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One World presents unique footage from both sides of the conflict with Islamism

Festivals 2017-02-22

The documentary films at the 19th annual One World Festival present the real stories of people affected by the so-called Islamic State. The audience will have the opportunity to look not only into Syria, Iraq and surrounding countries, but also Europe, where refugees are heading, and where there is a political struggle often featuring strong anti-immigrant rhetoric. The festival explores the issues from different points of view: from the perspective of the Islamists and their opponents, civic activists and populists, refugees and policymakers. The unifying feature of these films is the theme of collaboration.

One World 2017 opens with the film Good Postman set in a small, dying village on the Bulgarian-Turkish border, around which refugees pass daily on their way to Europe. The goodhearted postman Ivan would like to move them into the crumbling buildings and in that way bring new life to the village. So he stands for mayor. The documentary is visually impressive, sensitive, sometimes almost tragicomic, and captures idiosyncratic human goodness against the backdrop of a difficult geopolitical situation. “The movie is very ordinary, but with truly beautiful camera and music. It is about all of us, about our conscience. It makes us ask whether we would help, or not,“ said festival director Hana Kulhánková.

A new feature this year is the Czech Competition category in which 12 Czech films compete for an award granted by an international jury. By introducing this competition category the Festival wants to promote opportunities for Czech documentary films to be presented at international festivals. The Czech Competition will present the world premiere of Epidemic of Freedomabout the issue of vaccination in the Czech Republic. Other premieres in this category include the award-winning film by director Miroslav Janek Normal Autistic Film or Hole in the Head by Slovak director Robert Kirchhoff, which looks at the topic of the Roma Holocaust.

The other two competition categories are the International Competition and Right to Know. In the former, the most formally polished documentaries will vie for awards for best film and best director. One World will present the fresh, recently completed documentary To End a Warabout the negotiation of peace between the Colombian government and the FARC. Also included here is the film Nowhere to Hide– the riveting story of Iraqi male nurse Nori who with a small camera films his escape from the Islamic State. The film was awarded at the IDFA in Amsterdam and will be introduced in Prague by its director. An invitation to Prague was also accepted by the director of the internationally successful Polish documentary Communion about a 14-year-old girl forced to grow up too soon and take care of her autistic younger brother.

The Václav Havel Jury will award films in the Right to Know category that make an exceptional contribution to the defence of human rights. In a raw portrait of an artist struggling against the system, the audience will look at Russia (Pavlensky: Man and Might) and Papua New Guinea (Opposition). One World will present the world premiere of the extraordinary dramatic film Grab and Run, which captures the kidnapping of young women in Kyrgyzstan.

The first new thematic category this year is Vote for Change!, which reflects the growth of populism in the world. It will focus on the phenomenon of the collapse of confidence in traditional political parties

and all sorts of new movements that have germinated in the resulting power vacuum. The film captures the rise of the Five Star Movement in Italy (Tutti a Casa – Power to the People?), the openly neo-Nazi Golden Dawn in Greece (Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair), but also the sincere desire to change things for the better coming up against difficult obstacles (Dil Leyla).

Refugees' vain dreams of a European paradise are captured in the film category Dreams of Europe. Among others, the category presents the highly topical documentary I´m Okay, which follows the lives of two child refugees from Macedonia and Syria. Their efforts to find a new life in Germany are reflected in one of today's most debated issues – the problem of integration and identity. Also in this category is the film Fire at Sea, which won the Berlinale 2016 and is nominated for an Oscar.

An important theme this year is family. Especially in our cultural sphere, which emphasizes the role of the individual, a discussion about new forms and meanings of the family is pertinent. The Family Happiness category, which includes films like Future Baby, which raises questions about ethical boundaries at a time when children can be grown in test tubes. The film Who´s Gonna Love Me Now?documents the efforts of Saar, an HIV-positive gay man, to find his way back to his Orthodox Jewish family after 18 years apart. Saar will be in Prague to personally introduce the film and additional screenings at Kino 35 will be connected with anonymous free testing in the Czech AIDS Help Society ambulance.

