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The New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival (PATOIS) turns 15

PATOIS: The New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival (PATOIS), which is celebrating its 15th anniversary from Thursday, March 21 – Sunday, March 24, 2019 at The Broad Theater announced its lineup. Tickets can be purchased online at


PATOIS is known for featuring in-depth conversations with filmmakers and community members, and the 2019 Festival will continue this tradition highlighting the participation of many of the filmmakers, as well as film subjects and community leaders for discussions on issues ranging from immigration and detention, the state of democracy, the music industry, feminism, and LGBTQ rights. The festival opens with 2019 Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary The Infiltrators, and closes with Betty  –  They Say I’m Different, a profile of explosive 1970’s funk pioneer Betty Davis.


The festival will feature 16 titles including two narrative and six documentary feature films, and seven short film premieres and screenings, as well as in-depth discussions featuring nationally and locally recognized guests, artists, activists, and community leaders. The line-up of New Orleans premieres include new and classic fiction films from Senegal and Zambia, experimental short films from New Orleans, and documentaries highlighting social issues concerning racist policing, immigration, transgender liberation, and gay refugees from Syria. Countries featured in this year’s festival include Palestine, Senegal, Syria, Zambia, Greece, and the United States. 



Patois Film Festival opens Thursday, March 21st with The Infiltrators, which had its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January and won both the Audience Award and Innovators Prize at the festival. The film tells the true story of a group of undocumented youth – Dreamers – who deliberately get detained by Border Patrol in order to infiltrate a shadowy, for-profit detention center. Directors Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera will be in attendance at the Broad Theater for a post-film discussion with the audience.


Attending filmmakers include The Infiltrators’ co-directors Alexander Rivera & Cristina Ibarra; After/Life director Puck Lo; The Feeling of Being Watched co-executive producer Christina Abraham; Betty, They Say I’m Different associate producer Danielle Maggio; Marion Hill, director of Goddess House; Alli Loggout, director of Lucid Noon & Sunset Blush; and Juiceboxx, director of Tale of a Pretty Black Ass.




All film screenings will be held at the Broad Theater, 636 N Broad St.

Tickets are available online at


Thursday, March 21, 6:30pm – Opening Night Film

The Infiltrators – Undocumented youth - DREAMers - deliberately get detained by Border Patrol in order to infiltrate a shadowy, for-profit detention center. Documentary. Directed by Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera. 93 minutes.

*Directors and guests from New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice present for screening.


Friday, March 22, 6:30pm - What Is Democracy?

What Is Democracy?  - Spanning millennia and continents, from capitalism’s roots to racism and class warfare in the United States. Featuring Cornel West, Angela Davis, Silvia Federici, Aja Monet, and more. Documentary. Directed by Astra Taylor. 107 minutes.

*Post-screening discussion featuring Norris Henderson and Checo Yancy of Voice Of The Experienced.


Friday, March 22, 9:15pm – Borders and Spying

- After/Life – In an Arizona desert, a dystopic collective nightmare unfolds where US domestic and foreign policies collide. Experimental. Directed by Puck Lo. 15 minutes.

- The Feeling of Being Watched –- A journalist investigates rumors of surveillance in her Arab-American neighborhood in Chicago and uncovers one of the largest FBI terrorism probes conducted before 9/11 and reveals its enduring impact on the community. Documentary. Directed by Assia Boundaoui. 87 minutes.

*After/Life Director Puck Lo, The Feeling of Being Watched Co-Executive Producer Christina Abraham, and New Orleans Muslim community organizer Jenny Yanez present for post-screening discussion.



Saturday, March 23, 12:00pm The Crossing & What Walaa Wants

- The Crossing – A brother and sister arrive at a checkpoint, seeking to visit their grandfather. Drama. Directed by Ameen Nayfeh. 11 minutes.

- What Walaa Wants – Raised in a West Bank refugee camp while her mother was in prison, Walaa is determined to join the Palestinian Security Forces. Documentary. Directed by Christy Garland. 89 minutes.


Saturday, March 23, 2:15pm Crime+Punishment

Crime+Punishment  – Black and Latino whistleblower cops reveal racism in the New York City Police Department. Documentary. Directed by Stephen Maing. 112 minutes.

