FIFDH Festival du Film et Forum International sur les Droits Humains, Genève | 2018

“What if...?” is the question the artist asks while holding out a mirror to the world, as does the activist who speaks up in a debate. As the 16th edition of the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights begins in Geneva, the rst word that comes to our mind is “awakening”.

What if, in 2018, our awakening was a jolt? Today, what triggers our commitment to a cause ? Why does a situation suddenly become unbearable ? What urges us to stand up, defend democracy and the freedom of another?

It is the exploration of this urge that has guided the program of an edition we dreamt as open and generous, while defying gravity and ignoring vertigo, like its poster by Li Wei. Our Festival will never offer easy answers but aspires to ask the right questions. During 10 days, we will reassess our political and geographical borders, with stunning lms and unpredictable debates, while breaking artistic boundaries, with readings, live shows, photography, comic strips and living art.

Let us try to give renewed meaning to the words commitment, curiosity, truth, freedom and desire.

Over the course of 10 days, our challenge will be to make intelligence more appealing than foolishness and make complexity attractive. Together, we will remain rigorous, attentive, surprised and open to new visions to make our world a fairer place.

... What if ? What if gender boundaries were arbitrary ? What if we attempted to rede ne culture as the testimony of our time ? What if

we dared to defend utopia ? What if we gave the concept of truth its meaning back ? What if human rights could be enriched by complexity, different identities, shifting boundaries and by action ?

What if, instead of jumping into the void, we tried taking ight ?

Explore this Festival, dissect it, turn it over, live it: it is yours. We wish you 10 unforgettable days. (Isabelle Gattiker)  - FIFDH

Official Gallery:

Ai Weiwei | Human Flow

Refugees are not slaves - they have dignity, they are just like you and me.

Ai Weiwei


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Aya Mohammed Abdullah | Iraq

We were forcibly displaced, byt we did not lose our names, our dreams, our identities we want to reclaim them.

Aya Mohammed Abdullah


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Jose Maria «Chato» Galante

The silence of others!  

Jose Maria «Chato» Galante


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Aïssa Maïga

Aïssa Maïga


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Evgeny Morozov - The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom

To save everything, click here.
Evgeny Morozov


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Abdul Rasheed, Fondateur de la Rohingya Foundation

Rohingya are not safe anywhere!
Abdul Rasheed


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Filippo Grandi - United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Now if  Europe starts setting limits, pushing back, erecting barriers, being hostile, the rest of the word will follow, I can tell you!
Filippo Grandi


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Céline Bardet - WWoW

We Are not Weapons of War. 
Céline Bardet


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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Of course I am hot worried about intimidating men. The type of man who is initimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 


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Razzia a film by Nabil Ayouch

The education system turned its back on the humanities. This happened throughout the Maghreb region. In Morocco, disciplines such as sociology and philosophy were taken off the curriculum. We are now suffering the consequences. We're building a new kid of human being. Nabil Ayouch


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Gael Garcia Bernal #FIFDH18

I feel hopeful and naively optimistic for the future! Gael Garcia Bernal


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Daniel Tammet

I'm inconsistent because I'm human! Daniel Tammet


Diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, Daniel Tammett is fluent in 12 languages and considered one of the top "100 living geniuses". Writer and essayist, he suffers from linguistic, numerical and visual synesthesia, which means that his perception of words, numbers and colors are intertwined in a new way of perceiving the world. His latest book, Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing offers a fascina- ting journey through the labyrinth of languages. 


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Ai Weiwei - Human Flow

When one of the greatest contemporary artists, Ai Weiwei, captures the humanitarian disaster affecting 65 million migrants around the world, he reveals a crisis of unprecedented scale. Human Flow is a warning cry: we cannot look away, immediate action is necessary from citizens and governments. The film is currently presented all over the world, with an unparalleled echo. The premiere of this essential film in Geneva, the human rights capital and home to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, is an important symbol as well as an opportunity to powerfully resonate this call. Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, will join Ai Weiwei for a conversation of utmost importance. 


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Women of the Venezuelan chaos! Margarita Cadenas

How did one of the richest countries in Latin Ame- rica, driven by oil revenues, plunge into such a political and economic crisis?

The populist by democracy of Hugo Chavez has given way to a true dictatorship since the takeover on the institutions by his successor Nicolás Maduro. Everyday life has become a desperate search for the most basic necessities. Vital supplies are missing from hospitals. Food is scarce to the point of starva- tion everywhere in the country.

The anger of the population is growing more profound. Meanwhile, the National assembly has been dismissed, the demonstrations are violently repressed and the opposition silenced, imprisoned and forbidden to participate in the next elections. Millions of Venezuelans are now fleeing their country. How can the crisis be resolved?

