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Human Rights Filmfest Opens in India

Human Rights Filmfest Opens in India


LGBT rights in the United States and Cameroon are among the themes of films screening in the second Flashpoint Human Rights Film Festival, which opened today in Mumbai (Bombay), India.

Following a successful first edition a year ago, the festival this year promises "18 films that take a critical and empathetic look at several human rights issues," including "religious fundamentalism, communal violence, political authoritarianism, war crimes, homophobia, surrogacy, migrant rehabilitation, women's empowerment, corruption, and poverty," according to a press release. The films are from several different countries, including Kenya, Senegal, Colombia, Israel, Iraq, Kurdistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Cameroon, the U.S., and India.

The festival runs through Saturday, which is International Human Rights Day, and that day's programming will focus on women and sexual minorities. Films screening that day include two gay-themed documentaries: Bullied, about the antigay abuse endured by young American Jamie Nabozny in his school days, and how he fought back in court and won a landmark settlement in the 1990s; and Cameroon: Coming Out of the Nkuta, spotlighting the work of lawyer Alice Nkom, who assists gays and lesbians prosecuted under that nation's homophobic criminal code. There will also be a panel discussion on violence against women and LGBT people.

"The festival is an attempt to highlight issues and initiate a dialogue," said festival director Sridhar Rangayan. "The first step toward fighting human rights violation is creating awareness. Only when someone knows there is a problem can one raise a voice and ignite change."

Admission is free to all screenings and panels, held at the Alliance Francaise de Bombay. A "second leg" of the festival is scheduled for February in New Delhi. Click here for more information.

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