Let’s open the debate at the FIFDH
The FIFDH is the leading international event dedicated to film and human rights. For the past 16 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.
A 10-day forum parallel to 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 the Dr Denis Mukwege. High Commissioners Navi Pillay and Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein. Whistleblower Edward Snowden. The former President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff and Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont. Nigerian writer Chimanda Ngozi Adichie, activists Pussy Riot, artists JR, Nancy Huston, Taslima Nasrin and Ai Weiwei. The lawyer Fatou Bensouda, as well as the diplomats Leila Shahid, Stephen J. Rapp and Samantha Power. Journalist Anna Politkovskaïa, as well as leading human rights thinkers Rokhaya Diallo, Edgar Morin, and Stéphane Hessel, alongside many victims and actors on the ground.
An international film festival
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 biggest names in international cinema came to the Festival, including Angelina Jolie, Gael García Bernal, Rithy Panh, Raoul Peck, Juliette Binoche, Reda Kateb, Joshua Oppenheimer, Bertrand Bonello, Joachim Lafosse, Amos Gitai, William Hurt, Abderrhamane Sissako, Nabil Ayouch, Deeyah Khan and Brillante Mendoza.
Sergio Vieira de Mello, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights tragically killed in Baghdad, was the Festival’s first patron. The current patrons are singer Barbara Hendricks, filmmaker, activist and philanthropist Abigail Disney, former President of Switzerland Ruth Dreifuss, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, former french Minister of Justice Robert Badinter, actor William Hurt, filmmaker Rithy Panh, and actor, filmmaker and activist Gael García Bernal.
The Festival is supported by more than 140 international partners including Amnesty International, OMCT, FIDH, ISHR and MSF, the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the City and Canton of Geneva, La Francophonie, the European Parliament, Geneva Airport, the Suissimage Foundation, the Swiss Cinémathèque and the Swiss Radio Television.
- Further reading: Partners
The Festival in the media
The Festival is covered extensively by international press. Our official partners are Euronews, TV5Monde, Courrier International, ARTE, France Culture, Le Huffington Post, Le Temps and the Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS).
- Further reading: Press
The FIFDH reaches out to young people: more than half of its 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.
- Further reading: Educational programme
Getting communitites involved
The FIFDH is an unmissable event in Geneva, attracting 36’000 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.
- Further reading: Greater Geneva and Western Switzerland
- Further reading: A welcoming event from the refugees in Geneva
- Further reading: Prisons and hospital programme
Human Rights Film Tour
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the FIFDH, the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights are lauching a tour in 45 countries including Zimbabwe, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and Guatemala. Between 10 December 2017 and 10 December 2018, the Swiss embassies are organizing events based on the FIFDH format: screenings followed by debates with local NGOs, journalists, students and activists. For the occasion, TED has produced an animated short film on the Universal Declaration.
- Further reading: Closing of the Human Rights Film Tour
FIFDH Code of conduct
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.