Movies that Matter opens people’s eyes for human rights and social justice. It uses film to promote the human rights dialogue, influence the public opinion and encourage people to stand up for human rights.
Among those actively supporting Movies that Matter are Jozias van Aartsen, mayor of The Hague, Ernst Hirsch Ballin, Bianca Jagger, Mabel van Oranje, Vanessa Redgrave and Thekla Reuten.
Founded in March 2006, Movies that Matter followed in the footsteps of the Amnesty International Film Festival. It continued and enhanced the festival’s activities, both in the Netherlands and abroad, thus creating a unique organisation that serves as an international platform for films of interest dealing with human rights and social justice, and for their makers. Movies that Matter screens and promotes films and stages cinematographic events all year round. The film screenings are followed by an expansion programme consisting of debates, among other things. In doing so, MtM has become the expertise centre par excellence for film and human rights.
Movies that Matter believes that the film camera is a powerful weapon against social indifference. Film has an unprecedented capacity to open eyes. What cannot be accomplished by spoken and written language, is sometimes achieved by motion picture. Cinema fascinates, stimulates, inspires and raises awareness. It serves as a mirror and helps us to become familiar with other cultures. Inspired films incite to compassion, reflection and discussion. Films have an emotional appeal and serve as a mouthpiece for victims of injustice.
For all those reasons, film is an excellent way to stir debate and promote human rights education. And that is no luxury, since research from the Human Rights League and the University of Amsterdam has shown that (young) Dutch citizens know little about human rights.
Movies that Matter film screenings would not be complete without an expansion programme, in the form of discussions, debates, talk shows, introductions, speeches or Q&A sessions, to further explore the subject matter of the films shown on the big screen. This trademark sets us apart from other film festivals,. Human rights defenders, filmmakers, experts, politicians, journalists and representatives of social organisations jointly analyse the situations in which human rights are at stake in order to put things in perspective.
Every year at the end of March, Movies that Matter Festival comes to The Hague. Fifteen film theatres take turns to present a monthly film followed by a debate as part of the Movies that Matter on Tour. Movies that Matter also offers education programmes for elementary and secondary schools as well as higher educational establishments. And one human rights film programme features at IDFA, the worlds biggest documentary festival.
Furthermore, Movies that Matter supports screenings of human rights films in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
As an international expertise centre Movies that Matter provides information about human rights films to organisations both in the Netherlands and abroad.