Karama Beirut HRFF successfully finished its sixth edition entitled “The First Gate”. During the 3 days of the festival in Sunflower theater, Beirut (2- 4 October 2022), KHRFF screened six human rights films and held 4 after-screening discussions. All six films were premiered for the first time in Lebanon. These films were produced in several countries, namely: Jordan, Libya, Czech Republic, Ireland, Poland, Denmark, Germany, and Peru.
The closing day also involved a panel discussion entitled, “The Fourth Perspective: Narrating MENA Prisons from Beirut”. The session sheds light on the importance of merging art, academia, and advocacy work while debating cultures and histories of incarceration in the MENA region. More than 100 people attended the panel discussion.
The festival focuses on the importance of reconciliation in moving towards a more peaceful and just society for everyone by presenting films that shed light on individuals who experienced violence in the past or are experiencing it in the present. It also presents films that discuss the effects of war, such as displacement, and documents personal and collective attempts to put an end to injustice and violence. The crisis that Lebanon is witnessing pushed us to think about ways that led to this situation, and we found that missing the step of reconciliation with the past obstructed the improvement of Lebanon and its people; therefore, we chose this title to raise awareness on the importance of this step to build a better present and a better future.
The opening ceremony was distinguished with the wide participation of more than 200 attendees, a little less than full house. The participants were mainly representatives of international agencies, national and international NGOs, embassies, and media institutions, in addition to human rights activists, journalists, and Lebanese and regional youth. At least 600 visitors and beneficiaries were reached this year’s edition of the festival. Still, the media coverage was intense and large. Various interviews took place at the event, which spread the awareness and guided us into a successful path. Many TV stations and media (Al Arabia, Al Nahar, Al Horra etc.) were highly interested in being a part of the film festival and broadcasting this crucial event.