Like last year, the Who's Normal? category will once again challenge the traditional view of normality. This topic will resonate in particular this year with the opening of the One World Festival among people with various disabilities. The festival will present the world premiere of I´m Not Afraid, the powerful story of a Dutch psychiatrist and his patient who opts for assisted suicide. The documentary A Young Girl in her Nineties opens up the theme of dance therapy for patients with Alzheimer's disease. Dancer Thierry Niang will be in Prague to demonstrate his movement work with seniors. And Chilean director Maria Teresa Larraín will be on hand to present her latest documentary Shadow Girl, during the filming of which she gradually lost her eyesight due to a congenital defect.

The special programme category Face of the City was created in collaboration with the reSITE architectural and urban planning platform. It records human impacts on the environment and how the environment in turn influences humanity. Dream Empire is a film about a bizarre and dangerous situation in the Chinese real estate market, where China is building a grandiose "ghost town". This category also includes Abandoned Land, the debut film by director Gilles Laurent about the return of the population in the contaminated zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant. Laurent died last year in the bomb attacks in Brussels.

The traditional category Journeys to Freedom shows the situation in countries in which People in Need currently operates or is planning to launch operations. The documentary When Will This Wind Stop? shows the difficult situation of the Crimean Tatars after the Russian annexation of the Crimea. Meanwhile, the film A Revolution in Four Seasonstakes audiences to Tunisia and introduces the stories of two politically active women. Director Jessie Demeter will speak about his approach to documentary filmmaking and the status of women in the film industry at one of the festival masterclasses.

Films included in the So-called Civilisation category this year are dedicated to excessive consumption and its catastrophic effects on the environment. They reveal several crucial issues that nobody is talking

about. For example, Freightened: The Real Price of Shippingwill show the journey taken by shirts bought in European shops and the footprint left behind on marine life. Theatre of Lifereturns to the World Expo 2015 in Milan to show how leftover luxury foods can be turned into a feast for the homeless and refugees. And in Angry Inuk, angry Inuit filmmaker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril takes aim at the anti-seal-hunt lobby, which is destroying Inuit livelihoods and traditions. An Inuit lawyer and traditional seal clothing designer Aaju Peter, who is a protagonist of the film, is coming to Prague.

Another traditional category at One World is The Power of the Media. This year it includes the film Tickling Giants, the epic story of a surgeon from Cairo who decided to take up satirical comedy and became the Egyptian Jon Stewart. The film Cyberjihadreveals the ways in which the Islamic State uses social networks and online propaganda to recruit new fighters. The documentary Down the Deep, Dark Web was filmed by Israeli director Tzachi Schiff partly at Paralel Polis in Prague. It tells of the last free space on the Internet and how and for what price the murder of journalists can be ordered on the network.

Films that were awarded at other festivals are included in the Panorama category. The shocking drama Dugma: The Button looks into the daily life of Islamic State fighters preparing for a suicide attack. The film Forever Purereveals the racist hooligans behind the scenes of the Beitar Jerusalem football club.

Interesting features of the 19th annual Festival

Virtual projects

Seven films selected in the One World Interactive category can be seen for free in Prague's Audience Centre in the Lucerna Gallery using virtual reality goggles. Viewers will have the opportunity to tour a refugee detention facility in the UK (Indefinite) or try what it's like to be incarcerated in solitary confinement in a high security prison (6x9). Other projects, for example, simulate a gradual loss of vision (Notes on Blindness) or the sensation of agoraphobia (T)raumzwang - Dream Constraint).

Exhibit of blind photographers

The festival team in cooperation with professional organisations has opened part of the programme to the visually impaired, deaf and hard of hearing, as well as audiences with mental disabilities and limited mobility. An exhibition of images by blind photographers who appear in the film Shot in the Dark will be on display at the Lucerna Gallery equipped with audio description for the blind. The opening of the exhibit on Tuesday, March 7 at 7:00 p.m. will be attended by director Frank Amann and one of the protagonists, Bruce Hall. You can find more information about the One World for All initiative here.

