Thousands attend PNG human rights film festival

12:02 pm on 8 November 2019

Thousands of people attended the 10th annual Papua New Guinea Human Rights Film Festival this year.

A still from the PNG film 'Gwala is Life'

A still from the PNG film 'Gwala is Life' Photo: Eco Custodian Advocates

It culminated in Alotau in Milne Bay province, which hosted instalments of the festival for the first time.

This year, the festival featured locally-made films focussing on the right to health, environment and conservation.

Those included a film made in the Bwanabwana Islands of Milne Bay called Gwala is Life, which depicts a traditional form of conservation.

The film festival was partly organised by the United Nations Human Rights office, the World Health Organisation, and UN Development Programme.

These agencies collaborated with the National Kenu and Kundu Festival committee and the Milne Bay Tourism Bureau, to bring the event to Alotau.

The NGO which made Gwala is Life, Eco Custodian Advocates, was one of a number of organisations to take part in discussions on health rights.

The Right to Health panel discussion in Alotau discussed ways to better access maternal and child healthcare, and to conserve the environment.

Alithia Barampataz of the UN Human Rights Office in PNG said the Alotau community showed a strong interest in learning about human rights.

Organisers hoped the festival could support strengthening action on human rights and widening the civic space in Milne Bay, she said.

This year's festival also had instalments in Madang, Lae, Port Moresby, and Goroka, between September and November.