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Dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the opening ceremony of the 4th edition of Human Rights through Cinematography Film Festival was held at Pakistan National Council of Arts, (PNCA) Islamabad on Sunday, 25 November 2018.
Running from 25 November to 10 December, the film festival is led by European Union (EU) and the United Nations Pakistan in partnership with a large number of member states of the EU, the UN, Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services, The Centaurus Cineplex, and educational and cultural institutions.
The opening ceremony featured the screening of ‘Freedom for the Wolf,’ an epic investigation into what the filmmaker Rupert Russel terms as ‘illiberal democracies’ and how a new generation of elected leaders are dismantling freedom and democracies as we know it.
Afterwards, Member of National Assembly Maleeka Bokhari, academic and journalist Harris Khalique, and human rights activist Marvi Sirmed participated in a panel discussion moderated by Waqas Rafique, Communication Officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
The festival presents 27 award winning documentaries on human rights issues from around the world, such as freedom of expression, gender equality, access to justice, minority rights and death penalty.
The screenings will be held simultaneously in nine cities of Pakistan, comprising Gujrat, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar, Charsada and Quetta. Screening venues include universities, embassies, Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services, and cultural spaces such as Goethe-Institut, PNCA, Pakistan Chowk Community Centre and OLOMOPOLO Media. This year, for the first time, the festival will also have screenings at the Centaurus Cineplex with an opening on November 29. The screenings are open to the public.
The festival aims to provide a window to universal human rights challenges to the Pakistani public in general and young audiences in particular and urge them to reflect on solutions. An online campaign to generate debate is also launched by the organisers and can be followed under the hashtag #HRTC2018
Jean-François Cautain, Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan said:
“Arts and Culture in general and documentary films in particular, are increasingly playing an important role for understanding the world and its peoples. The Human Rights through Cinematography Festival, especially with the screenings in universities, is an excellent tool to raise awareness about the different facets of Human Rights and to engage students in constructive debates. The EU stands firm with Pakistan in its efforts for the promotion of Human Rights with special focus on gender equality, freedom of religion and belief, rule of law, access to justice and freedom of expression”.
Jamal Shah, Director General PNCA said:
“The magic of cinema can engage you into interesting dialogue and transport you into many different worlds. Cinema, both narrative and documentary, is probably the most accessible and effective vehicle for promoting social change in the world because it could address topical human rights issues around the world”.
For further details please contact:
Ms Ayesha Babar
Press and PR Officer
Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan
Phone: +92-51-227 182 8
Fax: +92-51-282 260 4
Email address: Ayesha.Babar@eeas.europa.eu