Special presentation: RFE/RL video reports

In cooperation with Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, the festival will screen films on the borders of reportage and documentary. Poisoned Truth will take the audience to Kazakhstan, where for an unknown reason children are fainting, Rebel Beats charts the story of a rap duo in Afghanistan, and I am What I am Not presents the life of a transgender man who was among the first in Russia to undergo a sex change operation.

Films that change the world

One World will present 19 films with social impact, aiming to change attitudes, behaviour and laws. If a film captures your imagination, you will have the opportunity to for example sign a petition to save an endangered tribe (We Are Humanity), assist the disabled or elderly, or contribute to humanitarian aid. The festival also organises its own events focused on the social impact of films, such as a dance workshop for seniors in connection with the film A Young Girl in her Ninetiesor the opportunity to take an HIV test (Who´s Gonna Love Me Now?). There will also be a night bike ride from Dejvice in connection with the film Ovarian Psycos.

Meetings with filmmakers

Attendees of the masterclasses at Kino 35 on March 8 and 9 can look forward to meeting with documentary filmmakers, discussions about filmmaking methods and information from behind the scenes. Director Petr Lom, whose films have been screened at over 150 film festivals, including Sundance, Berlinale, IDFA, Rotterdam and Locarno, will present as yet unseen footage. A director of Czech origin, who studied political science at Harvard University, brings his film Burma Storybook to this year's One World. And Jessie Demeter, director of Revolution in Four Seasons, will speak about his experiences.

Festival screenings for schools

The festival traditionally organises morning screenings for primary and secondary school pupils from across the country. A series of short films has been prepared for children ages 8 to 14, and for older students there is a selection of medium-length films from the One World programme. Over 12,000 pupils already signed up for the programme on the first day of registration. There will also be screenings for parents and children and weekend post-screening art workshops.

East Doc Platform 2017

For the sixth time, the biggest event for filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe, the East Doc Platform organised by the Institute of Documentary Film, will be held in Prague. This year's theme is: "A lasting presence." Most of the events will be held from March 6 to 12 at the Cervantes Institute and the programme in English will be available to the public. Several dozen projects are competing for eight awards, which will be distributed on March 11 after the presentation of the East European Forum and announced at the end of One World. Dutch director and cinematographer Leonard Retel Helmrich, a two time winner at Sundance, American film editor Joe Bini, and professors Arnau Gifreu Castells, ERAM (University of Girona) and William Uricchio, who heads a prestigious research laboratory at MIT, will all be in Prague.

One World Festival in numbers

One World will visit 33 cities (Prague March 6 – 15, followed by Czech regional cities and Brussels). The town of Semily is the latest to join the festival.
23 premieres (5 world, 12 international, 5 European and 1 distribution)
World premieres: We Are Humanity, Grab and Run, I´m Not Afraid, Epidemic of Freedom, Children online
12 Czech or Slovak films
The films will take audiences to 70 countries
One World will for the first screen films at Bio OKO and will thus directly cater to audiences in the popular Letna district. The cinema will join the seven other festival venues in central Prague.
121 documentaries in 15 thematic categories
3 documentaries about autism (Communion, My Secret Forest, Normal Autistic Film)
7 films set in Ukraine or Russia (DIY Country, Close Relations and others)
4 films with transgender themes (The Pearl of Africa, The Queen of Ireland, Transit Havana, I am What I am Not)
7 interactive documentaries
More than 120 foreign guests will come to the Prague festival
119,387 people visited One World 2016

Practical information

Advance ticket sales begin in Prague on February 27. Admission is CZK 70 for films starting at or before 5:00 p.m. and CZK 90 for later screenings. Admission for seniors is CZK 45. There will be a monitored children's play area in the Audience Centre in the Lucerna Gallery.

