WITNESS joins HRW’s Film Festival panel on virtual reality and human rights

WITNESS is proud to join the Human Rights Watch Film Festival (HRWFF) in New York as a presenting partner for the Festival’s focus on virtual reality this year. Our Program Director Sam Gregory will be speaking on the following panel on June 15 at 6:30pm:

The Emerging World of Virtual Reality and Human Rights

Virtual Reality (VR) is an expanding arena for immersive and interactive video content. Creators are exploring ways to project participants into new worlds and experiences, and a growing number of these are focused on human rights. A variety of backers such as the New York Times, Google, Facebook and the United Nations are working to develop and expand our use of the technology. Questions about how best to use VR, and it’s ability to impact human rights situations, are hotly debated – particularly as VR’s unique approach to audience experience, raises new issues over legitimacy and responsibility. Creators differ over how far to push audiences’ boundaries, for what impact, and with what design model. Opinions about these questions are ever-changing within the field. Join us for a panel discussion with creators, journalists, and human rights experts to discuss this exciting and evolving intersection of VR and human rights.

Panelists include Sam Gregory, Program Director at WITNESS, Francesca Panetta, Special Projects Editor at The Guardian and Lina Srivastava, Founder, CIEL.


We’re also supporting HRWIFF’s presentation of 6×9: An immersive experience of Solitary Confinement – a groundbreaking VR piece that explores solitary confinement in U.S. prisons. This special exhibit, co-created by The Guardian and The Mill, will be available to festival visitors every day 7:30-9:30pm June 10-19, 2016 in the lobby of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Read Theater.


If you can’t be in NYC, join the conversation online by tweeting us at @witnessorg and Sam at @samgregory and using #HRWFF and #video4change.

Featured image courtesy of HRWFF.


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