Cinematography can be an effective and creative tool to address human rights in Pakistan. In a session jointly organized by the United Nations Information Centre, the Asia Peace Film Festival, the European Union Delegation to Pakistan and the Pakistan National Council of Arts, the panelists discussed how cinematography can help raise awareness of human rights in Pakistan and around the globe.
The panelists highlighted the influence of cinematography and the importance of engaging filmmakers to advance human rights. In fact filmmakers have access to large audiences, have the knowledge and the tools for communicating to the lay public, and are capable of generating emotions and influencing people’s opinion about the world.
Sahraa Karimi, Afghan filmmaker, Jean-Francois Cautain, Ambassador European Union Delegation to Pakistan, Kanzul Fatima, Pakistani Filmmaker and Christine Chung, Human Rights Officer, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights participated as panelists. Vittorio Cammarota, Director UN Information Centre moderated the session.
Human rights are essential to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. The 2030 development agenda builds upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights treaties and emphasizes state’s responsibilities to respect, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedom for all, without distinction of any kind.
Sahraa Karimi, Afghan Filmmaker said: “I believe that film has a great and big influence to promote human rights among people and society. It is all about telling the story of human beings, his struggles, his victory, his fall, his laugh, and his tears. Film is a medium through which we can open a global dialogue about human rights and it is a mirror to human beings life”.
Kanzul Fatima, Pakistani Filmmaker said: “In a world where ignorance is preyed on, cinema may be the ultimate tool to remind us what it means to be human. With the access that social media and the Internet allows us today, our fight for Human Rights through cinematography can only reach further than we could ever imagine. Films have the ability to change perceptions and that is all that is sometimes needed to save generations.”
Vittorio Cammarota, Director United Nations Information Centre said: “Cinema is a powerful tool for raising awareness of human rights among the general public, we are committed to empowering filmmakers to do their best in highlighting the challenges the world is facing today. The support of PNCA is instrumental for ensuring that Pakistani people are aware of how they can contribute to the development of their own country”.