Dear Festival guests,
never before has the discussion about the importance and legitimacy of human rights seemed as relevant as it is today. Throughout the world, human rights are violated and systematically questioned on a daily basis. In such a context, it is more important today than ever to explain these fundamental rights, to identify injustice and to increase awareness that human rights are a non-negotiable foundation for a peaceful coexistence.
Film plays a crucial role in the discussion surrounding human rights, both as a vehicle for educating and for raising awareness. At the Human Rights Film Festival Berlin (HRFFB), the selected documentaries provide authentic and emotional insights into the problems we face as a globalized society, while they remind us of the significance of human rights in creating the peaceful coexistence that we seek.
Documentary films not only illuminate outcomes of human rights problems; they also shed light on the reasons for which these problems have arisen. Documentaries give people a voice, contextualize and can point to possible solution.
This year's selection of 45 films brings together stories from all over the world. Stories of courageous people and reports about the horrors of war, hunger, expulsion and environmental destruction. But they are also images that never lose their optimism. We look at all these different aspects in three major thematic blocks: 'Voices From a Troubled World‘, 'Global Spotlights‘ and 'The Future is Now‘.
The film Festival opens with the documentary FOR SAMA, by Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts - a story of the love between a young woman, her husband and their child, who together experience the horrors of war, survive, and - despite everything-have not lost their unshakable belief in freedom.
From September 18-25, 2019, we invite you to discover these stories, to discuss, to connect and - above all - to form your own impression.
Our diverse program - this year expanded to include luncheon talks, industry events and an exhibition - is only possible through the support of many. A special thanks goes to all of our funders, supporters and partners - above all the team of Aktion gegen den Hunger and our partner Save the Children and NRC-Flüchtlingshilfe.
Finally, I would very much like to take this opportunity to thank my own team, as well as all the volunteers and friends who have supported us in so many ways. The Festival would not have been possible without them!
On behalf of the entire HRFFB team, I wish you an exciting, inspiring and moving experience.
Head of Human Rights Film Festival Berlin