The Human Rights Film Festival is an initiative that uses the power of the cinema to promote a culture of peace and respect for human rights among the citizenry, becoming a great agent of social change. For a week in April, around 50 films are programmed in one of the main theatres of the city, and focus on issues related to the challenges faced by today’s society such as refugees, LGTBi, war and other conflicts of the world, cultural diversity, women, disabilities… At the end of each movie screening, there is time for dialogue between the main characters and experts on the topic.
The festival aims to inform and raise public awareness of the need for the defence, promotion and respect of human rights, and promotes values as solidarity, respect of life, democracy, cultural diversity, social justice, as well as the rejection of any kind of discrimination, racism and xenophobia.
Other activities such as exhibitions with guided visits, conferences, workshops and music are also programmed. Thus, the festival extends to all the neighbourhoods, including the prison. In addition, there are special film sessions for schoolchildren.
Four prizes are awarded: The Human Rights Film Festival Award, recognising the human rights work and involvement of personalities from the cinema world; the Audience Award to the best feature film; the Youth Award to the best short film, with more than 100 young people forming part of the jury; and Amnesty International Award.
Every year more than 15.000 people participate in those activities, out of which 4.000 are children and young people. Cinema has proven to be an attractive, effective and transformative tool for raising awareness of different realities, cultures, human rights violations, discriminations and social conquests, as it directly appeals to emotions and therefore invites action.
The schools that attend the sessions for schoolchildren, the more than one hundred members of the young jury and the collaborating entities fill in an evaluation questionnaire and suggestions, in general with a high level of satisfaction and interesting contributions. A form is also available to the public on the festival’s website: www.cineyderechoshumanos.eus
The festival has also been able to create a network of partners, both institutional and civic, associations, universities and private citizens, who enrich the programme and ensure its growth, success and impact.