On 18 September 2013, Ambassador Judith Farnworth opened the “Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan – 2013” festival of human rights documentary films at Manas cinema in Bishkek. “Bir Duino” is the only festival in Central Asia dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights through documentary films. It continues to 24 September. As well as screening films, ‘Bir Duino’, enables people interested in human rights to meet and talk to experts.
Judith Farnworth opened the festival by saying that “Human rights are a cornerstone of any democratic society. As citizens we must constantly challenge our prejudices, be open to new ideas and be able to look at the world through other people’s eyes. Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan 2013 gives a unique opportunity to all citizens and guests of Kyrgyzstan to discuss important issues of equality, migration, and rights of different vulnerable groups of population.”
Four British documentary films will be shown at the festival. They feature women fighting for their empowerment. The first film, “The Road: A Story of Life and Death” weaves together stories of loss and the search for belonging in Italy. “Kung Fu Grandma” tells the story of elderly Kenyan women who come together to protect themselves against sexual violence. “Kaloo School” is about Afghan school girls, who travel for as many as five hours a day to get to school. “Salma”, tells the story of a Muslim girl in a south Indian village who found freedom by writing poetry. Click here for details of when these and other films will be shown.
Judith Farnworth said that women’s rights were a priority not only for the British filmmakers, but also for the British government, which last year launched the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative. She appealed for supporters of this initiative to sign up to the Thunderclap It campaign through Facebook and Twitter.