Calling the Ghosts: a Story About Rape, War and Women - "I began to work as a field worker. . . a data collector in the Croatian Information Center. We work with other governmental and non-governmental organizations dealing with war-related issues."

The Human Rights Video Project is dedicated to increasing the public's awareness of human rights issues through the medium of documentary films. The program also aims to build a broad community of filmmakers, librarians, activists, teachers and other citizens interested in using independent video to effect social change in their communities. We believe in the importance the public library as a place for community discussion and learning, and we hope that this project will create new, powerful alliances between public libraries and local advocacy organizations.

The core of the program is a collection of 12 documentary films selected by a panel of human rights professionals, librarians and filmmakers. The collection was distributed free of charge to 300 public libraries nationwide. Additionally, 50 libraries received funding to create screening and discussion programs in collaboration with local advocacy organizations.

The project was created by National Video Resources (www.nvr.org) in partnership with the American Library Association (www.ala.org) Public Programs Office. It was made possible with generous grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

The Human Rights Video Project Website

This website is designed to provide information about the films in the Human Rights Video Project collection, as well as additional resources about Human Rights subjects. In addition, this website provides assistance to libraries, advocacy groups and others to plan effective screening and discussion programs.

Features on the website include:

  • Film summaries and video clips for each film in the collection.
  • Essays, articles and commentary that place the films in context.
  • Interviews with filmmakers.
  • Bibliographic and other resources.
  • Programming resources for libraries, advocacy organizations and community groups.
  • Information for ordering videos from distributors.
  • Listserv for librarians using these videos

Life and Debt

Advisory Committee and Screening Panel

Nicole Betancourt has worked for MediaRights (www.mediarights.org) since its research and developmental stage in 1999. She became Executive Director in June 2002. An independent documentary filmmaker, she was a producer for 90 Miles, an award-winning feature documentary by Cuban-American director Juan Carlos Zaldívar.

Gillian Caldwell is the Executive Director of WITNESS (www.witness.org), a global organization that advances human rights advocacy through the use of video and communications technology. A filmmaker and attorney, she has helped produce numerous documentary videos for use in advocacy campaigns around the world.

Andrea Holley is the Manager of Outreach and Public Education at Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org), which includes the Film Festival and Publications divisions. She has worked in development, human rights and public health in Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Margaret Huang has been Director of International Advocacy and the U.S. Racial Discrimination Program at Global Rights (www.hrlawgroup.org) since September 2002. She manages Global Rights's efforts to confront racial discrimination in the United States and oversees programs that link local-level human rights activists to international and regional human rights systems.

Carleton L. Jackson is the Librarian for Nonprint Media Services, the main audiovisual center of the University of Maryland Libraries. He is a film and television studies subject specialist and is a founding member of the American Library Association’s Video Round Table. He has served as editor for VRT News, committee member for ALA’s Notable Videos for Adults awards, and VRT Chair. Jackson has previously worked with NVR on the Viewing Race project and The Sixties Video and Discussion series.

Deborah Robertson is founding director of the American Library Association's Public Programs Office (www.ala.org ), a post she has held since 1990. Previously, she worked in public relations and publishing at ALA. . She holds a master's in library and information science from the University of Illinois.

Going to School - Ana, Cynthia and Le on their way to lunch at the middle school cafeteria.

Additional Project Contributors

Shira Golding is a Program Associate for MediaRights.org. She is a filmmaker and activist and has completed her first film, In Search of Golding Street: Israel and South Africa in Dialogue. Ms. Golding is founder of Third Rail Films and is Co-Founder of Activist Media for Better Living and NiceKicks.org.

Karen Murphy is the Director of International Projects for Facing History and Ourselves. She has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota where she also taught courses that focused on race, nationalism and membership. Ms. Murphy has consulted on two NVR collections, Viewing Race and After 9.11.

Kathleen de la Peña McCook is Distinguished University Professor at the University of South Florida, School of Library and Information Science. She has written and edited a number of books, including A Place at the Table: Participating in Community Building and Libraries: Global Reach, Local Touch.

Well-Founded Fear - Post-Card.

Project Staff

Tania Blanich has served as NVR's Associate Director since 1992. She is the Director of the Program for Media Artists, which encompasses a range of activities to assist media makers. The cornerstone of the Program's activities is the Media Arts Fellowships, supported by the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations. E-mail: tblanich@nvr.org

Sally Mason-Robinson is Director of Library Services. Ms. Robinson is formerly the Director of Video and Special Projects for the American Library Association and is nationally known for her leadership in helping libraries integrate quality film and video into their educational programs and collections. E-mail: smr@nvr.org

Jeanne Houck is the Human Rights Video Project Website Editor and Project Coordinator. Founder and president of History Works, a new media and documentary film production company, she also develops independent historical documentary films. She was executive producer for Miss America, which aired on American Experience on PBS. E-mail: jhouck@nvr.org

Blanca Vázquez was project curator for the Human Rights Video Project. She has facilitated Seeing Through AIDS and Seeing Through Racism media workshops. Ms. Vázquez is the founding editor of CENTRO, the Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, CUNY.

Publication and Website Developer
E-Mail: Daniel Su (dsu@nvr.org)

Project Associate
Deborah Goss
Deborah Goss wrote the film summaries for this website.

Project Associate
Adrian García

Editorial Assistant
Victoria Murphy




Human Rights Video Project is presented by National Video Resources
73 Spring Street Suite 403 • New York, NY 10012
tel:212.274.8080 • fax:212.274.8081 • info@nvr.org • www.nvr.org
Page last updated on April 2009. Comments or suggestions please email webmaster@nvr.org.