Supported Projects 2017

In 2017 Movies that Matter financially supported a total of 21 film events:

Bolivia - Bajo Nuestra Piel

In November 2017, the 2nd edition of this human rights film festival will take place in La Paz, followed by a two-month travelling festival in rural areas of Bolivia. The film and debate programme intends to cover Bolivia’s most pressing and topical human rights issues, like domestic violence, LGBT rights and the rights of indigenous people. In La Paz the festival mainly targets youth and adolescents through an education programme organised at colleges as well as a wider audience at the free public screenings in three different neighbourhoods. In addition, film screenings and discussions are planned at 6 rural destinations. In total, the organisers of Bajo Nuestra Piel expect to reach more than 11,000 Bolivian citizens.

Central African Republic - Ciné de Droits

For the first time a human rights film festival will be organised in the Central African Republic. The festival, which aims to contribute to peace and harmony in the country, will take place in December 2018. The organisers, Venant d’Afrique/Afrique Réelle and partners, will screen seven films in different locations including a hotel and a university in the capital Bangui to reach the different target audiences: students, UN officials and the general public. They hope to sensitize and educate around 8000 people on the violations of human rights and stimulate people to work for democracy and freedom and fight against violence. Check their facebook page.

China - Shanghai Queer Film Festival

The Shanghai Queer Film Festival is a new platform, set up in 2016 to promote Chinese queer filmmakers and the Chinese queer community. The 1st edition, from 16-24 September 2017, will bring a week of queer world cinema screenings, panel discussions, filmmaking workshops and parties in a variety of venues, for up to 1500 visitors. China is still a long way from acknowledging and accepting LGBTI people, so the organisers hope this festival is a first step towards a more accepting and welcoming community in China.. The programme includes a range of queer films from around the world but will focus on primarily Asian narratives and characters to improve accessibility.

Colombia - Ambulante Documentary Village Tour

Between July and December 2017 Fundación Ambulante Colombia organised a mobile documentary film festival presenting (Colombian) film productions on gender equality and reconciliation. While in the latest edition year Ambulante travelled to five Colombian cities, in 2017 they visited 19 villages in Colombia where cinema houses hardly exist. Lots of local partners were involved in the organisation of screenings of almost 50 films in public squares. In each village there was a debate with filmmakers, journalists, activists, academics, artists, and civil society leaders. More than 6000 visitors were present to see the films and join the debates.

Gambia - Sofa Cinema

Gambia’s recent transition to democracy opens up for human rights films to be shown all across the country. Sofa Cinema is the Gambia’s first and only mobile community cinema. Between October 2017 and August 2018, around 50 film screenings about human rights were held in various rural and urban parts of the country. The project served as a platform for dialogue about issues that are of local concern, like illegal migration, child marriage and freedom of expression. While most of the screenings were freely accessible, through partnerships with NGOs. More than 10,000 people were reached.

Kosovo and Serbia - MobiKino

During the month of August 2017, the NGO Proactive travels with a special van in the border region of Kosovo and Serbia to organise outdoor MobiKino screenings. In order to foster understanding and cooperation among young people of the border region, they screen four films about the rights of minorities and marginalized populations. The aim of this "Mobile Cinema for Human Rights" project is to reach 1400 visitors in different towns on both sides of the border. Discussions are set up with the general public, human rights activists, civil society and media representatives and local politicians.

Kyrgyzstan - Bir Duino Human Rights Film Festival

From 16 to 25 April 2018, the Bir Duino human rights film festival will present documentary cinema in remote areas of Kyrgyzstan.  By screening human rights documentary films in locations like At-Bashi (Naryn), Kemin, Issukul, Jalal-Abad and Batken, the festival intends to strengthen civic participation in these remote regions and raise awareness on human rights. A wide range of communities, local governmental organizations, journalists and filmmakers, gather and debate on the burning issues of justice, corruption, fair governance, and participation in decision-making processes. At least 2000 visitors are expected to attend this important outreach programme.

Lebanon - Karama Beirut Human Rights Film Festival

From 11 to 14 July 2017, the 2nd edition of Karama Beirut Human Rights Film Festival will be held. This festival, with the theme “New Identities”, presents 25 fiction, animation and documentary films, mainly about racism, discrimination and refugees. Venues include the Metropolis Empire Sofil cinema in Beirut, and several universities in different areas of Lebanon. The festival will be running under the umbrella of the NGO “Factory 961”. The first edition, in 2016, was also supported by Movies that Matter. This year about 3500 visitors are expected to attend Karama Beirut.

