Since the 1970s, there has been significant growth in activist and human rights-focused film festivals around the world.
In part, this reflects the fact that human rights has, particularly in the West, become a dominant political and legal language through which all kinds of issues can be expressed.
However, it also reflects the influence that the film culture in Latin America during the late 1960s, early 1970s has had on the international film festival circuit. In particular, the militant manifestos produced by Argentinian filmmakers such as Fernando Solanas (_Towards a Third Cinema _(1969)) about the potential role cinema can play in transforming the social world have had an enduring legacy.
This talk will discuss key ideas and debates in the field of visual activism and film spectatorship. It will also examine approaches that those working in the film festival industry adopt to try to produce politically engaged viewers.