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San Sebastian City Council is working to build a city that is an educational reference point in values; a city that respects all ideas, drawing wealth from their diversity. In this context, the 4th Human Rights Film Festival is an interesting proposal that, as part of the “Donostia-San Sebastián, Space for a Culture of Peace” programme, aims to raise people’s awareness of the many situations in which human rights are violated.

In a joint effort from Donostia Kultura and the Municipal Department of Youth, Education, Cooperation and Human Rights, and thanks to the positive response of the public, it is our pleasure to present the 4th Human Rights Film Festival. We make use of a highly valued means with a longstanding tradition in our city – film – to promote values such as solidarity, equal opportunities, respect for life, peace and freedom.

The 4th Festival, which will take place in the Teatro Principal between the 24th and 31st of March, will deal with such diverse and current themes such as: immigration; social diversity and its consequences; the stigma around HIV/AIDS; the difficulty of living with a physical or mental disability; or abuse. Problems and realities that are tackled through documentaries and films that, in many cases, are previews or which come with recognition from prestigious international festivals.

We have included showings for schools and other such institutions as a key element in children and adolescents’ education in human rights issues.

We will also be launching a Special Programme that will be dedicated to Latin America this year. This place and its people are culturally very close to our own: the dictatorship, the civil war and emigration are facts that
form part of our past, but in Latin America they are still very much part of the present.

Among other new features, we will have the opinion of a young, local panel of judges that will award a prize to the best short film in competition, which is also new this year.

Year after year we are increasing our activities and languages, through which we endeavour to reach a wide-ranging public. On this line, this year dance joins the audiovisual expression with the premiere of the new Verdini Dantza Taldea show, made up of dancers affected by Down’s syndrome. Injustice is represented in sculpture, forms and photographs by Gervasio Sánchez and Ricardo Calero in the Museo San Telmo, and of course, the word. As in previous years, each showing will lead to an open discussion in which NGOs, directors and actors, and experts in the themes in question will share their vision of the problem with the public.

We would like to thank the Secretary of State for Cooperation, Ms. Leire Pajín and her department, for the financial support provided by the Spanish International Cooperation Agency (AECI), which comes under the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the collaboration of associations and NGOs who have made this Human Rights Film Festival possible once again.

The Festival is gradually gaining in importance and the public’s response encourages us to continue creating new projects.

We aim for this Festival to become one of the symbols that identify San Sebastian as a “film” city, committed to peace and human rights.

A very warm welcome to you all.

Mayor of Donostia - San Sebastián