Malaysia - Freedom Film Fest

The FreedomFilmFest is Malaysia’s only international human rights documentary film festival. It is organised by the Freedom Film Network, a non-profit network of social filmmakers and human rights activists in Malaysia. The 2017 edition took place from 2-9 September in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, showcasing 39 international, Malaysian and Asian human rights documentaries on themes such as freedom of expression, gender equality and food security. The programme included seven so-called Freedom Talks, expert forums on various topics like the death penalty, women in Malaysian politics and caring for the elderly. In the two months after the festival, festival films were screened in Singapore and other Malaysian cities including Ipoh, Muar, Kuching and Georgetown, Penang. A total of 6,700 visitors attended the screenings. In addition, a selection of local and international films were made available throughout the year for anyone in Malaysia who wanted to organise a local screening.

Moldova - Chesnok

The third edition of Chesnok, the human rights documentary film festival in Transnistria and Moldova, took place from 20 to 27 April 2018. The 2100 attendees watched 17 documentaries from countries all over the world, all related to human rights. This year for the first time Chesnok had a special program for youth. Another new element was a filmmaking workshop. This resulted in seven local productions, three of which were shown at the closing day of the festival. The festival opened with Gaza Surf Club (by Philip Gnadt, Mickey Yamin). The programme further included Even When I Fall (by Kate Mclarnon and Sky Neal), Life begins at 100 (by Åsa Blanck) and The Red Soul (by Jessica Gorter). Screenings took place in Tiraspol, Bender, Ribnita, Dubasari and Chisinau.

Myanmar - &PROUD Yangon LGBT+ Film Festival

The annual &PROUD Yangon LGBT+ Film Festival launched its 4th edition from 1-4th February 2018. This year the festival expanded its reach with screenings in Mandalay, Lasio and a first ever public LGBT event in a park in Yangon. In total they reached 12.000 people. The organisation &PROUD encourages discussion around LGBT+ rights and promotes social change and legal reform for LGBT+ communities in Myanmar. To achieve this goal, they selected various feature length films, including many new films from Myanmar. Before the festival, to raise attention about LGBT rights, public screenings were held in a park in Yangon, which was attended by around 10,000 people. See this video to get an impression.

Nicaragua - Human Rights Film Festival MÁS

To critically discuss the human rights situation in Nicaragua, in August 2017 the youth rights organisation Movimiento Puente organised the 3rd edition of Festival de Cine MÁS. This 13-day human rights film festival screened 17 documentary films in 8 different Nicaraguan departments: Nueva Segovia, Managua, Matagalpa, Masaya, Granada, León, Chinandega and Estelí. Screenings took place in schools, universities, cultural centres and a cinema, and were all followed by Q&As, forums or debates in cooperation with a wide variety of civil society organisations. Two of the films’ protagonists also attended a film screening, including Jesser from the short film Jesser and the Sugarcane (2016). A total of almost 2000 visitors attended the festival.

Pakistan - Aks International Minorities Festival

From 8-25 March 2018, the Aks International Minorities Festival had its 3rd edition. This LGBTQI+ festival was organised in Islamabad and Karachi and Aks OutReach also visited Lahore, Peshawar and Hyderâbâd, attracting a total of 2250 visitors. To carry on its mission to promote the visibility and empowerment of marginalised minorities, the festival screened films that emphasize how important it is to have stories told by people with diverse ethnic, religious and sexual backgrounds. There was a special focus on feminism, which was very popular. All of the screenings of the 47 films were accompanied by some sort of debate, dialogue or theatre play.

Palestine - Red Carpet Human Rights Festival

The Red Carpet Human Rights Film Festival in Gaza presents short and feature-length fiction films and documentaries shedding light on human rights issues in and around the Gaza strip. In May 2018 the organisers rolled out their 60 meters long red carpet at different venues in Gaza City including the city’s Shijaiyah district,an area that was heavily bombarded in 2014. During this 4th edition the festival attracted more than 6000 visitors.

