This year's WATCH DOCS features films on the situation of LGBT communities around the world in a special section called "Who's Afraid of the Rainbow?" Our festival poster also radiates rainbow colors.

Nearly thirty countries and regions recognize same-sex marriage, but there are those where homosexual conduct is punishable by death. In Poland, we are currenlty witnessing a massive attack on the LGBT community by politicians, right-wing journalists and clergy. The official narrative borrows negative stereotypes and hateful speech from the propaganda machines of countries like Russia and exclusion and discrimination have become commonplace in Poland.

During the 19th WATCH DOCS Human Rights in Film international film festival, we will examine the situation of LGBT+ communities around the world. Our special "Who's Afraid of the Rainbow" section is filled with documentaries on the subject that are touching, sometimes terrifying, and sometimes funny.

The program includes:

  • 5B, dir. Paul Haggis, Dan Krauss – A Cannes Festival premiere, this is the story of a special hospital ward in San Francisco, opened in the mid-1980s, which treated early AIDS patients. The film pays homage to the courage of nurses and doctors who, with great dedication, guided by a sense of duty and empathy, looked after people dying of a little understood disease that induced panic among the general public.
  • Chelsea XY, dir. Tim Travers Hawkins - A movie about Chelsea Manning who, as Bradley Manning, delivered to Wikileaks thousands of secret documents about war crimes in Iraq.
  • The Gospel of Eureka, dir. Donal Mosher, Michael Palmieri - A story about a small Arkansas town, famed for its great passion plays and spectacular Christian drag shows.
  • For They Know Not What They Do - a documentary that portrays dramatic tensions in religious American families with homosexual children.
  • The Rainbow Family, dir. Julia Ivanova - a portrait of same-sex couples who chose to adopt children. How have they fared over the years? How do the rainbow children find themselves in society and family relationships?
  • Changing the Game - a portrait of transgender athletes who must find themselves in a world dominated by biology and gender stereotypes.
  • Indianara, dir. Aude Chevalier-Beaumel, Marcelo Barbosa - an inspiring, visually sophisticated story about Indiana Siqueir, the leader of the Brazilian trans environment, who fights for the rights of a marginalized minority in an extremely oppressive political reality.

The Campaign Against Homophobia is this year's WATCH DOCS festival partner and contributed to producing events accompanying screenings. "Rainbow" themes will appear on screen of this year's WATCH DOCS and also inspired this year's festival poster.

This year, WATCH DOCS will be featured at a new cinema. In addition to cinemas at CCA Ujazdowski Castle and Muranów Cinema, screenings will take place at KINOTEKA in the Palace of Cutlure. Tickets for all shows are free of charge, as in all previous editions.

The WATCH DOCS International Film Festival. Human Rights in Film is one of the largest film festivals in the world devoted to the fundamental rights of the individual. In addition to the international festival held in December in Warsaw, WATCH DOCS is also a traveling festival that visits 40 Polish cities, an on-line festival, the WATCH DOCS DIY project and WATCH DOCS Belarus. It is organized by the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in cooperation with the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle. Leading festival supporters include the City of Warsaw, Open Society Foundations, Polish Film Institute, the Nordic Council of Ministers, European Parliament and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.