For more than 40 years, Human Rights Watch has defended people at risk of abuse by investigating abuses scrupulously, exposing the facts widely, and relentlessly pressing those in power for change that respects rights. Our researchers examine situations in some 90 countries around the world functioning as investigators, journalists, and advocates.
Recently marking our 30th Anniversary and currently screening films in over 15 cities around the world, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival (HRWFF) bears witness to human rights violations in direct storytelling and exposé form, and creates a forum for courageous individuals on both sides of the lens to empower audiences with the knowledge that personal commitment can make a difference. In 30 years we have showcased over 720 films at our global festivals.
HRWFF makes effort to celebrate diversity of content and perspective in the films we select and post-screening conversations we host. From filmmakers to film participants to panelists, we strive to prioritize space for identities, viewpoints, forms of expertise and experiences either silenced or marginalized in the film industry, news and media. Discussions following the screenings with filmmakers, film participants, human rights activists & journalists take place after every screening to provide our audience with the opportunity to dig deeper into the issues they have just seen on screen.
We have a year-round outreach arm that collaborates with filmmakers and distributors to create partnerships with organizations to identify key audiences for our screenings. With a shared goal to raise awareness of the human rights issues profiled in the films, we conduct widescale grassroots outreach to ensure that impacted communities as well as decision-makers and policy makers are made aware of film screenings and invited to engage with the film. After films show in our festival, we often support and help to promote the films to our channels as they go on to have theatrical, digital or community screenings. We also work with filmmakers to optimize media opportunities and we receive major and extensive press every year.
The films we show may represent points of view different to those of Human Rights Watch.