‘Truce’ set to open rights fest

NEW YORK — Miramax Films’ “The Truce” starring John Turturro will kick off the eighth annual Human Rights Watch Intl. Film Festival, which runs June 5-19 at Gotham’s Lincoln Center.

Directed by Francesco Rossi, “The Truce” is based on the bestselling autobiography of Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi. The pic recently won top prizes for film, director and producers at Italy’s 41st David di Donatello Awards, and will compete at the Cannes Film Festival.

Nod to Pakula

During a June 5 opening-night gala at Alice Tully Hall, Harrison Ford will present Academy Award-winning director Alan J. Pakula with the third annual Irene Diamond Lifetime Achievement Award for his leadership in introducing mainstream audiences to controversial human rights issues.

The Nestor Almendros Prize — named after the director and Academy Award-winning cinematographer — will be awarded to Ingrid Sinclair for her feature film debut, “Flame.” The film tells the story of two young women growing up in rural Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) who fight alongside each other in the country’s war for independence.

Co-presented by Human Rights Watch and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the festival features 20 films whose stories are set in 14 countries. Seven are U.S. premieres. More than 600 pics were submitted for the fest.

“At a time when it is more difficult than ever to find funding anywhere in the world for issue-oriented films, we were able to find beautifully realized, powerful works,” said fest director Bruni Burres.

On the road

Following the Lincoln Center run, a multicity tour of fest highlights will travel to London; Bogota, Colombia; Port au Prince, Haiti; Boston; Seattle; Hartford, Conn.; Los Angeles; Martha’s Vineyard; San Francisco; St. Louis; Madison, Wis.; and Columbia, S.C.

The co-chairs of this year’s gala are Tony Elliott, Costa-Gavras, Michelle Ray Gavras, Marina Kaufman, Doug Liman, Lewis Liman, Michael Lynton, Rosie Perez and John Singleton.

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