Situation in Iran among themes of 2010 One World festival


The 12th One World (Jeden Svět) festival of human rights documentaries gets underway in Prague on Wednesday evening. Over eight days it will screen 101 films from 30 states around the world, while around 100 directors and human rights advocates are expected to attend. Every year One World chooses particular issues to highlight; on the eve of the festival, its new director Hana Kulhánková told me about this year’s focus.

“The special theme of One World 2010 is Focus on Iran. Then Green Challenges, which is an ecology section, and Tolerant Intolerant, which focuses on nationalism and neo-Nazism in Central Europe. Then I would mention a section called Panorama, which is kind of like an overview of films which are not in competition, but have been screened at a number of international festivals and won prizes.”

What’s new this year? Apart from the fact that you’re the director now.

“Apart from me being the director for the first time, the other people in the programming department have changed a lot…Then this year we would like to give the opportunity to the One World audience to really become people who after the festival will be able to screen a certain number of films that we will put into distribution. They will be able to screen them, and the only condition is that they have to register, and that they screen the films for free.”

'Green Days'
Tell us about the opening film on Wednesday night?

“The opening film is called Green Days and it’s part of the Focus on Iran section. It’s an Iranian film made by a young director, Hana Makhmalbaf, and it shows students in Iran waiting for the election there last year. They were really full of hope, they were waiting for change, but as you know, Ahmadinejad remained in charge. The film really shows how much positive energy and hope there was in young people, and then everything turned bad.”

Every year you have some interesting guests. This year, for you, who will be among the most interesting?

“I’m definitely looking forward to meeting Rob Lemkin, who is the director of Enemies of the People, which deals with the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. I’m looking forward to meeting Eric Gandini, who is the director of Videocracy. It’s a very interesting film about contemporary Italy and the power of the media, the power of Berlusconi, and how Italian people are obsessed with their looks.”

Hana Kulhánková
Finally, is there any one film that you would recommend to listeners?

“I would definitely recommend Women in Shroud, which deals with the stoning of women in Iran. It’s a very powerful and very sad film.”

After Prague, the One World festival will move on to 29 other Czech cities and towns.