Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2020 goes online


The Human Rights Watch Film Festival presents its first full digital edition of bold new films that will be available nationwide, in response to this time of crisis. The film festival will feature in-depth online discussions with filmmakers, film subjects, and Human Rights Watch researchers.

This first Digital Edition of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival will run from June 11 to 20, 2020. To learn more about the 2020 festival we had a phone interview with John Biaggi is the Director of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival:

John Biaggi is the Director of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, a position held since 2008, and began working with the festival in 1999. John works on every aspect of the festival which includes the two flagship festivals in New York and London, as well as festivals and film events in Amsterdam, Beirut, Chicago, Nairobi, San Diego, San Francisco,Toronto, Washington D.C., and Zurich. He screens upwards of 250 films each year, both at festivals worldwide and through the festival’s extensive submissions. John also helps organize the numerous worldwide co-presentations the festival participates in each year. Previous to his work at Human Rights Watch, John was a festival coordinator for the Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. He also enjoyed a successful career both as a director and producer of independent films and as a director of photography on numerous films and videos for television. John graduated with a Bachelors degree in Anthropology/Archaeology from Stanford University in 1985. He lives in Irvington, NY.

The full lineup of the U.S. Digital Festival Premieres of the 2020 Human Rights Watch Film Festival are: The 8th, Aideen Kane, Lucy Kennedy, Maeve O’Boyle, USA/Ireland
Belly of the Beast (Opening Night), Erika Cohn, USA
Coded Bias, Shalini Kantayya, USA/UK/China/South Africa
Down a Dark Stairwell, Ursula Liang, USA
From Here, Christina Antonakos-Wallace, USA
Gather (Closing Night), Sanjay Rawal, USA
I Am Samuel, Peter Murimi, Kenya/Canada/UK/USA
Maxima, Claudia Sparrow, USA
Radio Silence, Juliana Fanjul, Switzerland/Mexico
Reunited, Mira Jargil, Denmark/Sweden
Welcome to Chechnya, David France, USA
Tickets will be available for sale beginning May 14. Audience members will be able to reserve and purchase individual film screening tickets by title, or a festival pass that will provide access to watch all 11 films. Access to screenings will be available to all individual ticket and festival pass holders during  the film festival dates of June 11 through June 20, 2020. 

To purchase tickets and to access program updates, please visit here

Each film has a limited number of tickets available, as would be the case for in-person cinema events, and advance ticket purchase is suggested. Ticket prices are: $9 individual ticket (public), $8 individual ticket for members of Film at Lincoln Center, Human Rights Watch Film Festival and IFC Center members, or $70 for a festival pass. 

Audiences also have the opportunity to join live online Q&A’s for free for every title with the filmmakers, Human Rights Watch experts and special guests. For details please visit here.


About Author

Bijan Tehrani

Bijan Tehrani a film director, film critic and writer, works as editor in chief of Cinema Without Borders while teaching Language of Film and Film History at workshops nationwide. Bijan has won several awards in international film festivals and book fairs for his short films and children's books.

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