Archives - Program 2019


On their Shoulders: The Life of Women Defending Human Rights

Advocating for one's own rights, supporting a cause or exposing injustice: an essential but exhausting and challenging task, even more so as a woman.

This evening pays tribute to those who have made the defence of Human Rights their daily strife. Three women activists will be given the floor: Hajer Sharief, co-founder of Together we build it –a Libyan organization dedicated to political participation of women and youth. Tetiana Pechonchyk, director of the Human Rights Information Centre in Ukraine that focuses among other things on freedom of expression, protection of human rights defenders and prevention of torture. Sareta Ashraph, Chief Legal Analyst of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria from 2012 to 2016. They will highlight their struggles, the obstacles they face as well as the impact of their work on their lives.

The Festival's opening film, On Her Shoulders by Alexandria Bombach recounts the story of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad, who after surviving Daesh's violence and crimes against the Yezidi people, became the voice of her people and of all Iraqis.
The debate will be held in English with a simultaneous translation in French.

FemmesJusticeMigrationsMouvements citoyens

Friday 8 March


Espace Pitoëff - Théâtre

Co-presented with the European Parliament, Amnesty International Switzerland, the International Service for Human Rights and the University of Geneva's Equal Opportunities Service


Hajer Sharief Co-Founder of “Together we build it" in Libya

Sareta Ashraph International lawyer working on Syria and Iraq

Tetiana Pechonchyk Head of the Human Rights Information Center in Ukraine

Moderated by

Lyse Doucet Head of international correspondents, BBC

This debat is preceded by the movie:

Compétition - Documentaire de création

On Her Shoulders

By Alexandria Bombach

2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad survived the genocide and sexual slavery perpetrated by Daesh against the Yazidis. Propelled to the front of the international stage alongside her lawyer Amal Clooney at only 23 years of age, she embodies the voice of a people on the verge of annihilation and tirelessly recounts the horror she suffered, while managing the bureaucracy, media pressure and the world's fascination with her story. Alexandria Bombach, a winner at Sundance, denounces the heavy personal toll paid by women activists.

  • Section Competition - Creative documentary

FemmesMiddle East

Alexandria Bombach


  • Hayley Pappas
  • Brock Williams

World sales

  • Cinephil
Swiss Premiere