Cher-e-s amis,

To this day, we are CHF 15’000 short of our budget for the 2015 edition. Public relief is stagnating. Despite all our efforts, business sponsoring remains limited. Human rights violations, on the other hand, continue to rise.

Today the festival needs your help!

In the following video, our director Isabelle Gattiker presents the new location and exactly what you’d be contributing to by helping the festival.

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Is it a film festival?

Not exclusively. It is born of a dual approach: we are both a festival and a forum.

Cinema’s artistic dimension is an extraordinary tool that can shake up consciences, change the way we perceive the world, promote high-level resolutions, and therefore save lives. That is why we present the best swiss and international films, in both fiction and documentary formats, concerning human rights.

The festival takes place in Geneva in parallel with the Human Rights Council, which gives us the unique opportunity to denounce all the violations that go unmentioned by the UN. As an international forum open to the public, we shed light on the forgotten victims, support viable solutions and allow human rights defenders to have their voice heard by the world’s highest authorities.

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How does it work?

Our concept is: «A film, A subject, A debate». Each night, we take on a theme, such as migrations, women’s or LGBT rights, cybersurveillance or the rise of populism. The event begins with the screening of a film, which is followed by a discussion with a panel of high-level guests. The audience is invited to speak up. Every debate is broadcast for free, throughout the world, on the internet. A dedicated Twitter hashtag allows each spectator to ask questions directly to the moderator during the debate, from anywhere in the world.

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Who are the guests?

Filmmakers of course, but also activists, researchers, journalists, and experts. Each year we welcome more than 160 guests! In previous years : Stéphane Hessel, Robert Badinter, Edgar Morin, Pussy Riot, Julian Assange (on Skype), General Dallaire, Sergio Veira de Mello, Nobel prize winner Shirin Ebadi and Joseph Stiglitz, actors and actresses William Hurt, Juliette Binoche, Golshifteh Farahani and Vanessa Redgrave, artists Ai Weiwei and JR, writers Jorge Semprun, Russell Banks and Nancy Huston, filmmakers Amos Gitai, Idrissa Ouédraogo, Rithy Panh and Abderrahmane Sissako, but also the poet Ariel Dorfman or even pianist Miguel Angel Estrella.

How many people attend?

It’s a huge success ! Since our first edition in 2003, we have welcomed more than 203’000 festivalgoers. We succeed in gathering an extremely diverse audience : political decision-makers and simple citizens, artists and filmmakers, industrials and bankers, students and researchers. And also young people, lots of young people (about 60% of our audience) who rally together and seek answers to their questions.

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Where does it take place?

At the heart of the international and cultural Geneva. For the first time, in 2015, the festival’s center will be located at Pitoëff (Plainpalais town hall), where we will offer a café/restaurant, exhibitions, a bookstore and many an encounter with our guests.

Another new feature in 2015, we will be screening films in unusual locations, such as cafés, community centers, even hospitals and detention centers.

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Why back us financially?

To develop the festival, because despite our success, we still need the public’s support.

We denounce so many violations, everywhere and uncompromisingly, that it is very hard for us to obtain sponsoring from businesses. Considering the stagnation of public budgets, gathering sufficiant funds to pay the staff is becoming increasingly complex.

We would like to gather even more guests and reinforce our interactive dimension : to build on the formidable potential of social networks and the internet to let ring the voices of those who work in the field (interactive debates, broadcasted, live-tweeted, intervention by video-conference, etc.).

Your contribution will enable us to fully realize these projects, to defend fundamental rights throughout the world.

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