"One World" festival of films on human rights opens in Prague in April

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In a few days' time, the third annual international festival "One World" will open in Prague, featuring documentary films devoted to human rights. Alena Skodova spoke with its organizers, and has this report:

The One World festival is organized by the People In Need Foundation, and is largely the brainchild of Igor Blazevic who originally comes from Sarajevo. He told journalists that his festival has been gradually gaining prestige thanks to the support of president Vaclav Havel and the UN Human Rights Commissioner, Mary Robinson. He told me what was the festival's main idea: "Our organisation is mainly a relief agency, operating in the war regions and providing aid to the victims of the war and those in the totalitarian regimes. But since we were established, we have been trying constantly to bring to the Czech Republic the argument why the society should take care of the worries of others. Our society, which is now a free society and part of the democratic world, should, too, take responsibility for global affairs and help the regions which are still in the need, fighting for democracy. And documentary films bring much more than an ordinary news coverage."When we get information from the war regions from the main mainstream media, you get the information who is shooting from one hill to the other hill, or which politician met another politician. But you will never learn who are the people, the concrete human beings that are down under the hill and who are getting the hits from the bombardment." Four hundred and sixty films were sent in, but the organisers chose 89 for the festival. So what were the main criteria for choosing them? "We tried to include in the festival films which have a strong human rights contents, film that bring important information, important message, or films that catch an important moment in the life of a human being who is in a trap of either dictatorship or war or poverty, but on the other side we really put a huge, huge stress on a documentary quality of those films because I don't believe that a powerful story is enough for a good film, I firmly believe that a good film must be a good piece of work - editing work, directing work, cameraman's work, and only then the story can really tell what it's all about." The One World festival begins on April 2, the films will be screened in several cinemas in Prague - the Perstyn cinema will present all films in English - and after it ends in the capital, some films will travel to other Czech towns and abroad.