The FIFDH is one of the leading international events dedicated to film and human rights. For the past 20 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.
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 Dr Denis Mukwege. High Commissioners Michelle Bachelet, Louise Arbour and Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein. Human Rights Watch Director Kenneth Roth. Whistleblower Edward Snowden. Writers Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Arundathi Roy, Nancy Houston and Joe Sacco. Activist Angela Davis. Artists Ai Weiwei and JR. Diplomats and politicians Svetlana Tikhanovskaia, Leila Shahid and Samantha Power. Journalist Anna Politkovskaïa, 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, and Abderrhamane Sissako.
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.
To know more about the school programme
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.
The Festival has toured 60 countries around the globe since 2018. With the support of the Swiss Embassies and local NGOs', we organised screenings and debates such as in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nicaragua, Belarus, Argentina, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Bhutan and Madagascar.
The FIFDH includes a programme for professionals 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.
To know more about the Impact Day programme
The Festival is covered extensively by international press. Our official partners are the Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS), Le Temps and Heidi.news, Euronews, TV5Monde, Courrier International, ARTE, France Culture, the magazines 6MOIS and XXI, Radio RAI, Internazionale.
To know more about the press coverage
The Festival is supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and the City of Geneva. 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.
To know more about the partners
The Festival is supported by singer Barbara Hendricks, former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss, 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 in 2003, 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.