7 days/ 20 Events/ 7 venues

The largest public human rights arts event in Australia

MELBOURNE, Sunday May 1, 2022:   Opening night was last Thursday in Melbourne for HRAFF was a huge success with a full audience seeing the superb mobilising documentary Dear Future Children from 22 year old director Franz Bohm.  The Festival is now well underway.

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The largest public human rights arts event in Australia, The Human Rights Arts & Film Festival (HRAFF) is a not-for-profit arts organisation dedicated to cultivating a vibrant human rights community, culture and conversation in Australia.

This year’s HRAFF annual festival will feature a much-anticipated program of films, prominent visiting directors, artists, engaging workshops, and special guest speakers. Films take pride of place in the program, with an array of award-winning films from Australia and all over the world.

2022 has already seen monumental changes at HRAFF with the team almost doubling in size at the start of the year.

It is exciting to introduce the two people at the centre of the new team, Festival Director Sophie Parr and Program Director Ayesha Mehta.

Program Director Ayesha Mehta says, “We are incredibly excited about this year’s festival, and to be building our arts events through collaborations with local artists. We hope that travelling through our 10-day festival will be a vibrant experience, with a multitude of ways to engage with the stories and themes throughout.

Platforming artists, filmmakers and musicians is at the heart and soul of the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival mission. Ayesha adds: “It’s why HRAFF exists – engaging and inspiring audiences on human rights issues through art, film and music and conversation, which flows through to the partnerships and relationships that we nurture.”

As part of HRAFF’s exciting new direction, this year’s annual festival will be guided by four interconnected themes: Bodies, Environment, Ancestors, Distance.

These themes have been chosen in order to create spaces of community engagement in recognition of our overlapping experiences.



Searching or still, always expressive


The stories that make and remake us


All that surrounds us, natural, built, and human


Product of space and time through a virtual eye

The dynamic program has been announced and can be found at  alongside this year’s festival trailer.


Introducing HRAFF new directors

Ayesha Mehta

Program Director

Ayesha is a vocalist, shadow puppeteer, writer, educator, and visual artist. A community arts innovator, she is committed to radical visibility and storytelling through dynamic and uninhibited original music, art, words and filmmaking. Ayesha is the co-founder of GRID series, an artist development program for outer suburban musicians around Australia, and co-founder of Taipei’s iconic arts platform, Red Room. Shortlisted for the Outstanding Women in Music Award (2021) and a receiver of the AMP Tomorrowmakers Fund (2021), Ayesha has featured in performances at Melbourne Recital Centre, Victoria’s Multicultural Festival, Premier’s Gala Dinner, Generations Festival and the Contemporary Asian Art Festival.


Sophie Parr

Festival Director

Sophie is a lawyer and producer with a career that spans a number of industries, including NGO, film production, legal, small business, music and start-ups. Holding a first-class honours degree in international Politics & Sociology and a postgraduate Juris Doctor from the University of Melbourne, she has previously worked with Amnesty international UK, UN Human Rights, RedR Australia, Refugee Advice and Casework Service, and disability start-up Psykinetic. As Festival Director of HRAFF, Sophie is passionate about the role of film and the arts in presenting social justice and environmental issues to a broad audience and inspiring individuals towards positive change.

Our team is based on the sovereign lands of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation. We respect them as the traditional custodians of these lands and honour their continued connection and contribution to land, water, community and the social justice movement. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.


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Instagram: @humanrightsfest

Facebook: @humanrightsfest

LinkedIn: @Human Rights Arts & Film Festival

Twitter: @humanrightsfest




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HRAFF’s purpose remains committed to shining a light on emerging artists; stories made by people either affected by, or deeply invested in, the topics they address; and lending our platform to lift up our community organisation partners remain at the heart of our mission.