) 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 »
Posts Tagged ‘films’
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.!
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)
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:
– Amnesty International,
– Human Rights First,
– 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: email@example.com
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.
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.
What better way for a blog that is interested in the power of images for human rights than this overview – courtesy of Witness – which published this compilation on 10 December 2014. To see the original videos used in this montage and more about them, as well as a map of videos curated on the Human Rights Channel in 2014, an accompanying article by the curator, and more, click on the following link: http://bit.ly/HRC-2014
The music is from: We Always Thought the Future Would Be Kind of Fun by Chris Zabriskie.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU.
To shine a light on the courageous work of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) worldwide, the NGO Protection International announces the launch of a series of interviews with women who defend human rights across the globe, from December and continuing in 2015, each month will see a new portrait of a WHRD.
As from 1 December the Geneva-based NGO OMCT will launch, for the 3rd year in a row, its Campaign “10 Days of Activism against torture and ill-treatment“(coinciding this year with the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention against torture). Through 10 videos, 10 human rights defenders will speak out against torture and discuss the importance of the UN Convention against Torture and its implementation in their respective countries under the slogan: “Nothing Can Justify Torture Under Any Circumstances!”. I will try and cover most of them, but you can also go to the OMCT website:
I announced the HRW film festival in an earlier post [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/human-rights-watch-film-festival-celebrates-25th-anniversary-with-5-films-on-human-rights-defenders/] but now that the Huffington post of 31 May 2014 has listed the 10 films it says every human rights defender should see, I gladly share their pick:
1. Sepideh — Reaching for the Stars (Denmark/Iran/Germany/Norway/Sweden) The story of a teenage girl named Sepideh, living in a rural village outside of Tehran, who dreams of becoming a famous astronomer. The documentary tackles gender roles in Iran while showcasing one young woman’s ambition and strength in the face of her family’s discouragement, university pitfalls and societal expectations. Directed by Berit Madsen. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTzbIc6oiqs?wmode=opaque]
2. Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus (US/UK/Belarus) Made up of smuggled footage and uncensored interviews, this documentary gives audiences a glimpse into Belarus’ dissident movement as it takes the shape of stage performances and public activism. Directed by Madeleine Sackler. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGALySJ3O24?wmode=opaque]
3. Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story (US) A veteran shares her story moving from one identity, a former U.S. Navy Seal named Chris Beck, to another, a transgender woman named Kristen Beck. Directed by Sandrine Orabona. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r21OdLSTfQY?wmode=opaque]
4. A Quiet Inquisition (US) Here you’ll meet OBGYN Dr. Carla Cerrato, who must navigate the perilous territory of Nicaragua’s anti-abortion policies, which prohibit abortion, even in cases of rape, incest, or when a woman’s life is at stake. Directed by Alessandra Zeka and Holen Sabrina Kahn.
5. Scheherazade’s Diary (Lebanon) This “tragicomic documentary” follows women inmates in Lebanon as they stage a theater/drama therapy project titled “Scheherazade in Baabda,” revealing personal stories of domestic violence, failed relationships and traumas associated with motherhood. Directed by Zeina Daccache. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VnZGmd6EMg?wmode=opaque]
6. Siddharth (Canada/India) One father’s desperate journey to locate his son, a 12-year-old boy who was sent to work in another province to support his family, but did not return and is feared to have been kidnapped or trafficked. Directed by Richie Mehta.
7. The Supreme Price (US) The film covers the evolution of the Pro-Democracy Movement in Nigeria and efforts to increase the participation of women in leadership roles. Directed by Joanna Lipper.
8. Private Violence (US) Questioning the accepted discourse on domestic violence, the documentary introduces audiences to two women survivors who advocate for justice while exploring “the fact that the most dangerous place for a woman is her home.” Directed by Cynthia Hill.
9. The Beekeeper (Switzerland) This is the touching story of Ibrahim Gezer, a Kurdish beekeeper from southeast Turkey who, robbed of his family, possessions and 500 bee colonies, moves to Switzerland to make a new life. Directed by Mano Khalil.
10. Abounaddara Collective Shorts from Syria (Syria) The Abounaddara Collective is a group of filmmakers who came together in 2010 to help provide an alternative image of Syrian society, one not seen in mainstream media. This portion of the festival will showcase 90 minutes of their short films.
The Human Rights Watch Film Festival will run from June 12 to June 22, 2014. See a complete schedule of screenings here.
Year: 2014 / 114mHuman Rights Defenders, Icons and Villains”, which features: