This year’s edition of the Movies that Matter film and debate festival will take place from Friday 24 March to Saturday 1 April in Filmhuis Den Haag and Theater aan het Spui in The Hague. The festival will kick off with the screening of The Other Side of Hope by Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki. This movie tells the story of a Finnish travelling salesman and a Syrian refugee whose paths cross. In his own inimitable way, Kaurismäki (Le Havre, Man Without a Past) gives a humourful, compassionate and topical account of hope and humanity.
The nine-day festival, set against the background of the international city of Peace and Justice, hosts some seventy fiction films and documentaries that deal with human rights, peace and freedom.The festival has two main programmes: A Matter of ACT about human rights defenders (together with Amnesty International)and Camera Justitia, sponsored by vfonds, which zooms in on the rule of law and tackling impunity.
This year’s novelty is the Weapon of Choice programme, which contains a selection of films chosen by a number of Dutch celebrities. Other programme components include Shorts that Matter, a joint venture with the Go Short Festival, Movies at Midnight; human rights films with a twist, public’s choice Harvest, and the Panorama programme. Besides, the festival includes an extensive in-depth programme featuring daily talk shows, introductions, Q&As,music performances and an exhibition.
A Matter of ACT
Former Irish president and UN High Commissionerfor Human Rights Mary Robinsonwill be a keynote speaker on Saturday 25 March at the A Matter of ACTNight. On this night the documentary Dil Leylawill be screened. The A Matter of ACT programme
includes nine documentary films about human rights defenders. The majority of these activists will attend the festival. The filmsgive a compelling insightinto the livesand work of human rights defenders around the world.
The Camera Justitia programme includes eight films about the importance of the rule of law and the fight against impunity. An international expert jury will hand out the Movies that Matter Camera Justitia Award at the occasion of the festive Camera Justitia Night on Thursday 30 March.
Also on 30 March, legal expert and judge Julia Sebutinde from Uganda will host the Camera Justitia Master Class in which she exchanges views with professionals and students using film footage. Sebutinde is currently working for the International Court of Justice and served as a judge at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. During the master class she will speak about the dilemmas of conflict-ridden societies such as Uganda and the role oflaw in search ofglobal peace and justice.