restrospective movies that matter festival 2013

The fifth edition in The Hague of the Movies that Matter Festival took place from Thursday 21 until Wednesday 27 March 2013.

Filmhuis Den Haag and Theater aan het Spui served as a platform for this films and debate festival in which movies and documentaries about human rights, peace and freedom take center stage. This year, the festival attracted over 21,000 visitors, up 30% from 2012; the number of visitors has more than doubled since the festival moved from Amsterdam to The Hague back in 2009.


Most of the 180 film screenings were followed by talk shows, debates and interviews with national and international guests. Prominent news media including NOS Journaal, Pauw & Witteman, RTL Nieuws, and Dutch newspapers Trouw, NRC and Volkskrant covered a wide array of films and inspiring guests, among whom Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez, North Korean defector Shin Dong-hyuk, Chair of the UN Human Rights Committee Zonke Majodina, Dutch minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen, and Princess Mabel of Orange.

This year’s festival was proud to present the opening film The Act of Killing, described by the international press as ‘Unforgettable, unmissable and horribly brilliant’ and ‘of evident historical and cinematographic importance’. All screenings of this documentary film were sold out, and the same goes for other eye opening films that were part of the programme.

As in previous editions, the 2013 festival featured the main programmes A Matter of ACT and Camera Justitia, various theme-based and ‘the best of’ programmes as well as the Young Amnesty Film Days, which reached an unprecedented number of pupils and students.


Apart from daily musical performances, the so-called ‘specials’ included a combined dance and film production from Iran, a photographic exposition from World Press Photo winner Rob Hornstra and the opportunity for visitors to get a human rights tattoo. Also, the festival hosted an exchange programme as part of the 2013 Netherlands-Russia Year together with the Stalker International Film Festival from Moscow.

Media partners VARA and Holland Doc broadcast several movies that matter during the festival week, reaching a large audience outside of The Hague.


The award winners of the Movies that Matter Festival 2013 can be found here.


We wish to thank all those who have contributed to the successful edition of the festival, especially our main partners Amnesty International and vfonds, the city of The Hague, financial sponsors, the filmmakers, guests and of course the numerous volunteers.