In March 2012, the international workshop programme Cinema without Borders was held for the fourth time. In “Het Nutshuis”, a historic venue in the centre of The Hague, a variety of workshops was held, about the different aspects of setting up a human rights film festival. Festival production, programming, publicity and fundraising were the major topics discussed during the 5-day workshop programme.
Participants came from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Colombia, Zimbabwe, South-Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon, Libya, Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo. These starting festival organisers, eight men and five women, actively took part in the sessions. Inspiring workshop coaches Andrea Kuhn (director of the Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival) and Sawsan Darwaza (director of Karama Human Rights Film Festival) gave presentations on the main elements of the programme. With Hana Kulhánková, director of the One World Festival in Prague, Ehab Al-Khatib, Karama’s artistic director and other experts from Movies that Matter and partner organisation Hivos, they put together a diverse and interactive programme.
Apart from the main elements (production, programming, publicity and fundraising) workshops were held about how to organise a good debate, how to write a business plan and how to use film as a tool for education. All participants received a hard copy of the handbook “Setting up a human rights film festival”, published and kindly offered by the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival.
During the festival, participants had the opportunity to meet filmmakers, human rights activists and other (international) guests. In addition, a speed date was organised, during which the workshop participants were given the opportunity to meet - and discuss their festival plans - with thirteen experts, representing media organisations, development organisations, the film industry, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and others. Participants appreciated this opportunity to broaden their network, share ideas and improve their plans.
In the evenings and during the weekend, participants attended many film screenings, debates and performances at the festival. Many also made use of the opportunity to watch the festival films in the special video library at the festival venue.
At the end of the week, all participants had turned their ideas into concrete festival plans. These plans were quite varied; from holding a film festival focusing on artists’ rights in Cameroon, to establishing a small human rights cinema in Macedonia.
We can conclude that the 4th edition of Cinema without Borders has been a success. The good atmosphere of the group vibrated throughout the entire festival, participants gained practical knowledge and new ideas, and are motivated to take their plans further.
Some of the film festivals that are being organised by the participants in this edition of Cinema without Borders are:
Movies that Matter plans to stay in touch with all Cinema without Borders participants to provide guidance as their plans evolve. Several participants have already successfully applied to the Movies that Matter Support Programme and will receive financial support to realise their plans.