Angelina Jolie To Take Part In Film Festival Fighting Sexual Violence Stigma

Angelina Jolie is fighting the devastation of sexual violence wherever she can.

The U.K. government announced this week a new festival called “Fighting Stigma through Film”, to be held Nov. 23 and 24 in London, presented by Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, co-founded by Jolie.

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Jolie herself will take part in the event as UNHCR Special Envoy, leading a Q&A session with Congolese Nobel Peace Prize winner and activist Dr. Denis Mukwege and V-Day Congo Director Christine Schuler Deschryver.

The festival will feature more than 35 films and documentaries from 14 countries around the world, including Nigeria and Syria, focused on the reality of sexual violence in conflict areas.

More than two-thirds of the films presented are directed or produced by women.

“Artists and human rights defenders often take significant risks to tell the truth about crimes committed against defenceless women, children, and men during war,” Jolie said in a statement. “The perpetrators of war crimes often go to extreme lengths to keep the truth from being told. So I am proud to support the filmmakers taking part in the festival.”

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Speaking on the stigma surrounding sexual violence, Jolie added, “Stigma compounds the suffering of survivors of warzone rape. It is an unbearable injustice on a human level, and it is a major obstacle to achieving justice for victims of these sickening acts of violence. We need to examine and change the entrenched social attitudes that treat sexual violence as an inevitable consequence of war or lesser crime – including harmful attitudes to women.”

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