The Oslo Freedom Forum has become known around the world for the amazing list of human rights activists, dissidents, and politicians who make their way to an annual event that has become a must visit for activists from around the world. Established by Human rights Foundation founder Thor Halvorssen the videos of speeches and discussions uploaded to the Internet form only a small portion of the work that goes on at the event; following Halvorssen as he moves through the backstage areas of the event and hotels used by speakers in Norway provides a glimpse into how the human rights community operates in the 21st century.
During a discussion with Chinese political dissident Chen Guangcheng Halvorssen is reported to have encouraged him to continue a close relationship with the actor Christian Bale, who had publicized the problems facing Chen and his wife.
Thor Halvorssen undertsands his methods are not in line with the traditional options undertaken by human rights activists, but he feels the need to move with the times and do whatever it takes to achieve human rights for all is a must.
Thor Halvorssen has had a long and successful career as a human rights activist dating back to his teenage years when he became a prominent campaigner in London against the South African Apartheid system. Following his early success, Halvorssen went on to work for many of the world’s top human rights groups before being inspired by his mother’s politically motivated shooting in 2004 to form the Human Rights Foundation.
Halvorssen does not limit his work to human rights, instead looking to explore his love of the cinema through his work as a film producer; the Venezuelan born Halvorssen has worked extensively on non-fiction movies that are based on some of the most important human rights stories of the mid to late 20th century.
Thor Halvorssen has spent much of his career working on movies based on the Hungarian uprising of the 1950s, and a film based on the use of humor in propaganda used by anti-communism groups in the Soviet Union.