Posts Tagged ‘human rights films’

2021 edition of Geneva film festival kicks off in virtual format

March 6, 2021
The FIFDH kicks off in virtual format for its 19th edition
  • Wolfgang Spindler  reported on 0 March 2021 that the 19th edition of the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights in Geneva has gone virtual. Usually every year some 40 000 visitors attend to watch and discuss films that focus on human rights violations. Around 300 filmmakers, human rights defenders and politicians from 25 countries across the globe used to be invited. But, this year, the festival has been forced to change and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants are now encouraged to click on ‘likes‘ instead of applauding, as physical presence is not possible.

Isabelle Gattiker is the FIFDH Festival Director. She said that the festival had to reinvent itself. They are proposing videos on demand, that she describes as not being able to replace real cinema theatres. But they have tried “to work on public participation despite the digital format”. Online audiences can comment and ask questions during the showings every evening from 8 pm (CET) from anywhere on the planet.

For the first time ever there will also be a public award, where the viewers can give a mark to the films they’ve watched. At the end of the festival, the film with the highest rating from the official selection will be awarded this prize.

Soltan Achilova This 19th edition is dedicated to Turkmenistan Photojournalist, Soltan Achilova. The 71-year-old was amongst this year’s finalists for the “Martin Ennals Award“, an annual prize known as “the Nobel prize for human rights defenders. See: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2021/02/23/soltan-achilova-has-issued-a-rare-rebuke-of-the-turkmen-president-on-youtube/

https://www.euronews.com/2021/03/05/the-fifdh-kicks-off-in-virtual-format-for-its-19th-edition

https://fifdh.org/en/program-2021

Human Rights Day 2020 in the Philippines with ‘CinemaLeila’ film screening

December 9, 2020
image

On 9 December 2020 Rappler announced that supporters of embattled Senator Leila de Lima will mark Human Rights Day on Thursday, December 10, with an online film screening titled “CinemaLeila 2020.

The screenings will include films and documentaries about human rights issues in the Philippines Spearheaded by the Free Leila de Lima Movement, the screening will feature select short films and documentaries about human rights issues in the Philippines.

The line up includes the following titles:

  • Bad Elements
  • Miss You ‘Nay
  • Hayop
  • I Believe
  • Marapat Lang
  • Counter Terror
  • Paranoia of the Guilty
  • Dakilang Pagbabago 2020
  • Sober
  • Titser Gennie
  • Selda
  • Sino si Reina Mae Nasino?
  • PKNP (Pambili ng Karapatang Pantao)
  • Pawns
  • Ili Ili, Tulog Anay

These and other films and documentaries will be streamed on the Facebook page of the Free Leila de Lima Movement and, on De Lima’s official Facebook page.

There will be screenings on Wednesday, December 9 – Human Rights Defenders Day – from 7:30 pm to 9 pm, and on Thursday, December 10, also from 7:30 pm to 9 pm:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=314&href=https%3A%2F

De Lima has been detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City, since early 2017, for illegal drug cases filed against her by the Duterte government. She insists that she is innocent of those charges. Many local and international groups have called for De Lima’s release, saying her cases are a form of political persecution for her investigation of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs and extrajudicial killings.  See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/07/30/senator-de-lima-in-detention-in-philippines-receives-her-award/

and

https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/10/11/de-lima-fears-weak-un-hrc-resolution-provides-for-impunity/

https://www.rappler.com/nation/de-lima-supporters-mark-human-rights-day-2020-cinemaleila-film-screening

Kenyan documentary Softie shows defenders torn between family and the struggle

October 22, 2020

Katharine Houreld writes for Reuters on 21 October 2020 a very interesting piece about a documentary that puts the focus on the difficult dilemmas facing human rights defenders.

Njeri and Boniface Mwangi are activists – they protest together and are arrested together – but as the film progresses, the focus moves from whether their crusade will succeed to whether their family will implode.

