The power of art, and especially film, in affecting societal change can be transformative. As Nepal looks inward and outward in finding its path toward a future that is sustainable and just, building a strong foundation based on human rights and social justice can help shape a hopeful future. Human Rights Film Focus Nepal (HRFFN), a human rights education and advocacy initiative, will share with people in Nepal through film the struggles and experiences of people in other parts of the world, as well as shine a light on human rights issues in Nepal with films from talented Nepali and international film makers.
HRFFN will impact thousands of youth and adults through the following components:
During the Film Series, partner organizations in Kathmandu will be screening films for community audiences beginning in August. Kathmandu Teaching Hospital, the 1905 Club, Alliance Francaise, and the Patan Academy of Health Sciences will host series which will run between four and six weeks. Other organizations and embassies will be invited to also host a film series. The 5-day Film Week will sponsored by various Participating Sponsors, who each will bring films, speakers, and panel discussions around the issues that they are working on.
The travelling festival project called Shaking the Tree will bring human rights education to schools and community groups in Kathmandu valley and other parts of Nepal. HRFFN will begin outreaching schools in July and August, scheduling programming from September until December. School administrators and teachers can choose to screen one or two films, a series of four to five films, or create their own Shaking the Tree human rights film festival. Two schools, RataBungalo and Ullens are already planning to organize their Shaking the Tree human rights film festivals in September. Schools in Gorkha will be bringing Shaking the Tree to their community later in September. With sufficient funding, Shaking the Tree will continue in 2013, and end in April at the end of the school year.
HRFFN was proud to honor the 16 Days United Nations Campaign to Eliminate Violence against Women and the International Human Rights Day by screening The Sari Soldiers on Nepal Television on December 8 at 2:15 pm. The film was followed by a live half hour hour panel discussion. The film and panel discussion was also replayed on December 10 – International Human Rights Day.
This initiative was the first of its kind in Nepal and, possibly, in Asia- a human rights mass media education event. Our school outreach efforts aimed to encourage students to watch the film and panel discussion and return to their respective schools for discussions on the human rights issues raised by the film in their classes on December 9 and 10.
Significantly, HRFFN also partnered with Youth For Human Rights to support a Youth March For Human Rights on December 10 – the ‘mantra’ and guiding philosophy for this event reads as WATCH, TALK AND WALK FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN NEPAL. Gopal Aryal, Coordinator of HRFFN’s Youth Program – Shaking The Tree – was excited that young people in Nepal had a chance to see the film. “They are the future,” he said, “and to make good decisions for their future, they have to understand their past.”
As HRFFN establishes itself this year as a credible human rights education project, and as we continue to strengthen and solidify partnerships with some of the best organizations in Nepal engaged in human rights work, we invite your participation and support. For more information, please contact us.