Press release

Hertie School’s Centre for Fundamental Rights partners with 2020 Berlin Human Rights Film Festival

The Centre will be a main partner in the Human Rights Film Forum, a new venue for dialogue on topics related to the festival.

Berlin, 15 September 2020. The Centre for Fundamental Rights will collaborate with Berlin’s annual Human Rights Film Festival in workshops and panel discussions, as a main partner in the festival’s new Film Forum, a public venue for dialogue on topics related to the festival. Researchers will contribute legal and academic perspectives to the discussions between filmmakers, people from the arts and policymakers on fundamental and human rights. The Festival uses the means of film and storytelling to stimulate public discussion on the importance of human rights and the challenges for their protection. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Festival and the Forum will be hosted in a hybrid format. The Festival will take place from 30 September – 10 October.

The Film Forum will consist of discussion formats in four key areas: Climate crisis, populism and hate speech, gender and sexual based violence and the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations Member States in 2015. The Forum events, which will take place from 1 – 9 October, are open to activists, researchers and people from the arts, who are interested in forming strategic partnerships

“We are excited to have the Hertie School’s Centre for Fundamental Rights as our partner this year,” says Festival Director Anna Ramskogler-Witt. “The input of researchers dedicated to the protection of fundamental rights to the Forum events is extremely valuable for stimulating the discussion between activists, members of civil society, policymakers and of course filmmakers”.    

A workshop on “Storytelling as Resistance”, will take place on 2 October and focus on resistance against populism, disinformation and hate speech. Prof. Başak Çalı Co-Director of the Centre for Fundamental Rights and Professor of International Law at the Hertie School will moderate the discussion on resistance against Populism from comparative perspective. The panel will feature legal actors, journalists and human rights activists from Poland, Turkey and Germany to discuss the rise of different forms of populism and the resistance strategies developed against them. Simon Munzert, Assistant Professor of Data Science and Public Policy at the Hertie School, will discuss the effects that restriction of hate speech has on self-censorship, based on evidence from Germany and from the USA in the workshop.

Pierre Thielbörger, Professor of German Public Law and International Law at the Ruhr University Bochum and affiliated with Hertie School’s Centre for Fundamental Rights, Alexandre Skander Galand, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre for Fundamental Rights and Juan Auz, PhD Researcher at the Centre, will moderate discussions and offer expertise on questions of fundamental rights protections discussed at the Conference on “10 years to reach the Sustainable Development Goals” that will take place on 5 October.

For more information about this year’s film program and an overview of all sessions included in the accompanying Forum please visit the Human Rights Film Festival website.