) 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 ‘Movies that Matter’
From the 24th of March until the 1st of April the Movies that Matter Festival takes place at Filmhuis Den Haag and ‘Theater aan het Spui’ in The Hague. The selected films and documentaries can be found here: Films – Movies that Matter Film Festival
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)
Movies that Matter supports human rights film screenings in developing countries and countries where press freedom is at stake. Applications are welcome for mobile cinema projects, human rights film festivals, film outreach projects or other innovative cinema projects to stimulate the discussion on human rights, social justice and freedom of expression?
Starting this year, Movies that Matter offers two types of grants to stage human rights film festivals and screenings in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East:
a) start-up grants (max. EUR 7,500); and b) impact grants (max. EUR 10,000).
Please note that Movies that Matter does not support film production!
The application deadline is 17 April 2016.
See the website for more information about these types of grants, the selection criteria and how to apply:
For inspiration, read about Movies that Matter’s earlier grantees here:
P.O. Box 1968, 1000 BZ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Phone: +31 20 7733630
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the network the Human Rights Film Network (HRFN) has published the 2nd edition of Setting up a Human Rights Film Festival, an “a to z” guide on the how-to’s of organizing a human rights film festival. Written by festival organizers from around the world, it focuses on the needs and challenges of festivals that are sprouting all over the developing world and those in countries where democratic systems are still emergent or non-existent.
While drawing on some common experiences to all human rights film festivals, such as programming screenings and thematic discussions or dealing with technical production and team building, the handbook does not have a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, it offers a varied tapestry of stories about festivals that face vastly different realities around the world: from rural communities in Sierra Leone and Bolivia to urban settings in Jordan and Guatemala; from prisons and the Maidan in Ukraine to a refugee camp in the middle of the Sahara Desert.
The book’s authors offer first-hand experiences and lessons learned on the many tasks needed for a successful festival including fundraising, stretching resources to the maximum, overcoming seemingly insurmountable logistical problems, approaching new audiences unfamiliar with film, involving the human rights community, dealing with censorship and security threats and evaluating results. There is a chapter on how human rights films strengthen educational systems and help raise awareness among youngsters, as well as case studies featuring festivals that take place in contexts such as political violence, the quest for truth and justice, occupation and political exile, censorship, poverty and marginalization.
The aim of the manual is to provide the necessary know-how to festival organizers so that the events they organize can serve as effective tools for social change — whether by raising awareness among key influencers and general audiences, or through the empowerment of local communities engaged in struggles for social justice.
Human rights-themed films aim for maximum impact, and human rights film festivals play a crucial role in ensuring that the films reach their target audiences, which include key influencers, social movements, activists and everyday citizens. This manual seeks to strengthen the collaboration between these communities by providing existing and emerging film festivals with the tools necessary to create an effective human rights eco-system that can lead to social transformation.
The handbook is edited by One World in Prague, Movies that Matter in Amsterdam and FiSahara in the Sahrawi refugee camps of Algeria.
Follow the links below to read or download the free full version of the handbook, or browse through the individual chapters and case studies.
Those who are planning to organise a film project with human rights films in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Middle East could apply for (modest) funding from the Netherlands-based NGO “Movies that Matter”. The organisation also offers advice to initiate human rights film festivals and helps to circulate and exhibit human rights films. Its support covers projects like mobile cinema projects, human rights film festivals, travelling film festivals, outreach programmes, and educational activities at schools and universities, but it does not support film production! The deadline for applications is 15 April 2014.
For more information, selection criteria and application forms, see www.moviesthatmatter.nl/international
ALGERIA – WESTERN SAHARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
The Western Sahara International Film Festival (FiSahara) is an annual event that uses film to entertain and empower Sahrawi refugees and to raise international awareness about a forgotten crisis. From 7 to 13 October 2013, the 10th edition of the festival takes place in Dakhla, the most remote of the refugee camps in Southwestern Algeria. In close coöperation with the local NGO Polisario, FiSahara shows 28 different films on two screens. The festival also provides workshops, roundtables, cultural activities and spectacular camel races. Besides 5,000 local attendees, about 160 international visitors are expected. This year, the festival initiates a special human rights section.
