Don’t miss the ACT film festival’s virtual screening this year

Kailey Pickering

The Fort Collins ACT annual film festival will be celebrating over 20 films advocating for social justice through streaming the films Oct. 1-10. 

Fort Collins has been participating in the ACT Human Rights Film Festival since April 2016. While ACT’s website says there are many human rights film festivals worldwide, the event in Fort Collins is the only one in Colorado. In addition to this film festival, Fort Collins’ ACT established year-long screenings in February 2019. 


“ACT Human Rights Film Festival presents new, critically-acclaimed films that artistically explore human rights and social justice issues,” said Beth Seymour, the managing director of the festival. “Film is a uniquely powerful medium that builds empathy, opens minds and empowers audiences. ACT’s programs ask audiences to both bear witness to troubling human rights violations and to also celebrate collective action or individual heroism.”

Here is a list of 10 out of 21 films ACT will be streaming virtually this year:

“Aswang,” directed by Alyx Ayn Arumpac

This film follows the stories of people in the Philippines who suffer from the rule of President Rodrigo Duterte. Director Arumpac catches every part of the suffering in the community, from the dead bodies on the streets to the overpopulated prisons. Arumpac shows bravery through acts of a few citizens and forms a metaphor of a river monster, the Aswang, impacting the community.

This film will only be available for viewing on Oct. 2-6.

“Betye Saar: Taking Care of Business,” directed by Christine Turner

This eight-minute film tells the story of 94-year-old Betye Saar, who continues to fight inequality as an African American woman through her artwork. 

“Once Upon a Time in Venezuela,” directed by Anabel Rodríguez Ríos

This film captures the travesty of Venezuelan villages impacted by the proximity of oil drilling facilities. The shots capture the contaminated water the people live in. Triggered by these communities, the story of this film falls into two women in opposite political positions who want to see a change in the Venezuelan communities.

“Havana, From on High,” directed by Pedro Ruiz


Among Havana’s lack of sufficient housing and a decrease in tourism, director Pedro Ruiz takes his stand on the top of Havana. Ruiz films his documentary on roofs, getting shots of the aging city and interviewing Cubans who have been severely impacted by the environment they stand above. Ruiz captures Havana in a unique way that showcases the city and its people.

“The Gender Line,” directed by T.J. Parsell

T.J. Parsell tells the story of Cidny Bullens. Bullens is a transgender musician who once sang with Elton John’s band. Bullens tells of how he experienced both sides of the gender line. 

“Shadow Flowers,” directed by Seung-Jun Yi

Many North Koreans travel to South Korea as defectors to escape their country. However, upon arrival, they experience separation anxiety, discrimination and culture shock. This film follows a North Korean woman, Kim Ryun-hee, who left North Korea to save enough money for a medical operation. She was soon placed on the South Korean watchlist, and she overcomes many challenges.

“Again,” directed by Mario Pfeifer

This film tells the story of an immigrant in Germany who faced discrimination. In a supermarket, four men beat this 21-year-old Kurdish immigrant to death. His murderers were treated like heroes. The film uses the real footage of the event as well as reenactments in stores to see how people react versus how the community reacted in Germany. The film shows how deeply rooted racism is in our culture. 

“Hiplet: Because We Can,” directed by Addison Wright

This film shows a unique dance that combines hip-hop and urban styles. Through this “Hiplet” dance, the film tells the stories of the adversity African American girls have overcome in the dancing community. 

“Balolé, the Golden Wolf,” directed by Aïcha Chloé Boro

In Burkina Faso, a west African country, people have gained freedom but face violent and inhumane work conditions. With no unions and no worker’s rights, people are forced to work in extreme environments to make a living. Director Aïcha Chloé Boro shows this through the different people suffering through these conditions, from children believing they will have no future to two workers who have to lead a group of men who want justice for their mistreatment. Boro has developed a film to bring light to these situations.

This film will only be available for viewing Oct. 8-10.

“Call Center Blues,” directed by Geeta Gandbhir

This story follows four people in Tijuana, Mexico, who face challenges like deportation, migration and displacement. Each person has a different story and are linked by their displacement. 

Don’t miss out on these stories. CSURams is the student discount code for half-off tickets. For showtimes and tickets visit

Kailey Pickering can be reached at or on Twitter @PickeringKailey.