Verzió has been launched

Following Tuesday’s opening ceremony, the 18th VERZIÓ International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, this year both in cinemas and online, was launched by director Dénes Nagy. Festival director Oksana Sarkisova and deputy-mayor Erzsébet Gy. Németh also gave welcoming speeches. All the films and programs are available in cinemas, 10–14 November, as well as online, 15–22 November

This year’s opening film was Divas, Máté Kőrösi’s debut feature-length documentary, which will also be screened in Toldi Cinema, 11 November, and streamed within the online Verzió from 15 November. Before the film’s Hungarian premier, the festival was opened by director Dénes Nagy, deputy-mayor Erzsébet Gy. Németh and festival director Oksana Sarkisova. “This year’s festival has been extended to provide viewers with more opportunities, in cinemas and online, to learn what is at stake for Belarusian protesters (Courage), immerse themselves in the lives of post-Brexit border commuters between the UK and Ireland (Four Seasons in a Day), follow the windy paths of young Muslim shepherds in rural Bosnia (Brotherhood), meet election candidates in Zimbabwe (President) or a family on a remote island in the Caspian Sea (Ostrov – Lost Island), discover the all-penetrating power of surveillance (All Light, Everywhere), learn about the lure and hidden pitfalls of the gig economy (The Gig Is Up), and gain intimate insight into the cost of a radical career change (A New Shift). These are but a few of the highlights from the more than 60 versions of reality that await the audience at this year’s festival,” explained the festival director.

The awards and the award ceremonies

The festival’s closing ceremony will take place in Toldi Cinema at 7pm, 13 November, with the award ceremonies to be followed by the closing film, 100UP. The Best Human Rights Documentary will be decided by the Student Jury, which consists of international students, while the International Jury will award the Best Debut & Student Documentary, taking professional excellence and creative approach into consideration. The members of the International Jury are Sundance Documentary Fund director Hajnal Molnár-Szakács, Dutch Movies that Matter Film Festival coordinator Julie Nederkoorn, and director Mihály Schwechtje. For the first time in Verzió’s history, the Municipality of Budapest will support the award for the Best Hungarian Documentary. The jury members are Ukrainian Docudays UA Film Festival director, Viktoria Lescsenko, consultant for the Mayor’s Office Libor Anita, and Croatian director Nebojša Slijepčević. Following the screenings in Budapest, ​​viewers can cast their votes and contribute to the selection of the Audience Award, to be announced on 15 November.

Verzió’s week-long program

In addition to Toldi, Művész and Kino Café cinemas in Budapest, the 64 selected films will also be screened in Szeged, Debrecen, Kecskemét, Pécs and Szombathely, in cooperation with Open Spaces, 10–14 November. Throughout this week, viewers can join roundtable and Q&A discussions, as well as industry programs. In cooperation with the Budapest Metropolitan University (METU), an alternative film poster exhibit will be on display in Blinken OSA until 30 November.

Both offline and online tickets and festival passes are available on VERZIÓ’s website, including special thematic festival passes.

Fotó: Varga Jennifer