Browse previous selections from the Human Rights Watch Film Festival
In 2018, US soldier Karina Lopez survived a sexual assault at Fort Hood military base. When Vanessa Guillen, another Latina service member, disappeared and is then murdered, Karina steps forward to share her story, creating the #IAmVanessaGuillen hashtag. Hundreds of service members chime in, exposing the cycle of abuse occurring on military bases and demanding justice.
Controversial Afghan pop star and activist Aryana Sayeed mentors young hopefuls as they prepare to appear on their country’s hit TV show Afghan Star. With two young women on the verge of being named the show’s first ever female winners, the Taliban take over and their lifelong dreams of becoming pop stars are suddenly under threat.
Sport has a long and problematic history of policing women athletes' bodies. Category: Woman focuses on four women athletes from the Global South who are required to undergo medical intervention to compete in their sport, despite being in perfect health, and explores what happens when sexism and racism collide.
Single mother and organizer Clarissa Doutherd is building a powerful coalition of parents. They’re fighting for child care and early education funds, desperately needed by low and middle-income parents and children across the United States.
In Delikado, three environmental defenders are tested like never before in their battle to save their home, Palawan, an island in the Philippines, from the illegal destruction of its forests, fisheries, and mountains.
Doaa el-Adl is one the most prominent of the very few female cartoonists in the Arab world. Draw me Egypt - Doaa El-Adl, A Stroke of Freedom creatively blends documentary, cartoons and animation to bring to life this courageous artist’s thoughts on politics and feminism as she uses her talent to advocate for women’s rights.
“Despite the ongoing brutality, the nation is not on its knees. The movie’s essence is singing, hugging, volunteers bearing gifts, and children drawing pictures for the soldiers who are keeping them safe. That's beauty: People who know how to laugh and love.” – filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky
When a circus tent is put up outside his apartment, filmmaker Reid Davenport, a wheelchair user, reflects on the corrosive legacy of the “freak show” and the paradoxical spectacle and invisibility of disability.
In the UK, years of austerity have pushed people to their limits and youth violence has been on the rise. BikeStormz, a movement of young bikers, attempts to offer a safe and welcoming space. However, new forms of conflict arise when police and “concerned citizens” threaten arrest for their very existence.
Nic, Leo, Andrea and Raff are four trans masculine friends from Italy on a journey of self-discovery as they seek to determine their own gender identities while together dealing with society’s imposed physical, legal, and social boundaries, and the labyrinthine process of navigating the medical system.
Canada-based co-directors Habibata Ouarme and Jim Donovan capture personal stories and deep moments of support in a small community of women from West Africa, who are confronting social norms and embracing the inherent power in pleasure and love for their own bodies.
No U-Turn by celebrated Nigerian director Ike Nnaebue takes us on a journey with Nigerian citizens leaving their country, traveling north through Africa and beyond in search of work and opportunity to build a future, despite the known and unknown challenges lying ahead.