USF hosts 10th Annual Human Rights Film Festival

Promoting awareness, discussion, and commitment to social justice

SAN FRANCISCO — (March 22, 2012)

The University of San Francisco (USF) is proud to host its 10th annual human rights film festival taking place March 29-March 31, 2012. The festival seeks to promote awareness and discussion of global human rights abuses and to encourage action in order to prevent such injustices. The three-day festival is free and open to the public, and will include the screening of four to five films each day in USF’s Presentation Theater (2350 Turk Boulevard, at Masonic). A detailed schedule and film descriptions can be found at

“We truly believe in the power of film to educate and empower citizens to take action against human rights violations,” said Susana Kaiser, associate professor of Media Studies and Latin American Studies, and co-organizer of the festival. “We aim to increase the collective scope of our social justice efforts by inviting Bay Area human rights organizations to participate in educating our audiences and distribute information about their projects prior to each screening.”

For the fourth year in a row, the festival will also open with a selection of short films produced by USF students. “The passion that students bring to advocacy is inspiring,” said Mary Zweifel, administrative director of the Master of Arts in International Studies Program and film festival co-organizer. “The accessibility of film allows students to visually confront the reality of various human rights issues, resulting more often than not, in raised consciousness. Students begin to shift their particular ways of being in the world.”

An amazing program of selected films celebrates the tenth anniversary of the USF festival. The films address human rights abuses including genocide, state terrorism, environmental destruction, human trafficking, indigenous rights, and violence against the LGBT community in locations as varied as the U.S., Guatemala, Rwanda, Iran, Eastern Europe, Chile, and Ecuador. To facilitate dialogue and a better understanding of the issues, the films directors will be on hand to lead question and answer sessions with audience members prior to each screening. “In these times when thousands are taking to the streets all over the world, we are including films that focus on political dissent, strategies for effecting change, and the post 9/11 environment's impact on civil liberties,” said Kaiser.

USF was the first university in the Bay Area to screen the traveling Human Rights Watch (HRW) Film Festival and is still the only educational institution in the area offering screenings free and open to the public.

Screening times and descriptions of the selected films are available at For more information on USF’s 10th Annual Human Rights Film Festival, please contact Susana Kaiser at (415) 422-5141.

For media inquiries, please contact Anne-Marie Devine at (415) 422-2697 or

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and diverse cities, and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco's first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student’s passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World From Here.” For more information, please visit