The Baghdad Eye Human Rights Film Festival, organised by the Iraqi Cultural Support Association, with co-operation of Independent Film and TV College, One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival and People in Need foundation, is the very first human rights film festival in Iraq.
The initiative to found the Human Rights Film Festival has been developing for a couple of years among representatives of cultural society in new Iraq as a powerful tool to present the internationally acknowledged concept of human rights, which is not well known in Iraqi society yet. By opening the first festival edition in February 2012 we strongly believe that documentary films on human rights issues will provide a socially critical visual impact towards especially young audience, which will increase the awareness and understanding of democratic principles and human rights violations. Such an initiative will be inspirational in many ways by depicting the most important themes that we have chosen for this year first festival issue: Rights of Women, Rights of Children and Youth, Right to Freedom of Expression and Opinion.
Festival aims to uncover concept of universal human rights, solidarity with other countries in transformation. By watching quality documentaries from all over the world and seeing other people from across the world dealing with similar problems, people are better able to:
- identify certain issues as human rights problems
- grasp the concept of universal human rights
- relate to people from other countries
- understand and protect their own human rights, as well as to demand their institutional protection
Very important role is to reach greater engagement of students in human rights initiatives, awareness of human rights as a major issue relevant to everyday life, students and journalists who will be able to recognize human rights and report them. Finally, we plan to start and develop further festival tradition in this region.
First festival edition in February 2012 is taking place in Baghdad, but festival echoes will travel trough Iraqi cities of Basra, Najaf and Falluja.
WHO WE ARE
Iraqi Cultural Support Association (ICSA) was founded by a group of noted Iraqi artists, writers, politicians and academics led by Mufid al-Jazairi, already in 2005 (official certificate issued in 2009 is enclosed), starting with HALLA quarterly, Iraqi cultural magazine. Since then association initiated and organized many cultural events - seminars, lectures, round tables, music evenings and film screenings e. g.: in 2006 seminar about Iraqi Culture and Architecture Heritage; or in 2010 International conference of saving historical city centers in Iraq, as the largest conference since the end of regime. Mr. al-Jazairi was Minister of Culture in the cabinet appointed by the Interim Iraq Governing Council in September 2003.
Independent Film & Television College is the first of its kind in Iraq founded by experienced independent Iraqi filmmakers Kasim Abid and Maysoon Pachachi. It was set up in Baghdad in 2004 and provides free-of-charge intensive short courses in film and television technique, theory and production. We train Iraqi filmmakers and also support their filmmaking by providing production facilities and information about funding and further training. The college is funded by international charities, trade unions and private donations. It is a non-profit organisation and has a support and advice group made up of film professionals from around the world.