Posts Tagged ‘filmmakers’

hajooj kuka: another case for the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR)

September 20, 2020

He, along with four other artists (Duaa Tarig Mohamed Ahmed, Abdel Rahman Mohamed Hamdan, Ayman Khalaf Allah Mohamed Ahmed, and Ahmed Elsadig Ahmed Hammad), have been jailed for two months in Khartoum following an attack on the Civic Lab, where they were creating  art for community engagement.

hajooj kuka is an exceptional filmmaker and TIFF has been proud to present his work,” said Vicente and Bailey. “His films Beats of the Antonov and aKasha revealed a singular view of life in Sudan through the eyes of a remarkable artist. hajooj, along with four other artists, is now in prison in Sudan and we need to bring attention to this urgent and troubling situation. When an artist is silenced, society as a whole suffers.

According to the Sudanese organization Gisa, where kuka is co-director: “The case, which was policed, prosecuted, and judged by al-Bashir era authorities, points to a dangerous backsliding in Sudan as oppressive laws put in place by the former regime continue to stifle free expression and target artists and human rights defenders.”

In an effort to increase awareness of kuka’s imprisonment and to demonstrate the value of artistic and political expression, both Beats of the Antonov and aKasha will be available to rent for free for a few days. TIFF also encouraged audiences to contact the Sudanese Embassy in their country and follow #ReleaseTheArtistsSudan on social media to learn more about this issue.

Two of kuka’s films, Beats of the Antonov (2014) and aKasha (2018), have premiered at TIFF, with the former winning the TIFF People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary.

See also: https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/artists-sentenced-to-two-months-imprisonment-in-sudan

​International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk Launched Officially

September 8, 2020

On September 7, 2020 IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) announced that an ​International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk has been launched officially in Venice.

To activate the film community’s collective response to cases of filmmakers facing severe risk, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, International Film Festival Rotterdam and the European Film Academy have joined forces in establishing the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk.

With civil society in danger around the world, filmmakers are increasingly struggling to make their voices heard. Over the past few years, the world has seen a growing number of filmmakers being threatened, arrested, imprisoned and even killed in an attempt to silence them.

In these critical situations, the international film community could make a difference in supporting campaigns for the freedom of these filmmakers or pressuring authorities for their release. As the response of the film community has so far been deeply fragmentized, more co-ordinated action is needed.

On the side of the Venice Film Festival, “Join the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR)” saw Marion Döring (Director, European Film Academy), Mike Downey, (Chairman, European Film Academy), Vanja Kaludjercic (Festival Director, International Film Festival Rotterdam), Orwa Nyrabia (Artistic Director, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) and Marjan van der Haar (Managing Director, International Film Festival Rotterdam) unite at the festival’s Spazio Incontri. To the invited festival attendees—film professionals and journalists—they explained the ICFR’s idea and activities:

The mission of the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk is to advocate for and to act in solidarity with filmmakers at risk. The Coalition will respond to cases of persecution or threats to the personal safety of these filmmakers and will defend their right to continue their work, by mobilizing the international film community.

Activities will include:

  • Advocacy
  • Accessing the support system
  • Monitoring and observatory.

That there is scope may be clear from the following examples:

https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/08/26/sad-story-continues-saba-sahar-afghanistans-first-female-film-director-shot/

https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/08/07/update-to-monas-campaign-for-her-sister/

https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/05/02/filmmaker-and-human-rights-defender-shady-habash-dies-in-egyptian-pre-trial-detention/

https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/04/04/500-signatories-demand-release-of-indian-filmmaker-sarangi/

https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2013/06/26/human-rights-film-makers-kidnapped-in-sulu-philippines/

https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2013/06/20/more-known-about-hrd-du-bin-in-detention-in-china-thanks-to-hu-jia/

https://www.idfa.nl/en/article/135007/international-coalition-for-filmmakers-at-risk-launched-officially-in-venice?utm_source=IDFA+Newsletters&utm_campaign=6cdd331ab2-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_09_08_08_07&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_32b31333b2-6cdd331ab2-70115329

Utopia3, the new podcast with filmmakers, HRDs, researchers and writers

May 29, 2020

Discover utopia3, the new podcast in partnership with the FIFDH

Conversations with those who think, make and struggle for Human Rights every day, in their own way.

Activists, filmmakers, researchers and writers meet every year at the FIFDH in Geneva to debate the most pressing human rights issues. utopia3 invites them to express themselves on their background, their motivations and the meaning they give to the human rights of today and tomorrow.

The interviews are conducted by Davide Rodogno, Professor of International History at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and by David Brun-Lambert, cultural journalist.

Episode 1 – Joe Sacco

The legendary cartoonist and reporter Joe Sacco has been criss-crossing the planet for 30 years through his prodigious immersive graphic investigations, interweaving past and present, with a focus on the stigmas of war and its tragic consequences. In this first episode of utopia3, Joe Sacco talks about being rooted and uprooted, the genesis of a good story, the aftermath of colonialism and the recent protests around the globe.

Joe Sacco’s new book, Paying The Land, has just been published .

