Through the Human Rights Watch Film Festival we bear witness to human rights violations and create a forum for courageous individuals on both sides of the lens to empower audiences with the knowledge that personal commitment can make a difference. The film festival brings human rights abuses to life through storytelling in a way that challenges each individual to empathize and demand justice for all.

It all started 25 years ago here in New York City. Through friends at The Public Theater, Human Rights Watch was offered the use of a spare theater room equipped with a modest-sized television set on which to present the first Human Rights Watch Film Festival to a small but committed audience. Today, the festival lives on the big screen, experienced annually by over 100,000 passionate audience members in more than 20 cities worldwide. On this special occasion, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to you, our audience, whose enthusiasm and support have made the Human Rights Watch Film Festival what it is today. All films are New York Premieres unless otherwise noted.