Czech One World festival focuses on information overload and fake news

The annual One World festival of human rights documentary films, which marks its 20th anniversary this year, has got underway in Prague. Its programme director Ondřej Moravec explained the festival’s main topic, called ‘Updating the System’:

“When we were thinking about this year’s topic, we decided we wanted to reflect the fact that the world is getting faster and faster and people are lost in the floods of information and they don’t know how to select the correct ones.

“That’s why we decided we wanted to focus on cyber space in general and we wanted to reflect how people absorb all this information and how the society starts to be more and more divided by fake news.

“The headline – Updating the system – was used as a metaphor. Everybody knows that the computer demands its system to be updated from time to time so that it works properly. And it seems that we need to update ourselves too to work properly.”

How is this topic reflected in the programme of the festival?

‘The Cleaners’,  photo: archive of One World festival
“The opening film The Cleaners was narrowly connected to the topic because it is about people who moderate the content on Facebook and other social media. They need to watch about 25,000 pictures a day to check if there is no violence or pornography.

“We also selected five films in out section called One Zero which looks at cyber space from more angles.”

What do you regard as the biggest highlights of this years’ festival?

“It’s really difficult to select just some of the highlights. But for me, personally, it is for instance the director Talal Derki, who won the Sundance festival this year with his film ‘Of Fathers and Sons’.

“He is coming to Prague this year to present this film, which presents an extremely interesting view on terrorism in Syria and on how it is born. It is really something I have never seen before.”

Will you be marking the 20th anniversary of One World in any special way?

‘Of Fathers and Sons’,  photo: archive of One World festival
“We decided to select three important films by the British director Kim Longinotto, because she was connected with our festival from the very beginning.

She is one of the best-known documentarists, focusing on human rights. We wanted to dedicate this 20th anniversary to her as well because we feel she was one of the most important creators during the existence of our festival.”