Posts Tagged ‘power of images’

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.

 

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.

 

Films on and for human rights defenders

December 9, 2017

true heroes films (THF) published on 3 December 2017, an updated version of its trailer.

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.” ….

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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/