BANGLADESH – OUTREACH ‘ARE YOU LISTENING!’
The award-winning documentary Are You Listening in Bangladesh follows Bangladeshi people who are impacted by floods, but fighting back to reclaim their livelihoods and dignity. The film has been screened at festivals worldwide, but the average Bangladeshi has not yet had an opportunity to see it. Now, from December 2013 to November 2014, the film will be screened in all 64 districts of the country. Each of these screenings, organised in close coöperation with local film societies, will be followed by Q&A’s about the impact of climate change on society. This will give more than 30.000 people the chance to see the film and join the debate.
BURKINA FASO – CINÉ DROIT LIBRE FESTIVAL VILLAGE
From 22-29 June 2013 the 9th edition of the human rights film festival Ciné Droit Librewill be held in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. To bring the film festival closer to the audience and lower the barriers for the less-privileged citizens of the city, a new venue is established: the “festival village”. In this open-air venue in the middle of a popular neighborhood, 12 human rights related films will be screened. In addition, music concerts, animation screenings and debates are organised for the 8,000 – 10,000 expected visitors.
BURMA – HUMAN RIGHTS HUMAN DIGNITY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Movies that Matter supports the organisation of a travelling human rights film festival in Burma. After the 1st human rights film festival in Yangon, which will take place from 15 to 19 June 2013, a selection of the festival films will be screened in 13 cities in Myanmar/Burma, with about 80 screenings and 26 discussions in the entire country. The programme focuses on freedom of expression, freedom of religion and discrimination against women. With this travelling festival, which will take place in the second half of 2013, the organisation Human Dignity Media Organization aims to attract over 10,000 Burmese visitors.
CAMEROON – BAMENDA HUMAN RIGHTS TRAVELLING FILM AND ARTS FESTIVAL
The 3rd edition of the Bamenda Human Rights Travelling Film and Arts Festival runs from 15-22 July 2013. The festival reaches audiences in seven urban communities in Bamenda, located in the northwest of Cameroon. A total of 30 film screenings will be held in community halls, school campuses and cafes all over the city. In addition to watching film, the 10,000 visitors can participate in 15 debates and enjoy a drawing exhibition on human rights. The 7-day festival, set up by the organisation A Common Future, will focus on various themes, including violence against women, children rights and the rights of minorities and indigenous people.
ECUADOR – AMAZONIAN FILM FOR ALL
To raise attention about the rights of the inhabitants of the Ecuadorian Amazon,Fundación Pachamama organises a travelling film festival in different cities in Ecuador. These cities, including Guayaquil, Cuenca, Ibarra and Manta, are located outside of the Amazon. In each of these cities, six films will be screened about the conservation of the Amazon and the survival of its indigenous peoples. In addition, during these three-day festivals, debates and photo exhibitions about the human rights violations in the Amazon are organised. The organisers expect to reach at least 3,750 urban citizens. Movies that Matter also supported an earlier mobile cinema project of Fundación Pachamama, Cine Amazonico, which took place in February 2012.
GUATEMALA & EL SALVADOR – JUSTICE FOR MY SISTER: REDEFINING MASCULINITY TOUR
Violence against women is still very common in Central America. The documentary Justice for my Sister shows the determination of a Guatemalan lady to find the assassin of her sister, and bring him to justice despite prejudices, opposition and corruption. The film will be screened between July and October 2013, as part of a training about women’s rights in Guatemala and El Salvador. The organisations “Aquí Entre Hombres” and “Colectivo Justicia para mi Hermana” will organise a total of 17 screenings of the film for almost 2,400 representatives of police, public prosecutors, the ministries of education and unions. The project includes dubbing the film in the Quiche language and developing educational materials about addressing violence against women.
