Amnesty International Slovenia

    About award

    The Best Human Rights Film Award is presented by Amnesty International Slovenia.

    Human rights films addressing some of the most critical issues of our world, from the rights of underprivileged women, minorities, labour migrants or political asylum seekers, to environmental concerns and religious fundamentalism. The section also serves as an appeal to present-day mass media which tend to neglect numerous important and meaningful stories due to their ostensible lack of newsworthiness. 

    Taja Premk
    AIS Head of Communications and Event Management 

    An Opportunity for Different and New Reflections on Human Rights 

    Amnesty Slovenia is honoured to be part of the festival that for the past 24 years has been presenting a first-rate selection of documentaries from all over the world – among others numerous human rights films that depict stories difficult to put into words. 
    Looking at the festival from the perspective of Amnesty International’s daily work, the competition section deals with issues that truly resonate in our research, campaigns, activism and teaching about human rights.
    In his documentary, The First 54 Years: An Abbreviated Manual for Military Occupation, director Avi Mograbi takes us to a world of long-standing oppression and human rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip through the eyes of former Israeli soldiers. I am confident that this documentary story will excellently complement Amnesty’s recent highly-publicized report, which, following comprehensive research, concluded that Israeli policies against Palestinians amount to apartheid. We invite you to sign a petition on https://www.amnesty.si/izrael-apartheid-peticija.

    Focusing on the French yellow vest movement, David Dufresne's The Monopoly of Violence explores the social aspect of protests. This issue is also highly topical in Slovenia. Among others, we monitor protests by means of the Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy, which we co-founded a year ago, and through other actions defend the right to protest and strengthen its understanding. At our Amnesty Academy, for example, you can also take an online course in this right.  

    Two competing films – Children of the Mist by Vietnamese director Ha Le Diem and Reconciliation by Slovenian director Marija Zidar – address the ever-relevant issue of human rights of women and girls, in connection with tradition and customs. Although reflecting the situation in other countries, the questions dealt with in these films are somehow timeless and relevant all over the world. Unfortunately, issues concerning female bodies, as well as the perceptions and/or expectations of women are still socially divisive everywhere, including our country. Similarly timeless is the theme of marginalization and ostracism explored in the fifth competition film, Travis Wilkerson's Nuclear Family. He conducts his exploration by addressing the situation of indigenous peoples whose human rights are more often than not violated, denied, trampled on.

    Although these concerns are not new to human rights organisations, human rights defenders and our supporters, they remain, for many people, abstract or distant, part of a news programme we would rather not hear. That is why we are grateful to the filmmakers for giving voice and a place in society, in our minds and hearts, to these unheard and often forgotten stories. 

    The big-screen pictures are a tool that brings us closer to the fates of people who are thousands of miles away from us, or exist somewhere quite near, but hidden from our view. They take us into the unknown and introduce us to diversity. They arouse feelings in us – of anger, love, fear, shame, sadness, happiness and helplessness. They encourage us to think about what our rights really mean. 

    Through choice of subject matter the making of human rights documentaries already constitutes activism. Filmmakers discover a new world (or shed new light on the existing one) and touch us regardless of whether this was their primary purpose. On behalf of Amnesty, I hope that this year, too, these documentaries will become this kind of "touch" to as many of you as possible, as a reminder of the importance of fighting for human rights. Therefore, as every year, you are warmly invited to take part in the campaign www.amnesty.si/pisem-za-pravice.