Posts Tagged ‘human rights films’

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.

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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

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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.

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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

 

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.

 

Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival with help of Canada train film makers in human rights

March 1, 2018

 The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) and Canadian High Commission are teaming up to encourage the making of local short films on human rights issues, as part of a filmmakers development programme that began in 2017, reports Loop on 27 February 2018.

The ‘Human Rights on Film’ training programme encourages 14 filmmakers and writers who participated in a scriptwriting workshop with Canadian-Jamaican film professional, Annmarie Morais, last year, to put their training into practice. A panel of three judges, including a representative from The National Film Board of Canada and from the Canadian High Commission in Trinidad, will select the best three scripts. Trinidadian-born, National Film Board of Canada producer, Selwyn Jacobs, will then conduct a two-day workshop on how to move from the scriptwriting phase to production and post-production. The completed films will screen at ttff/18.

According to Annabelle Alcazar, Programme Director of the ttff: “This programme marries our interest in developing the skills of local filmmakers and writers, with advancing the conversations on human rights in Trinidad and Tobago.  We are excited about this project and look forward to seeing how filmmakers rise to the challenge of using their artistic knowledge and skill to bring these important issues alive.”

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/09/04/trinidad-and-tobagos-film-festival-will-have-again-a-human-rights-award/

Call for proposals to organize human rights film festivals 2018/19

February 14, 2018

To promote the screenings of human rights cinema worldwide, Movies that Matter offers grants to human rights film events in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, especially in countries with limited resources and freedom of press. These events can take various forms, such as human rights film festivals, LGBT film festivals and mobile cinema projects. Please note that Movies that Matter does not support film production. You can apply on-line. The deadline is 15 April 201§8

see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/11/19/supporting-film-festivals-on-human-rights-in-2018/

https://www.moviesthatmatter.nl/english_index/international/support_programme