The Press Centre, where accreditations will be issued throughout the festival, is in the People in Need Centre – Langhans (Vodičkova 37, Prague 1). It will be open from March 6 – 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The full programme and images can be downloaded at

Please contact the festival's media coordinator to arrange interviews.
Zuzana Gruberová – Media Coordinator
mobile: (+420) 770 101 158
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

One World 2017 is supported by:

Co-organiser: Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic
General partner: Avast Foundation
Main partner: Zátiší Group
Support: Capital City of Prague, State Cinematography Fund, Creative Europe – MEDIA, LMC, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic


Abma, Daniel / Bakker, Alex – Transit Havana, director and transgender activist (8 – 10/11.3)

Thanks to Alex Bakker, a transgender man and crew member on the film, director Daniel Abma managed to penetrate the transgender community in Cuba. He filmed the situation in Havana and got to know the Cuban president's daughter, Mariela Castro, who heads a campaign for acceptance of the LGBT community in Cuba.

Aho, Kaarle – TheGood Postman, producer, Finland (9 – 10.3)

Kaarle Aho helped film The Good Postman, which was awarded at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA) and the Sundance Film Festival. Last year the film went through the Czech DOK.Incubator workshop, which helps get films screened at world festivals.

Ahmed, Zaradacht – Nowhere to Hide, director (10 – 12.3)

Zaradacht Ahmed came to Iraq shortly after the withdrawal of US troops. With the help of a local hospital attendant, he has created a fascinating personal testimony of the country's descent into a new round of violence, this time at the hands of Islamic State. The film was awarded at the IDFA.

Amann, Frank – Shot in the Dark, director (7 – 9.3)

Frank Amann made a film about three photographers, who despite being blind create and exhibit their pictures. He will speak about his experience at the opening of the exhibition in the Audience Centre at the Lucerna Gallery.

Borenstein, David – Dream Empire, director (12 – 16.3)

Originally an urban planner, David Borenstein filmed the absurd story of a megalomaniacal Chinese real estate developer's dream. In the film, he gets himself hired as a saxophonist to help attract Chinese investors. Behind the facade he reveals the sad uninhabited new residential complexes. A long-term resident of China, Borenstein knows the language and understands the local culture.

Botero, Jorge Enrique – To End a War, protagonist (11 – 15.3)

Jorge Enrique Botero is a journalist and a walking reminder of the Colombian conflict. He earned the nickname Journalist of the FARC. Two decades of journalistic work enabled him to get to know Colombia and the Colombian conflict like few others. He was the only one to gain the confidence of the guerrillas, who gave him access to their stations in the jungle, and was present during the peace negotiations between the FARC and the government of President Santos.

Brandt, Niina – My Secret Forest, director (10 – 13.3)

For seven years Niina Brandt filmed Lauri, who is autistic and writes poetry while communicating with others just by using a letter tablet. This is her directorial debut.

Broos, Sara – Reflections, director(13 – 15.3)

Sara Broos, an experienced Swedish director and winner of several awards, is looking for a way to get closer to her mother, a famous Swedish painter, and decides to make a documentary about her life. In a personal, poetic film she manages to capture a woman's soul in its rawness, complexity and beauty.

Butts, Antony – DIY Country, director (10 – 12.3)

Antony Butts won the trust of Donetsk separatists, penetrated deep into their ranks and captured unique footage of the birth of the independent Donetsk People's Republic. He is the winner of the Amnesty International Award for filming in the North Caucasus.

Cole, Alastair / Higgins, Nick – Colours of the Alphabet, director and producer (11 – 15.3)

About 70 languages are spoked in Zambia. The filmmakers set out to make a film about what this means for Zambian children in first grade, where several languages are used simultaneously.

Corella, Roser – Grab and Run, director (7 – 9.3)

Roser Corella is an independent filmmaker and video journalist. In the ruggedly beautiful Kyrgyz countryside she documented the survival habits of kidnapped women who become the wives of their kidnappers.

Deeter, Jessie – Revolution in Four Seasons, director (7 – 9.3)

Jessie Deeter managed to capture the unprecedented development in Tunisia after the Arab Spring. She follows its shaky path to democracy through the eyes of two women, progressive politicians, one of whom advocates secularism while the other is in the Islamic party. She is interested in North Africa and the Middle East and will attend the festival masterclass.

Dereims, Alexandre – We Are Humanity, director (7 – 19.3)

Alexandre Dereims found a slowly vanishing paradise in the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean among the native Jarawa tribe, who are practically unmarked by civilisation. He shot incredible footage of a people whose uniqueness could soon be destroyed forever, because the Indian government is exploring how to use the local natural resources and assimilate the 400 Jarawa.

