Karama Festival is a six day film festival which is held in Amman, Jordan since 2010. After 8 editions of Karama Human Rights Film Festival, 410 human rights films were screened over the course of 8 year of cinema activism and advocacy for human rights in Jordan and in the region. Around 8000 spectators from different fields come yearly to the event, attend, and participate in its diverse activities.
Managed and organized by Ma3mal 612 Think Factory, every year, the KHRFF event includes a number of interrelated activities: screening of films (feature, documentary and short) from different parts of the world; film discussions and debates with some of the films’ production teams; seminars & workshops; ‘MusiKarama’ which entails musical concerts and dance performances; the ‘Conscious of Art’ (Art and Photo Exhibition); and Karama Atelier (an 8 week workshop that takes place before the Festival for the production of relevant films to be screened during the festival).
The year 2018 marks Karama’s 9th edition. After Karama’s launch in 2010, the festival gained the acknowledgement of many local, regional and international relevant stakeholders; official bodies, HR organizations and activists, similar festivals, filmmakers and artists, donors, as well as the media. The Karama team and packages were hosted by a great number of platforms both regionally and internationally, and have contributed largely to the establishment of five similar Human Rights Film Festivals in Tunis, Mauritania and Lebanon. Moreover, along with a number of local partners, and under the management of Ashtar for Theater Production and Training, Karama has succeeded to jointly establish the Karama-Palestine HRFF (in December 2013), the Karama-Mauritania HRFF (March 2014), the Karama Beirut (July 2016), and the Karama Yemen (January 2019)
This year's theme: You Are Not Alone
In an attempt to understand the general situation of women around the world and in the Arab world in particular, we find a complex and layered set of factors that have been and still affecting women rights and gender equality in the world. Throughout history, several forms of knowledge have shaped social behaviors over time. There is no specific point in time that one could point out as the starting point of the application of an unfair social system that discriminates between genders and favors one over the other. There is no specific action that one could refer to, in order to explain how all this started. However, these acts have been nurtured, developed, wiped out then reappeared, and so on till we reach today, where we stand in front of an intricate topic, that is rooted and entangled with other social topics.
This makes it necessary to pay attention and to synergize all our efforts as human rights activists and human beings in order to achieve the social equity in which both women and men enjoy their inherent rights. Change is long overdue. Hence, the theme of this year's Karama Human Rights Film Festival is to address the issue of women through human rights cinema tackling all the dimensions, and factors that lead to them.
The programming works toward enhancing the complementarity between women and men and their organic relationship in society:
Raise awareness of gender equality and lobbying for policies supported by film screenings and debates addressing women's issues in the world and the Arab world.
Focus on the promotion of women's access in practice by highlighting the role of women as a pioneer of Arab cinema and an essential component: Female producers, directors, cinematographers, actresses, and other professions.
Change the image of women and men in media representations, through presenting a fair and inclusive image, deconstructing and pointing out formal stereotypical images and roles that are assigned to women and men.
Identify success stories and role models of female heroines to enhance their role in film and amplify their issues in their own voice, as modern archetypes who need to be freed from the stereotyping and reductionism they are facing.
Karama’s primary audience is the local general public, especially women and young people across Jordan. Furthermore, a good number of civil society activists and practitioners from direct relevant fields are also targeted and deliberately engage in the activities as being main stakeholders in this field. The festival also brings together many filmmakers, producers and other artists from Jordan, the region and the world. In addition to the main festival venues in Amman, screenings, discussions and workshops are also organized in schools and universities in Amman and other governorates; outreach screenings to date include: Zarqa, Irbid, Jarash, Ramtha, Ajloun, Karak, Jordan Valley, and Madaba.
In addition to the main festival venues in Amman, screenings, discussions and workshops are also other groups targeted by Karama are reached out through the Festival’s activities beyond its main event in December, and through the “KHRFF Package” which is disseminated to and shared with various festivals and similar relevant events in the region through ANHAR, the Arab Network for Human Rights Film Festivals.
Purpose of Karama HRFF:
Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that:
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Karama Human Rights Film Festival seeks to create a cross-cultural platform for artists, film-makers and the wider general public to engage in issues relating to human rights, in particular to the dignity of human beings, their sense of worth, belonging and spirit of common welfare among their communities and the wider national spectrum.
Our aim is to advocate for human rights, invite debate, encourage critical thinking and civic engagement, and open democratic dialogue about human rights issues among the various international, regional and local institutions and organizations, and the wider public.
Karama seeks to promote screen arts that involve human rights issues as their subject matter.
Our purpose is to reach local and regional audiences, especially young people across Jordan and the Arab World, and to provide them with a platform to engage in global, cross-cultural discussions focused on human rights issues through film narratives and discourse.
Karama HRFF aims to achieve the following:
- Direct understanding of issues around human rights violations that spectators will understand.
- More people to get engaged in the human rights discourse through film, art and the understanding of art as an act of resistance.
- Involve more youth through the outreach program as well as citizens of remote areas expected to assimilate a new knowledge towards the necessity of human rights as inherent rights.
- Networking and visibility of artists, human rights activists and filmmakers.
- Attract new human rights platform audiences through music and theatre performances and eventually involve them in the core related human rights screenings.