Setting Up a Human Rights Film Festival

Setting Up a Human Rights Film Festival is an inspiring guide for film festival organisers all over the world, edited by One World in Czech Republic, FiSahara in the Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria and Movies that Matter in The Netherlands.

Written by festival organisers from around the world, this handbook focuses on the needs and challenges of festivals that are sprouting all over the developing world and those in countries where democratic systems are still emergent or non-existent.
You can read or download the free full version of the handbook or browse through it by chapters following this link.

Human Rights Cinema, by Daan Bronkhorst

The Human Rights Film, Reflections on its History, Principles and Practices, by  Daan Bronkhorst (Amnesty International Film Festival), 

Amsterdam, March 2004


This article originated from the need to establish a basic level of 'theory' of the human rights film – no such theory has as yet been elaborated. It starts with sketching the fast-growing phenomenon of human rights film festivals, and then deals, in many examples, with the history of how human rights and their violations have been portrayed in documentaries and feature films. Read more

Film Festival Yearbook 4: Film Festivals & Activism

"Film festivals not only build markets and audiences, they also provide platforms for those advocating for change, and in recent years have been playing an increasing role in social justice movements and campaigns. Bringing together the perspectives of scholars, programmers, filmmakers and activists, Film Festivals and Activism provides essential insight into the nature, function and practice of activist film festivals. With interviews, conceptual overviews, case studies, histories, bibliographies, and tables of festivals around the world, this volume offers an invaluable resource for scholars and practitioners alike."

Considering Human Rights Films, Representation, and Ethics: Whose Face? by Sonia Tascon

Human Rights Film Festivals have been growing in number across the globe since the late 1980s and have become embroiled in recent cultural shifts towards visual culture without a commensurate exploration of the philosophical and cultural effects of such use. By attending to debates present in the media, visual, and film disciplines in relation to representation, politics, and ethics, this paper garners the work of various scholars, including Gayatri Spivak, bell hooks, and Emmanuel Lévinas, to begin the much-needed exploration and analysis of the use of films for human rights purposes.  (Human Rights Quarterly 34 (2012) 864–883 © 2012 by The Johns Hopkins University Press)

Beyond Terror: Gender, Narrative, Human Rights

Elizabeth Swanson Goldberg's "Beyond Terror: Gender, Narrative, Human Rights" is a work that provides an "ethic of fictionalizing historical experiences" . The author focuses her attention on the inhuman and criminal acts of torture, rape, and genocide depicted in a series of selected films, novels, and other media. The author's basic argument is that the process of "fictionalizing historical atrocities necessitates attention to the ethical claims originating from the experiences of victims and survivors of historical atrocities". (From: Review by John Cappucci, Comparative Literature Studies
Volume 47, Number 1, 2010 pp. 117-120 | 10.1353/cls.0.0111) Read more