Human rights violation focus of this year’s One World festival 

The annual One World festival of human rights documentary films gets underway on Monday with film screenings in 25 cities across the country. The event, which will officially open at the Prague Crossroads centre on Wednesday evening, will showcase more than 80 documentaries from all over the world over the next two weeks.

I discussed the programme with one of the festival organizers, Kristýna Genttnerová, and I first asked her about the choice to this year’s main theme, which is ‘Journeys of Freedom’:

“We have chosen this subject because we wanted to highlight the topic of human rights violation that is taking place all over the world and also because over the last few years, the media were focusing mostly on the Covid pandemic.

“That doesn’t mean, however, that human rights have not been violated in the meantime. Actually, the opposite is true, because many dictators were using this opportunity to step on their people’s necks even more.

“With this section, we are highlighting the countries where human rights are violated the most, such as Hong Kong and Belarus, but we are also focusing on Russia.

“We will be screening the film ‘F@ck This Job’ about the internet television Dozhd, which was cancelled about a week ago because of its reporting on the war in Ukraine, so it’s a very recent topic.”

The festival will officially open with the screening of a Polish film called ‘Judges under Pressure’ Can you tell as a little bit more about this film?

“This is a film about the judicial system in Poland, and the judges who are being harassed by the government because they are seen as an obstacle on the government plan to install laws that are against the principles of democracy.

“We will also welcome the protagonist of the film, Igor Tuleya, one of the judges in Poland, who has been suspended over his criticism of the government.

“There will be a screening and also two discussions, so we are very pleased that he will be able to come and discuss the situation in Poland.”

The programme of the festival was obviously put together before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but still, will you somehow address the events in Ukraine?

“I think the Russian film that I have already mentioned, ‘F@ck This Job’, touches upon this topic. We are also offering three films about Ukraine from the last three editions within our ‘Get Your Audience’ programme.

“People can organize screenings themselves, and they can also collect money and give it to Ukrainian people or filmmakers. Those who want to screen the films can find all the information on our website

“We also have a Ukrainian film on the programme called A House Made of Splinters. It is not directly about the war but rather about the about the repercussion on the people in the eastern part of Ukraine.”

Finally, the NGO People in Need celebrates its 30th anniversary since its founding. Are you planning to mark this anniversary in any way?

“One World has launched a year-long project, a VOD platform, where you can see several films focusing on People in Need’s work during the last 30 years and their missions around the world.

“We will also celebrate during the opening at the Prague Crossroads centre and hopefully there will be another get-together during the year.”