In 2016, Movies that Matter granted financial support to a total of 15 film festivals. 

China – Shanghai PRIDE Film Festival

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

Colombia – Ambulante Colombia Documentary Tour

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 were 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

Colombia – International Human Rights Film Festival

Peace: the main theme of the 4th edition of the International Human Rights Film Festival was more relevant than ever considering the referendum in Colombia in 2016. The passionate organisers of the festival were determined to use the power of cinema to address issues related to peace and human rights. In a time span of eight days, 75 films from around the world were screened in Bogotá, Medellín, Soacha, Cartagena and Barranquilla. The festival was postponed from April to August 2017. That was a good move, as the festival was attended by 15.000 visitors, a number that was way beyond organisers' expectations. The 5th edition is scheduled for August 2018. Read more

India – KASHISH Forward Travelling Campus Queer Film Festival

Homosexuality is a social taboo in India, where the LGBTQI community has largely been underground and higher courts have recriminalized homosexuality. From November 2016  to December 2017 the Mumbai-based KASHISH International Queer Film Festival travelled to 16 university campuses in nine Indian cities. In cooperation with local groups, they presented short films and arranged discussions about gender, sexuality, identity, coming-out, family pressure and homophobia. According to one of the visitors: “The event marked a milestone for queer awareness among youngsters in the longer run. It sensitised the society about LGBTQI issues, besides also encouraging a safe and queer friendly campus.” Around 1200 people, mostly students, attended the travelling festival. Read more

Moldova – Documentary Film Festival Chesnok

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.

Morocco – Nuit Blanche of Cinema and Children’s Rights

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

Myanmar - &PROUD Yangon LGBT+ Film Festival

Social stigma and discrimination against the LGBT population are common in Myanmar. To stimulate discussion around the rights of people identifying themselves as gay, lesbian, bi- or transsexual, 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 aim to reflect the diversity of LGBT lives in South East Asian countries. This LGBT+ film festival in Myanmar celebrated its 3rd edition from 26 - 29 January of 2017, welcoming around 3000 visitors. Read more

Nepal – Bato Ko Cinema

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

Pakistan – Aks Film, Art and Dialogue Festival

The Aks Film, Art and Dialogue Festival promotes the visibility and empowerment of transgender individuals, as well as lesbian, gay and bisexual people. 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. Film screenings took place in liberal art houses, educational institutes and embassies. The festival, held for two weeks in March and April 2017, included debates and several workshops, e.g. on activism through art. It reached about 1200 visitors. In the future, smaller Aks festival events will be organised in cooperation with various local NGOs, universities and schools, to promote the rights of sexual minorities in Pakistan. Read more

Palestine – Red Carpet Human Rights Film Festival

The 3rd edition of the Red Carpet Human Rights Film Festival took place in Gaza, the West Bank and Haifa from 12-17 May 2017. It’s the first time the festival also organised screenings at the West Bank and in Haifa. In total 45 (inter)national films were screened in the open air and cinema halls, reaching more than 19.000 visitors. Debates and art performances also took place during the festival, whose main goal was to spark cultural events and to give back confidence in human rights to Palestinian people. Read more

Peru – Madre de Dios Tour

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

Peru – Censurados Film Festival

This Peruvian film festival presents films that have been censored in other parts of the world, as well as movies on human rights. The 4th edition of the Censurados Film Festival took place in the city of Lima in March 2017. Over the course of 7 days, a total of 23 full-length films and 48 short films were screened. In the following months the festival also traveled to Chiclayo, Madre de Dios, Trujillo, Amazonas, Cusco and Arequipa, where screenings and debates were organised in cooperation with cultural centres and film clubs. This itinerant part of the festival, including open-air screenings in public locations, reached many audiences that do not regularly attend film screenings and discussion programmes about human rights and freedom of expression. The festival attracted around 8000 visitors. Read more

Philippines – Sine Karbengan

The 4th edition of Sine Karbengan (Human Rights Cinema) was held over the course of a year, from November 2016 to December 2017. It took place during a period of drastic changes in the political situation, characterised by a decrease of the rule of law, a systematic crackdown of all government critics, illegal arrests, waves of extrajudicail killings and the disruption of peace talks with the country's national liberation movements. Against this background, the festival managed to attract over 16,000 visitors in 18 different venues, for either one of the 84+ film screenings or another activity, including children's storytelling and a Citizen Journalism Training. Audience members, primarily aged 35 and below, engaged in debate about the rule of law, state responsibilities and people's responses. Sine Karbengan reached 6 universities and 11 communities, facilitated human rights education and discussion, and greatly contributed to empowering citizens in Northern Luzon. Read more

Uganda – Queer Kampala International Film Festival

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

Uganda – Voice of Karamoja Festival

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

Selection committee

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.