New online human rights film festival gives free access to world-class films

The online film festival gives Every Human Has Rights (EHHR) and Tri Continental Film Festival (TCFF) a new platform to raise awareness about human rights abuses. It's an innovative way to give voice to the oppressed and unite the global community to demand human rights for all.

JOHANNESBURG, 16 November 2011 - Tri Continental Film Festival in partnership with Every Human Has Rights is launching a commemorative International Human Rights Day online film festival on November 16, 2011, making them pioneers among human rights organisations in offering free access to award-winning documentary films. Users can screen the films at from December 1-10, 2011. "The online film festival means anyone from around the world can access incredible stories of social justice, courage and human rights abuse that too often are not given the audience they deserve," said Rehad Desai, Director of TCFF. "It's an innovative way to unite people across the globe and encourage dialogue."

The Tri Continental Every Human Has Rights Online Film Festival commemorates International Human Rights Day, December 10, and the signing of the Universal Declaration Human Rights (UNDHR) on the same date in 1948 in Paris. The catalogue of nine documentary films from across the globe portray stories of courage and self determination, allowing viewers to raise awareness about current human rights challenges and spark positive change.  The award-winning films will exclusively be available for screening from December 1-10, ensuring that viewers across the globe can unite in consciousness in the lead up to International Human Rights Day.

"Despite the presence of the UNDHR for 63 years, over 90 countries were reported to have violated human rights abuses in the past 12 months. We need to raise the awareness of this so every human knows they have rights," said Megan MacGarry, Every Human Has Rights Coordinator. "We believe strongly that through empathy, education and awareness people can unite and demand that human rights oppressors are brought to account."

The films are divided into three categories; the right to a greener planet, the right to security and Stand up and be counted. Included in the catalogue is Amnesty International Human Rights Film Festival 2011 Best Film award and London International Documentary Film Festival Best Film, " I was Worth 50 Sheep", a grueling tale directed by Nima Sarvestani about a 10-year old Afghani girl sold to a 55 year-old man.

Viewers will be able to download synopsis and watch trailers of the films from November 16, and read through information about UNDHR and how to host meaningful film screenings. The website will then be completely accessible on 1 December for downloading of all the films available; allowing anyone instant access to the films wherever they live - whether it's in a classroom in Bosnia or in a rice field in Cambodia. Viewers will be able to share their film experience on social media with Every Human Has Rights, on Facebook or on Twitter @EHHRights.

The film festival was developed by Johannesburg-based TCFF, Southern Africa's only dedicated Human Rights film event, and EHHR, a global human rights education and awareness campaign initiated by The Elders in 2008. EHHR is now managed by international civil society organisation, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation.  EHHR presses for an end to human rights abuses across the globe.

"By enabling people around the world access to these first class films we want everyone to stand up together to end human rights abuse, " said MacGarry. "It's an innovative way to unite people and celebrate the UNDHR."



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