//International Film Festival on Human Rights

International Film Festival on Human Rights


International Film Festival on Human Rights


4th Edition Free Platform

Bolstered by the success of its three first editions, the International Film Festival on Human Rights will again take place in Geneva from 10 to 18 March 2006, preluding and coinciding with the opening of the 62nd UN Commission on Human Rights. This simultaneous event makes the Festival a free alternative platform on the question of human rights.

Sponsoring Committee :

Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Robert Badinter, Lawyer, former President of the French Constitutional Court
Barbara Hendricks, Singer and Goodwill ambassador of the UNHCR
Ken Loach, Film director
Jorge Semprun, Writer
Ruth Dreifuss, Former federal
Hubert Nyssen, Writer
William Hurt, American actor


International Jury

Vanessa Redgrave , Actress, Great-Britain

Renowned actor and human rights activist Vanessa Redgrave is one of the major personalities in English cinema. With nearly one hundred films to her credit, she has played major roles in, among other films, Blow Up, by Michelangelo Antonioni, Prick Up Your Ears, by Stephen Frears, and Howard’s End, by James Ivory. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1977 for her role in Fred Zinnemann’s Julia. Famous for her political positions, she was actively involved in the Workers’ Revolutionary Party, and took a stand against the war in Vietnam. In 2004, Vanessa Redgrave and her brother, Corin Redgrave, launched a new political party, Peace and Progress, which denounces the war in Iraq and works to defend human rights. Also of note is her commitment to peace and human rights in Chechnya.

Russell Banks , writer, USA

An American novelist born in New Hampshire in 1940, Russell Banks has written several works denouncing the current economic system. In 2002, he became president of the International Parliament of Writer, succeeding Salman Rushdie and Wole Soyinke. Atom Egoyan’s adaptation of his novel, The Sweet Hereafter, in 1997, won the Grand Prix at Cannes. In 2005, his latest work, The Darling, was translated into French and published by Actes Sud. Russell Banks teaches contemporary literature at Princeton University.

Stéphane Hessel, France

Born in Berlin in 1917, graduate of the Ecole Normale Superieure, a member of the Resistance, a former deportee, and the French ambassador to the United Nations, Stéphane Hessel was one of the first French diplomats delegated to the United Nations. A fervent defender of Algerian independence, he was an anti-colonial activist and one of the thinkers behind development aid after the independence of former colonies. Stéphane Hessel was an inter-ministerial delegate for development aid and cooperation in 1982, and a member of the Haut Conseil pour l’Intégration from 1990 to 1993. We recall, among many other contributions, of his role as a mediator in the defense of undocumented immigrants. Stéphane Hessel represented France at the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights. His autobiographical essay, Danse avec le siècle (Seuil, 1997), brought him to the attention of the general public.



Sergio Vieira de Mello Award of 10’000 CHF
Offered by the Canton of Geneva. For the artistic quality of the film and the director’s commitment to human rights.

World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) Award of 5’000 CHF
Awarded to a filmaker who highlighted a particulary situation showing the need to fight for human rights.

Youth Jury Award
2’000 CHF Offered by the newspaper La Liberté Awarded by a Youth Jury

 Youth programme

As part of the World Programme for Human Rights Education (2005-ongoing) and with the support of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Festival has been looking further into and diversifying its action to Geneva school children. This programme will combine free expression, workshops, meetings, screenings and discussions, throughout a unique week to learn about and defend human rights and the respect of basic liberties.


The FIFDH is organizing a competition of free expression linked to human rights and open to all Geneva schools (public or private) pupils:
– What is the difference ? racism, exclusion, prejudices

The literary work will be published in a brochure and distributed to all Festival attendees and other works will be exposed and/or screened during the Festival and during one year long in different places in Geneva.


A Junior Jury, made up of teenagers from Geneva, has been set up this year and these youngsters be awarding the Junior Jury Prize for the best film in the official competition.


School screenings open to the general public, followed by discussions with directors and specialists as well as the victims, will be organized every afternoon. This year, the topics include "Humanitarian Aid", "Irak","AIDS in Africa " or "Extremism". These discussions will take place after screenings of films in the FIFDH official competition.






 International Film Festival on Human Rights, Maison des Arts du Grütli, 16 rue du Général Dufour, CP 5759-1211 Geneva 11, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 800 15 54, Fax: +41 22 329 37 47, [email protected]