Check out this entertaining trailer for the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, an official cultural event of the Czech EU presidency, which takes place in Prague from 11th to 19th March. A selection of the movies will then be shown in Brussels and Washington, D.C.
One World reports:
In 2009, the Czech Republic and other Central European countries celebrate the 20th anniversary of the collapse of communism. One World and its partner film festivals – DOK Leipzig, One World Bratislava, Verzio Budapest and Watch Docs Warsaw – will present documentary films from acclaimed Central European filmmakers which address the achievements, challenges and inevitable deceptions accompanying the road to freedom after years under a totalitarian regime. Stories of democratic transformation and the restoration of intellectual freedom, but also encounters with pragmatic capitalistic thinking and the ambiguous temptations of consumer society can be shared by all Central European countries. The films, presented in five thematic categories, are accompanied by articles which create contexts for the presented films and should stimulate discussions in an on-line forum.
The festival is organized by People in Need and held under the auspices of former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel, the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra and Foreign Affairs Minister Karel Schwarzenberg.
The on-line special weekly presents one thematic bloc with several films, which are available for streaming in their full length for free. In total, 22 English-subtitled documentaries from Central Europe will appear online.
Already available to watch is the first thematic block Looking Back: Dealing with the Past includes classic films The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia by Jan Svankmajer, or Mein Bruder – We’ll Meet Again by Thomas Heise. The films are accompanied by thematic articles on the reunification of Germany and on attacks on the Polish ex-president Lech Walesa.
The second block Lessons in Parliamentary Democracy will look back at sources of disillusionment with political representation. The section features two films of the late Pavel Koutecky, known primarily as the author of the film Citizen Havel. The films cover the atmosphere of the first free elections and the break-up of Czechoslovakia.
One World presents approximately 120 films from all around the globe and seeks to promote documentary filmmaking of the highest quality on social and political issues. The main goals of the festival are to foster mutual understanding between cultures, to heighten public awareness about human rights, and to promote global responsibility. One World attracts an audience of over 100,000 viewers each year, which makes it one of the largest and most important human rights film festivals in Europe. In 2007, One World was awarded a UNESCO special mention for its contribution to human rights and peace education.
In addition to organizing the festival in Prague and the Czech Republic, One World is a driving force behind a cluster of smaller human rights festivals that are being held in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe. One World has continued to lend support to non-governmental and cultural groups in other countries that want to organize their own human rights film screenings. One World is one of the founding members of Human Rights Film Network, which was established in Prague in 2004.
People in Need, a grantee of the National Endowment for Democracy, is a Czech non-profit, non-governmental organization, which provides relief aid and development assistance, while working to defend human rights and democratic freedoms. PIN is one of the largest organizations of its kind in post-communist Europe and has administered projects in more than forty countries over the past seventeen years. PIN came into existence in 1992 when dissidents and leaders of the Czechoslovak Velvet Revolution teamed up with conflict journalists to form the Epicentrum Foundation (renamed People in Need in 1994) to continue working towards a better world.