In 2014 Movies that Matter granted support to 24 film screening projects. Unfortunately, three of those projects were cancelled. All projects are briefly described here:
After the 10th edition of Ciné Droit Libre Film Festival in Ouagadougou in June 2014, the organisers took a selection of high-quality, accessible films to other parts of Burkina Faso. This edition took place against the background of a political crisis with protests against the former president Blaise Compaoré ‘s attempt to extend his 27-year rule. In the end, these uprisings forced him from office. Due to the curfew that was set in this period, screenings in three cities had to be postponed. In the other cities where Ciné Droit Libre travelled to, many of these open-air screenings and discussions became a platform for mobilization and protest with fierce discussions about democracy and freedom. The project reached large crowds, a record number of 27,800 people, in peripheral areas of Burkina Faso. Read more
From 15-22 July 2014, after three successful editions in Bamenda, the festival moved to Fundong, a small town some 70 kilometres away. The main focus of the 4th edition of A Common Future Human Rights Film and Arts Festival was women’s rights. The festival organised 30 grassroots film screenings, 10 panel discussions and 16 Q&A’s, sparking debate about how girls and women are treated in society. Furthermore, the festival used stand-up comedy as a way to bring social change in the community. The United Nations also supported the festival, which attracted 9,000 visitors. The festival impacted many women in and around Fundong, raising awareness about their rights. Read more
Asosiasaun HAK regularly organises small-scale documentary screenings to raise awareness and promote discussions about human rights in different parts of East Timor. Under the slogan “Bringing Human Rights Cinema to the People”, Asosiasaun HAK planned to organise a human rights film festival in 2014. The initial plan was to screen documentaries about land rights, agriculture and environmental degradation, raising awareness about human rights issues that East-Timorese are currently dealing with. However, after HAK concluded that organising a large festival would not be feasible at this stage, preparations for the festival were halted. The organisation remains active in human rights and advocacy. Read more
In 2014/2015, The Word & Image Museum of El Salvador organised 24 free film forums in various cities and villages in El Salvador, at schools, universities, theatres, cultural centres and public squares. The films screened are about the violent past of the country, a history that is largely unknown among Salvadorian youth. These film forums are especially targeted at students, as a contribution to building society’s collective memory. The project reached 3,912 visitors, mainly students and teachers. As a follow-up of this project, the museum wishes to organise audio-visual production workshops for young people to create short films on human rights in cooperation with the Youth Network on Human Rights. Movies that Matter also supported the first edition of this project in 2013. Read more
Between February and May 2015, the Colectivo Cine en la Calle organized a street cinema festival in rural and urban Guatemala. The festival screened a total of 57 films and held a world premiere of the film Seven X Guatemala. After each screening a debate was held in public spaces, such as bus terminals, squares, football pitches and parks. In the marginalized urban region of Guatemala City, specifically in Ciudad Peronia and Peninsula Bethania, the festival is a successful yearly event. A total of 4,500 visitors were provided the opportunity to watch mainly Latin American and Guatemalan films and documentaries. The Colectivo is determined to raise awareness and incite debates about topics such as migration, youth employment, women’s rights and environmental issues.
The Haitian community based organisation Asanble Vwazen Solino puts together a programme of weekly screenings and debates. Starting in July 2014, this cine-debate programme is held every Friday at a school / community center near the slum of Solino, Port-au-Prince. The project that aims to attract 10,000 visitors over the course of one year focuses on marginalized communities from the Solino area, where poverty and gang violence occur frequently. The programme includes mainly independent films, subtitled in French, about many different themes related to human rights. Films are dubbed live to Haitian Creole. Read more
In September 2015, FilmAid held its 9th Annual Film Festival in Kenya’s capital Nairobi and in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps. The annual six day event uses film to entertain and empower refugees and raises awareness of human rights issues that impact refugee communities. This year’s theme Home Away From Home showcased the films of young refugee filmmakers who took part in FilmAid’s Film Training Program, offering a powerful insight into the life in these communities. The festival, which reached 21,000 people, included different types of screenings and activities, including small group film screenings, large community hall and auditorium film screenings, mobile outdoor cinema and a panel discussion. Read more
In the first half of September 2014, the Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Film Festival organized a mobile cinema project with 3 of their festivals films. Travelling to 20 locations across Kyrgyzstan, this film bus tour attracted about 800 visitors, mostly elderly and youth. The film programme related to topics like migration, children rights and democratic elections. Not everything went well: screenings were disrupted by the local state security services. Despite earlier permissions by local authorities the State Security Service did not permit the human rights movement Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan to host the screenings In Cholpon Ata and Karakol. Nevertheless, Bir Duino plans to implement a similar program in 2015, set over the duration of one month. Read more
After a successful first edition of the Tripoli Human Rights Film Festival in 2012, also supported by Movies that Matter, the National Awareness Movement planned to organise the second festival edition in November 2014. The National Awareness Movement is a group of dedicated young Libyans. Given the non-existence of good cinemas in the Libyan capital, the plan was to convert a theatre in the city centre into a cinema to create a suitable venue for the festival. The organisers were also planning film screenings in Benghazi and Sabha. Unfortunately, due to security issues, preparations for the festival had to be stopped. The project is postponed until further notice.
