Geneva human rights film festival urges rethink on conflict, migration and environment issues

The festival will run from the 10-19 March
The festival will run from the 10-19 March Copyright Euronews
By Fred Ponsard & Rebecca Daunt
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Around 40,000 people are expected to attend screenings and debates in 80 different locations around the international capital of human rights.

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The International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) which encourages participants "to consider (human) rights at the crossroads of their continuity, breakdowns and developments" is back for its 21st edition in Geneva.

According to the FIFDH director of programmes, Irène Challand, this year's event explore themes such as conflict, migration, decolonisation, femicide and technology and falls on the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

US opera singer Barbara Hendricks has been the patron of the festival since its creation in 2003.

A selection of 26 films, seven of which are international, is punctuated by numerous round-table talks and a look into the experiences of marginalised groups affected by burning political and ethical issues.

Hendricks told Euronews Culture: "It's especially the people who are not known, who resist and who fight for human rights with very little means. We have the possibility of seeing their stories, which tell us that we are not alone in our struggles.

"Sometimes it's easy to be desperate, but when I come here, I see that people are fighting everywhere and it's extraordinary" she added.

The President of Switzerland, Alain Berset, also came to support the festival.

"In cinema in general and culture, it conveys a message, otherwise it would be decoration. There must be content, we must encourage reflection," Berset explained.

"A festival on human rights is obviously going to contribute as an important vector for reflection on human rights, for meetings, exchanges, debates," he added.

The FIFDH runs until March 19 with events taking place at 80 different locations around the city.

On-screen highlights include British director Manon Loizeau’s 'La Vie devant elle' which dives into migration and forced displacement through the life of a 14-year-old Afghan girl, while the world premiere of 'Pegasus, un espion dans votre poche' follows the Pegasus spyware scandal and data security. 

In addition, FIFDH is hosting workshops for families, younger audiences and schools to explore themes such as child labour and homelessness.

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