Faus, Pau – Ada for Mayor, director (?)

Pau Faus succeeded in capturing the journey of activist Ada Col to local politics at very close range. It shows how people with pure intentions can suffer when they find themselves in the unforgiving political arena and the difficult role of women in a still predominantly male environment. Faus studied architecture and is today a successful documentary filmmaker.

Freedman, Sergei – Forever Pure, cinematographer (10 – 12.3)

Sergei Freedman filmed the open racism of fans of one of the most famous Israeli football clubs – Beitar Jerusalem. When two Chechen Muslim players join the club, an extreme racist campaign is launched in Israel, which is quietly tolerated even at the highest levels of Israeli government.

Gabriel, Aniela Astrid – When Will This Wind Stop, director (10 – 12.3)

With his feature-length documentary debut, Aniela Astrid Gabriel won the award for Best Student Film at the IDFA. She tells the stories of the Crimean Tatars who suffered under Stalin and who now once again feel under threat by Russia's annexation of the Crimea.

Hall, Bruce – Shot in the Dark, protagonist (6 – 10.3)

Bruce Hall is a blind photographer and father of two boys with autism. His work has been published in National Geographic and in many textbooks and he has exhibited in many galleries in the US and Mexico. His pictures will be on display during the festival in the Audience Centre in the Lucerna Gallery.

Hindash, Fadi / Marek Jankovic – I´m Not Afraid, director and producer (11 – 13.3)

Fadi Hindash was born in Palestine, studied in New York and now lives and works in Amsterdam. In his films he uncovers taboos. He will be in Prague together with his producer to present a documentary about a psychiatrist and his patient who opts for euthanasia.

Hirvonen, Elina – Boiling Point, director (11 – 13.3)

Finnish filmmaker Elina Hirvonen returns to Prague nine years after One World screened her film Paradise – Three Journeys In This World about African migrants to Europe. This time through various stories she reveals the simultaneous rise of neo-Nazism in Finland and a loss of confidence in the media.

Jusupjan, Janyl – Letters from Pamir, director (7 – 9.3)

Janyl Jusupjan was born in Kyrgyzstan and focuses on the topic of ethnic minorities in Central Asia. By documenting the life of Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Tajik and other enclaves living on the periphery of mainstream society she fights against racism and discrimination. She has long worked as a reporter for RFE/RL.

Kambugu, Cleopatra and Kasaija, Nelson – The Pearl of Africa, protagonists, Kenya (10 – 13.3)

Cleopatra Kambugu and Nelson Kasaija, a transgender couple from Uganda, where LGBT people are lynched and lawmakers want to punish homosexuality by death, will come to the festival together. Both are protagonists in the film.

Kourounis, Angélique – Golden Dawn: Personal Affair, director (?)

Angélique Kourounis is a Greek journalist who has long been mapping the radical right in Greece. She made a documentary about the members and supporters of openly neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn.

Langemann, Irene – Pavlensky – Man and might, director (7 – 9.3)

Irene Langemann got very close to famous Russian artist and anti-system activist Petr Pavlensky. She has filmed a portrait of a man who nailed his scrotum to the Red Square in broad daylight and stitched his mouth with thread to protest against restrictions on freedom of speech in Russia.

Larrain, Maria Teresa –Shadow Girl, director and protagonist (13 – 19.3)

After several successful films, Maria Teresa Larrain comes to One World to present her latest documentary in which she gradually loses her eyesight during the filming and comes to terms with the fact that she will never see the final film. Originally from Chile, the director has spent most of her creative life in Canada.

Lenz, Pia-Luisa – I'm Okay, director (10 – 13.3)

In her feature-length film debut, young filmmaker Pia-Luisa Lenz examines the very current topic of the integration of refugees in Germany. The story of little Djaner from Macedonia and 11-year-old Syrian girl Ghofrani shows the current situation in tolerant, open Germany and the problem of finding and vetting thousands of new migrants.

