First Guyana-Brazil human rights film festival underway

Discrimination, systemic inequality and injustice are the themes being explored in the first ever Guyana-Brazil Human Rights Film Festival, which opened on Thursday at the Brazil-Guyana Cultural Centre.

Hosted by the Guyana Equality Forum (GEF)—a network of local civil groups working together for equal rights and justice for Guyanese—together with the Embassy of Brazil, and slated to run for five nights, the festival will place focus on a different human rights issue every night. The festival will continue on Monday and end on Wednesday, October 4.

“Guyana and Brazil share a strong working relationship and aspire to continue actively collaborating to improve the state of affairs in human rights, and to eliminate prejudice and discrimination within their societies. The Embassy or Brazil and the GEF have pledged to continue working assiduously to ensure that all persons, regardless of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or any other perceived difference can unite harmoniously and work cohesively to ensure that each person can realize their human rights,” the GEF said in a press release.

The GEF noted that the opening night of the festival featured addresses from the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Protection Adrian Ramrattan, on behalf of Minister of Social Protection Amna Ally; Ambassador of Brazil to Guyana Lineu De Paula; and GEF Coordinator Anil Persaud. It was emphasized that the different organizations indicated their intent to continue to work cohesively and ensure that human rights are enforced and that each Guyanese and Brazilian citizen can enjoy full equality and citizenship.

The festival was launched with the screening of the films “Painting the Spectrum—A Commemorative Documentary” and “Jessica’s Journey,” both produced by the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), as well as Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho” (The Way he Looks), which was produced by Brazilian Daniel Ribeiro.

All three films address-ed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) human rights issues.

On Friday, the films shown surrounded children’s rights, and included animated shorts produced by ChildLink Guyana and independent Brazilian producers.

Next week’s films will turn the attention to the subjects of indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and women in two of our neighbouring Amazonian states.

On Monday, October 2, “Xingu,” produced by Cao Hamburger, will be screened along with a compilation of shorts on the indigenous peoples of Guyana produced by the Amerindian Peoples Association. Tuesday evening will feature “O Resto e Silencio – The Rest is Silence” and “Dois Mundos” from Brazil and “Silent Voices” – a documentary produced by the Deaf Association of Guyana that will premiere on the night – which focuses on rights of persons with hearing disabilities. Wednesday will be the closing night of the festival and will feature films focused on gender-based violence and women’s rights. The films “Silencio das Inocentes” from Brazil and “Break the Silence, Stop the Violence,” a documentary produced by Guyana’s Help and Shelter will be screened.

Screenings begin at 5.30 each day, and both Guyanese and Brazilian short films will be featured daily, with the Brazilian shorts carrying English subtitles.

The event is being held at the Brazil-Guyana Cultural Centre, located in the same compound as the Brazilian Embassy on Church Street. Admission is free.

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