Families of human rights defenders or activists … I want people to know we exist,” Njeri, a movie buff and avid motorcyclist, told Reuters at the film’s Kenya premiere this week. “Our children really struggle.”

Softie – an award-winner at the Sundance and Durban film festivals – shows the evolution of Boniface from an activist outraged by the 2007-8 election violence into a political candidate promising his new Ukweli party will change the system from within, a decade later.

His family grapple with his absence, a house permanently full of people, and death threats targeting their three young children. Njeri, fearing for their lives, eventually takes the kids to the Unites States in 2016.

In one tense on-camera exchange before his family leaves, Boniface pleads with his wife: “you need to have an ideal that you live for, that’s worth dying for.” “You think it will be better if you die?” Njeri replies sadly.

A later scene lays out the stakes. The couple’s eldest son Nate returns from his American school with something he has made for father’s day: a loving card for his mother. When filmmaker Sam Soko asks from behind the camera why there’s no message for his father, Nate shrugs.

Moments like that forced a reckoning, said Boniface, who appeared with his family at the premiere, all in matching purple outfits. Now he’s building his party, taking a rest from protests and spending time making meals for his family. He’s finally realised he can’t – and shouldn’t – try to change everything himself.

Change is not an event… it’s not a popcorn that pops in a microwave,” he told Reuters. “It’s a very slow painful marathon – and then the marathon doesn’t end.”

The film started out as a five-minute Youtube clip about organising a protest, said Soko, who is an activist himself. It sprawled into a seven year project, now streaming on PBS in the United States and Britain’s BBC.

It’s essentially still an activist manual,” he said. “But a different kind of manual … (about) what it means to love.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kenya-film/kenyan-documentary-spotlights-activist-torn-between-family-and-the-struggle-idUSKBN2761FY

Kenya: human rights defenders active in outreach during October 2019

November 2, 2019

Prosecutor Thuli Madonsela in film Whispering Truth to Power

August 12, 2019
An award-winning documentary following Thuli Madonsela’s time as Public Protector has officially been released. The film focuses mostly on Madonsela’s last year in office and is called Whispering Truth to Power.
Behind-the-scenes footage shows Madonsela’s fight for justice for ordinary South Africans. As Public Protector for South Africa, Thuli Madonsela made an impact. The film has won the Special Jury Prize at Hot Docs, a collection of awards at FESPACO, Luxor African Film Festival and Jozi Film Festival.
Madonsela has become a celebrated name for many in South Africa, after she managed to successfully challenge former SA President, Jacob Zuma, on his illegal use of state funds. “In other countries, people don’t know who the ombudsman is,” Madonsela’s son, Wantu explains, “If the government is doing their job properly, then the ombudsman is not this celebrated figure who is fighting the good fight, because there shouldn’t be that fight.” The documentary is filmmaker, Shameela Seedat’s first ever release. The documentary on Madonsela is available to stream at Showmax.
Read more: https://briefly.co.za/35068-award-winning-documentary-thuli-madonsela-officially-out.html

News from the human rights film front (2019)

March 20, 2019

The HRW festival in London is still running (https://ff.hrw.org/london) but others have finished and here is a selection of the wining films:

ONE WORLD FESTIVAL

The film Heart of Stone has taken the Best Film prize at this year’s edition of the One World festival of human rights documentaries in Prague. The winning documentary is about an Afghan refugee in France. The Best Director award went to Denmark’s Mads Brugger, maker of Cold Case Hammarskjold.

——-

The 2019 FIFDH [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/01/20/17th-edition-of-the-geneva-international-film-festival-and-forum-on-human-rights-from-8-to-17-march-2019/]. The awards list is as follows (extract):

Grand Prize of Geneva

Endowed with CHF 10,000 – Offered by the City and State of Geneva: Delphine et Carole, Insoumuses, by Callisto McNulty Learn more

Gilda Vieira de Mello Prize in tribute to her son Sergio Vieira de Mello

Endowed with CHF 5,000 – Offered by the Barbara Hendricks Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation: On her Shoulders, by Alexandria Bombach Learn more