Lom, Petr – Burma Storybook, director (? – 13.3)

Petr Lom is a filmmaker of Czech-Canadian origin living in the Netherlands. He studied political science at Harvard, but decided instead to be a filmmaker. The One World Festival has so far screened all of his films. His latest film focuses on one of the most famous Burmese dissidents, the long imprisoned poet Maung Aung Pwint.

Malterre, Stéphane – The Father, the Son and the Holy Jihad, director (9 – 11.3)

Stéphane Malterre is a journalist who has spent a lot of time in war-torn Syria and is still in the region. He has documented the story of a French family of Syrian origin, who return to their native country to wage jihad.

Mansky, Vitaly – Close Relations, director (7 – 10.3)

Vitaly Mansky, famous Ukrainian director, winner of more than 50 different awards, and the creator of the documentary Under the Sun, has made another extraordinary film. This time he talks to his relatives from different parts of Ukraine and in a very personal way offers different perspectives on developments after the Maidan revolution. Events during the shooting of the film induced him to leave Russia. He now lives in exile in Lithuania.

Maoz, Saar – Who´s Gonna Love Me Now?, protagonist (6 – 8.3)

Few things are as disparate as Orthodox Judaism and homosexuality. Saar Maoz combines both. His family in Israel are strong believers; he is gay and HIV-positive. For 18 years he lived in London, where he sang in the London Gay Men's Chorus. But he decided to leave his free life and return to his family

in Israel and become a spokesman for the Israel AIDS Task Force to help others with HIV. His story is captured in the film.

Martino, Antonio / Gramizzi, Serena – The Black Sheep, director and producer (10 – 14.3)

Antonio Martino and Serena Gramizzi have created a documentary on the situation in Libya three years after the fall of Gaddafi that depicts a country mired in chaos and clan wars and threatened by religious fundamentalism. Martino is an experienced director who also collaborates with several non-profit organisations and made a documentary on migration in Italy.

Meures, Susanne Regina – Raving Iran, director (10 – 12.3)

Filming a documentary in Iran as a woman is not without obstacles. Susanne Meures overcame them and captured the story of two Iranian DJs who are persecuted because of their music.

Moses, Joe / Fifer, Hollie – The Opposition, protagonist and director (?)

Joe Moses is an ordinary person from a poor suburban area in Papua New Guinea, who for several years has been fighting for his community. He fought against Australian developers who wanted to destroy the homes of indigenous people to build a luxury resort. But nobody cares about the rights of indigenous people. Later he went to London, where he is studying human rights.

Niang, Thierry – Young Girl in her Nineties, director (10 – 12.3)

Thierry Niang is a charismatic dance therapist and choreographer of Franco-Vietnamese origin. He uses a unique dance method to help establish communication and get the elderly with Alzheimer's disease moving. In the 90s he performed in a ballet at the New National Theatre in Prague.

Oskarsson, Fredrik / Halmeenpää, Hanna – Nuclear Neighbour, director and protagonist (13 – 15.3)

Fredrik Oskarsson made a documentary about Hanna Halmeenpää, a mother of three and an activist fighting against the construction of nuclear power plants in the immediate vicinity of her home in the countryside. She entered politics and was elected to the Finnish parliament for the Green Party. Both are coming to Prague.

Ousman, Ozzy – The Black Sheep, protagonist (12 – 14.3)

Ozzy Ousman experienced the revolutionary events in Libya first-hand. After the fall of Gaddafi he had high hopes for democracy. Instead, the situation is even more complicated. He looks at what is happening in Libya through the eyes of an atheist who does not share his country's strongly religious views. He currently lives in asylum in Finland.

Özarslan, Asli – Dil Leyla, director (7 – 9.3)

The latest work by Turkish journalist and documentary filmmaker Asli Özarslan presents the courage of the youngest mayor in Turkey, 26-year-old Kurdish woman Leyla. The film follows her first steps in the town of Cizre and the need to hide from the Turkish security forces.

Pedersen, Lise Birk – Tutti a Casa - Power to the People?, director (9 – 11.3)

Lise Birk Pedersen, the director of the documentary Putin's Kiss, which One World presented in 2013, this time talks to members of the Italian populist Five Star Movement, casting light on the hopelessness of traditional Italian politics. In 2015 she was a member of the jury of the Main Competition of the One World Festival.

