Platforms for dialogue are essential in a new democracy like in the Gambia. The 2nd edition of mobile film festival SofaCinema consists of 30 screenings across the country, between January and December 2019. The festival mainly targets hard-to-reach communities and youth, sometimes by combining cultural events and sports activities. The programme contains films about migration, child marriage, corruption, climate change, female genital mutilation and gender inequality. SofaCinema is expecting 7500 visitors this year.
8th Pink Life QueerFest
Despite the LGBT ban in Ankara, Pink Life continues! Pink Life QueerFest screens films across the country, offering a great amount of (short) films followed by talks, panel discussions and workshops. This LGBTI+ festival, the only festival of its kind in the country, takes place in Istanbul (24-27 January), Denizli (March) and Mersin (April). Screenings take place at several cultural venues. The Pink Life LGBT Solidarity Association expects to reach a total of 6000 visitors. To reach new audiences an online LGBTI film platform is being developed.
Ethio-fest in the field
Mobile film festival Ethio-fest in the Field travels to remote places, where access to cinema is very limited and information about human rights is relatively scarce. This new project, which is scheduled in March 2019 in Ethiopian districts Adama, Hawasa, Bahir Dar and Dire Dawa, is organised by the Ethiopian International Film Festival. Next to screenings of films, including the documentary Tickling Giants, the festival includes several Q&As and workshops. At least 10,000 visitors are expected in this year's first edition.
VI Censurados Film Festival
The 6th edition of this expanding film festival, organised by La Combi - Arte Rodante, screens several films on human rights and environmental rights. This edition is dedicated to put the struggle of Latin American environmental defenders in the spotlights. In 2019, with the slogan (In)visible Voices, Censurados Film Festival screens 75 films in ten different places in Peru, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Venues include cultural centres and cinema halls, but there will also be open-air screenings. The festival, which takes place between March 26th and June 15th, targets a total of 12.000 visitors.
The Festival Internacional de Cine Ambiental de Cali (FINCALI) focuses on environmental rights. Besides offering screenings in urban areas, FINCALI continues to expand to the more rural areas around Cali. Under the slogan "Rolling the Message!", more than 30 films from all parts of the world are screened this year. All documentaries and fiction films focus on environmental issues and their relationship with society. This year a total of 4000 visitors is expected. The festival takes place from April 23rd until April 27th 2019.
Borneo Eco Film Festival
This series of film events on the Malaysian part of Borneo raises awareness on ecological and cultural issues. The project involves a film festival in September plus 10 screenings in different venues throughout the year in Kota Kinabalu and rural areas in the state of Sabah. Events include film screenings, debates, workshops and art exhibitions. A total number of at least 4000 visitors is expected. Borneo Eco Film Festival connects rural with urban communities and environmentalists with local businesses.
Cinema Al Fouad
After having been part of Beirut Cinema Days, in 2019 the LGBTI programme Cinema Al Fouad continues as an independent festival. It will be held at the French Institute in Lebanon from 20-24 June 2019. The main focus of this ambitious festival is to put the lives and rights of LGBTI individuals in the spotlights through film. In these five days 11 Arab films and 3 Latin American films will be screened, followed by Q&A's and debates. Cinema Al Fouad is organised by cultural association Beirut DC. With their new approach, the organisers expect to reach a total number of 2000 visitors.
International Film Fest with Gender Perspective
This international film festival, also known as MIC Género, screens human rights films in 70 different venues across Mexico. Films are mainly about women's rights and gender equality. The festival is organised by Agencia de Cooperación Global para el Intercambio Cultural A.C.. Screenings take place from the 1st of August to September 12th 2019 in Mexico City and 10 more cities in the states of Jalisco, Puebla, Veracruz and Guerrero. An impressive total of 20.000 visitors is expected in this year's edition. Screenings increasingly take place in the peripheries of some cities, small towns and community centres in poor neigbourhoods.
For security reasons, Movies that Matter does not disclose its support to this socially engaged film festival.
Malawi Film Festival 2018
Using the arts to boost discussion around important social issues, is what Positivo Malawi stands for. Malawi is one of the least developed countries in the world, where most people do not have access to watching films on large screen. This is why Positivo initiated the Malawi Film Festival 2018, a participatory event where film screenings go hand in hand with debate. The 2018 edition, in August and September, focused on child labour and inclusion of marginalized groups, such as people with albinism. Films include The Pearl of Africa and the Malawian production The Last Fishing Boat (see image). The festival travelled to four regions in the North, Centre and South of Malawi, reaching up to 9800 people, mostly rural Malawians, where films served as a real eye opener.
