Human Rights Watch Film Festival Prepares for 18th Year

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival is having a benchmark birthday this year, celebrating its 18th year in London from March 18-28th in the good company of critically-acclaimed filmmakers and award-winning features and documentaries.

In addition, the festival is now allowed to vote in U.S. elections and drink in most countries around the world. No word on whether its parents will start charging it rent.

The festival will feature a host of special guests who will host talkbacks and panel discussions – and this year’s films will certainly spark plenty of conversation. Screenings throughout the week will include Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus (about the enormous risks taken by the dictatorship-defying Belarus Free Theatre), Return to Homs (about young revolutionaries in the Syrian city of Homs whose peaceful protests turn to armed street battles as the social and political climate changes around them), and E-Team (about the Human Rights Watch’s Emergencies Team, who seek out and report war crimes across the world).

Also included in the 2014 lineup are ten exclusive UK premieres and three previews centered around five specific themes: Armed Conflict and the Arab Spring; Human Rights Defenders, Icons and Villains; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights; Migrants’ Rights; and Women’s and Children’s Rights.

Among the films to be screened in those categories are Big Men (covering the ramifications of corruption within the West African oil industry), My Child (about the parents of LGBT individuals in Turkey), Evaporating Borders (the experience of political refugees and those seeking asylum, both on the island of Cyprus and beyond), and Siddharth (a drama about the potential abduction and trafficking of a twelve-year-old boy from New Delhi).

“This year’s programme demonstrates the risks filmmakers take to capture the stories behind the headlines,” said festival director John Biaggi. “We look forward as ever to welcoming many filmmakers and film subjects to festival screenings, which will give audiences insight and understanding into some of the most complex situations in the world today.”

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