I had a busy February and March screening my feature documentary, Freedom for the Wolf, at human rights film festivals across Europe. We were honored to be the opening night film of the Human Rights Film Festival and Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. We screened the film and I did question and answer session with the audience right before the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights, Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, gave the keynote speech. It was an incredible experience to be there with the world’s leading human rights activists, diplomats, and experts. Freedom for the Wolf was the closing night film for the HUMANS Fest in Valencia, Spain. I also took part in a panel discussion on human rights and cinema. Last stop was Olso, where I hosted two screenings at the Human Rights, Human Wrongs Festival. This makes a great start to the films 2018 festival season: the documentary will playing in ten film festivals around the world in April.

My documentary feature, Freedom for the Wolf, won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature at the Slamdance Film Festival! This is such a great honour both to the film and the large team of people who sacrificed so much to make such an ambitious film a reality. The entire team are thrilled that the audience picked our film as the festival favorite as its shows that people are hungry for films that are idea-driven and tackle the big questions of our time. And we picked up a rave review from Slug Magazine:

The visuals are gorgeous, the message is powerful and the footage is at times heartbreaking, but all of these elements expose the truth about who is involved with protesting their leaders, what their reasons are for doing so and how these elected officials have been reacting to their cries.

I gave an interview to Resit Radio about the film and the current state of resistance politics in the U.S. and beyond, which you can listen to here.  I also did an interview with Mountain Morning Show on Park City TV to promote our screenings.

“Documentary can also be entertaining, as in Rupert Russell’s Freedom for the Wolf … Russell’s philosophical look at how democracy operates across the globe seems specifically devised to provoke debate in the first instance and activism in the second.” – Little White Lies

Our premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest was fantastic. We sold out for both screenings. I had a great in depth discussion about the film in Tudor Square with filmmaker Rajesh Thind. I gave several press interviews for the film, including this extended one for State of the Arts. We got our first reviews in Exposed Magazine and Backseat Mafia. We made the top ten lists of both The Huffington Post and Little White Lies.

 

Proud to announce that my documentary feature Freedom for the Wolf will be premiering at Sheffield Doc/Fest on June 12, 2017. Also, our Executive Producer, Nick Fraser, formerly of BBC Storyville and now of Yaddo, just won a BAFTA.

FREEDOM FOR THE WOLF, the powerful documentary debut from writer and director Rupert Russell will receive its UK premiere at the 2017 Sheffield International Documentary Festival on 12 June with a second public screening on 13 June.

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Freedom for the Wolf was featured in the New York Times today:

Ayear has passed since the police fired tear gas on pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong, setting off a huge sit-in protest movement that took control of a large portion of the center of the city for more than two months, generating headlines the world over and shocking the Communist Party leaders in Beijing.

The Umbrella Movement, named for the shields that protesters used to defend themselves against tear gas and pepper spray, now belongs to the ages, its meaning and significance to be slowly digested by scholars and filmmakers for years to come.

A new documentary, “Freedom for the Wolf,” set for release next year, brings academia and movie making together, featuring the Hong Kong protests as an essential part of a global struggle against the rise of “illiberal democracy” — what the director, Rupert Russell, who has a doctorate in sociology from Harvard, calls “voting without rights.”

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