In 2016, Movies that Matter granted financial support to a total of 15 film festivals.
During the 10-day ShanghaiPRIDE various film screenings and discussions on LGBTQ rights took place. With its thematic focus on ‘gender’, this year’s festival served to give voice to transsexuals and those whose gender identity does not fit within the male / female binary. The festival included a short film competition for Chinese filmmakers focusing on queer narratives. The second edition of this ShanghaiPRIDE Film Festival was held from 17 to 26 June 2016. About 1000 visitors were welcomed, mainly from gender minorities and the LGBT and queer communities. Through the Asia Pacific Queer Film Festivals Alliance, the organisers cooperate with other queer and LGBT film festivals in the region. Read more
Against the backdrop of the peace process, Fundación Ambulante Colombia organised a mobile documentary traveling film festival. Between 23 August and 25 September 2016, 60 high quality documentaries with a strong focus on human rights and social issues were presented in five Colombian cities: Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla and Cartagena. The 78 venues included parks, libraries, schools, universities, commercial cinemas, bars, rural communities and cultural centres. Almost 200 film screenings and 80 debates, workshops and performances are held. With the help of local coordinators and many volunteers, this mobile film festival reached more than 15,000 people throughout the country. Read more
Peace: the main theme of the fourth edition of the International Human Rights Film Festival might be even more relevant than ever considering the recent referendum. The passionate organisers of the festival are determined to use the power of cinema to address issues related to peace and human rights. In a time span of six days, 80 films from around the world will be screened in Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena and Barranquilla. The festival, which will be held from 22 – 27 April 2017, is expecting a record number of 6500 visitors. Read more
From August 2016 to July 2017 the Mumbai-based KASHISH International Queer Film Festival will travel to 15 university campuses in different Indian cities. These film events consist of film screenings and interactive discussions about gender, sexuality, identity, coming-out, family pressure and homophobia. Homosexuality is a social taboo in India, where the LGBT community has largely been underground and higher courts have recriminalized homosexuality. The organizers of KASHISH Forward aim to attract more than 2,000 visitors, mainly students and university staff, aiming to contribute to queer-friendlier campuses in India. Read more
Introducing human rights through arts is the main goal of the organisers of documentary film festival Chesnok. The title of the festival means ‘garlic’ in Russian, but it sounds like ‘chestno’, meaning ‘honesty’. The second festival edition, from 27-30 April 2017, welcomed 1200 visitors. Documentaries screened in Moldovan and Transnistrian cities included The Eagle Huntress, Those who said no, Let’s Play War, Valley of Sighs and I didn’t cross the border, the border crossed me. Here, in one of Europe's poorest regions, where access to free press and cultural engagement is limited, these films, followed by public debates, aimed at offering an alternative view on society. Read more.
The fifth edition of Nuit Blanche (Sleepless Night), an outdoor human rights film event in Rabat, took place on 24 and 25 June 2016. From dusk to dawn, films were screened and a round table with 6 experts was held at the square in front of the National Library. This year Ramadan gave the Nuit Blanche an extra dimension. With films like Tuk Tuk (Romany Saad) and Pomegranate is the Fruit of Paradise (Teymour Ghaderi) the festival focused on children’s rights this year. The organisers welcomed more than 1,000 visitors. Read more
Social stigma and discrimination against the LGBT population are common in Myanmar. To stimulate discussion around LGBT rights, the NGO Colours Rainbow organises the &PROUD Film festival. The festival also includes a photo exhibition and film making workshop for LGBT film makers. With their focus on Asian cinema, the organisers hope to reflect the diversity of LGBT lives in South East Asian countries. &PROUD expects to welcome 4000 people. This LGBT+ film festival in Myanmar celebrated its 3rd edition from 26 - 29 January of 2017. Read more
From August 2016 – January 2017 the 4th edition of Bato Ko Cinema took place. The Sattya Media Arts Collective organised screenings of 6 short films about women’s rights and gender equality in towns and villages throughout Nepal. Bato Ko Cinema means ‘Street Cinema’ in Nepali. Therefore all screenings took place in public spaces. Before and after the film screenings, discussions were organised about child marriage, sexual exploitation, and the taboos surrounding menstruation. An artist made mural paintings as a lasting memory and positive reminder about gender equality. Through a total of 26 screenings the organisers reached more than 3200 visitors. Read more