*Post-screening discussion featuring Jee Park, Executive Director of Innocence Project New Orleans, and Greg Bright, exonerated after 27 years in prison.


Saturday, March 23, 5:00pm I Am Not A Witch

I Am Not A Witch  – A satiric feminist fairy-tale set in present-day Zambia. Fiction. Directed by Rungano Nyoni. 93 minutes.


Saturday, March 23, 7:00pm New Queer Stories

- Happy Birthday Marsha - Iconic transgender artist and activist Marsha "Pay it No Mind" Johnson and her life in the hours before she ignited the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. Fiction. Directed by Tourmaline and Sasha Wortzel. 15 minutes.

- New Deep South: House of Jxn - Queer and gender non-conforming people in Jackson, Mississippi come together to offer each other support, protection, and love in one of the most dangerous cities in the country. Documentary. Directed by Ro Haber. (9 minutes)

- Goddess House - A courtesan is summoned to rouse a queen from her languor in this affirmative vision of consensual sex work. Fiction. Directed by Marion Hill. 6 minutes.

- Lucid Noon, Sunset Blush - A basement full of queer femme dominatrix, lovers and misfits, beautiful, carefree and as young as the night. Fiction. Directed by Alli Logout. 32 minutes.

- Tale of a Pretty Black Ass - What being constantly fetishized as a black sex worker does to your brain.Memoir . Directed by Juicebox Burton. 9 minutes.

*Post-screening discussion with filmmakers and participants from the films, including Marion Hill, Juicebox Burton, Alli Logout, and more.

*This program features sexually explicit scenes and situations. May not be suitable for young audiences.


Sunday, March 24, 12:30pm Encore Screening

Watch the schedule for this added encore screening.





Sunday, March 24, 2:30pm Mr. Gay Syria

Mr. Gay Syria - Two gay Syrian refugees try to join Mr. Gay World, an international beauty contest. Documentary. Directed by Ayse Toprak. 84 Minutes.


Sunday, March 24, 4:30pm Touki Bouki:  PATOIS Retrospective

Touki Bouki - The fractured efforts of two lovers to leave Dakar for the glamour and comforts of Paris. A 1973 classic of African Cinema. Fiction. Directed by Djibril Diop Mambéty. 84 Minutes.

*Post-screening discussion with writer Kristina Kay Robinson and artist kai lumumba barrow.

*This program contains a scene of violence and animal cruelty.


Sunday, April 16, 7:00pm – Betty – They Say I’m Different

Betty  –  They Say I’m Different - A profile of explosive 1970’s funk pioneer Betty Davis, who changed the landscape of music for female artists in America. Documentary. Directed by Philip Cox. 52 minutes.

*Post-screening conversation between historian and researcher Melissa A. Weber, aka DJ Soul Sister, with ethnomusicology scholar Danielle Maggio, an associate producer of the film.



Thank you to our sponsors, featured organizations, and partners, including:

Ace Hotel, Antenna/Paper Machine, BreakOut!,Congress of Day Laborers, Melissa A. Weber aka DJ Soul Sister, European Dissent, Gallery of the Streets, Innocence Project - New Orleans, Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative, Jewish Voice for Peace New Orleans, Junebug Productions, Neighborhood Story Project, New Orleans Film Society, New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC), New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, PUNCTUATE, Shotgun Cinema, The Broad Theater, Voice Of The Experienced (VOTE), and WHIV.


A special thank you to The Threshold Foundation and Alternate ROOTS for their support and solidarity.



Founded in 2004 by New Orleans artists and activists, PATOIS is dedicated to supporting our city's arts and social justice communities. We celebrate brilliant art and powerful ideas at the intersection of the local and global, and of art and liberation.


PATOIS: Noun. Pronunciation: pa'twä


1: Any language that is considered nonstandard. Can refer to pidgins, creoles, dialects, and other forms of native or local speech.

2: Many of the vernacular forms of English spoken in the Caribbean, especially in reference to Jamaican Creole.

3: The language used at the intersection of art and social justice in New Orleans. PATOIS Festival.

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