14th Free Zone Belgrade Film Festival
The 14th Free Zone Film Festival screened 25 feature-length fiction films and documentaries on issues of human rights in Europe and worldwide. Founded in 2005, the festival has been aiming to draw audience’s attention to burning social issues. The 2018 edition, from 7 to 12 November, took place in Belgrade, with some simultaneous screenings in cinemas in Nis and Novi Sad. A total of 25.000 visitors attended, which showed an increase in ticket sales with 21% compared to the previous year. The primary focus was on addressing day-to day discrimination between majority and minority groups in society. The festival included some discussions, e.g. a debate about nationalism and identity based on the documentary film Srbenka by Nebojsa Sliejepcevic.
Kosovo, Serbia, Macedonia
MobiKino Mobile Cinema for Human Rights
The second edition of Mobile Cinema for Human Rights has been organised from mid-July to mid-August 2018 in Kosovo, Serbia and Macedonia. In a mobile cinema van, MobiKino visited five different towns in the region to screen four human rights documentaries in an open air setting. The films, all produced in the region and addressing local circumstances, were accompanied by debates on several human rights issues. The festival attracted over 1.200 visitors. Many local youth were involved in MobiKino as volunteers to set up the film screenings. The festival had a significant impact; especially women and girls in patriarchal regions were very inspired.
Bajo Nuestra Piel
The film festival Bajo Nuestra Piel will touch upon Bolivia’s most pressing and topical human rights issues, like domestic violence, rights of indigenous people, access to health care and access to justice. Being successful in attracting 17.000 visitors last year, the Bajo Nuestra Piel is back for another edition, now attempting to reach 20.000 people. This year cooperation has been sought with UNIFRANZ University, which allows the festival to enter campuses and reach students in either Cochabamba or Santa Cruz as well.
International Human Rights Film Festival Bogotá
Cinema Nos Une (Cinema Unites Us) was the theme of the fifth edition of the International Human Rights Film Festival Bogota that took place in August 2018. Peacebuilding was the core focus of this Colombian festival, which also screened various films on LGBT individuals and indigenous communities. In the past five years the festival has grown significantly in terms of the number of films, venues and visitors. This fifth edition was attended by about 20.000 audience members in cities like Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena and Barranquilla, as well as in more remote areas.
Karama Yemen Human Rights Film Festival
In April 2019 Yemen’s first-ever human rights film festival will take place in the capital city of Sana’a. Even before the war started in 2015, Yemen suffered from problems like limited freedom of speech and women's rights, but since the war broke out the situation has become worse. Yemen Will Triumph is determined to create positive change. With the theme Bring It to Light! the Karama Yemen Human Rights Film Festival focuses on the importance of educating the Yemeni society about their rights, democracy and peace and aims to attract 1.500 visitors.
Sama-Bhav Traveling Film Festival
The second edition of the traveling festival Sama-Bhav Festival, focusing on gender and sexuality, will be targeting audiences in colleges and universities. At each location the two-day festival will present 18 films. Men Against Violence and Abuse (MAVA) aims to bring together people from all genders. One of the expected results of this festival is to build social media communities among the 2400 expected visitors.
Freedom FilmFest is Malaysia’s only international human rights documentary film festival. The festival is organized by the Freedom Film Network, a network of social filmmakers and human rights activists. The main event is the festival in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, from 29 September to 7 October 2018, where at least 30-40 films are screened, followed by discussions and workshops. Then the festival will visit key cities nationwide, reaching an expected total number of 7.000 visitors.
In the second half of 2018, Fundación Nativo will organise FICMA Venezuela, in order to inform and sensitize the indigenous communities about environmental and human rights issues. The film selection was made in cooperation with FICMA Barcelona, including some of the awarded films. These environmental and human rights films will be screened at universities in Caracas and will travel to twelve indigenous communities in the Bolivár state. Organisers expect to attract a total of 4.000 visitors.
In 2018 the selection committee of the Movies that Matter Grant Programme consisted of Jannie Langbroek (documentary film consultant), Sophie Leferink (senior advisor Freedom of Expression at Hivos), Raúl Nino Zambrano (senior programmer IDFA), Leon Willems (director Free Press Unlimited) and Dirk van der Straaten (artistic director Movies that Matter).