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In recognition of the power of film to educate and galvanize a broad constituency of concerned citizens, Human Rights Watch decided to create the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival. Human Rights Watch's International Film Festival has become a leading venue for distinguished fiction, documentary and animated films and videos with a distinctive human rights theme. Through the eyes of committed and courageous filmmakers, we showcase the heroic stories of activists and survivors from all over the world. The works we feature help to put a human face on threats to individual freedom and dignity, and celebrate the power of the human spirit and intellect to prevail. We seek to empower everyone with the knowledge that personal commitment can make a very real difference.

In selecting films for the festival, Human Rights Watch concentrates equally on artistic merit and human rights content. The festival encourages filmmakers around the world to address human rights subject matter in their work and presents films and videos from both new and established international filmmakers. Each year, the festival's programming committee screens more than 500 films and videos to create a program that represents a range of countries and issues. Once a film is nominated for a place in the program, staff of the relevant division of Human Rights Watch also view the work to confirm its accuracy in the portrayal of human rights concerns. Though the festival rules out films that contain unacceptable inaccuracies of fact, we do not bar any films on the basis of a particular point of view. For more on submissions, click here.

The New York festival has been co-presented since 1994 by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and screens at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center. In 1996, the festival expanded to London, where it now screens annually in March with our partners at Picturehouse cinemas. The Ritzy Cinema in Brixton is our main venue and we also screen at several other Pictureouse cinemas as well as the ICA in London. The festival consistently features a large number of co-presentations with other festivals to encourage cross-communication and mutual support throughout the festival and film community. A majority of each years screenings are followed by discussions with the filmmakers and Human Rights Watch staff on issues represented in the films.

The dates for the 2007 season of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival are:

London     12th–21st March 2008

New York     13th–26th June 2008

The festival staff can be reached at the following coordinates:
John Biaggi, Acting Director
T: 212 216 1263 / F: 212 736 1300 / E:

Andrea Holley, Director - Traveling Festival
T: 212 216 1839 / F: 212 736 1300 / E:

Jennifer Nedbalsky, Manager - Festival and High School Program
T: 212 216 1247 / F: 212 736 1300 / E:

Human Rights Watch International Film Festival
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor
New York, NY 10118 USA

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