Free Zone for Human Rights

On November 7th the popular film festival “Free zone” opens in Belgrade for the fourth year running. Civil Rights Defenders (by then, The Swedish Helsinki Committee) together with REX, has helped promote the festival and over the years it has become a significant part of Serbian culture.

The films shown during the festival concern current social and political issues and they are presented by dedicated, modern filmmakers from all over the world. “Frizon” offers the Belgrade public a completely different take on the world, far from glossy Hollywood images, and the chance to discuss important issues.

The festival provides great opportunities for people to learn about various aspects of human rights while at the same time it offers amazing cultural experiences. It is easier for people in Serbia to understand and accept human rights values through culture than through politics, says Goran Miletic, human rights lawyer Civil Rights Defenders’s field office in Belgrade.

“Free zone” has grown in the past four years and become an important part of Serbian cultural life. Besides the annual film festival, chosen films from the festival go on tour, special film shows are arranged for secondary schools and there is a TV programme. Civil Rights Defenders has collaborated successfully for a long time with the festival arrangers and the result is seen in the growth of the festival year by year.

The festival takes place from 7th to 12th November in Belgrade and will then go on tour in Serbia.

Civil Rights Defenders supports the film festival Free Zone in order to reinforce freedom of speech in Serbia. We work together with culture institutions using films, theatre and books etc as the starting point to question people’s ingrained opinions and start a discussion about humanitarian values, which are so easy to forget, especially in situations of conflict. We have used culture to challenge people’s fear and prejudice, during the ongoing war as well as the difficult post war years.

Categories: Achievements.
Tags: Human rights film festival and Rex.
Regions: Serbia.