Women of the Venezuela Chaos, by Margarita Cadenas, portrays five women caught in one of the country’s toughest crises. 


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Naila and the Uprising a film by Julia Bacha

In Naila and the Uprising, Julia Bacha seamlessly weaves archival footage and animation to recount Naila Ayesh’s commitment to non-violence during the First Intifada of 1987 to 1991. 



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SILAS Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman

Silas by Hawa Essuman and Anjali Nayar, chronicles the life of its eponymous main character in his fight over the years against convicted warcriminal Charles Taylor and the illegal deforestation and corruption in his native Liberia. 


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Maryam al-Khawaja #FIFDH18

Hardship is easier to endure when you are going through it with others!
Maryam al-Khawaja - Bahrain


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Free Kenneth Reams



In the United States, three thousand death row inmates are locked in solitary confinement for fifteen, twenty, thirty years. During a one year stay in the United States, Anne-Frédérique Widmann and cartoonist Chappatte visited convicts across the country. One encounter particularly marked them: Kenneth Reams, who from his tiny cell in Arkansas, paints, composes, writes plays and married the love of his life, Isabelle. How can a human being stand up and resist, when unjustly imprisoned on death row, alone and without hope of release?

Kenneth Reams’ cell will be recreated in Pitoëff, at the center of the Festival, and on this occasion will be launched the campaign #FreeKennethReams. 


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Rencontre avec Aslı Erdogan

Law is obliged to protect the individual and the community, not only the state. Aslı Erdogan 


A physicist by training at CERN during the 1990s, journalist, wr ter, activist for human rights and women’s rights, Aslı Erdoğan is one of the most important voices in contemporary Turkish literature. Actes Sud has just published the French translation of  The Shell Man.

Meeting preceded by the opening of the installation at 5pm of the Bibliothèque sonore des Femmes, designed and produced by Julie Gilbert. 


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Omar Robert Hamilton - Écrivain, vidéaste

We won't know what the result of the egyptian revolution is for a very long time! Omar Robert Hamilton


Anglo-Egyptian, Omar Robert Hamilton grew up in London. In 2011, as Egypt rose up against the Mubarak regime, he moved to Cairo and cofounded the Mosireen collective. They freely posted photos, videos, and documented demonstrations, the daily struggles and police abuse. This sense of urgency, this courage, this intensity and their shattered hopes are the plot of his first novel, The City Always Wins, which, after gaining acclaim in the Anglo Saxon world, is published by Gallimard, in partnership with the FIFDH. Omar Robert Hamilton has also published numerous articles in The Guardian and The London Review of Books, and founded the Ramallah Literature Festival. 


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Marie-Pierre Gracedieu Éditrice chez Gallimard

Marie-Pierre Gracedieu Éditrice chez Gallimard 


Marie-Pierre Gracedieu has led, at only 40,

an already impressive career, alongside the biggest international authors. She got her start at Stock, as head of La Cosmopolite, until then dedicated to legends such as Stefan Zweig and Virginia Woolf. On arrival, she opens the collection up to contemporary authors, amongst which Sofi Oksanen and her thriller Purge. In 2012, Antoine Gallimard appoints her as head of the anglosaxon section. Curious, sharp, tireless and passionate, she has since edited Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Taiye Selasi, Hisham Mater, Jessie Burton, Jonathan Coe, Arundathi Roy and Omar Robert Hamilton’s first novel The City Always Wins, published in French this month in collaboration with the FIFDH. 


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Christian Lutz FIFDH18

Power operates everywhere in the private sphere , in human relations, between nations, among peoples; it is at the heart of countless processes in society. This is an issue that obsesses me and which is in fact an excuse to talk about our world and the interactions between individuals and system! Christian Lutz


Christian Lutz’s images are exhibited around the world. In 2007, he gained recognition for his work Protokoll, a personal dive behind the scenes of Swiss politics. In 2011, the Grand Prix Images Vevey selected an exhibition on the Nigerian oil fields : Tropical Gift was awarded the Swiss Press Photo. A year later, In Jesus’s Name earned him the wrath of the ICF Evangelical Church in Zurich. The book was withdrawn from sales but inspired Lutz to create a striking exhibition at the Musée de l’Elysée. Last summer, Insert Coins, which shows the backrooms of Las Vegas, was presented in Arles. For the past four years, he has been traveling across Europe and Switzerland to document the hotbeds of populism and the rise of the far right. 


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Andrej Dmitrievič Sacharov

30 ans du Prix Sakharov

Depuis 1988, le Parlement européen décerne le prix Sakharov pour la liberté de l’esprit à des personnes et à des organisations qui ont apporté une contribution exceptionnelle à la lutte pour les droits de l’homme.

Pour célébrer le 30ème anniversaire du prix, le Parlement européen et l’Agence Magnum Photos présentent quatre histoires actuelles d’activistes des droits de l’homme. 


