Posts Tagged ‘films’

Call for application for Start-up & Impact Grants for human rights film festivals.

July 18, 2019

Apply for funding – deadline: 1 September 2019

Movies that Matter has opened again the possibility to get Start-up & Impact Grants for film festivals.

START-UP GRANT

  • Movies that Matter supports film events in their initial phase. Only the 1st and 2nd edition can be supported through a start-up grant.
  • The maximum support of a start-up grant is €7,500 per project.
  • Movies that Matter is prepared to offer a start-up grant according to the following rules:
    • 1st time: up to 100% of total project costs
    • 2nd time: up to 75% of total project costs.

IMPACT GRANT

  • The impact grant is intended for more established film festivals, and can be used for further developing the festival and increasing its impact.
  • The maximum support of an impact grant is €10,000 per project.
  • The Impact Grant can never cover more than 50% of total costs.

General regulations

  • Movies that Matter does not support film production. We support film festivals, mobile cinema and other types of film screenings to promote public debate on human rights.
  • Movies that Matter does not support filmmakers and producers distributing or screening their own film(s).
  • Total costs of the project can never exceed €100,000,-.
  • Organisations can be supported for a maximum of five times.
  • As the selection process takes around two months, projects should not start within 80 days after the deadline. Therefore, projects starting before 20 November 2019 cannot be considered.
  • The results of the selection will be announced about two months after the application deadline, i.e. early November.

Selection criteria

  • Film screenings will contribute to discussion about human rights in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East or Eastern Europe.
  • Movies that Matter prefers films that are independently produced. Screenings of educational films or NGO outreach films are not supported.
  • Movies that Matter values projects targeting youths or new audiences that do not regularly attend film screenings and discussion programmes, for instance in peripheral areas.
  • Movies that Matter gives priority to small and medium-scale projects (with a total budget below €50,000).
  • The project takes place in one of the countries as defined on the DAC List of ODA recipients and/or countries where press freedom is seriously at stake, in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East or Eastern Europe. With respect to this DAC List of ODA recipients, priority is given to projects in “Least Developed Countries”“Other Low Income Countries” and “Lower Middle Income Countries”.
  • Projects are organised and executed by, or in close cooperation with, human rights organisations.

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/

Human Rights Films: call for action or entertainment?

March 20, 2018

The 1972 photo of a young girl running naked in Trang Bang screaming in pain from the effects of napalm had a profound influence on the public’s perception of the horrors of the Vietnam War. The 2015 photo of a three-year-old refugee boy drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey also had a profound influence of the public’s perception, this time on the desperate plight of millions of refugees. The images of Phan Thi Kim Phuc and Aylan Kurdi are iconic representations. Both capture larger stories; both images express powerful narratives. 

Visualization is story telling in another form. ……Marshall McLuhan in the 1960s introduced the notion that the medium of communication – movies for instance – change how a message is perceived. Directors can alter time sequences; background music can play directly to our emotions. We have entered new forms of communication that are just beginning to be understood.
The recent Geneva International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights was a significant event; 61 films shown in 57 venues in the Swiss Romand and Grand Genève, 28 debates and discussions with important figures such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Catalonian leader Carles Puidgemont as well as a human rights film tour organized by Swiss embassies in 45 countries.
…The images were shocking, almost numbing. We in the theatre became more than viewers, we became indirect witnesses through the lens of the film.
Several directors participated in debates following the presentations. They all expressed hope that the revelations shown on the screen would encourage reaction from the audience beyond the theatre. The purpose of the film, many argued, was to move the attendees and future viewers from watchers – i.e., indirect witnesses – to activists. The films, according to their creators, were calls to action.
McLuhan is most pertinent here. Watching a movie, any movie, is passive/emotional. The director leads us through what he or she wants us to see and feel. We are being literally directed. At a human rights film festival, we are directed, made aware, and called to action. The message of the medium is more than just perception; it is a motivation to do something. But the screen is just a screen, and a silver screen at that. The films were expertly produced. Most were technologically impressive. The cruelty and crudeness of human suffering were presented with all that modernity could offer.
It is the contrast between the rawness of grave breaches of human dignity and the sophistication of the current cinema that somehow reduced the power of the message. If, according to McLuhan, the medium is the message, then the films themselves – with all their slick professionalism – somehow played against a call to action. The excellence of the films was in contradiction to the cruelty and chaos of what they were showing.
.. Human rights activists are turning to visualization to appeal to larger and larger audiences. Visualization is today’s most powerful means of communication and it is becoming more and more sophisticated. The object of human rights’ film makers is to get the message out to the largest audience in an appealing way. The written era of Gutenberg is no longer hot. It is easier to teach students World War II by viewing Saving Private Ryan than to have them read weighty tomes of historical documentation.
If the message of human rights’ films is to witness human rights violations and call to action, professional presentations may be counter-productive. Movies are fundamentally entertainment; however instructive they may be. But when it comes to human rights and their violations, there should be as little entertainment as possible.

