(MENAFN Press) The second edition of the Karama Human Rights Film Festival 2011 yesterday concluded its 6-day activities in celebration of Human Rights Day. Funded and organized by Ma3mal 612 Think Factory, the Festival was held in partnership with The Royal Cultural Center (RCC) and in collaboration with Jordan's Ministry of Culture. It was also sponsored by a group of United Nations organizations, embassies' cultural centers, local institutions and the private sector.
The Festival's resounding success was evident by the large public following it drew to its activities, which included screenings of important human rights films from around the world. The films were very well received, moving audiences and triggering discussions on pressing legal and humanitarian issues.
Some of the most prominent human rights films from over 27 countries were featured at the Festival such as: Here Comes the Rain, which was attended by actors Carmen Lebbos and Hassan Mrad, as well as Director Bahij Hojeij; and Spanish documentary Checkpoint Rock, a musical journey through Palestine; the internationally acclaimed Granito: How to Nail a Dictator which won several awards including the Human Rights Watch award. Karama also screened: Women Are Heroes (France) which pays tribute to oppressed women, Angry Man (Norway), Tahrir 2011 (Egypt), Majid (Morocco), Kapitalism (Romania), and Cultures of Resistance (USA). A number of Jordanian and Arab short films were also featured and included An Invitation to Life by producer and activist Tawakkul Karman, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. The Festival's closing film, Asmaa, was screened in the presence of actor Majed Al Kidwani and other cast members.
Film screenings were followed by audience-guest artist discussions where opinions were shared, questions were answered and the audience positively engaged on the screened film topics, particularly the subject of human rights. The audience also discussed the films' direction, which were more or less in line with the latest developments in the Arab World and the impact recent events have had on Arab communities.
During the closing ceremony, RCC Head Mohammad Abu Summaqa said, "This Festival and all that it comprises is an achievement in democracy and is a positive step towards encouraging open and honest dialogue as part of The Royal Cultural Center's partnership with Ma3mal 612 Think Factory."
In turn, Festival Director Sawsan Darwaza said, "Earning recognition for human rights in the region and across the globe has been a challenging journey. We hope that the Karama Festival will play a central role in spreading awareness on human rights issues among the Jordanian public."
Festival Artistic Director Ehab Al-Khatib stated, "We are very proud of the exceptional following and enthusiasm we witnessed from the Jordanian public. For this year's program, we strove to touch upon the sorrow and joy of Arabs. We sincerely hope that human rights films will help motivate us all to make lasting change on cultural, social, economic and political levels."
The UNESCO Head of Office in Amman, Netherlands' Ambassador and German Cultural Center (Goethe Institut) Director each delivered speeches during the closing ceremony.
Numerous parallel activities were held on the sidelines of the Karama Film Festival and included a panel entitled Transparency: A Worldwide Demand Against Corruption; the Arab Youth Forum: Change Makers; a panel entitled Right to Life; and two seminars entitled Official Birth of Human Rights and The International Protection of Human Rights. As part of Karama's outreach program, screenings of select films were held at both public and private universities and schools in Amman and different governorates. In addition, the Festival's visitors were treated to a concert by Egyptian band Massar Egbari, whose songs were featured in the film Microphone, with the participation of artist Khaled Abu Naja.