Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Presents Inaugural Vienna Edition

From April 20-22, 2023, the Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival will feature Verzio Vienna, bringing highlights from the 2023 Budapest festival to Vienna in cooperation with Belvedere 21Open Society University Network (OSUN)CEU Community Engagement Office and the Visual Studies Platform at CEU.

 Verzio Vienna will have its opening on April 20 at 6 p.m. at the Belvedere21 Blickle Kino with a welcome speech by CEU President and Rector Shalini Randeria. Verzió Vienna features seven powerful documentaries and several masterclasses, as well as an alternative posters exhibition, highlighting creative works by graphic design students from Budapest Metropolitan University (METU). 

“I believe the new partnerships and connections established during Verzió Vienna will prove lasting, and contribute to foregrounding the medium of creative documentary as an engaging way to learn about the world and empower through moving human stories,” writes Oksana Sarkisova, Verzió IHRDFF Festival Director, in her festival statement.

The annual Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival was founded by Blinken OSA Archivum at CEU in 2004. Over the last nineteen years, it has grown in outreach and program activities, building an important forum for international documentary film professionals and the broader public to discuss pressing social issues.

“In times of geopolitical turmoil, with the war on Ukraine going into its second year, leaving people devastated and displaced, and with an environmental crisis prevalent, it is more important to reflect upon these developments, to remember, document, narrate them from various and diverse perspectives,” writes Claudia Slanar, Curator for Blickle cinema and the Blickle video archive. She continues, “Here at Belvedere 21, we think about the cinema not only as a place to watch moving images, but also as a space to invite various communities into the museum, and to enter into a conversation about urgent challenges of the present and about the artistic strategies to deal with them.”

In total, Verzió programs have been attended by well over 180,000 visitors in Hungary. In 2022, the 19th edition of Verzió showcased over 60 creative documentaries in five towns across the country, and allowed audiences to stream films via a designated platform.

“The Verzió Film Festival supports the general goals and mission of the CEU Community Engagement Office, one of which is to connect with the public on human rights issues, in order to implement projects for the tangible benefit of society,” reflects Flóra László CEU Community Engagement Office Director. “I was always very passionate about the festival and attended its screenings and workshops as much as I could, therefore I’m delighted of this collaboration with Verzió Film Festival in bringing this colorful event to Vienna.”

Visit here for the full schedule and detail regarding the presented films and workshops.