Plans for the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, taking place June 15 - 28 were recently announced with 21 films and three shorts from 17 countries including 16 New York premieres set for the event's 18th edition. The festival will launch with two films rooted in governmental paranoia, Lynn Hershman Leeson's Sundance feature "Strange Culture" and "Mon Colonel," Laurent Herbiet's politically charged portrait of military corruption during the Algerian war of independence. Other highlights inclue James Longley's ("Iraq in Fragments") "Sari's Mother," Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern's "The Devil Came on Horseback," Katy Chevigny's "Election Day," Canadian Jennifer Baichwal's "Manufactured Landscapes," San Francisco International Film Festival 50 winner "The Violin" by Francisco Vargas Quevedo and Oscar winner Steven Okasaki's "White Light/Black Rain." "It speaks to the significance of Human Rights Watch and its mission that such important figures make the trip," commented Marian Masone, associate director of programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in a statement. "With the subjects as well as the filmmakers here to talk about the issues, the audience gets unique, firsthand access to the events shaping our world." HRWIFF is a program of Human Rights Watch and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. [Brian Brooks]