The theme of the Karama USA International Film Festival is one of healing. Karama USA hopes to become a safe space for people from all backgrounds to come together, share their art, and experience creative catharsis as a community. Although the past years have been full of grief and hardship, we want to create an environment where we can discuss, process, and overcome those emotions through art and film. Above all, we want to celebrate the shared human experience and remember the common ties that connect us all.
The Karama USA International Film Festival is a celebration of films from all over the world that express the deep power of the human experience, created upon the steadfast belief that the growing distance between us all can be bridged through a mutual love of film, art, and music.
The inaugural event will be held in the heart of Silicon Valley, Northern California in 2023, and we are beyond lucky to have found inspired filmmakers who use the medium to educate and advocate for human rights all while telling fascinating, emotional, and hilarious stories. We are excited to celebrate this new generation of artists who, with great ingenuity, are unstoppable in their quest to change hearts and minds around the world with their craft.
The Karama Human Rights Film Festival was originally established in 2010 by Ma3mal 612, a compassionate and creative collective of diverse voices, and held in Amman, Jordan. Over the course of ten years, hundreds of human rights-related films were screened to captivated audiences. More than 8,000 spectators from all different walks of life attended annually to share in a common love of the universal human experience and participate in the festival’s many diverse activities.
In addition to screening short and feature-length films—both narrative and documentary—the Festival hosted film discussions and debates with thought leaders and production teams; seminars & workshops; and the “Conscious of Art” project, an art and photo exhibition dedicated to humanizing subjects from all over the planet. We are thrilled to collaborate with the original Karama Film Festival in bringing all of these amazing activities from Jordan to California. We also look forward to creating many more such opportunities to expand the reach and merit of our mission in one of the most fascinating and diverse regions in the world.
We, as Festival organizers, seek to build a vast global network connecting artists, filmmakers, nonprofit organizations, and the general public which can engage with art that restores dignity to a diverse array of human beings, all in the hope of increasing the visibility of the human rights-related issues that we will highlight each year.
We are honored to have the support of local, regional, and international donors; human rights organizations both large and small; other film festivals; the media; and a wide array of artists from all mediums. In our never-ending quest to highlight the best and most empathetic aspects in us all, we are dedicated to creating a vibrant and safe space together in which human rights-related projects can be honored.
Karama’s target audience includes anyone and everyone from the general public. We want to reach you, your loved ones, friends, coworkers, strangers both near and far, and everyone in-between. Anyone with a pulse and a conscience is within our demographics. In spite of the dizzying and troublesome nature of our world today, we know the majority of people agree on most things—especially issues of the heart. We want to direct focus to that which we share, welcome all to the table, and expand the capacity of your heart just as the films we select have done for us.
Donors and all human rights activists across the U.S. and the World are invited to participate in the Festival. Our aim is to advocate, invite debate, encourage critical thinking and civic engagement, and open a democratic dialogue about human rights issues. We also plan to involve youth through a robust Outreach Program that will connect them to remote areas of the world in order to gain a new appreciation of the idea that human rights are rights inherent to all human beings.
Beyond the main events of the festival, the Karama USA International Film Festival will show our continued dedication to our filmmakers and guests alike by collecting the most influential projects at our festival as the “Karama Package” and sharing it regionally and internationally at future events to keep the conversation alive. We don’t want to be lightning in a bottle. We want to launch important conversations that become mainstays on the global stage, benefit the most underrepresented peoples, and showcase the bravery and effervescent love of those who fight against the greatest odds every single day.
Additional programs will consist of:
- Monthly screenings of films from all over the world whether previous festival winners impactful art or under-appreciated masterpieces
- Film and art education to share with schools where children can be exposed to human rights related projects and meet the filmmakers themselves
- Newsletters that highlight small non-profit organizations trying to raise funds
- Financial prizes for artists such as musicians painters photographers filmmakers as well as non-profit organizations
- Collaboration with other film festivals across the country and the world to share films that have a profound impact and continue the conversation of important human rights related issues
- Interviews with celebrities who are passionate about making a positive change in this world