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Human rights film festival highlights sex trafficking, immigration issues

Published 10:12am Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Austin Human Rights Commission is tackling a big issue with this year’s film festival.

The commission is opening the 2014 Film Festival with “Not For Sale (part 1 and part 2),” a documentary about human trafficking and the people who are trying to end it.

The documentary came after someone from Mission 21, a Minnesota-based advocacy group opposing sex trafficking, approached the commission.

“It’s something we as a commission hadn’t dealt with very much before,” said Kathryn Martin, commission secretary. “We were extremely happy that we could find a film that dealt with that and have a discussion afterwards.”

The festival runs from April 24 to April 26, with “Not For Sale” starting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Paramount Theatre. Lia Culbert from Mission 21 will be at the Thursday showing to host a discussion of the film after its showing. The film is not recommended for children and young teens.

“abUSed: The Postville Raid” will play at 7 p.m. Friday and tackles immigration issues facing families who were affected by the Postville, Iowa, immigration raid that took place in 2008.

A discussion hosted by John Gutterman from the Advocates for Human Rights will follow after the film. The documentary is not rated.

“The Adventures of Milo and Otis,” a family-friendly film featuring Milo the cat and Otis the dog, will play at 2 p.m. Saturday. The film is rated G.

“Boys Don’t Cry,” the critically acclaimed 1999 film starring Hilary Swank, Peter Sarsgaard and Chloe Sevigny, will play at 7 p.m. The film deals with transgender issues as Swank plays protagonist Brandon Teena, who presents himself as male though he was born as Teena Brandon, a girl. The film is rated R.

All films are free to the public.

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