USF Holds Human Rights Film Festival

The University of San Francisco (USF) is hosting its 10th annual human rights film festival taking place March 29-March 31. The festival seeks to promote awareness and discussion of global human rights abuses and to encourage action in order to prevent such injustices. The three-day festival is free and open to the public, and will include the screening of four to five films each day in USF’s Presentation Theater (2350 Turk Boulevard, at Masonic). A detailed schedule and film descriptions can be found at “We truly believe in the power of film to educate and empower citizens to take action against human rights violations,” said Susana Kaiser, associate professor of Media Studies and Latin American Studies, and co-organizer of the festival. “We aim to increase the collective scope of our social justice efforts by inviting Bay Area human rights organizations to participate in educating our audiences and distribute information about their projects prior to each screening.” For the fourth year in a row, the festival will also open with a selection of short films produced by USF students. “The passion that students bring to advocacy is inspiring,” said Mary Zweifel, administrative director of the Master of Arts in International Studies Program and film festival co-organizer. “The accessibility of film allows students to visually confront the reality of various human rights issues, resulting more often than not, in raised consciousness. Students begin to shift their particular ways of being in the world.” The films address human rights abuses including genocide, state terrorism, environmental destruction, human trafficking, indigenous rights, and violence against the LGBT community in locations as varied as the U.S., Guatemala, Rwanda, Iran, Eastern Europe, Chile, and Ecuador. To facilitate dialogue and a better understanding of the issues, the films directors will be on hand to lead question and answer sessions with audience members prior to each screening.
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