email print share on Facebook share on Twitter share on reddit pin on Pinterest

FIFDH 2021

The FIFDH rethinks its entire 2021 edition

by 

- Forced to work around health restrictions for the second time, the festival is continuing its fight for freedom of expression

The FIFDH rethinks its entire 2021 edition
Dear Future Children by Franz Böhm

Now at its 19th edition, Geneva’s International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH), the biggest international event dedicated to this particular field, is once again having to contend with the pandemic, revising its entire programme. It’s a challenge which the festival’s director Isabelle Gattiker describes as an opportunity to experiment and to discover films outside of those screened, thanks to the creation of original sound and video content in the form of a daily radio programme, a series of podcasts intitled “Utopia3” and a new section, “Activist Voices”, which comprises a series of video testimonials. Indeed, this need felt by the festival to draw in new audiences and to make the event even more inclusive has given rise to a new prize: the Audience Award.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

This revised edition of the event will see viewers stepping into the shoes of veritable jury members, not only as a result of the Audience Award, but also on account of the interaction they will enjoy with the various guests set to participate in the festival virtually, between 5 and 14 March. The Genevan audience will be given the opportunity to express themselves (which is a vital need, especially in these times of collective isolation) on the independent radio waves of Radio Vostok via its daily programme “Comme un écho”, which offers listeners an audio journey infused with the mood of the city of Geneva which has been forced into a temporary state of lethargy. Ever socially engaged, the FIFDH is facilitating broad and easy access to culture by inviting the beneficiaries of the food and hygiene parcels provider Colis du Coeur, and similar associations, along with a group of patients receiving treatment in the city hospital (HUG), to view the festival’s films online, free of charge.

In all, the 2021 programme (dedicated to the Turkmen journalist and activist Soltan Achilova) consists of 29 online films, subdivided into 3 competitive sections and numerous other line-ups, as well as 17 debates involving esteemed guests such as the activist Angela Davis, the Indian writer and activist Arundhati Roy, Swiss director Milo Rau, composer Max Richter, artist Ai Weiwei and the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Patrisse Cullors.

In terms of the strictly cinematographic side of the festival, offerings range from international premieres, such as the German-Austrian-British co-production Dear Future Children [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by the very young Franz Böhm, and the European coming-of-age film set against the backdrop of the refugee crisis Shadow Game, by Eefje Blankevoort and Els Van Driel - which are both competing in the Creative Documentaries section - to films which have dazzled their way through the major film festivals. Among the latter, and within the same category of Creative Documentaries, we find the Swiss premiere of Downstream to Kinshasa [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Dieudo Hamadi (Democratic Republic of the Congo/France/Belgium), Notturno [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Gianfranco Rosi
film profile
]
by Gianfranco Rosi and The New Gospel [+see also:
film review
interview: Milo Rau
film profile
]
by Swiss director Milo Rau, the latter two having been presented at the Venice Film Festival. There’s also Once Upon A Time In Venezuela [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Anabel Rodríguez Ríos, which was selected for Sundance, and This Rain Will Never Stop [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
, by Ukrainian director Alina Gorlova, which competed at the IDFA. Numerous European offerings grace the Fiction competition, too, including the Belgian-French co-production Red Soil [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Farid Bentoumi, The Translator [+see also:
film review
interview: Rana Kazkaz and Anas Khalaf
film profile
]
by Rana Kazkaz and Anas Khalaf, the poetic work Veins of the World [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Byambasuren Davaa, which paints the portrait of a nomadic community in Mongolia, the Romandy premiere of Josep [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Aurel
film profile
]
, which is the first film by illustrator Aurel, and Should the Wind Drop [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Nora Martirosyan, the latter two having been selected for Cannes. There’s also Numbers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Oleg Sentsov
film profile
]
, directed by the Ukraine’s Oleg Sentsov in league with Akhtem Seitablaiev, and the Turkish-French-Qatari co-production Ghosts [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Azra Deniz Okyay. Swiss films are similarly well represented across the categories, with De la cuisine au parlement [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Stéphane Goël and Pandémie, la révolte des citoyens contre l’Etat [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Matteo Born and Françoise Weilhammer both featuring in the Grand Reportage competition, and Radio Silence [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juliana Fanjul
film profile
]
by the Mexican director living in Switzerland Juliana Fanjul likewise screening in the festival. Rounding off the contingent of European films competing in the Grand Reportage section are the Hungarian film Her Mothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Asia Dér, Sári Haragonics
film profile
]
by Asia Dér and Sári Haragonics, which flies the flag for the LGBTIQ+ community in a decidedly hostile context, and the medium-length film Vieillir enfermés by France’s Eric Guéret.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

(Translated from Italian)

Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.

Privacy Policy