Human Rights Watch Film Festival, taking place in Balboa Park from Thursday to Sunday of next week, January 22-25.

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01/22/2015 - 6:00pm
01/25/2015 - 6:59pm
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The Human Rights Watch Film Festival creates 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.

Please visit for additional information and to purchase tickets. Festival passes cover admission to all six festival screenings. Passes and single screening tickets are available online and at the door.

Opening Night: Thursday, January 22
6pm: Reception
7pm: Film screening and Q&A with assistant director Mona Rafatzadeh, and Faraz Sanei, Researcher, Middle East & North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch.
Moderated by Jennifer Freeman, Senior Program Officer, Women, Peace and Security Women PeaceMakers Program Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, USD
9pm: Dessert reception

Sepideh is a young Iranian woman who dares to dream of a future as an astronaut. As we follow Sepideh, it becomes clear just how at odds her dreams are with her current reality and the expectations of those around her.

Friday, January 23, 7pm
Q&A with film subject Kristin Beck

Former US Navy SEAL Chris Beck embarks on a new mission as Kristin Beck. Kristin’s journey in search of the American ideals that she protected –life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – have a whole new meaning as she lives her life truthfully as a transgender woman.


Saturday, January 24, 3pm
Q&A with film subject Kit Gruelle, Anne O’Dell, Ret. Sgt. SDPD

Private Violence explores a simple but deeply disturbing fact of American life: the most dangerous place for a woman in America is her own home.


Saturday, January 24, 7pm
Q&A with film subjects Terrain Dandridge and Renata Hill

One hot August night in 2006 in New York’s Greenwich Village, a group of young African-American lesbian friends are violently and sexually threatened by an older man. They defend themselves and a fight begins that draws in strangers on the street. Through this act, and their audacity to claim innocence in the courtroom, these young women became known as The New Jersey 4.

Sunday, January 25, 3 pm
Q&A with James Gelvin, Professor of History, UCLA and Faraz Sanei, Researcher, Middle East & North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch

Filmed between August 2011 and August 2013, Return to Homs is a remarkably intimate portrait of a group of young revolutionaries in the city of Homs in western Syria. They dream of their country being free from President Bashar al-Assad and fight for justice through peaceful demonstrations.

Sunday, January 25, 7pm
Q&A with filmmaker Anne de Mare

The Homestretch follows three homeless teens in Chicago as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future.