Human Rights Reel Film Festival by EU+16 Members States & UNO Kicks Off

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Islamabad, 1 December 2019: The European Union Delegation to Pakistan, in partnership with the United Nations, sixteen EU and UN Member States, as well as the educational and cultural institutions across Pakistan, has organized the ten-day Human Rights Reel Film Festival, opening on December 1, 2019 with marking 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, an annual international campaign and closing on the Human Rights Day on December 10th, marking the 71th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The celebration under the annual Human Rights Reel Film Festival started at the Pakistan National Council of Arts, Islamabad on Sunday, 1 December 2019, with the screening of the first documentary ‘A Dark Place’. The film gives voice to female journalists who have been victims of cyber violence. It pays tribute to the women who continue bravely to resist.

 

The screening was followed by a panel discussion on “Making the internet a ‘safe’ place for journalists”. Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice and Member of National Assembly Maleeka Bokhari, Resident Editor Dawn Fahd Hussain, Digital Rights Activist and Human Rights Lawyer Nighat Dad and distinguished journalist Asma Shirazi participated in the panel discussion moderated by the BBC correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Secunder Kermani.

 

The film festival is a presentation of 29 award winning films and documentaries from around the world on human rights issues such as freedom of expression, gender equality, access to justice, minority rights and death penalty among others from around the world.

The programme of this year’s film festival showcases the diversity of cultures across: films from many different countries, in a great variety of languages, yet all distinctly about human rights.

The festival is introducing films for school children through a new partnership with Girl Rising moving beyond having university students as our primary target group.

The festival, this year, will also include a workshop for the Pakistani Film Makers to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the film industry in Pakistan.

Subsequent screenings will be held in ten cities of Pakistan, including Faisalabad, Gujrat, Islamabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Karachi, Peshawar, Mardan and Quetta at various universities, embassies, the Centaurus Cineplex, as well as cultural centres such as Goethe-Institute, PNCA, Chailogue and OLOMOPOLO Media, Pakistan Community Chowk Centre in Karachi.

 

The screenings are open to the public but require registering. Interested participant please register atinfo.islamabad@unic.org. The calendar of the of the festival can be found at: @HRReel across social media platforms.

H.E. Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan, Androulla Kaminara stated that “Building on the past experience, the 5th anniversary of the human rights festival seeks to highlight the importance of multilateralism, the universality of human rights and the importance of global cooperation to ensure that protection of human rights and respect for human dignity is a reality for all people everywhere. The festival also aims to create cross-cultural understanding and stimulate discussions on global human rights issues with students.”

Prominent Social Activist, Author and Gender Expert, Dr Fouzia Saeed said that “The 16 days of activism is very important to touch upon the basics of universal declaration of human rights and reminder ourselves of the basics of the declaration. We are proud of the journalists especially women journalists who in face of grave oppression, harassment and pressure still continue to speak the truth”.

An online campaign to generate debate on the topics of the film is launched by the organisers and can be followed under the hashtag #HRREEL19.

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