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Logo Movies that Matter - Educatief December 2018
Grounds for hope

In 1948 leaders of the world adopted the first declaration of human rights. Now, 70 years later, good leadership is becoming scarce. More and more political leaders attack gay communities, indigenous peoples or migrants, merely for political gain. The good news is that there are still many brave individuals who stand up for human rights. In Gambia, Turkey and Mexico, for instance, where socially engaged film festivals promote free exchange of views and give a voice to minorities. A big round of applause for these inspiring individuals! They offer grounds for hope for a democratic future.

Apply now for our workshop programme

Are you into screening films on human rights in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America or the Middle East, and would you like to learn more about programming, organisational matters and attracting new audiences? Then we invite you to apply for Cinema without Borders, a workshop and networking programme on how to organise a human rights film festival. The five-day programme, which takes place during the Movies that Matter Festival 2019 in The Hague, brings together starting and more experienced film festival professionals from all over the world. See our call for proposals here.

More info Cinema without Borders >

Supported projects - equal rights

This week we selected another 8 human rights film festivals for our international support programme. These include two festivals with a focus on women rights and gender equality. MICGénero organises film screenings and debates to counter violence against women in Mexico, while the project Sofa Cinema screens films throughout Gambia to raise awareness about equal rights for men and women, amongst other topics. Two LGBTI film festivals receive our support: Cinema Al Fouad in Lebanon and Pink Life Queer Fest in Turkey.

Supported projects - environment

Two of the granted festivals have a main focus on environmental issues, the Borneo Eco Film Festival, taking place in the Malaysian part of Borneo, and the FINCALI Environmental Film Festival in Colombia. We also granted support to travelling festivals in Peru (Censurados Film Festival) and Ethiopia (Ethio-Fest in the Field). We applaud all brave people organising these festivals and wish them best of luck with the preparations.

See all supported projects in 2018 >

Human rights films at Dutch embassies worldwide

In order to put human rights in the spotlight, we gave Dutch embassies worldwide the opportunity to screen human rights films in the context of International Human Rights Day, 10 December. Embassies could choose between six compelling documentaries: Algo Mío - Argentina's Stolen Children, Jaha's Promise, Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower, Mr. Gay Syria, The Poetess & Truth Detectives.

More than 50 embassies screened one of these films. For instance, the Dutch embassy in Azerbaijan organised a film screening of The Poetess. Ambassador Mr. Kervers gave a speech on the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Dutch Foreign Affairs. After screening the documentary, a discussion was held about gender equality, women’s rights, freedom of speech and religion.

Sakharov Prize

The European Parliament has awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to the Ukrainian filmmaker and activist Oleg Sentsov, who is imprisoned by Russia because he opposed the annexation of part of his country. In prison he continued his protest in the form of a hunger strike. His resistance is an inspiration for all people who face oppression. In collaboration with the European Union, we will screen Askold Kurov's documentary The Trial about Sentsov's case for free during our festival in March 2019.

More info >

5 new members

The Human Rights Film Network is pleased to welcome five new members: ACT (Colorado, USA), Fast Forward (Montenegro), Chesnok (Moldova), 1905 Festival (Hong Kong) and the International Human Rights Film Festival Albania. In these times of shrinking space for independent media and civil society, we are very grateful to be able to cooperate with these very diverse festivals from different corners of the world.

More info >

First films Movies that Matter Festival 2019

We have announced the first selection of films for the Movies that Matter Festival 2019.

The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by activist Assia Boundaoui, reveals secret counter-terrorism investigations run by the FBI in the Arab neighborhood of Chicago and is part of the Activist competition. Acusada, by Argentinian director Gonzalo Tobal, was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 2018 Venice Film Festival and has been shortlisted for the Camera Justitia competition. Welcome to Sodom is selected for the theme-based programme Save the Planet and shows how thousands of children and adults from Ghana work on a huge waste pile of electronic devices from the western world.

Movies that Matter Festival 2019 will take place from Friday 22 through Saturday 30 March 2019 in Filmhuis Den Haag and Theater aan het Spui in The Hague. The film programme will be put online at the end of February 2019. Ticket sales start on March 7th 2019.

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