We were honoured to host the below speakers at the inaugural Let's All Be Free Film Festival, who shared and discussed their thoughts on what being free means in the context of their own professional backgrounds, as well as on a more personal level.
Steve Crawshaw - International Advocacy Director at Amnesty International
Crawshaw is director of the Office of the Secretary General at Amnesty International, and co-author of Small Acts of Resistance: How Courage, Tenacity, Ingenuity Can Change the World.
He previously worked for Human Rights Watch, first as U.K. director and then as United Nations advocacy director, and in the early 80s was a journalist for Granada Television.
He also worked for fifteen years at The Independent newspaper, reporting on the east European revolutions, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the Balkan wars. His previous books are Goodbye to the USSR (1992) and Easier Fatherland: Germany and the Twenty-First Century (2004).
Kim Longinotto - Award-Winning Filmmaker
BAFTA nominated documentary filmmaker Longinotto studied at the prestigious National Film & Television School in England, where she now occasionally tutors, before going on to make an impressive range of powerful, award-winning films, many of which highlight the plight of female victims of oppression and discrimination.
One of Longinotto's first films, Pride of Place, was about the draconian all-girls boarding school she attended earlier in life, where a school mistress once forbid anyone to speak to her for an entire term as punishment for getting lost on a school trip.
She has gone on to make films about Japanese feminist performers, female circumcision in Kenya, the wives and girlfriends of rock stars, divorce in Iran, female professional wrestling, and women's rights campaigners across the developing world.
Marijn Poels - Opening Night Speaker
Poels is a celebrated, globe-trotting Dutch filmmaker and human rights campaigner, whose films are concerned with international issues of society, politics and economics.
For his documentary The Voice of 650 Million Times One, he received the Dodie Spittal Award in 2011; which, instead of keeping for himself, he gave away to those he had made the film about - the people of the Kibera slum in Nairobi, integrating the prize into a monument he erected there. In 2011, Poels was also awarded the Voice of Peace Medal in Lahore, Pakistan, for his work in promoting human rights in the country.
Sophie Farthing - Policy Officer at Liberty
Sophie Farthing is a Policy Officer at Liberty (the National Council for Civil Liberties), which she joined in June 2010. Sophie works in Liberty’s policy department, which is responsible for the organisation’s parliamentary lobbying and policy development.
Since joining Liberty she has worked on a range of human rights issues including protest and free speech, privacy rights, police powers and policing reform, police reform, counter-terrorism, the rights of vulnerable minorities, and criminal justice issues more widely.
She is a non-practising solicitor, and prior to joining Liberty worked in the Criminal Law Team at the Law Commission of England and Wales.
He is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London, and a visiting Professor in Economics at University College London, having previously been an academic at the University of Nottingham, Queen Mary College - University of London, University of Kent, and the University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
He has advised bodies such as the World Bank, IMF and OECD on various issues, notably labour market issues and social welfare policy. He is a member of the Senior Salary Review Body, having previously been a member of the NHS Pay Review Body.
Sean Baine - Chair of Board at The Equality Trust
The Equality Trust works to reduce income inequality in order to improve the quality of life in the U.K.. They work with others to build a social movement for change - by analysing and disseminating the latest research, promoting robust evidence-based arguments, and supporting a dynamic network of campaign groups across the country.
Sean Baine has an extensive background in local government and the voluntary sector. He is now a social campaigner around issues to do with income inequality. He is also Co-Chair of My Fair London - a volunteer-run group which campaigns to promote the findings contained in The Spirit Level, a book by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett which details how income inequality is linked to a range of social problems.
Charlie Dupré - Spoken Word Artist
Charlie is a pulsing concoction of literary influences and kinetic verbal onslaughts. Described by Annexe Magazine as "a unique brand of poetic wizardry", on the spoken word circuit he has supported the likes of Scroobius Pip, Ghostpoet and Chester P, and is a two-time Hammer and Tongue National finalist.
He released his debut hip hop single, 2012 Male, in November last year, and his one man spoken word show, The Stories of Shakey P, gives Shakespeare stories a contemporary slant by re-imagining the Bard as a playground battle rapper.
Collin Rustin - Panel Discussion Facilitator
Collin will be facilitating the panel discussion with our wonderful guest speakers on Saturday 6th April.
He has extensive experience as an executive coach and mediator, and is currently the President for Rustin & Associates Management L.L.C., working with businesses, community organizations and governmental agencies to improve productivity and manage conflict.
He is also an On-Call faculty member at the Center for Creative Leadership, where he provides executive coaching and training, globally, to for-profit, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies. Collin also holds a degree in Psychology.