Turkey and Middle East in focus at Geneva Film Festival

The 15th Geneva International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights opened on Friday.

Sponsored by several organisations, the festival committee aims to draw attention to human rights under the motto ‘Human rights are everybody’s rights’ in forums, discussions, exhibitions and film screenings covering human rights, LGBT+ and women’s rights.

The cover photo of the festival brochure by AFP reporter Bulent Kilic features two Kurdish women in Turkey’s southeastern city of Suruc watching the Syrian town of Kobani across the border under attack by the Islamic State in 2014.

Turkey is also on the agenda at the opening of the forum. The first session, named “Erdogan’s Worrisome Transformation” includes talks by sociologist Pinar Selek, the UN Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Nils Melzer and journalist Yavuz Baydar.

Other sessions in the programme feature “Israelis and Palestinians Against Occupation,” “Yemen; Moving Towards the Chaos, Away From the Sights,” and “The Proof of the Crimes” – a film after which Syrian activists, lawyers, founders of the international human rights organisations, and former United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice Stephen Rapp.

A documentary from the inside of the Ugandan LGBT movement, ”The Pearl of Africa” will open up the transgenderism and intersexuality session.