The Oscar-nominated filmmaker Gini Reticker’s “The Trials of Spring” will have its Los Angeles premiere on Sept. 20. The film will be presented by the Human Rights Watch Film Club at the American Cinematheque Aero Theater (1328 Montana Ave.)

“The Trials of Spring” follows three Egyptian women: Hend Nafea, a young religious Muslim from the countryside who is now facing a likely jail sentence for her role in the uprisings; Mariam Kirollos, a young, urban Christian who has long been passionate about women’s rights; and Khadiga Hennawi, a formerly veiled widow in her 60s who earned the nickname “Mama K” for assuming the role of caretaker of the revolutionaries. Their stories illuminate the roles women play as they risk everything to bring change in their country.

Immediately following the screening, there will be a panel discussion focused on Middle East activism, the pioneering role of women, and the legacy of the 2011 “Arab Spring” uprisings. It will feature Nafea, along with Professor Sherine Hafez, an expert on Islamic activism; Beth Levison, the film’s producer; and Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East & North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

Panelists include:

Hend Nafea, human rights activist: One of three Egyptian women followed in “The Trials of Spring,” Nafea is a human rights activist living in exile.

Beth Levison, producer: As a director, producer, and story editor, Levison has received two Emmys and three Peabody Awards.

Sherine Hafez, associate professor, UC Riverside: Professor Hafez’s interests center on women studies in Middle Eastern and Muslim majority cultures. She has done research on women’s Islamic activism in Egypt.

Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the Human Rights Watch Middle East and North Africa Division: Whitson oversees the work of the division in 19 countries, with staff located in 10 of them.

Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. with an opportunity to meet Whitson before the film. The “Trials of Spring” will screen at 5:30 p.m. followed by the panel discussion. A reception with Middle Eastern food and drinks will begin at 7:30 p.m. The American Cinematheque Aero Theater is located at 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. General admission tickets are $30, students $15. To buy tickets:

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