History

2001 – the first International Film Festival Human Rights in Film held in December in Warsaw

2003 – traveling film Festival established, screening in six Polish cities after the international Festival in Warsaw as well as in Osh in Kyrgyzstan.


2003 – the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights awards the first festival prize for excellent achievement in showing human rights in film to Kim Longinotto (Since 2006, the prize has been renamed the Marek Nowicki Prize, after the cofounder and longtime HFHR president.)

2004 – on April 18th in Prague, WATCH DOCS (then – Human Rights in Film FF) becomes a founding member of the Human Rights Film Network – the world platform for cooperation among human rights film festivals

2004 – for the first time, the Warsaw edition of the festival is held in more than one venue. Screenings at six theaters draw more than 10 000 viewers.

2005 – the first public prize is awarded at the Warsaw edition of the festival to Hanna Polak and Andrzej Celiński for their film "Children of Leningradsky"

2005 – festival organizers establish the Social Institute of Film to propagate the festival mission and formula

2005 – festival begins contributing to the organization of docudays.ua, Ukrainian human rights film Festival, currently one of the largest festivals of such kind in Europe

2006 – festival changes its name to WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film and adopts a new competition formula, screening over 100 films in its sixth year

2007 – the Traveling Film Festival WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film sparks Lithuania’s first human rights film festival: Ad Hoc. Inconvenient Films. Currently, Ad Hoc is an independent event organized in cooperation with WATCH DOCS and one of Lithuania’s largest social and cultural events.

2007 – the WATCH DOCS school film club program begins in several Warsaw high schools

2008 – Warsaw festival is accompanied by the “Human Rights Matters” campaign, based on graphic design by Dominika Raczkowska, laureate of the prestigious Sappi Ideas That Matter competition

2010 – WATCH DOCS university video libraries program begins operating at several Polish universities

2010 – WATCH DOCS co-organizes One World Brussels film festival, the first human rights film festival targeting political decision-makers, EU employees, and international NGOs, initiated by the Czech One World film festival.

2010 – Celebrations of 10th, anniversary edition of WATCH DOCS include visit of Frederick Wiseman – one of the worlds best-known documentary filmmakers, and the laureate of the Marek Nowicki Prize. During the festival, first Polish retrospective of Wiseman's films is held.


2011 – WATCH DOCS free of charge on-line channel at the
www.kinoplex.pl VoD site starts, including several films from the last edition of the festival.

2011 – thanks to the support of the European Commision, during the festival, big international conference „Human Rights – Current State of Debate” is held with participation of international guests – renowned scholars and NGO representatives.


2012 – International Film Festival WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film for the first time is held simultaneously in two cities: Warsaw and Lublin