FreeSZFE Student Community Opens the 17th Verzió Film Festival

Verzió, which will only be held online this year, kicks off with an opening ceremony live from Trafó, at 7pm on Tuesday, 10 November. Along with the hottest documentaries, there will be plenty of panel and roundtable discussions contributing to the festival vibe. Tickets and passes are on sale now.

2020 has been a wildly unusual year for many reasons, and the impact of this can be seen in Verzió and other film festivals. Each year, widely-known personalities who bravely and openly stand up for human rights’ issues, testify to the key role of documentaries, which are not only the archives of the past, but also a means of shaping the future. That has not changed this year. As Enikő Gyureskó, the Verzió festival coordinator, pointed out, “the most prominent public figures of 2020 have been the students of the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest. All of them. Therefore, we are proud to announce that the 17th Verzió Film Festival will be opened by their unique theatre performance that will be live-streamed from the Main Hall of Trafó.”

After a simple registration, tickets can be purchased for the documentaries of your choice, whenever it suits you. The films will be available any time between 10–22 November. Some have a limited number of virtual seats on offer, and most of our films are geo-blocked to Hungary. Free and unblocked screenings will also be accessible, including those of the Hungarian Competition and the Student & Debut Competition. Presale tickets, festival passes and special thematic passes are already on sale through our website. 

Along with the selected films, we have prepared other related programs: roundtable discussions, online Q&A events related to the films, and panel discussions. Owing to the nature of the Q&As, viewers can ask questions from the directors, allowing a closer look at their mindset and ideas. The first discussion, led by festival director Oksana Sarkisova, is with the director of the opening film, 76 Days, which is free for the first 200 viewers following the opening ceremony. With the support of the Swedish Embassy, there will be a roundtable discussion on sustainability related to I am Greta, a film that explores the connection between environmental activism and politics. Another roundtable discussion, linked to the film Welcome to Chechnya, examines the vulnerability of LGBTQ communities, with the participation of UNHCR Central Europe. Furthermore, DocPro is a series of programs for both professionals and amateurs that present, among many others, the role of women or funding within the documentary film industry. These are just a few of the diverse and intriguing programs designed to incite viewers to go deeper into any of our given topics.

Through Student Verzió, participants have the chance to watch four thought-provoking and inspirational documentaries that can initiate meaningful post-show discussions. Moreover, seven interactive, online film clubs are proposed with the active participation of the pre-registered classes and invited experts. Application deadline: 10 November. 

The 17th VERZIÓ International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival is supported by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union.