PALESTINE – KARAMA HUMAN RIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL
The theatre organisation ASHTAR is organising the first human rights film festival in the occupied Palestinian territory. With 40 film screenings, 12 debates and various music concerts and theatre events, the festival advocates for human rights all across the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. The organisers assume that around 5,000 visitors – especially youth – will participate in the festival, which is scheduled to take place from 10 – 20 December 2013. This new festival is organised in close coöperation with the Karama Human Rights Film Festival in Jordan, which started in 2010 with support from Movies that Matter.
UGANDA – MANYA HUMAN RIGHTS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
In December 2013, the 4th edition of the Manya Human Rights International Film Festival will be held in Kampala. The 5-day festival screens over 50 films in the National Theatre and more than 40 other locations in and around the Ugandan capital, including video halls and outdoor locations. This year’s programme focuses on the role of social media in promoting the rule of law, good governance, democracy and transparency. For this edition the Manya Cultural Foundation expects more than 10,000 visitors. The foundation also plans to set up a forum with organisers of human rights film festivals in East Africa.
These are the 9 projects that have been supported through the Movies that Matter Support Programme in 2013:
Yvette Alberdingk Thijm, executive director of the US-based NGO Witness, wrote a post in the Huffington Post of 15 January about this fascinating topic on the occasion of Witness’ 20th anniversary. Here are some quotes before making a more critical comment:
“Twenty years ago, WITNESS was created because a world with many cameras — a world “where the eyes of the world are opened to human rights” — did not yet exist, a big bold vision at the time. Today, building on two decades of experience in creating tangible human rights change by exposing the truth through video, we are envisioning the next frontier: a world where video is not only ubiquitous, but has given millions the power to hold human rights abusers accountable, to deliver justice and to transform the human rights landscape.”….”So in 2013 and beyond, we are committed to building “video-for-change” communities, supporting networks of human rights defenders, from communities fighting forced evictions in Brazil to youth in the U.S. campaigning to protect the environment.”
In 2012, Witness launched the Human Rights Channel in partnership with YouTube and Storyful to ensure that important human rights stories are seen and contextualized. “We are committing in 2013 and beyond to take on the systems. The technology companies that run the platforms must create more human rights friendly spaces for all of us. And we decided to focus on the international legal systems to improve the understanding of how to authenticate citizen media to hold perpetrators of abuse accountable. We are working to achieve this vision by partnering and sharing in order to meet the challenge in front of us. We’ll join forces with technology mavens and mobile developers, with courageous human rights defenders worldwide, with brave bloggers, with witnessing citizens, with peer networks and effective organizations.”
Witness has indeed greatly advanced the use of images in the struggle for human rights and its future plans are daunting. What is missing – understandably in a piece that celebrates the achievement of a group’s anniversary – is the wider picture of what the human rights movement is doing with images. From the visualization of human rights defenders (the Martin Ennals Award, Front Line Defenders, Rights Livelihood Awards, Tulip Award, Civil Rights Defenders, HRF to mention just some who regularly make film portraits and/or stream their proceedings), the production of films on HRDs (e.g. True Heroes foundation), the systematization of access to images (e.g. by HURIDOCS) and the showing of films by a myriad of human rights film festivals (HRW, AI, Movies that Matter, and some 30 others). This modest blog alone has made some 60 references to the use of film images for human rights, many by Witness and the organizations mentioned above.
I mentioning this not because of ‘fairness’ in the sense that others need to be mentioned also, but because the full scope of the challenges ahead needs to be seen and addressed. Human rights images face the same problems as documentation: (1) information overload; (2) finding the most relevant information (even more daunting for images as searching directly on images is still far away); (3) authenticity and veracity; (4) ensuring quantity and quality of dissemination (what goes ‘viral’ is not necessarily what serves human rights) and (5) protecting of sources and participants (have the persons in the film given informed consent?). And I am sure there are quite a few other important issues.
So when the executive director of Witness states that it excites her “that we, together with so many allies, are taking the challenge for the future head on“, one must hope that it includes all those who can contribute to her vision of a world ” where many, many more citizens and human rights defenders have access to knowledge, skills and tools enabling them to create compelling, trustable videos and to make sure that their video is acted upon and human rights change happens.”