 

Supporting film festivals on human rights in 2018

November 19, 2017

Movies that Matter presented the ten festivals that it recently decided to support. This month, it offered grants to a new round of projects. Among others, two debuting festivals that will receive the start-up grant: for the first time a human rights film festival will take place in Timor-Leste in 2018. To bring the cinema to the people, the Timor-Leste Human Rights Film Festival will use a portable set-up to screen their selection of films at multiple sites. A new film festival will also arrive in South Africa: Shining Lights onto Langa. The festival introduces people to the Sunshine Cinema, a solar powered mobile cinema that converts solar energy into social impact. It brings people together with the intent to uplift grassroots movements and create networks of social change.

Additionally, the support goes to  three film festivals that pay direct attention to LGTBQI+ rights in Turkey, Pakistan and Myanmar. Other supported cinema projects include those in Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Palestine, Turkey and Peru.

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/03/01/small-grant-programme-for-human-rights-film-festivals-deadline-17-april/

Read more about all projects that were supported this year

https://www.moviesthatmatter.nl/nieuwsbrief_internationaal/18/international-support-november-2017

The Top Human Rights Lawyers and their films

June 28, 2017

On 28 June 2017 wrote “From Making a Murderer to To Kill a Mocking Bird, The Top Human Rights Lawyers on Our Screens”, listing her pick of the most interesting cases where human rights lawyers plays a crucial and even heroic role in seeking and finding justice,  She says: The struggle for human rights is very real deal – and a tough one, as shown by the worldwide attack on human rights defenders. As well as making their cases in the courts of law, some have even made it as far as the big – and small – screens.” ….

Read the rest of this entry »

Women human rights defenders and their films at Movies That Matter 2017

April 10, 2017

Beth Murphy (Filmmaker/Journalist) wrote in the Huffington Post of 31 March 2017 under the title “The world’s human rights movement would look very different ‘if it weren’t for women’” a piece that highlights women human rights defenders in the context of the Movies That Matter Film Festival which took place in the Netherlands earlier this year [https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/03/15/movies-that-matter-film-festival-in-the-hague-from-24-march-to-1-april-2017/]. Movies that Matter, the Amnesty International film festival celebrated nine human rights defenders and screened films that share their powerful stories. Here some of these defenders: Read the rest of this entry »

Small-grant programme for human rights film festivals – deadline 17 April

March 1, 2017

The increasing use of images in the human rights world seems unstoppable. One (small) feature is the organisation of local human rights film festivals. Movies that Matter has an International Support Programme that offers small grants to stage human rights film events in countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Eastern Europe.

To promote the screenings of human rights cinema worldwide, Movies that Matter zooms in especially on countries with limited resources and freedom of press. These events can take various forms, such as human rights film festivals, LGBT film festivals, mobile cinema projects, school screenings and grassroots distribution. Each year the grant programme has two selection rounds. Deadlines are usually around mid-April [NEXT DEADLINE 17 APRIL 2017] and mid-September. Movies that Matter judges every project on its individual quality. If you’re not sure whether your project fits within the criteria, please contact MTM at international (at) moviesthatmatter.nl.

Please note that Movies that Matter does not support film production. Find an overview of possible resources for film production here.!

Grant programme

Apply for funding and for more information about the selection criteria, general regulations, and a link to download the entry form, and access the online personal data form. To get an idea of what has been funded see the list of allocated grants to 196 projects from more than 100 applicants in 60 countries that got funds in 2007-2016 (Read more)

see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2014/12/30/round-up-of-2014-in-human-rights-images/

and https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2014/03/22/multiple-exposure-front-lines-video-programme-for-human-rights-defenders/

https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2015/11/10/is-there-any-way-to-engage-people-with-human-rights-communication/

Ahmed Mansoor, leading human rights defender in the Emirates, is 2015 Laureate MEA

October 6, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Ahmed Mansoor was just announced during the ceremony in Geneva as the 2015 MEA Laureate [6 October 2015].  Since 2006, Ahmed Mansoor (United Arab Emirates) has focussed on initiatives concerning freedom of expression, civil and political rights. He successfully campaigned in 2006-2007 to support two people jailed for critical social comments, who were released and the charges dropped. Shortly after, the Prime Minister of UAE issued an order not to jail journalists in relation to their work. Mr Mansoor is one of the few voices within the United Arab Emirates who provides a credible independent assessment of human rights developments. He regularly raises concerns on arbitrary detention, torture, international standards for fair trials, non-independence of the judiciary, and domestic laws that violate international law.

