Deadline for scholarship applicants:

30 April 2023

Deadline for self-funded applicants:

30 May 2023

Scholarships for children’s rights experts available!

Lecturers and Experts

Often different disciplines work separately although they have similar motivations and strong connections. The Summer School in Cinema Human Rights and Advocacy brings together experts and participants from all over the world to analyse the connections between human rights, films, digital media and advocacy, to foster participatory and critical thinking on urgent human rights issues, debate with filmmakers during the Venice International Film Festival and learn how to use films as a tool for social and cultural change.

Special Guest

Giacomo Abbruzzese - Global Campus

Giacomo Abbruzzese

Born in Taranto in 1983, Giacomo lives and works between France and Italy. His films have been selected and awarded in various international film festivals, among which Berlin Film Festival, MoMA – New Directors New Films, Hong Kong, Guadalajara, Palm Springs, Melbourne, Clermont-Ferrand, Wien, Oberhausen, Mar de Plata, Turin and have been streamed in various platforms, such as Canal+, Arte, France3, France2, Sky Art, SVT, Tenk.

Nominated at César for his documentary America, Giacomo was artist in residence at Cinéfondation du Festival de Cannes, at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and at Clermont-Ferrand Shortfilm Festival.

His first feature film Disco Boy, a co-production between France, Italy, Belgium and Poland, starring Franz Rogowski as protagonist, won the Silver Bear at Berlin Film Festival and has been screened in more than 30 countries.

Filmography: Disco Boy (fiction, 91min, 2023), I santi (fiction, 30min, 2022), America (documentary, 59min, 2021), Fame (documentary, 57min, 2017), Stella Maris (fiction, 27min, 2014), This is the way (documentary, 27min, 2014), Fireworks (fiction, 21min, 2011), Archipel (fiction, 23min, 2010).


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Programme Directors

Nick Danziger - Global Campus

chra Director

Nick Danziger

Nick Danziger’s taste for travels and adventures began when he left home alone to Paris in 1971 aged 13. Subsequent journeys took Nick further afield; to South and Central America, the Middle and Far East, as well as Africa.

Nick's initial ambition was to be an artist. He graduated with an MA and taught art school and was represented by the Robert Fraser gallery. But his desire to travel remained, becoming more and more interested in people’s daily lives, often living and working side by side with people living in the margins of society be it in Afghanistan, Colombia, Mongolia, Kosovo, Ethiopia and Great Britain.

He has worked in over 100 countries amongst traumatized populations living in war zones and in neighbourhoods undermined by social conflicts. For Danziger photography, writing and documentary filmmaking are all means for capturing and recording what he sees. His first documentary film, War, Lives and Videotape, based on children abandoned in the Marstoon mental asylum on the outskirts of Kabul won the Prix Italia for best television documentary film and he is a winner of a World Press Award in the single best portrait category for his ‘mirror image’ of Tony Blair and George Bush as they went to war in Iraq in April 2003.



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Claudia Modonesi - Global Campus

Picture People Executive Director

Claudia Modonesi

Claudia is a human rights expert and media trainer with a background in film studies and an MA in human rights. For the last 15 years, Claudia has combined her two great passions - film and human rights - by running projects in Europe, Asia and Africa and supporting aspiring filmmakers and activists to expose abuses and injustices in their films.

After years of experience in the human rights sector serving international organisations in Geneva, Brussels and Vienna and the not for profit sector in the UK, in 2019 Claudia became the CEO of Picture People, a UK educational charity using visual media and mobile technology to advocate for change, where she manages the organisational strategy and operations whilst she continues to facilitate trainings in the field.



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Raja Althaibani


Raja Althaibani

Raja is a human rights advocate who specializes in using video and technology in advocacy, reporting and accountability efforts.

At WITNESS Raja draws on over a decade of experience in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to assist communities and civil society groups using video and technology in their efforts to advance human rights and accountability throughout the region — and she works to ensure that innovative learning is shared and built upon.

Prior to joining WITNESS, Raja worked with not-for-profits in the United States and the Middle East, providing critical support in key areas like immigration, gender and minority rights, peace and stability and more. In 2011, she was in Yemen covering the revolution as a citizen journalist, media stringer and freelance photographer for international media.

Raja’s strengths lie in community mobilization, representation, capacity building, political analysis of the status of the Middle East, international human rights, and Islam.


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Christopher Hird - Global Campus

Dartmouth Films

Christopher Hird

Christopher Hird is the founder and managing director of Dartmouth Films, who specialise in the production and distribution of documentaries which aim to have an impact.

One of Dartmouth’s first productions – The End of the Line (2009) - pioneered this genre of filmmaking. Recent films have included Josh Appignanesi’s My Extinction (2023), Edinburgh Film Festival selected Women Behind the Wheel (2022) and Bank Job (2021), which premiered at Hot Docs. Last year Dartmouth won the Big Screen Award for best documentary campaign of the year.

Christopher Hird is a former chair of the Sheffield DocFest, was the founding chair of Doc Society and served for six years as a trustee of the Grierson Trust. He is currently the chair of the Ethical Journalism Network and Picture People and is a trustee of the Wincott Foundation.


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Prof. Manfred Nowak - Global Campus

Global Campus of Human Rights Secretary General

Manfred Nowak

Manfred Nowak has been Secretary General of the Global Campus of Human Rights in Venice since January 2016.

In addition, he is Professor for International Human Rights at the University of Vienna, where he is the scientific director of the Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights and co-director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights. In October 2016, he was appointed as independent expert leading the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.

Aside from Vienna University, Manfred Nowak was Professor of International Law and Human Rights at various prestigious universities, such as Utrecht, Lund, Stanford and the Graduate Institute in Geneva, and has published more than 600 books and articles in this field, including various language editions of the CCPR-Commentary, a CAT-Commentary and an introduction to the International Human Rights Regime. He has carried out various expert functions for the UN, the Council of Europe, the EU and other inter-governmental organizations.

Most importantly, he served for many years in various functions as UN Expert on Enforced Disappearances (1993 to 2006), as one of eight international judges in the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo (1996 to 2003), and as UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (2004 to 2010).


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Florian Westphal - Global Campus

Save the Children Germany

Florian Westphal

Florian Westphal is the CEO of Save the Children Germany, the German member of the world’s leading independent child rights agency. He previously worked for the Global Public Policy Institute on a research project related to the protection of civilians during armed conflicts.

From 2014 until 2020, he served as the CEO of the German section of Doctors Without Borders (MSF). Before that he worked for 15 years with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Kenya and Malaysia as well as at global HQ in Geneva.

Florian has a background in radio journalism and holds a Masters in International Policy from the University of Bristol and a BA in Economics and Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.


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Egbert Wits - Global Campus


Egbert Wits

Egbert has been active in the field of international development for nearly 20 years. Specializing in impact oriented working practices, training design and facilitation, community empowerment, and strengthening the capacities of local organizations.

As senior program and research manager of EngageMedia Egbert managed and co-edited the Video for Change Impact Toolkit, a guide for practitioners and activist to design and evaluate impact and create strategic outreach campaigns for their films.

After nearly two decades in Indonesia, Egbert recently moved to Newcastle, Australia with his family. Besides his work for EngageMedia, he is an Anthropology lecturer and PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle.


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