USF to Open 9th Annual Human Rights Film Festival

USF is in preparation for its 9th annual Human Rights Film Festival, set to open March 31 through April 2.

The three-day event will be held at the Presentation Theatre in the School of Education. The event is free and open to the general public.
Co-founder of the festival, Susana Kaiser, Ph.D., said the purpose of the festival is for “…people to learn about human rights abuses and the many initiatives to denounce and stop them, and that they take action and contribute to make this a better world.” Kaiser is also an associate professor for Media Studies and Latin American Studies, and chair of the Latin American Studies Program.

According to Kaiser, people should come to the festival, “Because it’s an amazing opportunity to see excellent films, including an Oscar nominated production, which portrays human rights problems ranging from genocide to environmental pollution, including gender discrimination and LGBT rights.”

This year the festival will showcase nearly a dozen films, some of which are selections from the Human Rights Watch Traveling Film Festival, and all of which are focused on different countries around the world including Cambodia, El Salvador, Iran, Israel/Palestine, the U.K., and the U.S. The festival will also showcase films produced by USF students.

Kaiser and Mary Zweifel, administrative director of the Masters in International Studies, are organizing this years’ event with help from Kaiser’s Human Rights and Film class.

The festival kicks off at noon on March 31 with opening remarks by Father Privett and short films produced by USF students, followed by the featured films and Q & A sessions.

Kaiser said, “All the screenings are followed by a Q & A session led by the films’ directors/producers and/or experts in the topics addressed by the films. This year, director Peter Bratt will discuss his film La Mission and David Zlutnick will discuss his new film about Israel.”

Among the films included in this year’s lineup is the 2010 film “La Mission,” directed by Peter Bratt. “La Mission” depicts the struggle of a man living in the Mission District of San Francisco, dealing with his own feelings of homosexual prejudice as his son reveals to him that he is gay. The film carries out the resistance to accept and the struggle of conflicting emotion. This film will screen on March 31 at 6 p.m.
A special panel, Social Change and Media- New Tools for Continuing Problems is going to be incorporated into the final night of the festival.

Kaiser said, “The message is that all countries violate the human rights of their citizens. The festival is international and the films selected illustrate human rights issues by focusing on situations and problems from around the world, the U.S. included.  The films also teach about actions being taken by individuals, organizations, and institutions. Thus, those who attend become familiar with different initiatives at the local and global level.”

Thursday, March 31
12:00 Opening Remarks
12:30 Shorts by USF Students
1:30 Youth Producing Change
3:00 The Dawn Will Break
4:00 In the Land of the Free
6:00 La Mission

Friday, April 1
12:00 Offside
2:00 Budrus
4:00 Occupation Has No Future: Militarism + Resistance in Israel/Palestine
6:00 Monseñor: The Last Journeyof Óscar Romero

Saturday, April 2
12:00 Enemies of the People
2:00 Waste Land
4:30 Testify,
6:30 Social Change and Media New Tools for Continuing Problems
7:30 “Nile Revolution 2.0: Egypt’ Youth Uprising,”  Ana Mish Fahim (“I Don’t Understand”)

For more info on the films in the festival, please visit

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-editor: Natalie Cappetta

News Editor: Erica Montes

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