He has faced repeated intimidation and harassment, including imprisonment in 2011 after being convicted of “insulting officials” and sentenced to three years’ in prison, although he was released after eight months. Since being jailed in 2011, he has been denied a passport and banned from travelling. The Martin Ennals Jury has in vain urged the government of the UAE to lift this travel ban and allow him to travel. Martin Ennals Foundation Chair Micheline Calmy-Rey stated “ Ahmed Mansoor continues to pay the price for speaking out on human rights issues in his country, we urge his government to lift the travel ban.” [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/fly-emirates-if-the-emirs-let-you/]

Ahmed Mansoor’s message (recorded on video before the ceremony): 

The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA) is a unique collaboration among ten of the world’s leading human rights organizations to give protection to human rights defenders worldwide. The Jury is composed of the following NGOs:

Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

–  Amnesty International,

–    FIDH,

–    Human Rights First,

–    HURIDOCS,

–    International Service for Human Rights,

–    EWDE Germany,

–    Front Line Defenders,

–  Human Rights Watch,

–  International Commission of Jurists,

–    World Organisation Against Torture.

The two other finalists received Martin Ennals Prizes:

Robert Sann Aung (Myanmar)

Since 1974, Robert Sann Aung has courageously fought against human rights abuses. He has been repeatedly imprisoned in harsh conditions, physically attacked as well as regularly threatened. He was disbarred from 1993 – 2012. Currently, he represents students detained for peaceful protests.

Asmaou Diallo (Guinea)

Her human rights work started following the events of 28 September 2009 when the Guinean military attacked peaceful demonstrators. She founded l’Association des Parents et Amis des Victimes du 28 septembre 2009 (APIVA), which assists those affected, and supports them to testify in court proceedings.

Electronic version of the press kit with Video: http://bit.ly/1DYqlFn

For further information, please contact: khambatta@martinennalsaward.org

 

 

UNHCR launches 2015 World Refugee Day with celebrity support

June 17, 2015

For World Refugee Day 2015 (20 June) the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR] has released several films featuring celebrity supporters that tell the human side of the refugee plight. This years’ campaign aims to bring the public closer to the story, showing refugees as ordinary people living in extraordinary circumstances. World Refugee Day 2015 is marked against a backdrop of multiple conflicts, growing numbers of forcibly displaced people and a rising tide of intolerance and xenophobia in many parts of the world.

The films feature UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and best-selling author, Khaled Hosseini, photographer and supermodel Helena Christensen, singer/songwriter Maher Zain and actor Jung Woo-Sung . The films were recorded during recent field visits. Each supporter introduces an individual refugee and their story. These films and other refugee stories can be found on UNHCR’s Campaign website: www.refugeeday.org.

UNHCR offices in some 120 countries are planning various events including the film première of Salam Neighbor in Washington D.C.

 

The site www.refugeeday.org features stories from refugees who describe in their own words their own passions and interests; cooking, music, poetry, or sports. Through their testimonials UNHCR aims to show that these are ordinary people living through extraordinary times.

via UNHCR – UNHCR launches its 2015 World Refugee Day Campaign.

‘The Interview’ Sequel plays at the Korean Border

April 21, 2015

The Hollywood Reporter (THR) of 20 April 2015 contains an interesting and detailed piece by Paul Bond who went with the Human Rights Foundation on a trip to South Korea, to see how defector send films, television shows, books, and offline versions of Wikipedia into North Korea. The experience inspired nine articles, all of them published on THR’s website, but the centerpiece is this one: ‘The Interview’ Sequel: Inside the Frightening Battle Raging on the North Korean Border’.  The articles all together give an interesting picture of the powerful role that film can play in the case of closed societies where there is hardly any internet (here North Korean), but also how the South Korean authorities out of fear for retaliation limit the human rights defenders’ actions.

Left: U.S. resident Thor Halvorssen filled bags with The Interview,leaflets and American music to be ballooned into North Korea but was stopped April 9 by South Korean police. Right: Lee Min Bok prepared a balloon with Interview,Zero Dark Thirtyand U.S. dollars but was prevented from launching it by two guards.

 

To trick North Korean authorities, Interview begins with state propaganda clips before switching abruptly to a 12-minute subtitled edit of Interview — a bit from the beginning, middle and end, with the more vulgar parts removed.

For the full article please go to: ‘The Interview’ Sequel: Inside the Frightening Battle Raging on the North Korean Border – Hollywood Reporter.