This film series is a unique opportunity to view some important films which depict the current state of human rights issues throughout the world. This is the first time in its 21-year history that the Human Rights Film Festival has come to San Diego. The films promise to be both entertaining and educational because they were selected (out of more than 500 submissions) for both artistic merit and human rights content.
The Human Rights Watch Film Festival is considered to be the “cinematic conscience of the world.” The aim of the Festival is to show that film has the power to make a difference in the world and to better it. The hope is that the films will “challenge each individual to empathize and demand justice for all people.”
The Human Rights Watch organization, which parented the festival, has been dedicated to defending and protecting human rights for the past 30 years. Its goal is to “focus attention of human rights violations, to give voice to the oppressed and to bring oppressors to justice.”
“The Human Rights Watch Film Festival reflects on the condition of the world we live in,” said John Biaigi, the director of the festival. “No one is immune to the rippling effects of human rights violations. They effect all of us.”
Deborah Klochko, executive director of MOPA, said, “We are proud to have the festival because it is congruent with our mission to be a forum for education through the photographic image.”
The film schedule is as follows:
• Sept 18, 11 a.m. and Sept 19, 11 a.m. — “Youth Producing Change,” directed by various teenage filmmakers (human rights issues seen from the perspective of the young).
• Sept 18, 1 p.m. and Sept 19, 1 p.m. — “Mountains & Clouds,” directed by Michael Camerini and Shari Robertson (on the immigration issue).
• Sept 19, 6 p.m. — “Pushing the Elephant,” directed by Beth Davenport and Elizabeth Mandel. The separation and reunion of a mother and daughter in the Congo.
• Sept 23, 6 p.m. — “Enemies of the People,” directed by Rob Lenkin and Thet Sambath (on genocide in Cambodia).
• Sept. 24, 6 p.m. — “Camp Victory Afghanistan,” directed by Carol Dysinger (on building an Afghan military).
• Sept 25, 1 p.m. — “Iran: Voices of the Unheard,” directed by Davoud Geramitard (the story of three Iranians from different backgrounds).
Tickets are priced at $10 for general admission, $8 for students, and $5 for MOPA members. Passes for the entire series will be available at the cost of $55 for general admission and $20 for MOPA members.
For further information on the films, visit www.HRW.org/iff. For updates on post-film speakers and discussions, see www.mopa.org/events/upcoming.htmg.