Human rights film festivals have blossomed all over the world. They present cinema at the forefront of struggle: a struggle for human rights and dignity, against censorship and repression. Film is an extremely powerful medium. It can touch and inspire audiences: those who can make a difference. Human rights films are films that reflect, inform on and provide understanding of human rights, and portray visions and aspirations to redress violations of these rights. Throughout the year, every year, a growing number of festivals dedicated to the promotion and support of human rights films are staged around the world.
The Human Rights Film Network (HRFN) is a partnership of more than 40 independent festivals. Through the network, festivals cooperate in the representation of human rights in moving images. They exchange ideas on how to promote human rights films through festivals, broadcasting and educational programmes. They present films that discuss topical human rights issues and promote the screening of high quality films. They share experiences about the organisation of screenings and debates. They assist the emergence and establishment of new film festivals on a sound and independent basis. As such the HRFN works to foster an international environment conducive to the screening and promotion of human rights films worldwide.
But when we mention 'human rights', what do we mean with that term? Please see below for a brief and excellent explanation.