Freedom Film Fest is Malaysia’s premiere human rights film festival. In a country where freedom of expression is increasingly restricted, the festival offers a free hub for discussion on urgent issues, such as democracy, mining & corporations and freedom of expression. The main festival took place from 6 to 13 September 2014, with the programme including 37 films and a forum on video activism. The festival reached 3,000 visitors, many firsttimers and guests from neighbouring countries. Compared to the previous edition, more youth attended the festival. The organisers continue the project with screenings in other Malaysian cities and neighbouring countries. Read more
The Malaysian NGO KOMAS organised its 12th edition of the FreedomFilmFest (FFF) in September 2015 near the capital Kuala Lumpur and offered screenings in six cities throughout the rest of the country. For the main festival, KOMAS selected 26 human rights documentaries and short films, with an emphasis on Malaysian films and work from the South East Asian region. Additionally, the festival created a space for the audience to discuss with filmmakers and experts. Furthermore, two master classes were organised and a Video Activist Forum. A selection of films was offered through small scale screenings targeting the public outside the capital region. The FFF is a crucial human rights educational platform that creates a democratic space where human rights issues can be discussed and debated freely and openly. Themes include minority rights, freedom of expression, corruption and injustice. In 2015 KOMAS again welcomed a total of 3000 visitors. Read more
One of the projects of the Sattya Media Arts Collective is ‘Bato Ko Cinema’, meaning ‘Street Cinema’ in Nepali. Over the course of a 10-month period starting in September 2014, 15 open-air film screenings were organised in public spaces in five Nepali cities: Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Kirtipur, Banepa, and Birgunj. The films screened created heated discussions on a wide range of critical issues, one of them being labour rights. The festival attracted 1,400 visitors and plans to create a follow up project in order to reach other areas of Nepal. Read more
Over a period of six months, this mobile ‘caravan’ film festival travelled to 43 villages in the rural province of Zinder. In Niger many children and adults with disabilities are excluded from participating in society and live off begging. The aim of the project was to empower disabled people and counter prejudices held against them and their families. Two shorts and one mid-length film were screened. The festival attracted 27.950 visitors, who watched films and participated in debates about the rights of disabled children and children of disabled parents. The project was appreciated by the visitors and new perspectives and understanding was created. Each screening was followed by a debate about themes such as education for children with disabilities and economic independence of people with disabilities. The local and national media played a big role in supporting the festival as well as local leaders. The festival, which also aimed at raising awareness of human rights in general, took place from January to June 2015.
The Karama Human Rights Film Festival took place from 12-14 May, 2015. The opening day was held amid the rubble of Gaza City's Shijaiyah district, an area that was heavily bombarded during the 2014 summer's war between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in the crammed enclave. The organisers rolled a 60 meters long red carpet through the area. "The people of Shijaiyah still don't have homes until today, and this festival is a message to everyone to think of them as human beings," said Khalil al-Mozayen, one of the organizers. "I want the festival to send a message to the whole world that people of Gaza deserve life — that they love life and seek peace." The festival reached more than 6,000 visitors. A video that was made by AJ+ about the festival was viewed more than 7 million times. The festival was organised in cooperation with Karama Human Rights Film Festival in Jordan. Read more
The Lesbian Gay, Bisexual Trans- and Intersexual Film Festival OUTFEST is the main festival related to sexual diversity in Peru. It has been running since 2004, to sensitize society with stories that reveal the difficulties that the LGBTI community faces, using cinema as a tool for social change. The festival is hosted by local theatres and cultural centres. Between June and September 2014, screenings of documentaries and feature films were scheduled in Lima, Trujillo and in the city of Iquitos in the Peruvian jungle. A total of 90 films were screened and 7 forums were organised, during which LGBT rights were discussed. In Iquitos, for instance, school forums about homophobic bullying were successful in terms of awareness raising. In 2014, OUTFEST had an audience of almost 2,500 people. Read more
The 3rd Truth Cinema (Sine Totoo) Film Festival is a mobile grassroots film screening program of human rights, which shows four short films produced in the Philippines in 50 schools, workplaces and communities all over the country. The films focus on human rights in the Philippines today and are about indigenous people and their right to education, labour rights, landlessness, poverty and the right to education. With most screenings taking place in November and December 2014, primarily in Metro Manila and the national capital region, Truth Cinema reached over 5000 visitors. In addition, one screening held in Tacloban City Astrodome attracted no less than 15,000 visitors. Screenings were held in conjunction with various commemoration activities, such as typhoon Yolanda, the hacienda Luisita massacre, the Maguindanao massacre and international human rights day. Read more