Peru - Censurados Film Festival

In the lead up to the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2018, the Censurados Film Festival organised a special edition: (In)visible Walls. The festival gave a voice to citizens and vulnerable groups affected by the presence of visible or invisible barriers. Between April and June 2018 the festival took place in Peru, Guatemala, Mexico and the USA, screening films in several places that symbolise division. These included the so-called “Wall of Shame” segregating rich and poor neighbourhoods in Lima, then following the route of the Guatemalan-Mexican train transporting migrant workers and refugees, up to the much-debated fence at the Mexico-USA border. Here screenings took place mostly in small towns and rural areas with a large migrant population.  The festival attracted more than 11,000 visitors. Besides screening 74 different films (25 feature-length and 49 shorts) and many debates, the programme included various cultural, sportive and educational events to raise awareness about segregation, migration, freedom and equality. 

South Africa - Shining Lights onto Langa

In 2018, a new film festival arrived in South Africa: Shining Lights onto Langa. The festival introduced people to the Sunshine Cinema, a solar powered mobile cinema that converts solar energy into social impact. It brought people together with the and created grassroots networks of social change. This particular project was a total of six free screenings every Sunday in the Langa township of Cape Town. From January to April 2018 they reached 1200 attendees from a diverse background and from outside and within the Langa community. A selection of African films that explore themes of transformation, race, and post-Apartheid South Africa was shown and the post-screening debates were vibrant and in-depth.

Timor Leste - Timor-Leste Human Rights Film Festival

The Timor-Leste Human Rights Film Festival brought human rights cinema to the people of this Southeast Asian state. Between May and September 2018 several screenings of human rights films took place, in rural communities and in the capital Dili. The festival used a portable set-up to screen their selection of films at multiple sites, including locations in Manufahi and Lautem Districts. The programme contained four films, including The Opposition and Save Seko, two documentaries about communities’ struggles against forced evictions. Audience members highly appreciated the festival; in 2019, the organising team of Asosiasaun HAK seeks to bring human rights films to more rural communities.

Turkey - Pink Life QueerFest

Pink Life QueerFest is Turkey’s first queer festival and its 7th edition was held in 2018. The organisation of the festival was more difficult than ever before due to the ban of LGBT events in Ankara. However the organisers managed to organise screenings in Ankara, Istanbul, Mersin and Denizli and even outside of Turkey in the UK, Germany, Sweden and Greece. In total 4370 visitors were reached. The attendance in terms of ethnicity and sexual orientation was more diverse than previous years and so was the balance of age and gender. In total 40 films were screened and 30 side events like workshops, panels, discussions and debates were organised.

Turkey - New !f²

Yeni !f² was a film screening and discussion series created by Anadolu Kültür and !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival. The programme took place once a month from February to September, mainly in Istanbul and with online screenings and live discussions in 36 different venues in 26 Turkish cities. The audience in these cities appreciated watching art-house films that are not distributed nationally. Every month, Yeni !f2 presented films that matched a human rights theme, e.g. women’s rights, democracy and justice. The screenings attracted 7600 people. Due to the loss of !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival, the last three screenings were cancelled. 

Turkey - Which Human Rights? Film Festival

In 2017 the 9th edition of Which Human Rights? Film Festival took place between 13-17th of December in Istanbul, Turkey. This year’s main theme was displacement and environmental rights and other sections of the program covered the right to health and women’s rights. During the five day event, approximately 41 films were screened, including a number of Turkish premieres, with Q&As after each film. For this Which Human Rights? edition 3000 visitors were reached. The screenings were organised in various cultural venues of Istanbul, and also in Van, in the Southeast of Turkey where eleven films were screened from the programme in Istanbul.

Uganda - Gulu International Film Festival

Freedom of expression, land rights, justice for women and children rights; these were the main human rights topics that were addressed during the 1st edition of Gulu International Film Festival. From 27 to 29 July 2017, a mix of entertainment films and human rights cinema were screened, both Ugandan and international productions. The festival took place in and around Gulu, the largest city of northern Uganda. The gardens of the TAKS Community Art Centre served as the main venue of the festival. The festival was organised by a community based organisation called United Youth Entertainment. About 4000 people attended this first festival edition.

Selection Committee

In 2017 the selection committee of the Movies that Matter Support Programme consists of Isabel Arrate (coordinator IDFA Bertha Fund), Leon Willems (director Free Press Unlimited), Jannie Langbroek (consultant at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam), Sophie Leferink (senior advisor Freedom of Expression at Hivos), Dorien Marres (former coordinator Growth & Mobilisation Fund, Amnesty International Netherlands) and Dirk van der Straaten (artistic director Movies that Matter).