We are always told it is important to work on the things we love and very few of us have found as passionate a career path as Thor Halvorssen, the Venezuelan born human rights activist who is now the leader and public face of the Human Rights Foundation.Thor Halvorssen developed his interest in human rights after a number of members of his own family were robbed of their human rights in their home nation of Venezuela, Halvorssen’s own mother was shot by pro government supporters when taking part in an anti Hugo Chavez demonstration; These events have formed the impression for Thor that human rights should play an important role in every aspect of his life and career.
After graduating in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, Thor Halvorssen has looked to combine his interests in human rights and film to develop a career that tackles some of the most important questions facing society as a global whole. Halvorssen has been a successful film producer for over a decade and brought his skills to many documentaries telling the stories of those living under communist rule in Eastern Europe during the latter half of the 20th century. Despite his interest in telling non-fiction stories Thor has recently embraced the possibilities provided by science fiction to express the fears of the world over lost human rights.
Not only does Thor Halvorssen explore the most difficult human rights abuses through his work as a film producer, he has also sought to help filmmakers of professional and amateur status tell the stories of human rights issues that personally affect them. One of the groups founded by Thor Halvorssen has been The Moving Picture Institute that Thor uses to provide funding for films that will tell difficult human rights stories, which may struggle to find funding using the traditional routes taken in the film industry.