Dhaka, 9 December 2018: To mark the Human Rights Day and 70th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the United Nations in Bangladesh in association with Dhaka University Film Society (DUFS), with support from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the German government, organized a two-day long “Human Rights Short Film Festival 2018” from 8 to 9 December 2018 at Bangladesh Shishu Academy Auditorium, Dhaka. The theme of the festival is “Finding Bangladesh and South Asia in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 70 years later”.
On 9 December 2018, H.E. Mr. Peter Fahrenholtz, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bangladesh, Ms. Mia Seppo, the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, and Mr. Mostafa Sarwar Farooki, Film maker, Mr. Sanjeeb Drong, Representative of Bangladesh Human Rights Forum, Mr. Aung Rakhine, Film maker, and Rashedul Hafiz, Lifetime Member, Dhaka University Film Society (DUFS) graced the closing and the award giving ceremony of the film festival. They also joined a panel discussion on “Promoting and protecting human rights through film and other media – celebrating the 70th anniversary of the UDHR” with. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Abdul Quayum, Associate Editor, Prothom Alo.
During the discussion, H.E. Mr. Peter Fahrenholtz, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bangladesh termed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as “the most important document produced in the history of mankind”, which “protects the dignity of human across the world.” Ms. Mia Seppo, the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh added that “human rights, films, and youth together is a fantastic combination. Films and art can put spotlight to the issues that needs to be heard.” Renowned filmmaker Mr. Mostafa Sarwar Farooki stressed on giving equal emphasis to protect everyone’s human rights. He said, “When it comes to protect and promote human rights we should not be selective. We can truly avoid being selective about protect human rights, we can change society as a filmmaker.”
On 8 December 2018, the Senior Human Rights Advisor of UNRC Office Heike Alefsen opened the festival. Renowned film director Abu Shahed Emon and President of Dhaka University Film Society spoke on the occasion. 735 short films on human rights from 82 countries have been submitted for the Short Film Festival 2018 organized to commemorate 70th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Besides short film screening, a play on human rights entitled “We sing equality” was performed by ‘All Star Daffodils’ and facilitated by UNIC Dhaka.