Amnesty International Slovenia

    Amnesty International Slovenia Human Rights Film Award (Competition Section)

    Competition section 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. 

    International jury

    Boris Petkovič
    Born in Zenica, Bosnia and Hercegovina, completed the higher vocational college of traffic and transport in Portorož in 1996. In 2005 he graduated in film directing from the International Film & Television School in Paris, where he was a lecturer for the following three years. In 2008 he returned to Slovenia, where he lives and works. He is the author of various documentary and feature films, which have received various national and international awards. His last feature film, Let Him Be a Basketball Player (Košarkar naj bo), was seen by over 90,000 viewers across Slovenia, and his latest documentary film, LGBT_SLO_1984, is currently touring the worldwide festival circuit.
    Maja Pan
    A member of the Amnesty International Slovenija Executive Committee and Doctor of Philosophy. She is the author of various scientific texts from the areas of the philosophy of gender, feminist theory, women’s studies and theorization of post- Yugoslav lesbian queer-feminist activism. Within Amnesty Slovenija, she coordinated work regarding rights of the LGBTIQ+ community and educated youth about women’s rights and homo/bi/transphobia. She leads the Library of Aunt Rose project in the cultural center Bakery (Pekarna) and, together with the Library of Maribor and the Film Factory association, co-organizes and hosts talks for attendees at Film Theory lectures. Last year she was featured as the main protagonist in a short documentary film Dear Teri by E. Zhuzhleva, D. Shikhalieva and S. Menugeki made at the workshops of the DOKUDOC international documentary film festival.
    Teona Strugar Mitevska
    Born in an artistic family in Skopje, Macedonia. Her career started as a child  actor, trained as a painter and graphic designer, and studied film at the Tisch School of Arts, New York University. Her  directorial debut, a short film Veta (2001), received the Special Jury Prize at the 2002 Berlin Film Festival. Her first feature film addressed the Macedonian youth rebellion in the 1990s. Her subsequent films examine the issues of survival within the brutality of capitalism in a post-socialist system, the psychology of motherhood, social injustice and prejudice in an oppressive and politically corrupt contemporary patriarchal society, etc. Her films are known to have a prominent feminist perspective. Her most successful film to date, God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya, premiered in competition at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival, where it received the prestigious Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the German Film Guild Prize. The film has received more than twenty awards all around the world, and was the recipient of the 2020 European Parliament’s LUX Prize.

    Stories That Inspire Us To Take Action

    Taja Premk
    AIS Communications and Events
    Program Manager
    The Amnesty Slovenia team is always very excited when the month announcing the Festival of Documentary Film appears on the calendar. It is a time when movie theatres are full of film enthusiasts and where for a week we surrender ourselves to film creators, allowing them to lead us into unknown worlds. This year marks the 25th annual festival and we are very honoured to hold a special task within the festival; choosing the best human rights film. This year the jury’s decision will be as hard as in the previous years, as the competitive program includes five amazing films. The films’ topics should be a part of our thoughts and actions more often as they are. These are the topics of our activism, campaigns and fight for a more just world. The 2021 Amnesty Award winner, director Sébastien Lifshitz, will present the documentary Casa Susanna. As previously, this film also centres on the question of gender, foregrounding a critique of society which deems it black and white. The film is set in the USA in the 1950s, where homosexuality and transgender topics were a taboo. At Amnesty, we strive for upholding the rights of the trans community and support efforts for self-identification and depathologization.

    The newest documentary by director Simon Lerenga Wilmont follows the path of children in a transitional home in east Ukraine. A House Made of Splinters depicts the story of four children, who have found themselves there not knowing what their future will be. The children’s sad destinies are pervaded with thoughts about living in a state orphanage and the upcoming war. Children’s rights are of dire importance for our world and the role of us, adults, is to be educated about them, to advocate and fight for  them. Children’s voices must be heard, as they are the voices of our future. We at Amnesty highlight the importance of children’s rights. Another film centring the role of children is Innocence by Guy Davidi. The filmmaker depicts the lives of Israeli youth resisting compulsory military service. Yet their efforts are futile. The film offers a glimpse at the life in Israel, which Amnesty International and other human rights organizations believe is committing the crime of apartheid upon the people of Palestine. Israel is even willingto sacrifice the lives of its own children to obtain supremacy over the people of Palestine.

    In Be My Voice Swedish documentary film director Nahid Persson follows the life of Masih Alinejad. Journalist, activist and defender of women’s rights, Masih was expelled from her native country for activism. Masih’s fight against the compulsory headscarf for women in Iran inspired the formation of the movement My Stealthy Freedom, which brings together women from Iran and got over a million likes on Facebook. Masih Alinejad is the voice of millions of women in Iran, who are fighting for their rights and equality. At Amnesty International, we vigilantly monitor the fight for human rights in Iran, shed light Stories That Inspire Us To Take Action on the bloody suppression of protests and support the protesters on the streets who want a freer and more just society for themselves and their loved ones.

    In The Eclipse Serbian-born director Nataša Urban takes us back to the times of Yugoslavia and its demise. She offers a look into the current perspective on the year 1999 in the minds of the Serbian society. At the same time, she looks for parallels on different sides of the battlefields about the senselessness of violence and attacks on civilians. The facts about the futility of war also bring into focus the war in Ukraine today. At Amnesty International, we draw attention to the fact that Russian aggression against Ukraine is a violation of international law, and at the same time document in our reports the attacks of the Russian army that result in hundreds of civilian victims. The past and ongoing fight for human rights is the central thread of the selected documentaries. The films, individually and together as a whole, encapsulate an idea about ways to build a more just world and how the paths toward this world are full of pitfalls and obstacles. But still, we shouldn’t give up. The stories that inspire are the stories where people do not give up – be it women in the streets of Iran or actions of the trans community in Slovenia. Such movies bring us together, open our minds  and hearts and inspire us to take action. Actions for the rights of all, but especially for the rights of the powerless and those who need our voice.

    See you in the movie theatres!