This year the films included in Verzió Human Rights Documentary Film Festival are competing in three categories. The members of the international jury are producer and head of the Geneva International Film Festival Isabelle Gattiker, film director Bojana Papp, and head of the One World Romania Film Festival Alexandru Solomon. They will decide the winner of ZOOM IN student film category. The student jury choose the winner of the international program, and the audience's favorite will be honored with the audience award.
ZOOM IN Student Film Program
The international jury awards the best introductory film, or the best student film. There are 12 films in the ZOOM IN student film category.
Teenagers with Down syndrome dream of love at summer camp, as we see in the Polish documentary, Daniel (directed by Anastazja Dabrowska). Dust (Deepak Tolange) shows us what life is like for the numerous Indian and Nepali kids who set off each year to work in the brickyards. The military summer camp for children on Sakhalin Island might seem a bit bizarre with its reenactments of WWII battles, as shown in the the film Days of Youth (Yulia Lokshina).
History infiltrates the present. Patriotic Lesson (Filip Jacobson) takes us to a singing contest at a Polish elementary school, where we learn about the role of institutions in patriotic education. The Fall of Lenin (Svitlana Shymko) is a short story of Ukraine trying to rid itself of its Soviet past. "Filthy Times" takes its name from a song by the Európa Kiadó, an iconic band of the Hungarian underground of the 1980s, but Marcell Török's documentary rather tells the story of Ármin, the son of the band's legendary guitarist, who works hard to step out from under his father's shadow.
We cannot close our eyes to the problems of the third world. The Long Distance (Daniel Andreas Sager) is a film about a woman and boy from Kenya, trained by a German sports manager to run in European marathons. Who runs faster to evade poverty? Also in program is Adrian Oeser's film, Bag Mohajer, wherein refugees on the island of Lesbos sew bags out of the life vests that drift ashore.
The JURY of the ZOOM IN student film contest includes: Isabelle Gattiker, producer and head of the Geneva International Film Festival; Bojana Papp film director (Prison Rap, Tamer); and Alexandru Solomon (Marele jaf comunist, Ouale lui Tarzan) head of the One World Romania Film Festival.
Aislado / Jo Müller & Zoltan M. Geller / Dominican Republic, Germany / 2017 / 82 min
Bag Mohajer - Refugee Bag / Adrian Oeser / Germany / 2017 / 30 min
Daniel / Anastazja Dabrowska / Poland / 2016 / 24 min
Days of Youth / Yulia Lokshina / Germany / 2016 / 30 min
Dust / Deepak Tolange / Nepal / 2016 / 50 min
Education / Emi Buchwald / Poland / 2016 / 20 min
The Fall of Lenin / Svitlana Shymko / Ukraine / 2017 / 11 min
"Filthy Times" / Marcell Török / Hungary / 2016 / 35 min
The Long Distance / Daniel Andreas Sager / Germany, Kenya / 2015 / 93 min
Patriotic Lesson / Filip Jacobson / Germany, Poland / 2016 / 21 min
Separated / Máté Artur Vincze / Hungary / 2016 / 26 min
Urban Cowboys / Pawel Ziemilski / Poland / 2016 / 29 min
The jury of the ZOOM IN Student Film Contest: Isabelle Gattiker producer and head of the Geneva International Film Festival, Bojana Papp film director (Prison Rap, Tamer) and Alexandru Solomon (Marele jaf comunist, Tarzan's Tesicles) head of the One World Romania Film Festival.
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION PROGRAM
The Student Jury awards the film which they believe can most effectively mobilize its viewers to initiate social change and have an impact on a wider audience. There are 14 films in the International Program.
The 14th Verzió festival opens with Nowhere to Hide (Zaradasht Ahmed), which depicts the struggles an Iraqi nurse faces with the war and its consequences. Last Man in Aleppo (Firas Fayyad) is a Danish-German-Syrian co-production introducing the heroic fight of the White Helmets, a volunteer rescue team saving injured people from bombed buildings.
The Swedish film, Prison Sisters (Nima Sarvestani), tells the story of two Afghan women who were prison cellmates; Sara managed to escape to Sweden, while there are only rumors that Najibeh has been stoned to death. Will the truth be revealed? The Wait (Emil Langballe) is about a smart, popular, soccer-playing teen, Rokhsar, who under other circumstances should be quite happy, but she has just received news that her family is being expelled from Denmark. 11-year-old Yi-Jie wants nothing more than to attend school, but her father forces her to work in a plastic waste recycling workshop. Plastic China (Jiu-Liang Wang) is their story.
Jackson (Maisie Crow) is about the freedom of choice; it examines the dilemma of abortion access in the racist and deeply religious American South. The French-German-Turkish Mr. Gay Syria (Ayse Toprak) tells the story of two Syrian refugees who dream of participating in the Mr. Gay World contest, thereby breaking down the walls of denial and hiding. Small Talk (Hui-chen Huang) is a series of shockingly sincere talks between the director and her mother (a lesbian, Taoist priestess) as they try to process their painful past.
Tibetan Monks, Syrian hackers, Brazilian activists and the Pakistani opposition. Through their stories, the Canadian Black Code (Nicholas de Pencier), discusses the effects of the internet on the freedom of speech, data protection and social-political activism. According to Pre-crime (Matthias Heeder, Monika Hielscher), the future is already here with computers that fight crime using our personal data to identify perpetrators. But what if they are wrong? Sometimes wrongful convictions come not as a result of a software glitch, but due to political motives. The Trial (Askold Kurov) tells of the Kafkaesque trial of Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Russian authorities.
The list of films in competition:
Nowhere to Hide / Zaradasht Ahmed / Norway, Sweden, Iraq / 2016 / 85 min
Black Code / Nicholas de Pencier / Canada / 2015 / 90 min
The Good Life / Jens Schanze / Germany, Switzerland, Colombia / 2015 / 97 min
Jackson / Maisie Crow / USA / 2016 / 92 min
Mr Gay Syria / Ayse Toprak / France, Germany, Turkey / 2017 / 84 min
The Other Side / Griselda San Martin / Mexico, USA, Spain / 2016 / 6 min
Plastic China / Jiu-Liang Wang / China / 2016 / 82 min
Pre-Crime / Matthias Heeder, Monika Hielscher / Germany / 2017 / 88 min
Prison Sisters / Nima Sarvestani / Sweden / 2015 / 90 min
Small Talk / Hui-chen Huang / Taiwan / 2016 / 88 min
The Trial / Askold Kurov / Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic / 2017 / 71 min
Last Men in Aleppo / Firas Fayyad / Denmark, Syria, Germany / 2016 / 104 min
The Wait / Emil Langballe / Denmark / 2016 / 58 min
No Country for the Poor / Bihari László / Hungary, Germany / 2017 / 52 min
Members of the Student Jury: Damian Aleksiev (CEU Department of Philosophy, PhD student), Majsa Barbara (University of Stockholm, Cinema Studies Student), Sara Nasser (CEU Department of Sociology, Masters Student), Nikoloz Shaishmelashvili (IBS Art Management Student), Szakály Réka Anna (Budapest Metropolitan University, MOME Masters Student).
The Verzió Audience Award goes to the film with the highest audience rating. Viewers can vote for films included in the International and Hungarian Panorama during the 14th Verzió Film Festival at Toldi and Művész cinemas.