Islamabad, 10 December 2018: The fourth edition of the Film Festival “Human Rights through Cinematography”, marking the 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights concluded in Islamabad on the Human Rights Day today.
The closing ceremony was jointly organized by the United Nations in Pakistan and the Embassy of Switzerland in Pakistan.
The objective of the film festival was to deepen among Pakistani audience, especially the Youth the knowledge about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and human rights challenges, people are facing in different corners of the world.
Starting on 25 November, the film festival presented 27 documentaries from all around the world on various human rights related issues, featuring themes like freedom of expression, gender equality, minority rights, access to justice and death penalty. Presentations took place in 9 cities in Pakistan including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujrat, Multan, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and Charsada.
Screenings were followed by discussion sessions with film makers, journalists, government and civil society representatives as well as human rights defenders who shared with participants, including universities and schools’ students their views about human rights violations and the ways how they could be solved.
After the opening remarks by Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of Switzerland Mr. Bernhard Furger, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Pakistan Mr. Neil Buhne and Secretary of the Ministry for Human Rights and Rabia Javeri Agha, a Swiss film “The Divine Order” addressing the issues and struggle for the women’s right to vote was screened.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion with the experts and human rights defenders including: Meraj Humayun, Former Chairperson Women Parliamentary Caucus in KP Assembly; Chaudhry Muhammad Shafiq, National Commissioner/ Member National Commission of Human Rights; Dr. Farzana Bari, Chair Gender Studies Quaid-i-Azam University; Aisha Mukhtar, Deputy Country Representative UN Women, Pakistan and Malik Kamran Azam Khan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Human Rights.
The film festival has been organized in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union, United Nations in Pakistan, diplomatic missions of Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland as well as the Forum for Human Rights, Goethe-Institute, Pakistan National Council of Arts, The Centaurus Cineplex, OLOMOPOLO Media and the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services.
The United Nations Information Centre in Pakistan and its team provided organizational, managerial and technical support to the film festival.
A very high value for the film festival had cooperation with the University of Gujrat, Habib University, University of Swat, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, University of Baluchistan, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, University of Peshawar, Institute of Business Administration Karachi, UMT School of Law and Policy, National College of Arts, University of Punjab in Lahore and Fatima Jinnah Women University in Rawalpindi.
The organizers extended special thanks to all the young volunteers – students of the universities in Islamabad and Rawalpindi as well as the universities’ management for their dedicated support in engaging the Youth and providing valuable support during the screenings. Namely – Arid Agriculture University, Bahria University, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Foundation University, International Islamic University, IQRA University, Lahore Grammar School, National Defense University, National University of Modern Languages, National University of Science and Technology, Preston University, Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad, The Institute of Legal Studies, the Millennium University Collage and My University.
We look forward to seeing you at the 5th edition of the Film Festival in 2019.