Ministry to launch human rights film festival

The Ministry of Human Rights is launching a human rights film festival to increase awareness and understanding issues of civil liberties in Pakistan.

The ‘Reels for Rights’ festival will be held online between August 4 and 25 as a part of the Huqooq-i-Pakistan collaborative project with the European Union.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the ministry said lockdown and restrictive measures implemented to curb the spread of coronavirus continued to disrupt normal life.

It also presents an opportunity to use online platforms to constructively and effectively engage the large proportion of the population that has been confined to their homes on human rights issues.

“The film festival is a unique and innovative way to encourage independent thought and foster dialogue about critical human rights issues in Pakistan. It also has the potential to challenge prevailing norms and problematic stereotypes through a creative medium that is easily accessible, engaging and powerful.”

The festival will feature a collection of 14-15 pre-selected films on themes, including child rights, women empowerment, transgender rights, minority rights, access to justice, death penalty and climate change.

The ministry will host ‘live watch parties’ across social media platforms to promote interaction and engagement.

The festival will also include multiple virtual panel discussions to facilitate and encourage dialogue and discourse on various human rights issues that have been explored through the selected films. This includes a panel discussion on the human rights situation in India held Jammu and Kashmir to be moderated by Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari.