At the first selection round in 2009 the selection committee granted six projects. At the second round in October 2009, the selection committee granded 10 projects.
From 30 April - 4 May 2010 the third edition of the Bahrain Human Rights International Film Festival (BHRIFF) was to take place in Bahrain. Unfortunately, the festival has been postponed until further notice. The first edition in 2008 was the first human rights film festival ever organised in the Middle East. The festival celebrates both International Labour Day on May 1st and the International Day for Press Freedom on May 3rd. The festival aims to screen between 30 and 40 films, covering themes such as peace, equality, justice, solidarity, and freedom, fighting all types of violence, torture, and all forms of discrimination. The programme has a special emphasis on directors from the region. The BHIRFF is a member of the Human Rights Film Network since November 2009.
From 4 to 10 May 2009 the Centre for Cultural Management PUKANAWI organised the fifth edition of the human rights film festival The Seventh Eye is Yours in Sucre with films, discussions, music, dance and workshops. This edition had a special focus on films about liberation movements and indigenous peoples. From August 2009 until May 2010 the award winners of the festival went on tour through seven provincial towns in Bolivia, to reach the indigenous communities. In total there were 40 film screenings reaching with 5.130 visitors, varying from students to rural households.
During the Pravo Ljudski Festival in November 2009, a 3-day educational programme was organised, called ‘Zoom Rights’. In this program secondary school students and other youth were made familiar with human rights through different projects: a human rights photo contes'; human rights documentary screenings during the Pravo Ljudski Festival, an outreach programme of human rights workshops and screenings across Bosnia Herzegovina. The outreach programme took place from November 2009 to January 2010. The two films selected for the outreach programme were Another Planet (Ferenc Moldonányi) and Faces (Gmax). Discussion about human rights, democracy and equality are stimulated at this educational platform through film and debate. The project was, according to the evaluation forms, exceptionally well-received by the students. The project reached in total 1.537 students.
This project consists of a 7-day film festival taking place in the main capital, Sofia from 23 November – 1 December 2009, followed by monthly screenings in Sofia and screenings organised in Blagoevgrad, Plovidv, and Ruse. Before the film festival took place, ‘warming-up’ screenings were organised with the films Doing Time, Doing Vipassana¸The Day after Peace, and Kumbh Mela. In total, the project reached 3.285 visitors. The festival featured 25 international films, 10 Bulgarian films, a special programme from Jacky Comforty and a focus on documentaries from Rithy Panh. An educational workshop was organised for teachers, youth leaders and NGOs. The festival focuses on discussions about issues such as migration, human rights, prejudices and xenophobia. It also organised a seminar about the use of documentaries in education and a photo exhibition called Faces. We Are One and the One Giant Leap party. Furthermore, three films were broadcast on television. After the festival, One World continued to organise monthly screenings in Sofia, which were very successful, reaching 650 visitors in total.
Next to the human rights film festival ‘Cine Droit Libre’ in Ouagadougou, a ‘Cine Droit Libre on the road’ took place from November 2009 to February 2010. In order to reach the population living outside of the capital 15 of these festival films were also presented on a tour. The films were screened in five provincial towns across the country: Kaya, Fada, Bobo Dioulasso, Koudougou, and Po. The films were dealing with the themes human rights and freedom of press. The screenings were followed by a debate which according to the organisers was at times tempestuous,between the audience and guest speakers. In every town a concert was realised alongside the screenings with the popular artists Sams'k le jah and Smockey, which reached many young people. The screenings reached a total of 11.000 visitors.
In December 2009, Semfilms presents a human rights educative DVD Box in Burkina Faso. The DVD box contains the films Borry Bana about the murder on journalist Norbert Zongo and Le Recueillement about a group of women called ‘les femmes en noire’ who stand up against impunity in Burkina Faso. The films are translated to the local language Moore. 500 DVD boxes are distributed among human rights organisations and educational institutions, like MBDHP and the National Press Centre CNP-NZ. Booklets are distributed with the DVDs with information about action groups, tips how to get involved by human rights activities and questions for debate.
Over 2.000 visitors attended the three open-air screenings, which were organised around the DVD release. Film screenings were also organised by various organisations and persons in cities and towns. Semfilms continues working on the distribution of the DVD box, especially at schools.
TADAMON, the Egyptian Refugee Multicultural Council and the Student Action for refugees (STAR) organised a film festival from 16 to 20 June 2009 in Cairo with the aim to create more understanding and dialogue between the Egyptians and the refugees living in Cairo. Cairo is home to a significant refugee population from all over Africa and the Middle East.
The film festival included film screenings, Q&A sessions, a crafts bazaar, lectures and music. The festival attracted 1.200 visitors.
Some of the reactions in the media were: "The first-ever Cairo Refugee Film Festival looks to unite Egyptians with the refugee community" (Almasry Alyoum), “The city’s first refugee film festival has proven an unprecedented success, with record crowds packing downtown’s Rawabet Theatre each evening in spite of the cramped, hot venue.” (Daily News). The opening and closing concerts (Egyptian rock, Palestinian hip-hop, and Sudanese reggae) were well received by the audience and involved performance by community members. The festival’s sideline activities (panel discussions, photography and filmmaking workshops) succeeded in creating interactions between refugees and Egyptians.
After the 4th edition of the Addis Ababa Film Festival, fifteen festival films were selected for wider circulation in Ethiopia. Students’ council’s representatives visited the Addis International Film Festival and were involved in the selection of the films. The screenings took place at universities throughout the country, in Bahir Dar, Dire Dawa, Mekelle and Adama during the month of April. Unfortunately, the programme in Hawassa was cancelled at the last moment due to power shortage. Although fifteen films were proposed, in Bahir Dar a 3-day programme was organised with the screening of over 40 films, including Burma VJ, Wherever There Are People, Problems Are Never Lacking, and Africa Rising. The screenings reached 1.600 students. http://www.initiativeafrica.net/
From 22 – 25 April 2010 Solaris Pictures presented the first Queer Film Festival in Mumbai. According to the organisers: "It all started with a small dream - of bringing international queer cinema to India as well as provide a platform for Indian queer films. But the first edition of KASHISH – Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2010 turned out to be a milestone event in LGBT movement in India. It was the first ever queer film festival to be held in a mainstream theatre. It was also the first queer film festival in India to apply for and obtain an exemption from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting! The four days of the film festival at two venues drew an unprecedented audience turnout of over 1.200 people who came to watch 110 films from 25 countries. The festival was supported by a host of Bollywood celebrities and media professionals.”
The festival received extensive media coverage in India and globally. Kashish was covered in all the mainstream newspapers: The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, Mumbai Mirror; HT Café gave exclusive spreads to Kashish. There was extensive media coverage and news snippets in more than 200 news sites, ezines and blogs; fanning off a wide ripple of information reach. Several leading foreign newspapers and magazines including in the UK, USA, Canada, Sweden, China, Germany, Korea, Italy, Australia, and Spain, to name a few, prominintely covered the festival. Gay, lesbian and transgender people in India are still stigmatised, discriminated and victimised because of the prevailing taboos, legal sanction and social ostracising of these sexual minorities.
From September 2009 to February 2010, Dunia Moja organised film screenings in Nairobi and throughout Kenya. This screenings aimed to prepare communities to reflect upon, caucus and participate in transitional justice and national reconstruction processes following the post 2007 election violence. Activities included a 5-day film festival in Nairobi between 14-18 December, reaching a total number of 1.000 visitors, and 31 mobile cinema screenings and extensive discussions in rural areas. These screenings reached circa 9.500 visitors. Furthermore, on the 17th of December, a workshop was organised with 60 youth leaders from the low-income areas community based organizations, mostly slums, on how to use audio-visual media as a tool for human rights education.
The 4th Kenya International Film Festival (KIFF) took place from 21-31 October in Nairobi. With the support of Movies that Matter, the festival organises an outreachprogramme in eight towns in November and December 2009. Each town will have its own three-day festival, with twelve filmscreenings in schools, universities and in the open air. For each town, a selection of films is made suitable to the specific social, economic and political circumstances of the area. The human rights programme has a special emphasis on films from Africa and Eastern Europe.
From 19 – 21 October, the first Rolling Film Festival was held in Pristine, showcasing twenty-six films made by or about the Roma community. The festival was organised to raise awareness among Kosovo society about the realities of Roma communities both within and outside of Kosovo. Approximately 1.700 visitors attended screenings over the course of the three days. Roma from different parts of Kosovo came to Rolling Film Festival. There were discussions after each film screening. These discussions covered topics such as education, identity, gender roles, history, the consequences of stereotyping, and the differences between Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Kosovo. According to the organisers, one of the best parts of the festival was the school program involving 550 students of five pristine high schools. Nine major newspapers wrote in total 18 articles about the festival. Four radio programmes, six TV programmes and two online news sites covered the festival.
From 27 August to 1 October 2010, the Kathmandu Human Rights Film Center (KHRC) organised eight film screenings and debates on human rights issues every Friday night at the Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu. Three films were Nepali documentaries. The chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission and the chairperson of the Nepal Film Development Board opened the festival. The KHRC especially reached out to policy-makers, human rights activists, journalists, police officers, teachers and university professors. Different issues related to human rights, such as the situation of migrant workers, death penalty, and women’s rights were discussed after the screenings. The events stimulated the visibility of human rights in general and the making and screening of human rights films in particular. During the festival period, the Nepali government implemented a stricter film censorship rule, which was ultimately successfully opposed by the festival. The centre reached a total of 1.500 visitors and at least 12 times media coverage by national newspapers, radio and TV stations. The centre will continue its activities to screen films on human rights issues.
Between January and April 2010 the NGO Al-Asar Development organised 15 open-air screenings of Indian or Pakistani films about GBV-RH themes in the rural areas in Southern Punjab, Pakistan. The screenings aimed to increase awareness on gender based violence and reproductive health (GBV-RH). All screenings were followed by discussions about these topics. The project reached a total of 6.820 people. The majority of the visitors were between 18-30 years old and poorly educated. Al-Asar has organised many awareness-raising programmes in the past with the use of street theatre and other cultural activities.
After more than 25 years of civil war arising out of ethnic tensions between the majority Sinhalese and the Tamil minority in the northeast, the conflict appeared to reach an end in May 2009, when government forces eliminated the last area controlled by Tamil Tiger rebels.
From December 2009 till May 2010 Thothanna presented the project “Peace Through Images”. This project included 50 screenings with a selection of five shorts about the effects of the war on the Tamil community, especially on children. The screenings took place at schools and community centres in the Dry zone of Anamaduwa where the majority of the people are Sinhalese. The project reached 6.000 visitors, of which the majority were students. The screenings caused a lot of discussion. Many of the students also responded by writing down their opinions and thoughts in a notebook provided by the organisers.
In cooperation with regional organisations, the Colombo Institute organised two one-day festivals at two universities: the University of Peradeniya in Kandy (August 2009) and the Rajata University in Anuradhapura (October 2009). At each festival, five films were screened followed by discussions about subjects like ethnic violence in Sri Lanka, youth identity and anxieties, poverty and regional marginalization. The festivals reached over 1.400 undergraduate first-year students and 55 teachers, which is more than four times the amount the organiser expected beforehand.
According to the organiser, “the festival opened up the minds of the Arts Faculty undergraduates both to the idea of film as a means of learning and discussion and to the possibility of having open discussions within classroom settings regarding issues pertaining to them and to the wider world. Both of these are significant breakthroughs in a context where undergraduate education (..) is limited to a one-way monologue by a teacher who users very little other a sheaf of papers as teaching tools.” Also, “the discussions as well as the questionnaire that was filled in indicated that the film festival was greatly appreciated.”
In Bibile, located in Sri Lanka’s Uwa province, a film and debate festival was organised by the Colombo Institute and its regional partners. The three-day festival was to take place in May 2010, but due to political unrest it has been postponed to April 2011. The event was held at Samadhi Nikethanaya, a place for alternative education for Buddhist clergy. Sinhalese, Hindi and English films were screened, generating discussions on a variety of issues, such as the erosion of social and human values, the role of women in society, politics in a post-war period, and the impact of Buddhist participation in online media. The audience consisted of 350 school children, Buddhist priests and nuns, teachers as well as other interested people from the village.
In October 2010 Limbo Woyo "Open Your Eyes", travelled by boat to the village Diitabiki, to screen films to the local Maroon community. 'Open Your Eyes' is a three-day film and debate festival on human rights issues. With this initiative the Foundation for Communication, Culture and Development (COCON) aimed to increase the awareness on human rights among the Maroon population. Other than the previous edition in 2009, this year many visitors from the surrounding villages came to watch the films, as well as visitors from Paramaribo, among which several ministers, directors and other officials. These influentials came to celebrate Marron Day (10 October). In total, the screenings reached more than 2.000 visitors. An additional 10.000 people were reached through a radio programme about human rights.
On the first day an educative programme was especially organised for children and students.
Special guest was the American actor LeVar Burton, known from his role as ‘Kunta Kinte’ from the film Roots and Star Trek. Kunta Kinte is an icon for freedom for those lived in slavery. Burton gave a speech on the rights of people in relation to freedom. Alongside the screenings cultural activities were organised, for example a fire dance and a mato spectacle (traditional storytelling night with jokes).
Many media travelled with the festival to the village and covered the festival. COCON uses community-based interventions, such as theatre and film screenings, as an information method to inform deprived communities.
From 18 – 23 November 2009, the 3rd International Film Festival on Human Rights took place in the capital city, Lomé and Kara in the northern region. The festival screened 15 different films and aimed at the improvement of human rights culture, democracy and reconciliation against the background of free, independent and democratic elections taking place in 2010. The screenings took place at universities, schools, and cultural centres all over Lomé. Furthermore, the festival includes traditional dance and theatrical performances, and reached 4.950 visitors. 12 Articles in local newspapers were published about the festival. Also, radio programmes about the festival and with discussions on human rights were broadcasted.
From 4 to 13 September 2009 the third edition of the Llamale H Film Festival took place in Montevideo, Rivera, Salto, Melo and Artigas accompanied by photography projects. The films that were screened tell stories about lesbians and gays and their issues. Alongside the screenings, debates were organised. The festival reached 2.900 visitors, which was much more than the 2008 edition. The project received media attention on at least 54 websites and 12 newspapers.
In March and April 2010, the films were also shown in other parts of the country, in Melo, Salto, Mercedes and Rivera.
The selection committee 2009 consists of Isabel Arrate (coordinator Jan Vrijman Fund) Jan Besselink (former director Lumiere), Marianne Bhalotra (former head of Hubert Bals Fund), Taco Ruighaver (director Movies that Matter) and Paul van Paaschen (programme manager art and culture, HIVOS).