The festival

The International Film Festival and Forum for Human Rights (FIFDH) is one of the world’s most important events dedicated to film and human rights. Since 2003, it takes place each year in March, parallel to the UN Human Rights Council.


With its concept “A film, a topic, a debate”, the FIFDH is an open forum to denounce human rights violations wherever they happen. Every evening, we invite human rights activists, filmmakers and personalities to debate, confront their points of view with the audience and offer solutions. Each debate is transmitted live on the internet in two languages, and has a dedicated hashtag : the viewers can ask questions from any place on the planet.


Cinema is an extraordinary tool to shake consciences and promote resolutions at a high level. Each year, 2 competitive international sections screen 20 previews of new films by great filmmakers, such as Rithy Panh, Amos Gitai, Joshua Oppenheimer, Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Abderrhamane Sissako, who all came to Geneva to present their films. 2 international juries award Le Grand Prix de Genève for the best documentary (10’000 €), Le Grand Prix Fiction (10’000 €), the Prix Sergio Vieira de Mello (5’000 €), Le Prix de l’OMCT (5’000 €) and 2 Youth Awards (500 €).


We have welcomed Anna Politkovskaïa, Nobel prize winners Shirin Ebadi and Joseph Stiglitz, actors Juliette Binoche and Reda Kateb, ICC attorneys Fatou Bensouda and Luis Moreno Ocampo, philosopher Edgar Morin, UN High-Commissioners Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein and Navi Pillay, Général Roméo Dallaire, Julian Assange (by Skype) and his lawyer Baltasar Garzon, artists Ai Weiwei, Russel Banks, Yasmina Khadra, JR and Miguel Angel Estrella, and also Leïla Shahid, Stephen J. Rapp, Jesselyn Radack and Alice N’Kom, the Yes Men, Eric Cantona, the Pussy Riot, Stéphane Hessel, journalist Robert Fisk, as well as Edward Snowden, in 2015, by Skype, who asked for asylum in Switzerland during the festival.


Each year, 2’000 students from secondary school attend screenings, debates, juries and our “Young Reporters” competition. We also collaborate with the University of Geneva, the Graduate Institute of international studies and the Universities of Arts and Design of Geneva and Lausanne through masterclasses, symposiums and conferences.


The FIFDH is an unmissable event in Geneva: we offer screenings and debates at the UN, but also in community centres, cafés, sports clubs, hospitals as well as in psychiatric clinics, prisons, museums and shelters.


We are supported by the City and the Canton of Geneva, the Swiss Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Culture, the Francophonie and private foundations. We collaborate actively with a number of NGOs (OMCT, FIDH,  Amnesty International, HRW, MSF, RSF...). The FIFDH is a founding member of the Human RIghts Film Network, and we have satellite locations in Zürich, Lugano, Biel and Luzern.


The Festival is widely covered by the international press. In Switzerland, our media partners are Le Temps and Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS).
Internationally, Euronews, France Culture, TV5monde, Le Huffington Post, ARTE and Rue89.


Sergio Vieira De Mello, UN’s High-Commissioner for Human Rights killed in Baghdad, was the first patron of our festival, alongside filmmaker Ken Loach, singer Barbara Hendricks, l former Minister for Justice Robert Badinter, former President of Switzerland Ruth Dreifuss, actor William Hurt, Louise Arbour and the writer Jorge Semprun.