NEW YORK — Following a successful inaugural year with 55 films from 18 countries, Rated SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York is gearing up for its second edition with a gathering at Bettolona restaurant on Wednesday evening, September 3, 2014. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the winning film directors, cast members and their colleagues as well as network with important industry guests. There will be prizes to win and passes to the festival to be given out.

Founded by award-winning actor, filmmaker and curator Nora Armani in order to promote positive social change through films covering a wide range of social issues, this year’s Rated SR film festival has two special spotlight sections titled 100 Years of Genocide & Women Filmmakers of MENA respectively.

“I know many Middle Eastern and MENA women filmmakers who are really talented and make films that deal with socially relevant issues not limited to the status of women only,” said Armani. “I have always wanted to present their work to U.S. audiences and we thought this would be a good time to do it.”

This year’s festival will also shed light on the atrocities of genocide that are ruthlessly carried out to the present day. The festival provides a platform to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide during World War I and honors the sacred memory of its victims in a context that is much more universal and international by juxtaposing it to the Holocaust, the Ethnic Cleansing Acts in Eastern Europe, Rwanda, Sudan and others.

“There are many nations that have suffered the fate of the Armenians to various degrees,” said Armani. “It is important to put all of that into context and show that impunity encourages further acts of Genocide.”

Reflecting on the current situation of Christians in Iraq, Armani likens it to the sufferings of Armenians one hundred years ago.

Rated SR promotes and provides exposure to its films into a wider viewership by accompanying the winning filmmakers beyond the festival week. This year, Rated SR took seven of the programmed documentaries to Cannes for the Cannes Film Festival Doc Corner. The Grand Prize winning film Small Small Thing had its weeklong release in June as part of the prize at the Quad Cinema and received positive coverage in the New York Times and Village Voice, among other respectable publications. The winning documentary Not Who We Are obtained a DVD-VOD distribution by Cinema Libre Studio and three of the six selected shorts from the festival’s slate are already distributed on IndiePix.

At its core, Rated SR films must relay a positive uplifting message even when dealing with social ills.

“I strongly believe that if a film is made well, and it has an interesting social or human angle, it does not need to rely on gratuitous violence, crime, drugs, nor does it need to glamorize violence through exaggerated special effects in order to become commercially viable,” said Armani. “By offering a platform to filmmakers who choose to make socially relevant films that are also entertaining, we encourage them to make more films of that kind. Film submissions are now open. We look forward to hearing from filmmakers.”

Submission details may be found on http://www.ratedsrfilms.org

The launch party for the second edition of the Socially Relevant Film Festival will take place on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. – 10 p.m. at Bettolona restaurant, located at 3143 Broadway in New York City. No tickets will be sold at the door. Earlybird tickets are $25 (includes food and drink) and regular tickets are $30 (includes food and drink). To reserve and purchase tickets please go to https://socrelevantbettolona.eventbrite.com
call 212.253. 2011 or email ratedsrfilms@gmail.com

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