Polack, Frederick – I´m Not Afraid, protagonist (11 – 13.3)

Frederick Polack is a psychiatrist who after many years of ineffective treatment decided to grant his patient's only wish and assist her suicide. This was the first euthanasia of a psychiatric patient in the Netherlands.

Rallis, Angelos – Shingal, Where Are You?, director (12 – 15.3)

Angelos Rallis captured his tragic return to his hometown of Sinjar in Northern Iraq, after so-called Islamic State razed it to the ground.

Refsdal, Pål – Dugma: The Button, director (12 – 14.3)

Pål Refsdal has experienced many wars. In 2009, while filming a documentary about life in Afghanistan, Taliban members captured and then released him. This experience helped him gain access to Islamic radicalism later as well. He spent a few weeks with suicide bombers of the al-Nusra Front in Syria, talking with them about their interests, concerns and approach to life.

Sachs, Elí Roland / Sachs, Jakob – Brother Jakob, director and protagonist (9 – 12.3)

When Jakob, a young man from an ordinary German family, converts to Islam, his brother begins shooting a documentary about him. From the sensitive position of next of kin he watches Jakob becomes alienated from his family and himself. The Prague brothers will come to Prague together.

Sarvestani, Nima – Prison Sisters, director (11 – 13.3)

Nima Sarvestani, one of the most experienced filmmakers in Sweden, was born in Iran, where he initially worked as a journalist covering political and social issues. Later he made films about topics such as organ trafficking or women's rights. His film Those Who Said No won the Václav Havel Jury Award at One World 2015. In his latest film he returns to follow the stories of the two main heroines from his film No Burqas Behind Bars, which he presented at One World 2013. While Sara come to the premiere of the film in Sweden and applies for asylum, her former fellow inmate Najib has disappeared in Afghanistan.

Shaikh, Mubin – Cyberjihad, protagonist (9 – 12.3)

Mubin Shaikh is a former Taliban sympathiser who later joined the Canadian secret service, where he worked as an expert on violent extremism and radicalisation. He infiltrated Canadian Islamist cells and uncovered planned terrorist attacks.

Skibsholt, Sine – Who We Were, director (8 – 10.3)

Sine Skibsholt only completed a film degree in 2011. His first major documentary film won an award at a major festival, the IDFA. The film follows the breakdown of the family after the middle-aged husband suffers a severe stroke and undergoes a long convalescence.

Svatek, Peter / Gauthier, Josette – Theatre of Life, director and producer (6 – 9.3)

Peter Svatek documented a community restaurant for the homeless and refugees, where from the delicacies left by visitors to the Milan Expo 2015, the world's best chefs prepare food for the needy. From Czechoslovakia, where he was born, he immigrated as a boy to Canada. His parents did not want to speak Czech with him, so he never learned the language. Among other things, because of this experience the topic of refugees is important for him.

Zamecka, Anna – Communion, director (10 – 12.3)

Anna Zamecka will be at the festival to introduce her debut film, which has received many awards from film critics. It follows a 14-year-old girl who looks after her autistic brother, because her father is an alcoholic and her mother does not take care of the children. Zamecka shot the film over several years, which allowed her to get to the extremely intimate point where the protagonists are practically oblivious to the filmmaker. She studies journalism, anthropology and photography in Warsaw.


Kalyapin, Igor (4 – 8.3)

In 2002, Igor Kalyapin founded the Committee for the Prevention of Torture. He began to focus on defending human rights after he himself became a victim of the unlawful use of force by the Russian police. The situation escalated in March 2016 when a group of journalists invited by the Committee to Chechnya was attacked, and a few days later Kaljapin himself was assaulted in the city of Grozny. The culprits were never found.

Romanov, Sergey (4 – 8.3)

Sergey Romanov was a leading lawyer in Tajikistan, but after numerous threats he had to leave the country. Since 2014 he was worked in the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, which conducts investigations of individual cases. In several dozen he has managed to punish the perpetrators and compensate victims.

