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Museum of Photographic Arts Brings Human Rights Watch Film Festival to San Diego

San Diego CA— For the eighth year, the Museum of Photographic Arts presents a weekend of dynamic films and inspiring conversations at the annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival from February 1 – 4, 2018.

Filmmakers and Human Rights Watch experts will be present at each screening to discuss many of the issues raised by films. Documentaries highlighting the morality of capital punishment, social media as a tool for activism, environmental activism, domestic violence, workers’ rights and police violence, by filmmakers from around the world, are being showcased during this year’s festival. These films challenge individuals to empathize and demand justice for all people.

Quote From Deborah Klochko, Executive Director & Chief Curator

“In a time when we are bombarded by sound bytes and headlines, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival brings relevant and thought-provoking issues into focus. Through the art of filmmaking we are inspired to picture a better world and take action to create it.”


  • Festival passes are available for purchase and cover admission to all festival events.
  • Passes and single-screening tickets are available online and at the door.
  • For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.MOPA.org/hrwff.

Festival Screenings:


Lindy Lou: Juror Number Two

20 years ago, Lindy Lou sat on a jury that sentenced a man convicted in a double homicide to the death penalty. After wrestling with her conscience ever since, Lindy decides to cross political and religious divides in the rural South to explore the personal impact this decision had on her fellow jurors.

Opening night reception begins at 6PM, followed by the film screening at 7PM, and a dessert reception after the  Q & A with Film subject Lindy Isonhood.

Friday, February 2, 7:00 PM


From Syrian citizens tortured for Facebook posts to Brazilian activists using social media to livestream police abuses – Black Code tells the story of how governments manipulate the internet to censor and monitor their citizens, and how those citizens are fighting back.

Q&A discussion to follow screening with Bill Marczak, Senior Research Fellow, Citizen Lab.

Saturday, February 3, 3:00 PM


Silas Siakor is a tireless activist committed to ending corruption and environmental destruction in Liberia. When the government of Liberia secretly signs away the rights to 1/3 of the country’s land to multinational corporations, Silas and a network of community leaders travel from village to village with cellphone cameras to document the pillaging of the country’s natural resources. The film celebrates the power of communities to fight back against the power of money and politics.

Q&A discussion to follow screening with Filmmaker Anjali Nayar.

Saturday, February 3, 7:00 PM

Home Truth  

In 1999, Colorado mother Jessica Gonzales experienced every parent’s worst nightmare when her three young daughters were killed after being abducted by their father in violation of a domestic violence restraining order. Determined to make sure their deaths were not in vain, Jessica tirelessly pursues her case to the US Supreme Court, seeking to strengthen legal rights for domestic violence victims.

Q&A discussion to follow screening with Filmmakers April Hayes and Katia Maguire.

Sunday, February 4, 3:00 PM


Shot over 3 yrs in China, Complicit follows critically ill Foxconn factory worker turned activist Yi Yeting as he takes his fight against the global smartphone industry from his hospital bed to the international stage to demand better working conditions for all.

Q&A discussion to follow screening with Filmmaker Heather White.

Sunday, February 4, 7:00 PM

The Blood is at the Doorstep– San Diego Premiere

On April 30, 2014, Dontre Hamilton, a 31-year-old unarmed black man diagnosed with schizophrenia, was shot 14 times and killed by a Milwaukee police officer in a popular downtown park. This intimate verité documentary follows his family as they struggle to find answers and challenge a criminal justice system stacked against them.

Q&A discussion to follow screening with Filmmaker Erik Ljung and Dameion Hamilton.

About the Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. They work tenaciously to lay the legal and moral groundwork for deep rooted change and fight to bring greater justice and security to people around the world. Through Human Rights Watch Film Festival, they bear witness to human rights violations and create a forum for courageous individuals on both sides of the lens to empower audiences with the knowledge that personal commitment can make a difference. The film festival brings to life human rights abuses through storytelling in a way that challenges each individual to empathize and demand justice for all people.

The HRW Film Festival currently screens in over 20 cities around the world throughout the year. The festival’s programming committee operates out of the New York office to screen more than 500 films each year. Through a rigorous vetting process, that includes review by Human Rights Watch’s programmatic staff, the festival chooses approximately 40 films each year to participate in our various festivals. It is then up to the particular city and its programming committee to choose films from this final selection for their specific festival.

About the Museum of Photographic Arts

Located in beautiful Balboa Park, the Museum of Photographic Arts is a vibrant center for visual learning. Since its founding in 1983, the museum’s endeavors consistently address cultural, historical and social issues through its exhibitions and educational programs. MOPA is one of three independent photography museums in the United States and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. As a 501(c)(3) organization, MOPA is generously supported by members, individuals, corporations, foundations and government agencies.

The mission of the Museum of Photographic Arts is to inspire, educate and engage the broadest possible audience through the presentation, collection, and preservation of photography, film and video.

Community Partners:

  • Alliance San Diego
  • NAACP Youth Council
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Center for Community Solutions
  • Survivors of Torture, International
  • San Diego Latino Film Festival
  • ACLU San Diego
  • Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego’s Kroc School
  • San Diego Urban League Young Professionals
  • San Diego Italian Film Festival
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation


  • The Samuel I. and John Henry Fox Foundation
  • The LJ Galinson Advised Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation
  • Gardner Bilingual Fund
  • Helmstetter Family Foundation
  • Price Philanthropies Foundation
  • Bern Schwartz Family Foundation
  • Sidney Stern Memorial Trust
  • Mandell Weiss Charitable Trust

Financial support for MOPA’s film programming is provided by the City of San Diego

www.MOPA.org  |  1649 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101  |  619.238.7559