Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, the only festival of its kind in Hungary, has been organized on an annual basis since 2004. It aims to promote open society, democratic values, rule-of-law, freedom of expression, political and cultural pluralism, and to expose abuse and global human rights violations through creative, quality documentaries.
100 films from 44 countries at 14th Verzio Film Festival
Verzio, in cooperation with the most prestigious film events, chooses the best documentary films from a wide variety produced in recent years. In this year’s program, 100 documentaries from 44 countries have been chosen by the selection committee. These films include some Hungarian highlights, such as a portrait of Judit Ember, an icon of the Hungarian documentary film industry in the 1970s and 1980s.
This year’s festival takes place November 14-19 in Budapest, and November 23-25 in Pecs and Szeged.
Venues of this year’s festival include the Toldi, Muvesz and Kino Cafe movie theaters, as well as the Blinken OSA Archive and CEU. This year also marks a new partnership with Trafo, which is providing a space for the festival’s masterclasses. The Apollo Theater in Pecs, and the Grand Cafe Mozi in Szeged will also screen a selection of the program.
As always, Verzio will feature an International Panorama, Hungarian Panorama, Student Film Competition, Impact Masterclass series, DocLab production workshop and a series of thematic programs including the following:
Retrospective: Riga Poetic School of Documentary Cinema
The 1960s was a special decade in Latvian cinema – the beginning of a poetic documentary film tradition that continues to influence the work of contemporary filmmakers. At the time of the Thaw, a new generation of filmmakers started to work in Latvian cinema. Their films shared a number of features and attitudes: the poetical treatment of the surrounding world, observation of everyday life and attention to detail. Uldis Brauns, Aivars Freimanis, Ivars Seleckis, Hercs Franks and several other filmmakers formed the movement critics called the Riga School, although it was often referred to as the Riga Poetic School of Documentary Cinema. (In cooperation with the Latvian Embassy in Hungary and Riga Film Museum. Curator: Zane Balcus)
Your Own City – Housing Rights
Human rights and urban issues are closely intertwined: evictions due to real estate developments, actions of resistance, vulnerable locals left helpless against politically-backed investments, community-based occupation and re-organization of unused areas, and activism driven by neighborhoods struggling to find a future. This thematic block consists of the finest, recent documentaries on architecture and urban issues through the lens of Verzio. (In cooperation with Budapest Architecture Film Days. Curator: Gabor Feher)
PhotoFilm: Sampling the Archives - Film Series and Conference
Photofilm makers experiment with the relationship between text, sound and image, and reflect on the cinematographic composition. New image-creating apparatuses, including tablets, smartphones, and digital cross-media platforms require the artists to rethink the relationship between photography and film, the still and the moving image. This event includes three, curated blocks of experimental photofilms from 1970 to the 2000s, and a one-day symposium. Filmmakers, media artists and theorists will discuss the exciting new developments in audiovisual media today. (Curators: Gusztav Hamos, Katja Pratschke and Thomas Tode)
War and Peace 2.0: Refugee Perspectives
Ongoing wars in Syria, Afghanistan, and other parts of globe have forcefully changed the lives of millions, turning citizens into refugees. How can we cope with the loss of our dearest and most cherished — our family, home, security and future? The films in this thematic block, organized with the support of UNHCR, thwart media stereotypes and focus on dramatic stories that help the audience to empathize with those forced to flee their homes and rebuild their lives from scratch.
Free industry programs, open to the public
Explore Impact Masterclasses
How are effective public information campaigns organized? How can audiences in rural areas be reached? How do we measure impact? Initiatives that make an impact on shaping attitudes are vital. What are the keys to a successful public information campaign that can help to build a functioning, democratic society? Verzio invites documentary filmmakers, activists, and public campaigners to share their experience of using documentary film as a tool for change. (In cooperation with One World [Czech Republic], Watchdocs [Poland], Verzio Human Rights Film Festival [Hungary], Docudays UA [Ukraine], CineDOC-Tbilisi [Georgia] and funded by the Visegrad Fund)
DocLab Filmmaking Workshop: Impact Through Film - Human Rights In Focus
Verzio DocLab is a platform that allows beginner and advanced filmmakers interested in documentary filmmaking and human rights to make a short film or documentary essay, or to edit a scene or episode from a feature-length documentary already in production. An international team of filmmakers, editors, and human rights experts will offer mentorship in structuring, editing, and post-producing your film. (In cooperation with CEU Visual Studies Platform and CEU Mirabaud Media Lab)
Screening of DocLab films at Blinken OSA Archive // November 15.
Student Verzio for high-school students // Free morning screenings on November 15-16-17 at Toldi and Muvesz Cinemas // apply at email@example.com
Conference at Blinken OSA Archive: Spectrum of Communism // November 16-17.