The Human Rights Watch Film Festival opens next week in London (New York gets one in June), continuing the group's effort to both showcase and, increasingly, "[help] make movies with distinct human rights themes." In addition to screenings - some of the world premieres- the festival offers short plays on relevant themes, educational programs for students, and Q&As with actors and directors involved in some of the featured films.

Among the works in this year's festival are James Longley's Iraq in Fragments, which won the documentary cinematography and directing awards at this year's Sundance Festival, and Winter in Baghdad and Smiling in a War Zone, documentaries about American involvement in the Middle East that examine the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively. Other topics explored in this years films include race relations in Brazil, Peru's battle against the Shining Path rebel group, and the mistreatment of women in depressingly high number of countries.

The festival runs from March 15-25 in a wide array of theaters in London; discount tickets can be bought in advance on the festival's website (linked above).