‘Karama’ Human Rights Film Festival Kicks off in Amman

by Haneen Nofal
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 AMMAN — The Human Rights Film Festival “Karama” is holding its 10th edition under the slogan “Think Forward” from December 5-12 at the Royal Cultural Centre in Amman.

 The international event is screening three types of films ­— documentary, fiction and animation ­— with the aim of building bridges to exchange expertise and promote the concept of dignity, according to a statement by the festival’s organisers.

 The event began with director Omar Shargawi showing the film “Western Arabs”, which sheds light on human rights issues such as freedom of opinion and expression, children’s rights, women’s rights, gender equality and youth empowerment.

 “Karama, which means dignity.. lies at the heart and soul of human rights,” film director Sawsan Darwaza told The Jordan Times on Thursday.

 Darwaza, who is also the festival’s director, said films and cinema have an impact in generating societal awareness, as they portray social issues, adding that cinematography is an “innovative tool” that helps convey human rights, “influencing the entire world”.

 The festival, organised by MA3MAL612-Think Factory, a collaborative pool of thinkers from diverse backgrounds who have been the organisers and initiators of Karama festival since its inception in 2010, aims at addressing political, cultural and social issues by offering a platform for artists and the community, according to the director, who added that films will be screened in 10 different Jordanian cities.

 The festival’s slogan this year, “Think Forward”, aims to unite artists, thinkers and advocates to “transform society for the better” by eliminating the sufferings of humans around the world.

 Every year, Karama celebrates International Human Rights Day on December 10; so this year’s edition is in cooperation with the UNHCR and Jordan’s UN Office, in addition to the Greater Amman Municipality and the Royal Cultural Centre.

 The festival, which opened its doors on December 5, is bringing together 100 films from 36 different countries and includes art shows under the heading “Karama Generation”, according to the statement.

 Meetings will also be convened to bring film experts together in one place for the exchange of expertise, in addition to workshops to support movie-makers with low budgets.

 Karama ponders new ways to bring up a “morally healthy generation” familiar with cinematographic culture, promoting human rights through cinema during a week of story sharing, the statement said.

 “The thing that makes this festival special is that it is qualitative and specialises in human rights, freedom and minority issues,” Azza Elhosseiny, one of the short fiction category judges at the festival told The Jordan Times on Thursday.

 “I am proud to be part of making a change in this world through film,” she said, adding that she hopes to “repel narrow-minded thoughts and stop violations and abuses.”

 Source: www.jordantimes.com