Sydney Film Festival - The Filmmaker’s Voice of Conscience: Local Obligations and Universal Values

When:14 Jun 2018, 7:30pm - 8:30pm
Venue:Treasury Room, Sydney Town Hall
Who:Special guest panel including: Shameela Seedat, South African human rights lawyer, UNSW Professor Andrea Durbach,Debbie Zhou, UNSW Arts & Business/Law student and film major, Jane Mills Associate Professor in Film at SAM.
Sydney Film Festival 2018 - Whispering

Join us for an event in partnership with the Sydney Film Festival. The Filmmaker’s Voice of Conscience: Local Obligations and Universal Values will explore what happens when two very different ways of thinking and acting collide - the legal pursuit of justice and filmmaking.

Can a film engage in the critical task of broadening the moral and political horizons of a particular society and also attend to universal values and obligations? Can cinema participate in creating a space where justice and intercultural understanding can flourish?

These are some of the issues that we invite you to explore with a panel of filmmakers, lawyers, educators and students.

This is a free event, no registration required.

UNSW Arts & Social Sciences is a proud supporting partner of the Sydney Film Festival.


Shameela Seedat

Shameela is a South African human rights lawyer turned filmmaker whose debut documentary feature, Whispering Truth to Power, tells the story of Thuli Madonsela, South Africa’s first female Public Protector who fought corruption amongst the country’s most powerful politicians at great personal cost. The film is part personal portrait and part tense political drama: Madonsela ends her term in office with a dramatic battle against President Zuma who would eventually resign in April this year. 

Whispering Truth to Power screens on Friday 15 June at Dendy Opera Quays from 6:30-7:56pm and again on Sunday 17 June at Event Cinema, George Street from 4:00-5:26pm.

Professor Andrea Durbach

Professor Durbach was born and educated in South Africa where she was a political trial lawyer and human rights advocate. A former Director of the Australian Human Rights Centre in the Faculty of Law, UNSW Sydney, Andrea’s interests include: access to justice; legal ethics and public interest litigation; reconciliation and facilitating reparations for the Stolen Generations; and the role of national human rights institutions in the Asia Pacific region. Based on her book Upington about a murder trial in apartheid South Africa, Mitzi Goldman’s documentary, A Common Purpose, won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2011 Sydney Film Festival.

Debbie Zhou

Zhou is an Arts & Business/Law student majoring in Film Studies at UNSW Sydney. As a freelance writer she has published in Time Out and The Music, and she is the undergraduate representative for the Sydney Screen Studies Network. Debbie is interested in the intersections between cinema and the law, in particular the role of filmmakers in foregrounding the importance of legal mechanisms and individuals in holding governments accountable and upholding democracy.

Chair: Associate Professor Jane Mills

Professor Mills is an Associate Professor in Film Studies at the School of the Arts and Media. Professor Mills has a production background in documentary film and has written and broadcast widely on censorship, feminism and human rights. She is Series Editor of Australian Screen Classics and a member of the Sydney Film Festival Advisory Committee. Her films include Yilmaz Guney: His Life, His Films (Channel 4) and Rape – That’s Entertainment? (BBC). Her books include: Jedda; Loving and Hating Hollywood: Reframing Global and Local Cinemas; and The Money Shot: Cinema Sin and Censorship.