Recognizing the rising importance of cinema, the festival highlights the personal struggles of those affected by discrimination, persecution, state-sponsored violence and oppression.
Using the power of film, the festival helps audiences connect with these issues on a deeper level, while encouraging them to take action and demand justice.
The HRWFF is at the forefront of the global human rights documentary movement, and is the longest running human rights film festival in the world.
It has a rigorous film selection process where hundreds of film submissions from around the world are carefully vetted for the accuracy of their content and the quality of their filmmaking.
A central component of the festival is the post-screening discussion where Human Rights Watch brings filmmakers, film subjects, relevant HRW staff and other experts to respond to audience questions and provide the most recent updates on the issues described in each film.
The festival collaborates with local community partners in the San Diego area in order to ensure that a diverse range of voices and backgrounds are included in the post-film discussions.
Every year, the festival takes place in late January at the San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park.
This year, Human Rights Watch has also formed a collaboration with the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty to screen the acclaimed documentary – In The Executioner’s Shadow. The screening, followed by Q&A with national experts, will take place on Wednesday, May 13, at the International House’s Great Hall at UC San Diego in La Jolla.
Tickets are free, but RSVP is required.