The next episodes of utopia3

  • 1st June: Perla Joe Maalouli, Lebanese Activist
  • 5th June: Yves Daccord, Former Director of the ICRC
  • 12th June: Burhan Sönmez, Writer
  • 19th June: Alaa Salah, Figure of the Sudanese Revolution
  • 26th June: Ilse and Femke Van Velzen, Filmmakers, and Ruth Hopkins, Investigative Journalist
  • 3rd July: Lauren Anders Brown, Filmmaker, and Ayanda Dlamini, Feminist Activist from Eswatini
  • 10th July: Andy Cohen, Filmmaker

Subscribe to utopia3 on Spotify, Deezer, Apple Podcast or Ausha.

Follow utopia3 on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

utopia3 is recorded at The Spot Podcast Factory studio in Geneva, in collaboration with the FIFDH. The series is produced by David Brun-Lambert and Davide Rodogno (editorial directors), Martial Mingam (art director), Julie Noyelle (coordinator) and Julien Babel (artwork).

Oleg Sentsov received the Magnitsky Human Rights Award in person

November 18, 2019

On 14 November 2019 Ukraine’s film maker Oleg Sentsov received the Magnitsky Human Rights Award in person [for more this award: http://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/sergei-magnitsky-human-rights-awards]. The prize was awarded last October, but Sentsov was in jail in Russia. The award was presented in London by Meghan McCain, the daughter of 2008 presidential candidate and U.S. Senator John McCain. Her father was also posthumously given the award in 2018.

https://112.international/video/ukraines-oleg-sentsov-gets-magnitsky-human-rights-award-1332-1332.html

https://www.unian.info/society/10756338-sentsov-gets-magnitsky-human-rights-award-in-person-photo-video.html

The FRAME exhibition: Filmmakers Making Women’s Lives Visible

April 27, 2019

Making women’s lives visible is a political act,” says The Asia Foundation’s Jane Sloane.There are many women human-rights defenders who are akin to modern day Joans of Arc. I wish more of their stories could be the inspiration for feature films.” Sloane was recently awarded an Atlantic Fellowship from the London School of Economics’ Inequalities Institute. She used the opportunity to launch an exhibition called FRAME: How Asia-Pacific Feminist Filmmakers and Artists Are Confronting Inequalities.

A collaboration with photographers and art directors Ariel and Sam Soto-Suver, and Maxine Williamson, artistic advisor and exhibition manager, FRAME showcases eight Asia-Pacific screen artists who are exploring and confronting inequality through their work both in front of and behind the camera: Anida Yoeu Ali, Jan Chapman, Mattie Do, Rubaiyat Hossain, Erica Glynn, Leena Yadav, Van Ha, and Anocha Suwichakornpong.

With FRAME now touring internationally, in this interview Sloane talks about her film series with InAsia

….I’ve also felt some frustration that so many women filmmakers in Asia and the Pacific aren’t being recognized for their work. I believe focusing on feminist filmmakers is a way to address the broader inequalities that women face as filmmakers.

Is this an important moment for women filmmakers in Asia?

Well, I think it’s a tipping point because of movements such as #MeToo, the Sustainable Development Goals, and 50/50 by 2020. With Asia now producing over half of the world’s films, it has real potential as the ground from which a lot of women filmmakers can spring. One of the biggest issues in Asia and the Pacific is violence against women, and film is a powerful way to engage people in that conversation. I lead the work to empower women at The Asia Foundation, and something really interesting from the Foundation’s latest survey in Bangladesh is that boys around the age of nine and 10 are at a key moment in formulating their lifelong attitudes towards girls and women. Film is one of the most accessible mediums for young people in many Asian countries, and it has huge potential to influence the attitudes and behavior of the next generation.

Jan Chapman. Photo: Ariel and Sam Soto-Suver

Tell me about the films that are featured in FRAME. Are they very different from one another?

They are. There’s Mattie Do—her filmmaking captures the phenomenal wealth disparities that exist in Laos. Van Ha’s documentaries in Vietnam have focused on the dislocation of people living in poverty because of the effects of urbanization and corporatization. Erica Glynn, an indigenous Australian filmmaker, is really focused on issues such as the entrenched illiteracy that’s a reality for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples. Anida Ali’s work spectacularly challenges assumptions around gender, race, class, and religious identity, including Islamophobia, which is particularly important given the recent terrorist attack in New Zealand. Anocha Suwichakornpong has used film to make visible the roles that women have played as leaders and change-makers in history. And Jan Chapman, producer of The Piano, has played an instrumental role in lifting up strong female figures in filmmaking. I think that is the power of film, that it can challenge the audience at so many different levels.

With civil society under pressure in many places in Asia right now, how have these women been able to navigate the political landscape to maintain some freedom of expression in their films?

I think that the space for women to organize is closing down at the moment. It makes it harder for women to speak—in public spaces and in film. Often, it’s been a combination of tactics—diplomacy, organizing, networking. These filmmakers are so committed to their filmmaking that they have become very skilled at finding money, finding talent, and negotiating where they can film and under what conditions. When I was in the Philippines recently, a group of feminist filmmakers specifically asked whether I could capture the story of their work in Mindanao tracking the role of women organizing and speaking out to end conflict and save lives. So, I feel like FRAME has really struck a chord, and that it’s something whose time has come.

Jane Soane is director of The Asia Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment Program. She can be reached at jane.sloane@asiafoundation.org. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the interviewee, not those of The Asia Foundation.

https://asiafoundation.org/2019/04/24/frame-filmmakers-making-womens-lives-visible/