The International Film Festival and Human Rights Forum (FIFDH) returns to Geneva for its 21st edition, inviting participants to “consider (human) rights at the crossroads of their continuity, rupture and development”.
According to FIFDH director of programmes, Irène Challand, this year’s event explores topics such as conflict, migration, decolonisation, feminicide and technology and falls on the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
US opera singer Barbara Hendricks has been the festival’s patron since its inception in 2003.
A selection of 26 films, seven of which are international, is punctuated by numerous panel discussions and a look at the experiences of marginalized groups affected by burning political and ethical issues.
Hendricks told RockedBuzz via Euronews: “It is mainly people who are not known, who resist and who fight for human rights with very little means. We get to see their stories, which tell us we are not alone in our struggles.
“Sometimes it’s easy to be desperate, but when I come here, I see people are fighting everywhere and it’s extraordinary,” he added.
The president of Switzerland, Alain Berset, also came to support the festival.
“In cinema in general and in culture, it conveys a message, otherwise it would be decoration. There must be content, one must stimulate reflection”, explained Berset.
“A festival on human rights will obviously contribute as an important vector of reflection on human rights, of meetings, exchanges, debates”, he added.
FIFDH will run until March 19 with events taking place in 80 different locations around the city.
Screen highlights include British director Manon Loizeau’s ‘La Vie devant elle’, which delves into migration and forced displacement through the life of a 14-year-old Afghan girl, while following the world premiere of ‘Pegasus, un espion dans votre poche” the Pegasus spyware scandal and data security.
Additionally, FIFDH hosts workshops for families, younger audiences and schools to explore topics such as child labor and homelessness.