Other human rights film festivals

To promote awareness and debate on human rights worldwide, Movies that Matter cooperates with many other film festivals. Festivals serve as a unique platform for artists, journalists, activists, policy makers and civil society organisations to freely exchange opinions and ideas.

Different types

In an analysis by Bronkhorst and De Jong (2015) [1], different types of human rights film festivals are distinguished, partly related to their primary objectives. Three main objectives of human rights film festivals can be distinguished:

  1. The first would be to inform, or raise awareness, by deepening the knowledge of a widest possible audience. The festival is about teaching people about the concept of human rights.
  2. The second objective that can be distinguished is to discuss. Such festivals strongly identify with their events being free hubs for expression, serving primarily as a forum for debate, and are totally open for opposing views.
  3. Other festivals are mainly intended to protest. Springing from opposition movements, such festivals perceive human rights as an instrument for activism and fighting for change. Here audiences are encouraged to take action, change their behavior, sign a petition, vote, etc.

Some festivals are strongly focused on one of these objectives, others have characteristics of all three stated objectives.

[1]Different Approaches to Change the World, chapter from the handbook Setting up a human rights film festival, vol 2

Human Rights Film Network

First and foremost, we are proud to be one of the founding members of the Human Rights Film Network, a partnership of human rights film festivals from all over the world. Started in 2004 with 14 members, the network has grown to 44 member festivals in 2020; some are of relatively recent date, like the Chesnok Festival in Moldova, whereas others are almost celebrating their 20th or even 30th  anniversary, like the Vermont International Film Festival. Information about the network, including details about the different members, can be found at the website of the Human Rights Film Network. The network aims to enhance cooperation, exchange of ideas and to foster an international environment conducive to the screening and promotion of human rights films worldwide. Since 2011 Movies that Matter coordinates the secretariat of the Human Rights Film Network.

Supported festivals

We are glad to see that many of the film festivals we financially supported still exist. In a 2019 survey among grantees, 84% indicated their film festival or event still exists in one way or another. Some are operating on a small scale, others have become indispensable members of the film industry in their countries. Many festivals developed into influential events where human rights and social justice topics are discussed.

Some festivals of them have already joined the Human Rights Film Network mentioned above. For an overview of all festivals that we have supported in the past 12 years, please check out this page. In the (incomplete) overview below, we will highlight some interesting organisations and events that play a role in boosting awareness on human rights through film.

Other Human Rights Film Festivals

(from A-Z by country)

Afghanistan, Afghanistan Human Rights Film Festival (since 2011)

Albania, Human Rights Film Festival Albania (since 2006)

Argentina, Cine Migrante (since 2010)

Botswana, Ditshwanelo Human Rights Film Festival (since 2008)

Cambodia, Free Your Minds (since 2012)

Cameroon, Bamenda Human Rights Film Festival (since 2011)

China, Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Hong Kong (since 2010)

Cote d’Ivoire (Abidjan), Ciné Droit Libre  (since 2008)

East Timor, Timor Leste Human Rights Film Festival

Egypt, Cairo Human Rights Film Festival

Guatemala, Festival de Cine en la Calle 2015

Kenya, FilmAid Film Festival

Kyrgyzstan, Bir Duino (One World) Kyrgyzstan

Libya, Tripoli Human Rights Film Festival (since 2012)

Nepal, Bato Ko Cinema

Nepal, Human Rights International Film Festival (since 2011)

Niger, FIFIDHO Niamey (since 2012)

Palestine, Karama Human Rights Film Festival Gaza

Philippines, Active Vista

Philippines, Sine Karbengan (since 2011)

Philippines, Truth Cinema

Romania, One World Romania (since 2008)

Russia (Moscow), Stalker (since 1995)

Slovakia, Jeden Svet (One World) (since 2000)

Spain (Barcelona), Human Rights Film Festival (since 2004)

Spain (Valencia), Human Rights Film Festival

Togo, Cinema Droits Humains (since 2007)

Tunisia, Human Screen/ L’Ecran des Humains (since 2012)

United Kingdom, Take One Action

USA (Utica, NY), Unspoken

USA (San Francisco), Human Rights Film Festival (since 2003)

Other Film Festival Colleagues & Friends

(from A-Z by country)

Armenia, KIN International Women Film Festival

Bosnia Herzegovina, Sarajevo Film Festival (presents HR Award)

Cameroon, Mis Me Binga

China, China Queer Film Festival

Croatia, ZagrebDox (presents HR Award)

Denmark, CPH:DOX (presents HR Award)

Germany, Berlin International Film Festival (presents HR Award)

Germany, Unabhängiges FilmFest Osnabrück (presents HR Award)

Georgia, CinéDoc

India (Delhi, Mumbai), Flashpoint

India, Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival

Ireland, Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival

Italy, Pesaro Film Festival (presents HR Award)

Kosovo, Rolling Film Festival

Kosovo (Prizren), Dokufest (presents HR Award)

Macedonia (Skopje), MakeDox (presents HR Award)

Mexico, Documental Ambulante

Mexico, DocsDF (presents HR Award)

The Netherlands, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam

Palestine, The Palestinian Mobile Cinema

Peru, Grupo Chaski

Peru, DocuPeru, travelling

Portugal, IndieLisboa (presents HR Award)

Romania, FreeReel Mobile Cinema

Russia, Side By Side

South Africa, Durban International Film Festival

Turkey, DocumentarIST, Istanbul (presents HR Award)

UAE, Dubai International Film Festival (presents HR Award)

Uruguay, Llamale H

USA, Artivist Film Festival, L.A. (presents HR Award)

Zimbabwe, International Images Film Festival for Women (IIFF)

Other film organisations

(from A-Z by country)

Germany, Cinema for Peace – provides support of film projects that focus on humanitarian and justice issues (presents HR Award).

Ireland, Irish Council for Civil Liberties – Human Rights Film Competition on human rights issues in or related to Ireland.

Ireland, Summer School in Cinema – Human Rights and Advocacy

Italy, ESoDoc – European Social Documentary is a training initiative for activist documentary filmmakers.

The Netherlands, IDFA Bertha Fund – formerly known as the Jan Vrijman Fund, supports documentary filmmakers and festivals in developing countries.

The Netherlands, Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) – an initiative of the International Film Festival Rotterdam that provides grants to remarkable cinema projects in various stages of completion.

The Netherlands, Mobile Cinema Foundation – assists and collaborates with filmmakers and civil society organisations in setting up Mobile Cinema projects all around the world.

South Africa, Steps – Great Stories Can Change Our World – a new way of enabling millions of people to see and experience the best of contemporary documentary film through broadcast and cross-media platforms.

United Kingdom, The Good Pitch – brings together filmmakers with NGOs, foundations, philanthropists, brands and media around leading social issues – to forge coalitions and campaigns.

USA, SIMA (Social Impact Media Awards)

USA, Witness – uses video and other technology to fight for human rights.