Human Rights Watch Festival Arrives in San Diego

Created: 01 February, 2018
Last update: 27 July, 2022

By Ana Gomez Salcido

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 to 4.

Documentaries by filmmakers from around the world highlighting the morality of capital punishment, social media as a tool for activism, environmental movements, domestic violence, workers’ rights, and police violence, among other subjects, are being showcased during this year’s festival. These films challenge individuals to empathize and demand justice for all people.

“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,” said Deborah Klochko, Executive Director and Chief Curator at the Museum of Photographic Arts. “Through the art of filmmaking we are inspired to picture a better world and take action to create it.”

Six films and their subsequent question-and-answer sessions will transport viewers into a variety of worlds tethered by the mutual vision for a better world – a world of justice, transparency and equality for all people.

Each film chosen for the Human Rights Watch Film Festival will expose viewers to the spectrum of injustices happening across the world – and perhaps even in their own backyards. Filmmakers, curators and experts behind each film hope the screenings will serve as a catalyst to empower viewers to take action in their own communities and come together to create the social change necessary to create a better world.

One of the films to be featured in the festival, Home Truth, follows the story of Colorado mother Jessica Gonzales, who in 1999, 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.

“Jessica’s story is really inspiring to all of us because so many of us know have experienced domestic violence or know somebody that has experienced it in any form, from financial to physical or emotional, so that’s why this story really resonates with a lot of people,” said Home Truth filmmaker, Katia Maguire to La Prensa San Diego. “The festival is really incredible because it provides audiences with films focused on Human Rights. And looking at a social issue through a film and focusing on how a story can create empathy, it’s what can make a change.”

Home Truth will be screened on Saturday, February 3, at 7 pm.
Guests can purchase a single screening or a four-day festival pass at the door or online at