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Pidgeon Pagonis - Réalisateur.rice et activiste intersexe

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punighment.


"The son I never had" a film by Pidgeon Pagonis (United States)


Anatomy of the genders Girl or boy? It is traditionally the question that follows a birth. But the answer might not be as straightforward as it first appears as some children are neither female or male standard. They are born intersexual.

"They operated on me to remove my testicles, and told my parents to take me home and simply to be

a girl ...". The intersex bodies defy our conception of gender. In order to "normalize" these people, doctors perform surgeries: genital mutilations and sterilization, accompanied by hormonal treatments for life. Parents are helpless and hide their shame. In adulthood, several intersex people now denounce the operations carried out without their consent during childhood. They claim the right to grow in their birth body and to allow every child the freedom to choose their identity. Are we ready to review our binary approach of the gender?

In his/her film The Son I Never Had, Pidgeon Pagonis tells the story of his childhood, brought up in the lie of his intersex identity.

Barbara Lohr, Cécile Thullier, Elsa Kleinschmager, Florence Touly’s France, neither girl nor boy tells

of the activists’ campaign to bring an end to the practice of non-consensual surgical procedures performed on intersex people. 


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Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein Haut-Commissaire des Nations Unies aux droits de l’homme

In this 70th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, our world is suffering rising nationalism and its repugnant shadow: racism and xenofobia!  Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein


The Geneva International Film Festival And Forum on Human Rights Index : The State of Human Rights in the World Today

“What is happening to us? When human rights increasingly have to be defended, everywhere. When our outrage finds no respite and our concerns over violations only heighten, instead of ebbing, even in countries that are prosperous and stable. How is

it a child can easily understand the critical need to uphold human rights – the idea of fairness – and yet their significance seem to defeat so many governments?” wondered UN High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in a recent speech delivered in New York.

As 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN HCHR Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein will deliver a keynote address on the state of human rights in the world. A special message, followed by a moderated conversation and a Q&A with the public. 


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Freedom for the wolf a film by Rupert Russell

Freedom for the wolves has often meant death for the sheep!

"Freedom for the wolf "a film by Rupert Russell


Democracy doesn’t live by itself. It is not invulne- rable. It is being attacked on all sides.

There is no place for complacency as strong men get elected only to hollow out the very democratic institutions that have allowed them to gain power. By now, the pattern of abuse that leads to the rise of

“illiberal democracies” is well known. It usually starts with an attack on the separation of powers, on the freedom of expression and on the press. “ Freedom for the wolves has often meant death for the sheep” wrote Isaiah Berlin, one of democracy’s most astute observers. As the wolves rise again, how to resist ?

From Hong-Kong to Tunisia, from India to America, Rupert Russell’s Freedom for the Wolf is both a celebration of freedom and courage, and a visually stunning investigation into new forms of resistance. 


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Philippe Mottaz

Festival du film et forum international sur les droits humains FIFDH 2018
Philippe Mottaz - Responsable éditorial du Forum #FIFDH18


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Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy

I know there will be an attempt to silence me! 
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy


Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is one of the most influential filmmakers from Central Asia. Two time winners of the Academy Award for Best Short Documentary, her films tackle some of her country’s most burning issues, such as honor crimes (Saving Face, 2012 Oscar and A Girl In The River, 2016 Oscar), trangender people (Trans- genders : Pakistan’s Open Secret), taliban child soldiers (Children of the Taliban), and sharia law (Song of Lahore). In 2012, Time Magazine included her in their list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2017, she was the first artist invited to chair over the World Economic Forum in Davos. The same year, she received the prestigious Knight International Journalism Award in Washington, for her talent, courage and the profound impact her films have had in Pakistan. 


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Abigail Disney Productrice, cinéaste philanthrope (États-Unis)

I get very close to people when I'm shooting them! Abigail Disney


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Guy Delisle, artiste à l’honneur du festival

It'll always be easier to fight others if you reduce them to a single word or look at them just one way. Guy Delisle


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Remise du Prix Martine Anstett

This year the Association of the Martine Anstett Prize for human rights received 26 nominations - 15 women, 10 men and 1 association from 22 different countries.


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Barbara Hendricks | United States and Sweden | FIFDH18

Freedom is not given it must be earned by each generation  Barbara Hendricks

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Azza Soliman | Egypt

I need to be free so I can keep fighting for women!  Azza Soliman

Azza Soliman in the winner of  "Martine Anstett Prize" 2018


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Isabelle Gattiker Directrice générale FIFDH

What if, in 2018, our awakening was a jolt? Today, what triggers our commitment to a cause ? Why does a situation suddenly become unbearable ? What urges us to stand up, defend democracy and the freedom of another? Isabelle Gattiker


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