AHRF is an international film festival focusing on the subject of human rights. It aims to encourage film makers who use their cameras to document struggles against discrimination, injustice and violence.

We have been working towards this festival since 2009 and we are delighted that the first Human Rights Film Festival held in Kabul on 1-7 October, 2011.

The festival is being organised by the Afghanistan Cinema Club with the support of various national and international organizations. It aims to be a hub for film makers, essay writer and artists working despite of censorship in their countries and whose works are restricted from public screenings.

The AHRF is a platform to share the works of film makers and artists who have unfortunately been marginalized by the authority.  It will present stories of lives affected by war, discrimination and injustice. These stories are of people who have resisted oppression and fought against violence to create a more humane world.

AHRF invites entries to the festival. The entries can be documentary, feature film, short film, animation or video art on the subject of human rights. Entry is open to all national and international entrants. There are two categories for entry: national and international.

DEADLINE for 2013 edition: March 10, 2013.

  • There are two categories for entry. One is the national category in which three Afghan entries will be selected as winners. The other is the international category in which one international entry will be selected as the winner.
  • The winning entries in each category will be awarded in cash.

Each of the three winning Afghan entries will get a chance to produce a new film in six months under the supervision of BASA.

Writing About Human Rights Films

The importance of movies that focus on human rights is incomparable because it’s a chance to draw the attention of authorities to social problems. They include discrimination, gender inequality, violence, poverty, and impunity. AHRF aims to gather the most powerful films that demonstrate the necessity to improve and defend human rights. These movies should inspire and motivate us to struggle with social issues that have become crucial for the world. Filmmakers give us a call to action by telling the stories of people who suffer from injustice and the government’s indifference.

It’s impossible to remain apathetic after watching films about human rights. Misery, violence, and crimes shown in the movies will make people realize that it’s time to stop looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses. The idea of the festival films is to show that every life matters, and we need to start doing something to combat major social problems.

The truth is that the video format is one of the dominant communication forms, and people get political, cultural, and entertaining information through TV shows, movies, and social media. Undoubtedly, a talented writer who receives requests, “write my essay” every day, can write an influential article about human rights. But most people prefer watching rather than reading, and filmmakers do their best to take advantage of the situation and show the most heartbreaking stories. Thus many documentaries demonstrate the problems you haven’t ever heard of before, and some of the movies make politicians change their goals and concentrate on the defense of human rights.

Filmmakers understand that using their cameras to show the destruction inside the society is dangerous as human rights issues are connected with politics. But they’re brave believers who dream of better conditions for all of us, and they aren’t afraid of raising their voices. By supporting activists, criticizing dictatorships and despotism, filmmakers try to change the world and make it a better place for living. Despite the risk of being persecuted for their beliefs and statements, cinematographers keep on pointing at the hidden evil that should disappear from our lives.

AHRF unites people with different stories. They are those suffering from the imperfect system, cruelty, and injustice. They are viewers who will look at our society from a new perspective. They are brave filmmakers and activists who believe that silence isn’t the way out, and they’re going to change the world by raising their voices.