Let’s open the debate at the FIFDH

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.

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 EbadiJoseph Stiglitz, Tawakkol Karman, and the Dr Denis Mukwege. High Commissioners Navi Pillay and Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein. Whistleblower Edward Snowden. Nigerian writer Chimanda Ngozi Adichie, activists Pussy Riot, artists JRNancy HustonTaslima Nasrin and Ai Weiwei. The lawyer Fatou Bensouda, as well as the diplomats Leila ShahidStephen 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, actor William Hurt, filmmaker Rithy Panh, and actor, filmmaker and activist Gael García Bernal.


International partners

The Festival is supported by more than 140 international partners including Amnesty International, OMCT, ISHR and MSF, the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the City and Canton of Geneva, La Francophonie, the European Union, Geneva Airport, the Suissimage Foundation, the Swiss Cinémathèque and the Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS).


The Festival in the media

The Festival is covered extensively by international press. Our official partners are Euronews, TV5Monde, Courrier International, ARTE, France Culture, Internazionale, Le Temps and the Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS).


Educational programme

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.


Getting communitites involved

The FIFDH is an unmissable event in Geneva, attracting 38’000 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.


Human Rights Film Tour

Following the success of the tour in 45 countries in 2018, the FIFDH and the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs are continuing in 2019 touching 15 countries, including Sri Lanka, Nicaragua, Belarus, Argentina, Algeria, Bhutan and Madagascar.


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.




Further reading