USF Hosts Human Rights Film Festival March 31 – April 2, 2016

“It is an excellent opportunity to learn about human rights through the power of film,” said Susana Kaiser, associate professor of Media Studies and Latin American Studies, and the festival’s co-founder and co-organizer since 2003. “Our selection of films exposes and denounces human rights violations that demand immediate solutions. We follow the screenings with Q&A sessions that create a forum for discussing the issues, identifying potential solutions, documenting successes in stopping abuses, and brainstorming about actions that can be taken at the local and global level.”

In keeping with the social justice mission of USF, the Human Rights Film Festival seeks to make the university a center for the promotion of human rights, as well as a platform to raise consciousness to the violations and abuses of human rights in the United States and elsewhere around the globe.

This year’s festival will address political repression, genocide, immigration, refugees, migrations, environmental destruction, mining and indigenous women, LGBT rights, and gun violence. Several of these films are winners of prestigious awards, including The Look of Silence, 2016 Academy Award Nominee for best documentary feature (screening on Saturday, April 2 at 6:30 p.m.).

Highlights of the three-day festival include:

  •     Thursday, March 31 at 2 p.m. – American DREAMers

American DREAMers tells the story behind the Campaign for an American DREAM (CAD), a group of six undocumented youth and an ally who risk their freedom when they publicly come out as undocumented and walk 3,000 miles to the nation’s capital to organize for immigrant rights. These are college students, young professionals, activists, and community leaders.  Jennifer Castillo, American DREAMers filmmaker, and Veronica Gomez, CAD walker/community organizer, will be present to lead Q&A following the screening.

  •     Thursday, March 31 at 6:15 p.m. – The Black Panthers: Vanguards of the Revolution

In the 1960s, a new revolutionary culture was emerging – The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is a feature documentary that includes eyewitness accounts from the first members who joined the organization, rank-and-file members, as well as the voices of lawyers, journalists, scholars, police officers, and former FBI agents.

  •     Saturday, April 2 at 6:30 p.m. – The Look of Silence

Through Oppenheimer’s footage of perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered, as well as the identities of the killers. This unprecedented film initiates and bears witness to the collapse of fifty years of silence.

The three-day festival will also feature works produced by USF students and alumni. For a full schedule and descriptions of the selected films, please visit

Media interested in learning more about USF’s Human Rights Film Festival, or to request interviews with professor Susana Kaiser, please contact Anne-Marie Devine Tasto, senior director of media relations, 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 stunning 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.”