Youth Jury Prize

Endowed with CHF 500 – Offered by Peace Brigades International (PBI): Still Recording, by Ghiath Ayoub and Saeed Al Batal Learn more

Endowed with CHF 500 – Offered by the Eduki Foundation: Carmen y Lola  by Arantxa Echevarría Learn more

Grand Prize for Fiction

Endowed with CHF 10,000 – Offered by the Hélène and Victor Barbour Foundation: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by Chiwetel Ejiofor Learn more

Prize of OMCT

Endowed with CHF 5,000 – Offered by the World Organization Against Torture: Congo Lucha, by Marlène Rabaud Learn more

——-

And there is an award-winning Bahamian film “Cargo” which is being shown in cinemas: At the age of 9, Bahamian writer/director Kareem Mortimer saw haunting images of the bloated bodies of Haitian would-be migrants washed up on a beach. Apparently they were trapped and locked in the hold of a ship by a smuggler who did not have the decency to set them free. It was this experience that inspired him to make the drama/thriller feature film Cargo. The film previously debuted in Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Curacao, Jamaica, Guyana, Grenada, Suriname and St Lucia and will be released in the Trinidad, US and Canada in the summer. It has won five awards: Best Feature, Silicon Valley African Film Festival; Bahamian Icon Award; Best Film, Haiti International Film Festival, Los Angeles; Trident Award, Barbados Independent Film Festival; and Amnesty International Human Rights Prize for Film, TT Film Festival in 2017.
The poster for the film Cargo.

——-

https://www.radio.cz/en/section/news/french-doc-heart-of-stone-takes-top-prize-at-one-world-festival

https://fifdh.org/en/edition-2019/news/article/le-palmares-integral-du-fifdh-2019-349874

https://newsday.co.tt/2019/03/18/award-winning-bahamian-film-cargo-for-tt/

 

Human Rights films likely to be nominated for best documentary Oscar on 24 February

January 23, 2019

Human Rights Watch reports that five of the 15 shortlisted films for Best Documentary are human rights films that featured in the 2018 and 2019 Human Rights Watch Film Festivals. [see e.g. https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/02/15/trailer-for-human-rights-watch-film-festival-2018-in-london/]

Applications welcome for “Cinema without Borders” workshop

December 20, 2018

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 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 call for proposals here.

More info Cinema without Borders >

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/09/28/start-up-or-impact-grants-available-for-human-rights-film-festivals/

Start-up or impact grants available for human rights film festivals

September 28, 2018

Movies That Matter is pleased to announce that, contrary to its earlier message, there will be a second round of its grant programme this year. [see https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/02/14/call-for-proposals-to-organize-human-rights-film-festivals-2018-19/] If you organise a film event to stimulate the discussion on human rights, social justice and freedom of expression, submit your project proposal!  If you are interested in organising a human rights film event in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe or the Middle East, Movies That Matter offers financial assistance and advice to festival organisers in low-income countries and states where press freedom is limited.

The deadline is 14 October. Please note that projects starting before 1 January 2019 cannot be considered.

Visit the site for other general regulations, selection criteria and the entry form.

 

Indian Human Rights Commission calls for entrees into film competition

March 20, 2018

Having just raised in this blog the question of the power of images [https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/03/20/human-rights-films-call-for-action-or-entertainment/] it was interesting to note that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India has opened the entries for its fourth annual competition for short films on human rights. ”The aim of the award scheme is to encourage and acknowledge cinematic and creative efforts of the Indian citizens, irrespective of their age, towards the promotion and protection of human rights,’‘ the Commission said in an official statement on Monday.

The award carries a certificate along with prize money of Rs one lakh, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 for the best first,second and third film respectively. Deadline 2 July 2018. The short films may be in any Indian languages with either sub-titles in English or in English language.
Read more at:

http://www.uniindia.com/nhrc-opens-entries-for-its-4th-annual-competition-for-short-films-on-human rights/india/news/1173026.html#VBdrQZ5j82gJpSQ0.99