The FIFDH is the leading international event dedicated to film and human rights. For the past 18 years, the Festival has taken place in the heart of Geneva, the human rights capital, parallel to the annual main session of the UN Human Rights Council in March.
During 10 days, the FIFDH provides screenings and high-level debates in which human rights violations are denounced and debated robustly, wherever they occur. Diplomats, NGOs, victims, artists, philanthropists, activists, journalists, decision makers, and the general public are invited to debate their views in this unique setting. All the discussions are broadcasted live online: you can submit questions and engage with the debate directly, wherever you are.
Prominent personalities who have participated in the debates include : Nobel Prize laureates Shirin Ebadi, Joseph Stiglitz, Tawakkol Karman, and the Dr Denis Mukwege. High Commissioners Michelle Bachelet, Navi Pillay and Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein. Human Rights Watch Director Kenneth Roth. Whistleblower Edward Snowden. Writers Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Leila Slimani, Nancy Houston and Joe Sacco. Activists Pussy Riot, artists JR and Ai Weiwei. Diplomats Leila Shahid and Samantha Power. Journalist Anna Politkovskaïa, as well as Edgar Morin, Roberto Saviano, Stéphane Hessel, alongside many victims and actors on the ground.
The FIFDH runs two international competitions – fiction and documentary – offering a world class selection of feature films that challenge the ways in which we see the world, in the presence of filmmakers and protagonists. Two prestigious Juries award the Grand Prix de Genève (10,000 €), the Grand Prix Fiction (10,000 €) and the Prix Sergio Vieira de Mello (5,000€).
The FIFDH attracts some of the biggest names in international cinema, including Angelina Jolie, Gael García Bernal, Rithy Panh, Raoul Peck, Forest Whitaker, Juliette Binoche, Reda Kateb, Joshua Oppenheimer, Aïssa Maïga, Abderrhamane Sissako or Nabil Ayouch.
More than half of the Fetival's audience is younger than 35. We offer an ambitious and exciting programme of films and debates for school students. The Festival also schedules special screenings for students of the University of Geneva, the Graduate Institute and film schools, complete with workshops and dedicated Masterclasses.
The FIFDH is an unmissable event in Geneva, attracting 40’000 festivalgoers annually. Outside of the main debates at its centre, the Festival also offers screenings at the UN, in museums, but also in community centres, sports associations, migrants’ shelters, hospitals and local prisons. Our international guests participate in these events.
Following the success of the tour in 45 countries in 2018, the FIFDH and the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs are continuing the Human Rights Film Tour in 2020, touching 15 countries including Sri Lanka, Nicaragua, Belarus, Argentina, Algeria, Bhutan and Madagascar.
- Further reading: Human Rights Film Tour
The FIFDH has included since 2019 a programme for prefessionals around impact production, copresented with Doc Society, supported by the Federal Office of Culture (OFC), Media Desk Switzerland and SUISSIMAGE. Filmmakers, NGOs, activists and experts gather around documentary projects to connect and develop new strategies on production, distribution, financing and impact.
The Festival is covered extensively by international press. Our official partners are Euronews, TV5Monde, Courrier International, ARTE, France Culture, Radio RAI, Internazionale, Le Temps and the Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS).
- Further reading: Press
The Festival is supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the City of Geneva and the Francophonie. The FIFDH works with 170 international partners, including NGOs Amnesty International, OMCT, HRW and MSF, the Swiss Cinémathèque and the Editions Gallimard. The FIFDH is a founding member of the Human Rights Film Network, an active network of 45 festivals worldwide.
- Further reading: Partners
The Festival is supported by singer Barbara Hendricks, former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss, actor William Hurt, filmmaker Rithy Panh, actor, filmmaker and activist Gael García Bernal and producer Abigail Disney. Sergio Vieira de Mello, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights tragically killed in Baghdad, was the Festival’s first patron.
The FIFDH is a space for open and frank discussions, for sharing ideas, reports and analysis concerning human rights around the world. Featured films and debates address some of the most sensitive topics in the world today. By the simple fact of their participation, all those attending any part of the Festival and Forum commit to do so in a spirit of open-mindedness, respect and tolerance. Any form of discrimination, harassment, racism, sexism, homophobia, hate, political or social insult, or other disruptive behavior will not be tolerated in the scope of the FIFDH.