Soka Gakkai International-USA’s Culture of Peace Resource Center in Santa Monica has scheduled a lecture Saturday, February 16th, with Paolo Davanzo, founder and executive director of the annual Human Rights Film Festival and the Echo Park Film Center.

The lecture is to begin at 4 p.m. at the Soka Gakkai International-USA Culture of Peace Resource Center, 606 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. The event is free and open to the public.

“We live in a media-saturated age,” Davanzo said. “However the majority of us are only consumers of information. It is my hope to excite and encourage people to become the producers of their own media content.

“By discussing my work as a filmmaker, educator and human rights activist, I hope to demonstrate how change begins in your own neighborhood.”

Every year, the Human Rights Film Festival that Davanzo organizes presents a variety of documentary and experimental films that explore themes of home and community as well as basic human rights, including the right to peacefully assemble, the right to religious freedom, the right of political sovereignty and the right to life and liberty.

Through anecdotes, short films and examples of community-based media, Davanzo’s talk is expected to highlight social justice issues often ignored by the mainstream media in Western industrialized nations.

“One of the first steps in achieving human rights is developing a solid perspective about humanity, realizing that though others may be different from you, we are all members of the same human family,” says series organizer Ian McIlraith. “Paolo Davanzo’s community-based approach to media activism is helping new generations of global citizens create dynamic new ways of promoting thought, discussion, debate and action on human rights issues in their homes, schools and local communities.”

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