The Human Rights Film Festival Berlin announces a jam-packed programme for its fifth edition
- This year’s gathering will be opened by Ben Lawrence’s Ithaka, which revolves around the family of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the personal consequences of his fight for the truth
The fifth edition of the Human Rights Film Festival Berlin will unspool in the German capital from 13-23 October. The event will be opened by Ben Lawrence’s documentary Ithaka (Australia/UK), which revolves around the family of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the personal consequences of his fight for the truth. The picture will be celebrating its German premiere on 13 October in the historic hall of the Berlin Colosseum cinema.
The gathering will showcase a total of 41 films. All of them cover, from different angles, the current state of human rights in the world. The motto of this year’s edition is “Beyond Red Lines”. As festival director Anna Ramskogler-Witt explains: “Many of our films this year illustrate the dramatic consequences of crossing red lines. But our movies also tell the stories of people who, despite all adversity, will not give up fighting for a better world.”
Among the festival highlights are Chiara Avesani and Matteo Delbò’s Erasmus in Gaza [+see also:
film profile] (Spain), the story of a medical student from Italy who chose the crisis area, of all places, to spend his year abroad; Kristof Gerega’s Generation Euromaidan (Germany), which zooms in on three former Maidan activists who are now being confronted with the reality of the war in Ukraine as MEPs; and Nagieb Khaja and Peter Eggert Vesterlund’s Taliban Land (Denmark), which follows a journalist who goes to Afghanistan to document contemporary history when everyone else is leaving the country.
This year, the Willy Brandt Documentary Film Award for Freedom and Human Rights, worth €3,000, will be awarded for the fourth time, with ten films competing for the prize. The winner will be chosen by an international jury. The films locking horns are A Story of Bones by Dominic Aubrey De Vere (UK), Backlash: Misogyny in the Digital Age by Léa Clermont-Dion and Guylaine Maroist (Canada), Generation Euromaidan by Kristof Gerega (Germany), Bigger Than Us [+see also:
film profile] by Flore Vasseur (France), Children of the Enemy [+see also:
film profile] by Gorki Glaser-Müller (Sweden/Denmark/Qatar), Eskape [+see also:
film profile] by Neary Adeline Hay (France), Outside [+see also:
film profile] by Olha Zhurba (Ukraine/Netherlands/Germany), Sing, Freetown by Clive Patterson (UK/USA), Stop Filming Us but Listen by Bernadette Vivuya and Kagoma Ya Twahirwa (DR Congo/Netherlands), and The Oil Machine by Emma Davie (UK).
Moreover, the festival will be accompanied for the third time by the Human Rights Forum, set to take place in the new festival centre at Villa Elisabeth in Berlin-Mitte. The forum is an interdisciplinary platform revolving around storytelling, activism and human rights, comprising conferences, workshops and a multimedia exhibition.
The conference programme of the forum will take place over three days, from 17-19 October. On day 1, the focus will be on “the fundamental connections between the climate, justice and peace”, involving “participants together with actors from the fields of culture, activism, politics, humanitarian aid and development”. On day 2, decolonised narratives will take centre stage. Together with Tunisian activist and diplomat Aya Chebbi, the participants will aim to find answers to questions such as: how do we get rid of (post)-colonial stereotypes? And how do we free ourselves from misogynistic approaches? On day 3, experts will discuss “how to combat dis- and misinformation, how to protect journalists and filmmakers at risk, and how to communicate data and facts so that they cannot be misinterpreted or misused”. In parallel, the workshop programme will run from 14-16 October. Day 1 will focus on climate storytelling, day 2 on collaborative work and day 3 on new narratives.
“Wars, the climate crisis and inequality – worldwide, humanity has already crossed too many red lines. With our film festival and the accompanying programme, we are taking a constructive look ahead to find solutions for a better future,” said Jan Sebastian Friedrich-Rust, managing director of Action Against Hunger and the founder of the event.
The Human Rights Film Festival Berlin has been held each year since 2018. The 2022 edition is being organised by Action Against Hunger in partnership with Save the Children and Greenpeace.
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