Sadovskaya, Olga (5 – 9.3)

Olga Sadovskaya has been the deputy director of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture since 2001. She also works as a lecturer in international law and European human rights. She has won several dozen cases at the European Court of Human Rights.


Dequen,Bruno, Canada (6 –16.3)

Bruno Dequen has contributed to thecreation of the program for the Montreal documentary festival RIDM (Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal) since 2011 and for the last two years has acted as the festival's program director. He is also the editor-in-chief of film magazine 24images.

Santucho,Florencia, Buenos Aires (6– 13.3)

FlorenciaSantuchowas born in Italy, but in 2002 she moved to Argentina, where her family was forced to go during the last military dictatorship. Now she manages three film festivals: the first human rights festival in Latin America Festival Internacional de Cine de Derechos Humanos and the Festival Internacional de Cine Ambiental – both in Buenos Aires – and the Festival Internacional de Cine Ambiental y de Derechos Humanos in Asuncion, Paraguay.

Pasanen, Leena, Germany (7 –13.3)

Leena Pasanen started her career as a journalist and worked for many years for Finnish broadcaster YLE as a journalist, programmer and producer. At present, she is the executive and artistic director of the International Festival for Documentary and Animated Film DOK Leipzig.

Zhao, Liang, China (7 –15.3)

Liang Zhao is an independent Chinese filmmaker and photographer whose films have been shown at international festivals in Venice, Cannes and Berlin. His film Behemoth won the Best Director Award at the One World 2016.


Celebi, Emel, Turkey (7 – 16.3)

Emel Celebi is the organiser of two festivals in Istanbul – Which Human Rights? and DOCUMENTARIST-Istanbul Documentary Days. She closely monitors political developments in Turkey and has made several documentary films awarded at international festivals.

Nurkollari, Veton, Kosovo (6 – 12.3)

Veton Nurkollari is the artistic director of Dokufest, the largest and most important film festival in Kosovo.

Olsson, Iris, Finland (7 – 13.3)

Iris Olsson is a new figure in the European film industry. In 2016 she became the artistic director of the major documentary festival DocPoint Helsinki. Previously, she worked as a film, television and advertising director.

Orlicz, Barbara, Poland (7 – 11.3)

Barbara Orlicz is the programming director at the oldest and most important documentary festival in Krakow. Since 2006 she has been the Vice-President of the Krakow Film Foundation.


Cañizalez, Andrés, Venezuela (6 – 20.3)

AndrésCañizalez is a Venezuelan political analyst, media scientist and author of the book "La Presidencia Mediática", which explores in detail the government of Hugo Chavez. His analyses are published every week in five Venezuelan newspapers, and his texts appear in the media in Spain, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador and other countries. He works together with People in Need in Venezuela.

Sakunts, Artur, Armenia (7 – 13.3)

ArturSakunts advocates for demilitarisation as a guarantee of peace and security in Transcaucasia. He seeks to prevent human rights violations in the armed forces. For more than five years he has been representing victims of military cases in court. He is the chairman of the Armenian branch of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly and the winner of the Freedom Defender Award.

Carrion, María, Spain (7 – 12.3)

MaríaCarrion is the director of the FiSahara International Film Festival, which is held annually in refugee camps in the deserts of southwestern Algeria. She organises film screenings, audio-visual workshops, a traditional Saharan cultural fair, camel races, concerts, football matches, debates and more for refugees from Western Sahara.

Al-Fegieri, Moataz, Egypt (7 – 13.3)

Moataz Al-Fegieri works for Front Line Defenders, which helps humanitarian workers in danger. He has nearly 15 years of experience in the field of human rights research and advocacy activities in the Middle East and North Africa and is the author of numerous texts on Islam, Islamism and human rights.

Pechonchyk, Tetiana, Crimea (7 – 15.3)

Tetiana Pechonchyk is a well-known Ukrainian journalist and human rights activist and co-founder of the Crimean field mission mapping human rights violations in annexed Crimea. She won the international TOYP award for outstanding young people in the category of Peace and Human Rights. She manages the Information Centre for Human Rights in Kyiv.