This year, for the fourth year, the Morehouse College Human Rights Film Festival took place at the historic and prestigious Morehouse College. Israel’s Consulate in Atlanta, headed by Consul General Anat Sultan-Dadon, has maintained a connection with the Festiva for several years. The majority of the festival audience is composed of members of the Black community, including students and faculty from leading Black institutions in Atlanta and representatives from the film industry in the state of Georgia, which is now a leader in the global film industry. In the past two years, the festival has been held virtually. This year, it has returned as an in-person event, and also offers online access.
In light of the festival’s theme and target audience, the Consulate, in collaboration with Ms. Flo Low, founder of BAMAH, an independent non-profit arts platform providing opportunities for artists from Israel to develop and teach their work, located an Israeli filmmaker of Ethiopian origin, Alamork Davidian, who submitted her documentary film “Without no Land” as a candidate for participation in the festival. Her film, about Ethiopian Jewry and the immigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel, was selected to participate in the festival. The Consulate provided support to the festival and brought the filmmaker to Atlanta. Davidian held a dialogue after the film’s screening and participated in two panels of filmmakers, one on documentaries and the other on feature films (her film “Fig Tree,” filmed in Addis Ababa, is a feature film).
The Morehouse College Human Rights Film Festival educates and increases awareness of social justice issues at the national and international levels, creates discourse on civil and human rights issues, and inspires and encourages innovative and creative approaches to creating social change. A total of 91 films were selected for participation in the festival this year, of which 56 were screened in-person and the rest shown online. Thirty-nine feature films were selected, including Davidian’s film.
Davidian was highly appreciated, both by festival goers and by filmmakers and organizers, who have already expressed interest in her new documentary as a candidate for participation in next year’s festival. In her remarks, she addressed the professional aspects, her personal story and the story of the Ethiopian Jewish community. From a professional perspective, she emphasized that she hears from American filmmakers about the difficulties in raising funds to make films, while in Israel, there is encouragement and government funding without any state intervention in its content. Regarding her personal story and the content of the film presented, Davidian said that the story of the community is full of challenges and difficulties but also achievements, which were introduced in the film, as well as in her dialogue with the viewers.
In addition to Davidian’s activities as part of the festival, she met with students in the film department at another university in the Atlanta area and with students of Weber Jewish Community High School.