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FIFDH Geneva 2023 – FIFDH Industry

Country Focus: Switzerland

FIFDH Impact Days organises a webinar on impact filmmaking for social justice


- The session is being held on 19 January, and will focus on ethics and accountability in filmmaking, which is a hot topic within the documentary community

FIFDH Impact Days organises a webinar on impact filmmaking for social justice

The fifth edition of FIFDH Impact Days, the special programme focusing on impact strategy for documentaries at any stage of production, recently announced its 16 selected projects for this year (see the news). The programme, which is taking place from 13-14 March, as part of the 21st Geneva International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH), is also organising the preparatory Impact Lab, an online workshop for its participants.

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During the Impact Lab, and under the section of the programme intended for observers, a special webinar is being held focusing on “Impact Filmmaking for Social Justice”, where a wide range of international experts will discuss ethics and accountability in filmmaking, a hot topic within the documentary community, amidst a growing call for fair practices. The younger field of impact production, with its mission to create long-lasting change through cinematic and often character-driven storytelling, should absolutely be playing by the same rules, the event maintains. The online webinar is free to access for a restricted number of professionals, and will be held on 19 January from 3 pm-6.30 pm CET. Potential attendees can register here, for free.

As for the programme of the webinar, the opening keynote speech will be given by Molly Murphy, director of Partnerships and Innovation at Working Films. It will be entitled “The Ethics of Impact”, and will explore how the values of consent, care, justice and equity can guide the work of positioning films to make an impact.

Afterwards, the case study “Last Men in Aleppo [+see also:
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, From the Oscar Race to Wartime Advocacy Tool” focuses on the titular multi-award-winning documentary, which highlights the work of White Helmets volunteer rescuers during the Aleppo siege. The NGO Crisis Action has built a hard-hitting impact campaign around the film, targeting European politicians and urging them to stand for those still resisting in Aleppo. It will feature Feras Fayyad, director of the film, and Nicola Reindorp, CEO of Crisis Action, and it will be moderated by Nicole van Schaik, director of Development at Doc Society.

The webinar will be rounded off by a panel discussion on “The Ethics of Funding Impact”, moderated by Naomi Walker, co-coordinator at Global Impact Producers Alliance (GIPA). The participants will be Sabine Fayoux Cantillo, associate director of Program at Chicken & Egg PicturesXimena Amescua Cuencua, manager of Artist Programs at Firelight Media; and Gerry Leonard, director of Filmmaker Services and Impact at Working Films. This panel of funders will discuss what they look for when considering giving support to an impact campaign, and which factors might raise some red flags for them.

The Impact Days programme will continue from 13-14 March, when a programme of panel discussions, professional meetings, master classes and networking opportunities involving filmmakers, impact producers and changemakers is being organised. More details will be announced soon.

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