AIHR Film Festival Flyer

07.12.2022 Featured Ahead of AIHR Film Festival in Lagos, Organiser Receives 1,224 Entries From 20 Countries

Published 7th Dec, 2022

By Tola Owoyele

Ahead of the inaugural edition of the Africa International Human Rights Film Festival to be held between December 10 and 12, 2022, at the Goethe Institute, Victoria Island, and Spaces for Change, Ikeja, both in Lagos, Nigeria, the event organiser, Human Rights Journalists Network Nigeria, has said it received a total of 1,224 film entries from 20 countries.

The highest entries, 137 films, were received from India, followed by 91 from the Islamic Republic of Iran, 72 from Brazil, 70 from Turkey, 56 from Nigeria, 55 from Spain, 50 from Italy and 48 from the United States of America, FIJ learnt.

AIHR Film Festival Flyer

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The festival is yet another creative approach aimed at beaming searchlights on the many issues of human rights abuses across the world. It is also an attempt aimed at exposing the drivers of these atrocious activities, obtain justice for the victims, prevent and reduce possible social stigmas associated with the effects and impacts and raise a globally driven coalition to drastically prevent them.

“We believe that the Africa International Human Rights Film Festival will serve as a platform to start conversations and spur stakeholders to take action on fundamental human rights and abuses in Nigeria, Africa and anywhere in the world,” said Kehinde Adegboyega, the host of the event.

The entries feature lengthy and short films that attempt to expose how people’s fundamental human rights are infringed upon by government officials, using political powers, state resources, law enforcement agencies, poverty and technology to keep the masses perpetually vulnerable and at the mercy of their abusers.


An analysis of the entries shows the number of entries received for each of the categories:

Civic and Political rights received a total of 523 entries, representing 26.6 percent of the total; Gender Rights received a total of 443, representing 22.5 percent of the total; Migration received 270 submissions, representing 13.7 percent of the total; while Climate Change and Justice had 268 total entries, representing 13.6 percent of the total.

Disability Rights had 190 films submitted, indicating a 9.7 percent of the total; Urban Development and Forced Eviction received 176 entries, representing 9 percent of the total; Digital Rights received 95 firm entries, indicating 4.8 percent of all entries.

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Other top entrants include France with a total of 37 entries, Egypt with 33 entries, China with 26 entries, Greece with 23 entries, Bangladesh with 21, Russian Federation with 20 entries, Argentina with 18, Germany with 16, Colombia with 16, and the United Kingdom, Mexico and Austria with 15 entries each. There are 14 entries from Pakistan, 12 from each of Ukraine and Canada, and 11 and 10 from Philippines and Portugal respectively.

Apart from Nigeria, other top African entrants are Uganda with 24 entries, Tunisia with 19, Cameroon with 17, South Africa with 13, Morocco with 13 and Algeria with nine.

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Currently, 20 internationally acclaimed and award-winning filmmakers, human rights and civic space experts are sorting through the massive entries to pick the best films to be screened at the international event.

They include Israel M. Scott, an adjunct professor from Marymount Manhattan College, United States; Oluwatoyin Ganiyu, an ace entertainment journalist and radio/TV host; and representatives of the Spaces for Change and ActionAid, two of the headline sponsors.

Ganiyu is one of the selected six Nigerian entertainment journalists selected by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) as part of its new 103 non-member voters for the 80th Golden Globe Awards.

Kizito Samuel Saviour, a multi-award-winning Ugandan filmmaker who majors in film production, script writing, and directing, is leading the team of juries for the festival.

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Kizito, reputed for his immense contributions to the industry, was a production tutor at the ESOM School of Music, directing for screen tutors at the Media Vision Academy, all in Uganda. He is also a film and television studies mentor at the University of Limpopo, South Africa, and a mentor to several upcoming filmmakers and actors in Uganda and Africa at large.

He has worked as a director, writer, producer, cinematographer, and editor on films like MANIA (2022), Your Turn (2022), Catch Out (2021), KEMI (2020), Judas Kiss (2019), The Forbidden (2018), Extra Time (2017) and Bunjako (2016).

His works have earned him over 130 international nominations and 30 international awards from film festivals and film awarding platforms from all over the world.

The festival will also feature various panel discussions on using films to drive human rights advocacy in Nigeria.


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One of the high points of the 3-day event is a masterclass, titled Pitching Your Story for Funding, by Eran B.Y, an Israeli script editor, executive producer and TV host. Eran, reputed for raising millions of dollars for his film projects, will be sharing winning pitch ideas with aspiring film producers and filmmakers.

The Human Rights Journalists Network is collaborating with Goethe Institute, Spaces for Change, ActionAids and many other organisations to host the film festival.

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Published 7th Dec, 2022

By Tola Owoyele


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