The Aks Film, Art and Dialogue Festival promotes the visibility and empowerment of transgender and LGB communities. Members of sexual minorities are discriminated and marginalized in the Islamic republic Pakistan, even though transwomen (also called Hijra in Pakistan) always used to have a special and respected role in society. Screenings take place in liberal art houses, educational institutes and embassies. In addition, the festival organises debates, educational workshops and art exhibitions in the period of 30 March – 9 April 2017 aiming to reach at least 2000 visitors. Read more
The 3rd edition of the Red Carpet Human Rights Film Festival will take place in Gaza from 12-17 May 2017. The ambition of the festival this year is to organise film events at the West Bank as well. Around 45 international films will be screened in the open air and cinema halls, aiming at a total of 12.000 visitors. Debates and art performances are also part of the festival, whose main goal is to spark cultural events and to give back confidence in human rights to Palestinian people. Read more
The Censurados Film Festival is an annual film festival in Peru screening films about freedom of expression and human rights in Peru. In 2016 the traveling part of the festival visited Madre de Dios, an indigenous Amazon region in the southeast of the country, where human rights are being violated due to illegal gold mining and deforestation. Screenings of the festival, which took place from 1 to 15 August 2016 in public squares and community areas, were followed by discussions. The organisation, La Combi-Arte Rodante, reached almost 3,500 visitors in twelve different villages in Madre de Dios. Read more
Screening films about human rights and freedom of expression that are censored in other countries: that is what the Censurados Film Festival is all about. The 4th edition took place in Lima and also travelled with mobile screenings and debates to six peripherical areas. From 21- 26 March 2017 a total of 35 films were presented. Besides the film screenings the festival organisation La Combi-Arte Rodante also hosted lectures, debates, masterclasses and performances, reaching around 9000 visitors. Read more
The 4th edition of Sine Karbengan (Human Rights Cinema) will be held as a two-week event in 15 places and communities in three regions in the north part of Luzon, the country’s largest and most populous island. The festival is a statement of the people’s continuing resistance against human rights violations in the Philippines. A total of 60 screenings of 15 short documentaries will be organised, followed by discussions and debates dealing with the current human rights situation, insights by filmmakers and testimonies from local community members. The number of expected visitors is between 10,000 and 15,000. Students and communities affected by militarisation are the main target group. Also, poetry reading and other cultural events will be part of the festival. It was scheduled for November 2016, but due to the typhoon that devastated this part of the country, the festival has been postponed to April 2017. Read more
The first LGBTQ film festival in Uganda was held from 9 - 11 December 2016 in the capital Kampala. To celebrate sexual diversity the organisers screened 30 films from different countries in three different venues. Debates about LGBTQ rights and filmmaking were also part of the festival, with the main goal to inform Ugandan people about the sexual identity of LGBTQ individuals and to promote the dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities. Despite some opposition from religious organisations and venue owners, no serious incidents took place. The festival attracted more than 800 visitors. Read more
In the isolated and volatile Karamoja region in the North-East of Uganda, a travelling human rights film festival took place in 12 villages in Kotido and Moroto districts. The festival presented films made by Karamojong filmmakers as well as international films with topics relevant to the region. Screenings were followed by community debates and discussions on the issues raised in the films. It served to show people the art of cinema, to inspire them and to broaden the horizons of many Karamojong. For instance, after a film on the importance of education was screened in one of the villages, the local council chairman stood up and energetically encouraged all parents to make sure their children attend school. The events took place from July to September 2016, and reached more than 15,000 people. Read more
In 2016 the selection committee of the Movies that Matter Support Programme consisted of Isabel Arrate (coordinator IDFA Bertha Fund), Leon Willems (director Free Press Unlimited), Jannie Langbroek (consultant at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam), Dorien Marres (former coordinator Growth & Mobilisation Fund, Amnesty International Netherlands) and Taco Ruighaver (former director Movies that Matter). From July 2016 onwards, the position of Taco Ruighaver is taken over by Dirk van der Straaten, artistic director of Movies that Matter.