On Thursday March 22nd the Movies that Matter Festival official opening night took place at Theater aan het Spui in The Hague. It was a successful evening, with international guests and an impressive film that offered food for thought on Europe's hospitality.
As in previous years, presenter Menno Bentveld presented the evening. After a short introduction he gave the stage to the Mayor of the International city of Peace and Justice, Mr. Jozias van Aartsen. In his welcome speech, the mayor stressed the fact that the city of The Hague has always had an open character. There were never any city walls in the Hague, making it an open and hospitable place. Go here to read the welcome speech by Mayor Van Aartsen.
Director of Movies that Matter, Taco Ruighaver also gave an opening speech, thanking the many international guests, jury members, partners and employees, without whom the festival wouldn’t be possible. A special word of welcome was given to Mrs. Margaret Sekkagya, Special Rapporteur of Human Rights Defenders for the United Nations. He also emphasized the importance of filmmakers that give voice to activists, non-conformists and dissidents whose voices would have otherwise remained unheard. Without them, a festival like Movies that Matter wouldn’t have been possible.
Go here to read director Taco Ruighaver's opening speech.