From November 8–20 more than 70 creative documentaries will be screened during this year’s Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, seeking answers to urgent contemporary issues around the globe. This is the 19th annual festival and will be held in Budapest along with additional screenings in five Hungarian locations. The films will also be available online nationwide.
Festival director Oksana Sarkisova, a research fellow at the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archive (Blinken OSA), which founded the festival together with Central European University (CEU) highlights, “In 2022, the phrase ‘world on fire’ is more than a metaphor or a reference to some past or remote incidents. The war in Ukraine and its global resonance, the growing number of casualties and millions of refugees and internally displaced people worldwide, the deepening energy crisis, and the alarming consequences of climate change are transforming our daily lives, and with it, the whole planet.”
As an individual, what can you do about climate change, an oppressive regime, or discrimination? What are journalists doing about censorship? What is happening in the rainforests of Brazil? How do people survive wars or blockades day after day? The timely films of Verzio address these issues and more. Highlights include a special masterclass by Bernadette Wegenstein, director of The Conductor, on November 11 at CEU’s Budapest campus. Her film of portrayal of the first woman conductor of a symphonic orchestra will be screened after the award ceremony on Saturday, November 12.
“For a thinking and engaged mind, it is impossible to stay adrift and look aside. Camera in hand, documentarists continue exploring the world’s most pressing problems, giving each abstract concept a human dimension and a personal, poignant, subjective touch,” adds Sarkisova. “This year's festival features powerful visual stories of courageous journalists, women overcoming traumatic violence, young generations exploring complex family histories and identities, and activists resisting dictatorships and corporations while advocating for radical change to build an inclusive, peaceful future.”
The screenings will be accompanied by a series of talks, concerts, exhibitions and professional programs. See here for the full schedule.