HRFFB 2021: Patron Loujain al-Hathloul & Opening film SABAYA

We can hardly wait: on 16 September 2021 we will be celebrating the opening of the fourth Human Rights Film Festival Berlin. Today, we are delighted to introduce our patron and our opening film.

2021 patron: Loujain al-Hathloul

Storytelling is a critical form of documentation to ensure that injustices, silencing and oppression are never forgotten […] We all have to believe in and uplift the power of stories in our collective fight for human rights.
Bild von Loujain al-Hathloul
Loujain al-Hathloul, women's rights activist & patron HRFFB 2021

We are honoured to welcome Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul as this year’s patron. Renowned for her commitment to women’s rights in her country, she was convicted for her activism and spent more than 1000 days in prison. She was released from prison in February 2021 on strict release conditions. She will not be allowed to travel for the next five years, and her family has also been arbitrarily banned from leaving the country. She will not be allowed to speak publicly or continue with her activism for the next three years. Her sister Lina al-Hathloul, who lives in Europe, where she fights tirelessly for her sister’s freedom, will give the opening speech at the festival on her behalf.

Opening film: SABAYA by Hogir Hirori

Hogir Hirori I 91 min. I SE I 2021

When the so-called Islamic State attacked the Iraqi city of Sinjar in 2014, thousands of Yazidi girls and women were captured and forced to become SABAYA (sex slaves). Around 7,000 women are still being held in al-Hol, an IS detention center in Syria. Risking their lives, brave members of the local NGO Yazidi Home Center are penetrating the camp's endless rows of tents to free the women and help them return to their lives and families. Kurdish-Swedish filmmaker Hogir Hirori accompanies them on their often daring and adrenaline-filled rescue missions. But it is the stories of the women who survived the unfathomable horrors and now face an uncertain future that make SABAYA a heartbreaking, unforgettable film.

SABAYA is an impressive contemporary documentary that shows us the cruel and unbearable consequences of war. It is a film that also reminds us that, as an international community, we cannot accept that people are being persecuted and suffering injustice.
Anna Ramskogler-Witt
Anna Ramskogler-Witt, Direktorin des Human Rights Film Festivals Berlin

The Human Rights Film Festival Berlin will take place from 16 to 25 September 2021, both on- and offline. The film programme will again be accompanied by an extensive supporting programme that includes conferences and exhibitions. We look forward to welcoming you to this year’s festival!

Subscribe to the newsletter:

24. AUGUST 2021