Following the four-day human rights film festival that featured Movie That Matters, which concluded with a call to action for people to prioritize raising their voices in opposition to violations of human rights
The Jos Film Initiative, Rock International Film Festival, RIFF, second edition, was the organization behind the festival, which took place from November 1–4, 2023, at the Citadel Event Hall of Museum Jos, the capital of the Plateau state.
The main goal of the film festival, according to Mr. Henry Mafulul, executive director of Jos Film Initiative, is to raise awareness of human rights issues and to incite action against violations of these rights in society.
“For the first three days of the event, we screened human rights movies and had conversations around those movies. Basically, we used the film as a platform, and like the first day, we talked about protest as a tool for social change and justice.
“The second day, we screened movies and then had a conversation on human rights violations as issues in Nigeria. On the third day, we screened movies that taught about human trafficking, drug trafficking, and child abuse.
So we had a panel of discussants.
“Today it climax with the award, which is to recognize the people who are fighting for human rights. People that are involved in this campaign. Organizations such as NAPTIP, which has been in existence since Obasanjo’s regime, fight against human trafficking.
“Information available shows that from last year (2022) to this year (2023), Jos has become a hot zone in terms of human trafficking, and this initiative will go a long way in minimizing the trend.
“We were awarded the participation of the filmmakers that made the movie’s screenplay during the film festival.
“At the end of the day, we expect to see men and women rise to the occasion of creating awareness about child rights, students’ rights, and all manner of abuse that will infringe on their future.
The festival coordinator, Amber Treasure, admitted that the 2023 event is the offspring of the 2022 event. Noting that “this year’s event is unique in that we’re reaching out more, particularly to the students—we have students from secondary schools and tertiary institutions who have all come around,”
“So now we’re going down to the grassroots to fight together so that they can be aware of human rights. The impact and level of compliance are good.
According to Mrs. Veronica Abe, the Plateau state coordinator for National Human Rights, the festival is significant because it highlights various human rights violations, particularly in places where some people mistakenly believe they do not occur. Raising awareness of these violations in society is crucial.
“We need more of this engagement, and I want to thank the organizers for not just gathering people in the hall but taking these things to schools where the violations start, and this will further educate our teeming youths, who are the great leaders of tomorrow so that they can learn to tolerate and respect each other’s rights.”
She concluded that the Human Rights Film Festival’s second edition is superior to its first and that it has inspired young people to speak out against violations of human rights.
Our correspondent saw that the awardees transcended both governmental and non-governmental organizations, pushing them to further their respective fields of expertise while carrying on the battle against violations of human rights and improving the globe.
The Plateau State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, NAPTIP, the Peace Foundation against Violence, the Eye Focus Movement for Girls, St. Pierans High School Jos, Peculiar International College Jos, and other organizations are among the beneficiaries of awards from the 2023 Human Rights Film Festival.