Side by Side Moscow, which took place from 23 – 26 April 2015, presented 19 LGBT films in multiple locations, such as human rights organizations and cinemas. Additionally, the festival offered panel discussions, Q&As, a lecture and a workshop. In total, the organization welcomed 1260 visitors. Luckily, this year the events went forward without opposition. Also the festival managed to receive an increased coverage from the media. Almost all the reporting was positive to neutral in tone. In 2014, the festival faced several bomb threats, opposition, and withdrawn support from the screening venues. Due to these security challenges that LGBTs face, significant parts of the programme took place in online communities, to give more people the chance to safely watch the films. Read more
In November 2014, the 3rd edition of the AfricanBamba Human Rights Film Festival took place. This 5-day festival in Thiaroye, a large banlieue close to Dakar, consists of 15 film screenings and six debates about various topics such as the right to education and non-violence. In addition, an extensive entertainment programme is organised, with concerts and sport events. Around 4,000 visitors took part in the festival. To inform the audience about the festival, film screenings were scheduled at schools and universities in the months leading up to the festival. This 3rd edition will be named ‘Bollo’, which means ‘Community’ in Wolof. Movies that Matter also supported the first two editions of the festival. Read more
The 10th anniversary edition of Free Zone took place in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Nis in November 2014. The festival presented human rights related documentary and feature films from around the globe, creating a free zone for open discussion about problematic issues. For the first time, the festival included cross media projects in the programme. The festival received very much attention in the Serbian media and was attended by around 23,000 visitors. In May and June 2015 the five most popular films toured to 40 Serbian towns. These free local screenings were attended by about 10,000 people. In addition, nine projections were organised for high-school audiences. Read more
To raise awareness about impunity and corruption in Togolese society, the Togo-based Alliance Internationale pour les Droits Fondamentaux de l’Homme (AIDFH) organised a mobile cinema project. In cooperation with Amnesty International Togo, AIDFH coordinated film screenings in Sokodé, Kara and Savannah regions. Debates were organised after the screenings mostly discussion reconciliation and showed that there is not a consensus on this topic. Furthermore, a number of workshops were also organised. The screenings attracted 6,000 visitors. Read more
From 10-14 December, the 5th edition of the Manya Human Rights International Film Festival took place. The festival screened 42 films in the National Theatre and in more than 40 other locations in and around the Ugandan capital, including video halls and outdoor locations. Manya organised discussions about freedom of expression and the rights of artists. Popular VJ’s took care of the live translation of the films that were screened outdoors in community spaces. The festival attracted almost 9,000 visitors, which is 3,000 more than the previous edition. This year's theme was 'My Right is Your Right'. Read more
In 2014 the Centre for Modern Information Techniques and Visual Arts organized the 11th edition of the ‘Docudays Travelling Film Festival in Regions of Ukraine’. Despite the current political crisis, documentary screenings and debates about human rights were organised in 245 cities and towns throughout the country. The aim of the travelling festival is to encourage citizens of Ukraine to engage in dialogue about human rights, strengthening democratic values and the rule of law. The Docudays travelling film festival team continued to visit Crimea and unstable parts of Eastern Ukraine, like Luhansk and Donetsk. Screening locations included cinemas and a variety of cultural venues, but also many educational institutions, shelters for homeless people, detention centres and police stations. Moreover, screenings were held for Ukrainian soldiers and fighters in the East of Ukraine. The travelling film festival took place from early October until the end of December 2014, attracting more than 104.000 visitors, mostly young people. Read more
Neither the silence of the wilderness, the sweltering heat of the Zambezi valley, pitch black darkness, nor the fear of elephants and marauding predators could deter rural Binga villagers from trekking distances of over seven kilometres to the screening venues. Movies that Matter supported the International Images Film Festival for Women to carry out an outreach programme to screen films in the towns of Bulawayo, Binga and Gwanda in the second half of February 2015. The programme included two films from Zimbabwe: Two Villages Apart and Five Days to Shiloh, plus Rwandan, Swedish and North American productions. The organization running the mobile festival, Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe, welcomed over 3000 visitors. Read more
The selection committee of the Movies that Matter Support Programme 2014 consisted of Isabel Arrate (coordinator IDFA Fund), Leon Willems (director Free Press Unlimited), Jannie Langbroek (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam), Dorien Marres (Growth & Mobilisation Fund, Amnesty International) and Taco Ruighaver (director Movies that Matter).