The Opening Night featured a keynote address by Minister for Justice and Attorney-General, Honourable Davis Stevens, MP, the Ambassador of the European Union to Papua New Guinea H.E Ioannis Giogkarakis-Arguropoulos and remarks by the United Nations in Papua New Guinea.
In his keynote address, Minister for Justice & Attorney General Hon. Davis Stevens, announced that the government of Papua New Guinea will, in the next few months, be passing the necessary legislation to establish a human rights commission.
In welcoming all to the film festival, Ambassador of the European Union to Papua New Guinea H.E Ioannis Giogkarakis-Arguropoulos spoke of the EU support to the Festival and how as a unified union the EU works to supports human rights action at home and abroad; and reiterating the EU support to future cooperation on human rights actions in Papua New Guinea.
The theme for this year’s festival was “Look. Know. Act” (Luksave na Kirapim wok) and look to challenge the public to take action to increase respect for human rights in the country, in an individual capacity as well as in association with other.
Festival Director Alithia Barampataz from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said “Through the Festival, we have seen the far-reaching impact film can have in strengthening understanding of human rights issues, so the Festival provides a platform to showcase human rights films made in PNG, and provoke the public to reflect on challenges faced by the country, and how each of us can take action to address these, in line with the Festival’s 2017 theme of “Look. Know. Act.” (Luksave na kirapim wok).”
To encourage wide public participation, entry to the festival was free and buses with festival banners where available to provide free transportation to the venue from designated areas throughout the city. Following the Port Moresby viewing, the festival then travelled to the University of Goroka to stage films on October 16 and 17.
The festival was made possible by sponsors which include Oxfam PNG, UNDP, Unicef, US Embassy, Trend Media, The National, PNG Air, Monpi Coffee, UNWomen and JICA.
This is the 4th consecutive year that the EU has supported the PNG Human Rights Film Festival and its second year as a member of the core organising committee.