About

Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. We work tenaciously to lay the legal and moral groundwork for deep rooted change and fight to bring greater justice and security to people around the world. Through our Human Rights Watch Film Festival we bear witness to human rights violations and create a forum for courageous individuals on both sides of the lens to empower audiences with the knowledge that personal commitment can make a difference. The film festival brings to life human rights abuses through storytelling in a way that challenges each individual to empathize and demand justice for all people.

The HRW Film Festival currently screens in over 20 cities around the world throughout the year. The festival's programming committee operates out of the New York office to screen more than 500 films each year. Through a rigorous vetting process, that includes review by Human Rights Watch’s programmatic staff, the festival chooses approximately 40 films each year to participate in our various festivals. It is then up to the particular city and its programming committee to choose films from this final selection for their specific festival.

In selecting films for the festival, Human Rights Watch concentrates equally on artistic merit and human rights content. The festival encourages filmmakers around the world to address human rights subject matter in their work and presents films from both new and established international filmmakers. Though the festival rules out films that contain unacceptable inaccuracies of fact, we do not bar any films on the basis of a particular point of view.

Please note that due to our curatorial priorities, we are not currently accepting films via open submissions. If you have any questions, please email submissions@hrw.org

Additionally due to our organizational priorities, we are no longer licensing the Traveling Film Festival package. If you have any questions, please email filmfestival@hrw.org

The festival staff can be reached at the following coordinates:
John Biaggi, Creative Director
T: 212 216 1263 / E: biaggij@hrw.org

Andrea Holley, Strategic Director
T: 212 216 1839 / E: holleya@hrw.org

Jennifer Nedbalsky, Associate Director, Audience Engagement
T: 212 216 1247 / E: nedbalj@hrw.org

Leah Sapin, Programmer and New York Festival Manager
T: 212 216 1264 / E: sapinl@hrw.org

Human Rights Watch Film Festival
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor
New York, NY 10118 USA