4th annual ACT festival in review

Posted on

The 4th annual ACT Human Rights Film Festival proved that ACT is more than a sum of parts – more than films, talkbacks, receptions, and socializing. ACT is a one-of-a-kind community made up of cinephiles, filmmakers, students, advocates, and artists. And ACT would not be possible without our engaged and fearless audiences.


Colorado State University Communication Studies professor Scott Diffrient moderates a panel discussion with Aaron Burns, Matthew Shoychet, Andrew McConnell, Tahria Sheather and Irene Taylor Brodsky at CSU’s ACT Human Rights Film Festival at the Lyric Theatre, April 6, 2019.

Film is a uniquely powerful storyteller

During nine unforgettable days in April 2019 ACT Human Rights Film Festival welcomed more than 1,800 audience members, filmmakers, film subjects, activists, academics, and students. This was the 4th edition of the only human rights film festival in the Rocky Mountain region. The festival showcased world-class storytelling, a lively filmmaker panel, engaging talkbacks, connections with local nonprofits, festive parties, and even a signature brew from Odell Brewing.

As film becomes increasingly viewed in the isolation of our homes, the 2019 ACT Human Rights Film Festival countered this by fostering engagement and community. ACT connected audience members with the world and with one another. The 2019 program featured 20 films. Of these, one was a North American premiere and 11 were Colorado premieres. This was the first year ACT screened short films, and they were met with rave reviews.

Moreover, 13 unbelievably impressive filmmakers or film subjects joined ACT to participate in post-film talkbacks and in a filmmaker panel. More than half of these filmmakers traveled from outside the United States to participate in the festival. One ACT film screening was fully deaf and hard of hearing accessible, with ASL interpreters and open captions. Throughout the festival, ACT connected audiences with nine local NGOs, who tirelessly work to make our communities more just and inclusive.

A benchmark year

Thanks to our audiences, our sponsors, and our supporters the 2019 ACT Human Rights Film Festival was a tremendous success. In fact, more people attended ACT this year than in any previous year. Due to the growth, demand, and success – ACT launched year-round community screenings in early 2019, and is now hosting programs in various venues throughout the year.

Check out festival photos here.

Dr. N. Scott Momaday (right) and daughter Jill Momaday attending the final night of ACT. Both appeared in “Words from a Bear,” the closing night film.



ACT 2019 festival by the numbers:

9 days and nights.

1,805 attendees at festival screenings.

24 film screenings, parties, panels, or other festival events.

12 feature length documentaries; 8 short films.

11 Colorado premieres; 1 North American premieres

Films from 16 countries and 5 continents.

145 volunteers who made ACT possible.

4 CSU student interns who led ACT initiatives.

13 filmmaker or film guests participated in-person; 2 joined via Skype.

9 local NGOs’ work showcased.


Audience Testimonials

“As a society and individuals we NEED this festival. These films make a significant contribution to seeing and developing empathy for those we otherwise might never see.”

“This is one of the best things that happens in Fort Collins – we are lucky to have this.”

“Amazing opportunity to broaden your exposure to being a human.”

“ACT presents thought-provoking films, followed by conversations with people intimately involved in the making of the film. It’s an emotional, educational, inspiring experience.”


Thank you

ACT Human Rights Film Festival was made possible through the support of many. ACT is extraordinarily fortunate to have backing from university, corporate, and local partners that not only contribute much-needed financial support, they also shape the community, the conversations, and the quality of the festival. ACT is a collaborative program that thrives through partnerships.

Thank you to all of our supporters.

Colorado State University ACT Human Rights Film Festival pass, ticket holders and guests enjoy a reception on the opening night at CSU’s Lory Student Center, April 5, 2019.

Please help us thank our festival sponsors