Human Rights Film Festival Berlin

"Choosing Humanity": New Director Duo and Fresh Approaches for the Seventh Human Rights Film Festival Berlin

The Human Rights Film Festival Berlin (HRFFB) will be held for the seventh time under the theme “Choosing Humanity,” featuring a focused concept and a new leadership duo. From October 4 to 12, 2024, the HRFFB will present over 40 international documentary films that address current challenges to democracy and human rights worldwide. The audience can look forward to intensive days of films, talks, and the inaugural Human Rights Action format.

„Choosing Humanity“: Human Rights Film Festival 2024 with new Leadership

The new leadership duo of the HRFFB consists of Jan Sebastian Friedrich-Rust and Lydia Spiesberger. Friedrich-Rust, the festival's founder and a film expert who also serves as the Political Director of Action Against Hunger Germany, will oversee strategic direction. Lydia Spiesberger, who has been with the festival since its inception as the head of the development education program, will be responsible for operational management. Together, they oversea the overall programme. “I am very pleased that Lydia Spiesberger, with her many years of expertise, will enrich the festival as co-director, and that together with our team, we will offer a programme that is both content-rich and artistically compelling,” emphasized Jan Sebastian Friedrich-Rust.

“With Human Rights Action, we are offering a new format that creates opportunities to move from watching a film to action. We aim to connect filmmakers, journalists, NGOs, and politicians, actively involving our dedicated audience in the fight for a fairer future to bring about positive and sustainable societal change,” says Lydia Spiesberger.

“Films have the power to draw attention to grievances, move people, and provide impetus for a better world. This year, in collaboration with Reporters Without Borders, we want to take a constructive look into the future. At a time when the world seems to be falling apart, decisive action for democracy and human rights, for freedom of the press and expression, is more important than ever. The HRFFB stands for this like no other festival in Germany,” adds Friedrich-Rust.

The leadership duo will be supported in selecting the film programme by Sirkka Möller, an internationally renowned curator. Möller has worked for DOK.fest Munich and the Sheffield DocFest and is a member of the advisory selection committee of the Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale).

This year, the HRFFB program includes over 40 documentary films. Among the many award-winning international documentaries are ten films competing for the Willy Brandt Documentary Film Prize for Freedom and Human Rights. This prestigious award is presented by the Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt Foundation and awarded by an international jury.

Save the Date:

Opening Ceremony:  

October 4, 2024 – Cinema in the KulturBrauerei (Schönhauser Allee 36, 10435 Berlin)

Award Ceremony:

October 11, 2024 – Cinema in the KulturBrauerei

For more Information about the Festival, please click here.

Über das Human Rights Film Festival Berlin (HRFFB):

The Human Rights Film Festival Berlin (HRFFB) was founded in 2018 by Jan Sebastian Friedrich-Rust, the Managing Director of the humanitarian and development organization Action Against Hunger Germany.

Today, the HRFFB is considered Germany's most important human rights film festival with international outreach. The HRFFB showcases films from around the world that compellingly tell stories of human rights violations and the resistance against them. With an extensive accompanying programme, the festival also offers a unique platform for exchange and networking between NGOs, filmmakers, activists, politicians, and the audience. Prominent human rights advocates, politicians, and artists such as Ai Weiwei, Nadia Murad, Filippo Grandi, Loujain al-Hathloul, Gesine Schwan, and Enissa Amani have taken on the patronage in recent years.

The HRFFB 2024 is organized by Action Against Hunger Germany in partnership with Reporters Without Borders, who advocate for press and information freedom worldwide.

Lydia Spiesberger und Jan Sebastian Friedrich-Rust

Lydia Spiesberger and Jan Sebastian Friedrich-Rust form the new Director Duo of the Human Rights Film Festival Berlin.

About Jan Sebastian Friedrich-Rust

Jan Sebastian Friedrich-Rust has been the Managing Director of the humanitarian and development organization Action Against Hunger Germany since its founding in 2014. In 2018, he founded the HRFFB. As a recognized expert in film and human rights, he understands that moving images have the power to spark sustainable changes for a more just future.

About Lydia Spiesberger

As the new operational head of the HRFFB, Lydia Spiesberger is committed to making the festival inclusive and audience-oriented. She has shaped the HRFFB's school program for several years as the head of the educational project "Schools Against Hunger."

About Aktion gegen den Hunger

Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian and development organization that supports over 28 million people and operates in 55 countries and regions. For over 40 years, Action Against Hunger has successfully fought against malnutrition, provided access to clean water, and delivered healthcare. Its 8,990 employees offer emergency aid and support people in building sustainable livelihoods. The German section was founded in Berlin in 2014 and will celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2024.


Vassilios Saroglou / Markus Winkler
030 279 099 776

21. JUNE 2024