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Man Up Film Festival seeks to shed light on gender violence Maysles Cinema hosts one-day fest Dec. 3

DAMASO REYES Special to the AmNews | 11/30/2011, 5:36 p.m.
Man Up Film Festival seeks to shed light on gender violence Maysles Cinema hosts one-day fest Dec. 3

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If you haven't witnessed or been subjected to gender-based violence, it's likely that you know someone who has. Violence against women exists in all societies and cultures, and for many of us, it is still a secret that we'd rather not talk about. This month, the Man Up Campaign will help shed light on the issue with a one-day film festival at Maysles Cinema, located at 343 Malcolm X Blvd. at 127th Street in Harlem.

From 4-11:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, visitors will have a chance to see more than a dozen films from around the world, including feature-length and short films, documentaries and narrative films that explore the challenges that women and their families face. The film festival is part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. The worldwide effort, which began on Nov. 25 and runs until Dec. 10, seeks to link the global issue of gender violence to the larger idea of human rights.

The Man Up Campaign, co-founded in 2010 by Jimmie Briggs, a journalist, writer, former AmNews contributor and friend of the author, is an international effort that seeks to educate young people about gender violence and give them the tools to fight against it in their home countries. Launched during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Man Up has brought together hundreds of young activists around this important issue.

While the film festival seeks to educate visitors about gender violence, the films, which come from as far away as Yemen and as close as New York, cover a range of topics. "No Woman, No Cry" examines the issue of reproductive and maternal health around the world, while "Thin Ice" from Kashmir follows young girls attempting to join an ice hockey tournament.

During the festival, the nonprofit Women's Voices Now will screen nine short films, including "Behind the Wall," a film that explores the issue of domestic violence in the central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan and "The Journey," which chronicles the journey home of seven girls who have survived human trafficking.

Proceeds from Saturday's screenings will benefit Man Up and its youth activists around the globe. A suggested donation of $12 is requested. For more information about the films, screening times and tickets, please visit www.mayslesinstitute.org or call (212) 582-6050. For more information about Man Up, visit www.manupcampaign.org.