of talented and dedicated filmmakers that have offered us the bonus of learning about the human condition, filmmaking and engaging an audience as the first step towards raising awareness of social issues,” said Festival Founding Artistic Director Nora Armani.

SRFF was founded by actress and filmmaker Armani in 2013 as a response to the proliferation of violence and violent forms of storytelling in media and entertainment. Following a family tragedy that cost the lives of two of her dearest and nearest, namely her cousin Vanya and uncle Jack Exerjian, Armani founded the festival to commemorate them in a meaningful way. SRFF believes in the power of the film medium in raising awareness of social issues and promoting positive social change. This new edition deals with topics such as climate change, family and adoption, LGBTQ rights, home and health, disability, incarceration and freedom, New York City, racism and BIPOC cultures.

The mission of the SRFF is to shine a spotlight on filmmakers who tell compelling, socially relevant human-interest stories, across a broad range of social issues without resorting to violence and violent forms of storytelling.

Early Bird $5 single, $12 trio and $75 elite trio tickets and $100 all-access passes are available for a limited time on sale here. Regular passes are $175, and in-person tickets are $15.

The SRFF will have a special screening of Barev Yes Em (Hello It’s Me!) in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Armenian cinema. This will be the North American premiere of the Armenian film by Frunze Dovlatyan. One of the historic milestones of Armenian cinema, Hello It’s Me! was inspired by the lives of two physicists and includes three actors from Soviet cinema’s hall of fame: Rolan Bykov (Andrei Rublev by Andrei Tarkovsky), Armen Dzhigarkhanyan (Zero City and The Assassin of the Tsar by Karen Shakhnazarov) and Margarita Terekhova (The Mirror by Andrei Tarkovsky) in her film debut. The film was selected in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1966. Hello It’s Me! was released in the Soviet Union in the spring of 1966 and attracted 10 million viewers. It was presented in a restored copy at the Cannes Film Festival 2023 in the Cannes Classics section.

The SRFF will also feature the following films by Armenian filmmakers and with Armenian themes: 

Blockade by Hagop Melkonyan

For 30 years, the inhabitants of Chinari, an Armenian village, have been trying to survive the war between Azeris and Armenians and the difficult conditions imposed by a blockade. Through the daily life of an Armenian family, the film immerses us into the heart of this forgotten conflict.

Manuscripts Don’t Burn by Mariam Ohanyan

The film tells the story of the Armenian origin of Lyiv (Western Ukraine), particularly through the writings of Armenian traveler Simeon Lehatsi, who lived in Lyiv, and the history of the Armenian church, which was closed during the Soviet era. 

Partings and Landings by Kardash Onnig

The film is the story of the four generations of the filmmaker’s Armenian Genocide survivor family who migrated from their ancestral home in Turkey to Syria, then Lebanon, and finally to the United States. The film offers refugees everywhere the hope that they can rebuild their lives by integrating into a new culture.

The Forgotten Homeland by Essam Nagy

A documentary about life at the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, telling the stories and life accounts of refugees who were uprooted from their historical lands in Artsakh and are currently living in Goris.

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