The Defenders

Each day, human rights defenders speak out for the rights of others. And each day they risk their livelihoods, their liberty and in many cases their lives. Globally, attacks, abductions, and even assassinations are all on the increase; last year was the deadliest on record. The Defenders tells the story of those fighting for human rights on the front line.

  • Manu Valcarce
    The Transit Workers of Singapore, The Other Side of Rio, The Search, The Life Beyond
  • Susi Bascon
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 44 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 11, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    Colombia, Honduras, Mexico
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Sir Henry Brooke Awards 2019
    United Kingdom
    November 14, 2019
Director Biography - Manu Valcarce

Manu is a documentary photographer and filmmaker based in London. He has worked on projects ranging from the lives of Muslim transsexuals living in Jakarta, Indonesia, to those affected by austerity in rural Spain.

His work has been screened in the Tate Modern as part of the Uniglo Tate Lates and exhibited in solo and collective shows as well as photography festivals. He has been shortlisted for Travel Photographer of the Year, AOP Open Awards, Portrait Salon UK and National Geographic Travel Photo Contest.

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Director Statement

It has been an honour to document the testimonies of so many courageous human rights defenders across different countries. The contribution of human rights defenders to social justice and the building of peaceful societies remains largely unrecognised, despite the massive risks and challenges they face. Their work should be celebrated, and to that effect I hope this documentary will make a small contribution.