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Human Rights Film Festival 2008


Thu 8 May 2008–Thu 15 May 2008, 12:00am–12:00am

Where: The Paramount Theatre, 25 Courtenay Place, Wellington

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $14.00
  • Concession: $12.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: Brianne Kerr

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”

The Human Rights Network of Aotearoa is proud to present the fourth annual New Zealand Human Rights Film Festival - a cinematic event celebrating extraordinary people striving for success and achievement amidst the hardest of circumstances and conditions.

2008 is a particularly special year for the Human Rights movement as it’s the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the films shown during the festival not only celebrate how far we have come since the signing but also where work is still needed if the promise of the first Article - All human beings are born free and equal - is to be realised.

"It is an interesting irony that the anniversary of the signing coincides with the Olympics being held in China – a country which is widely condemned for its human rights abuses" says the Directors of the festival “60 years ago, the heads of states agreed to work together towards free and equal status for all. Now human rights are only to be discussed at 'appropriate time and places' behind closed doors and definitely not in consultation with the general public".

The festival includes award winning documentaries direct from film festivals such as the Toronto, San Francisco, Jerusalem, IDFA Amsterdam, and Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic) film festivals and all films explore a range of pressing Human Rights issues such as exploitation in Maquilapolis – City of Factories, globalisation in Afghan Chronicles, genocide in The Dictator Hunter, exile in Western Sahara: Africa’s Last Colony and war in Children of the Nation.

This is not a festival of doom and gloom however, with most of the documentaries focusing on communities and individuals overcoming adversity, surviving against the odds and moving towards an inclusive and fulfilling society.

Due to public demand the festival will also screen in Dunedin and has been extended to nine days in Christchurch. Speakers panels are also making a welcome return along with a commitment to showcasing New Zealand film makers with films such as Now the People have Awoken and Children of a Nation.

In summing up this unique film festival the Directors state:
“In many ways this film programme emphasises the point that human rights are universal and enduring. The concerns of today are no different to those of 60 years ago or those in 20 years time. The nature or essence of those rights will remain the inherent dignity and worth of the person. Concerns over the environment, globalisation, fair trade, accountability of political leaders, privatisation of utilities, and privacy dominate for now. However, the right to freedom of expression, the right not to be discriminated against, the right to life, and the right to safe working conditions have just as much cogency today as they did in 1948.”

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