Children’s rights in focus at festival

Children’s rights in focus at festival

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Children’s rights in focus at festival

Image capture from Secularism... Inca’allah!

Istanbul will provide a screen for films that shed light on the undesirable conditions of children and human rights abuses all over the world. Created by Documentarist, the Which Human Rights? Film Festival will kick off today, inviting viewers through Dec. 10.

Documentarist, an independent documentary filmmaking initiative based in Istanbul, started Which Human Rights? in 2009, and the event has grown into a reputable independent film festival. This year the focus is on the abuses of children’s rights.

The festival will feature more than 30 films, exhibiting rights abuses in all shapes and sizes and showing the struggles of these victims. The festival will also hold workshops with children, various exhibits, a panel discussion and a forum with participants from abroad.

Films that focus on children’s rights abuses include “Grace, Lucy, Milly…Child Soldiers,” a film about child soldiers in Uganda; “Our School,” which provides a voice for gypsy kids in Romania facing unequal opportunities for education; “The Marathon Boy,” which shows how a small boy was exploited for money and fame in India; “The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan,” a film that points out the exploitation of young boys for the sake of entertainment under the regime of the Taliban; and “Little Voices,” an animated film about children’s experiences in war in Colombia.

Other films in the festival program include “Cooking History,” which breaks ground in film history due to its creative narration; “Give Up Tomorrow,” an award-winning film; “Secularism... Incha’allah!,” a film from Tunisia about the precursor of the Arab Spring; and “A Road to Diyarbekir,” featuring the Kurdish metal music artist Ciwan Haco’s life in exile and his concert in Diyarbakır 23 years later .

With the support of Amnesty International, a collection of short films entitled “Just Kids,” featuring the plight of children in five countries including Turkey, will premiere at the festival. The films will also simultaneously be shown on Dutch television.

In collaboration with “Movies that Matter,” a Dutch-based human rights organization, Which Human Rights? will feature the films “The Devil Operation,” “Budrus” and “Sarabah.”

Marking the 50th anniversary of his parents’ migration from Turkey to Germany, the festival will also screen renowned Turkish documentary director Fatih Akın’s “We Forgot to Come Back.”

There will also be a special screening of Suha Arın’s “Tahtacı Fatma” (1979), a film that holds an important place in Turkey’s documentary history.

With the support of the Dutch Consulate and the Consulate General of Sweden, all screenings and feature events of the festival will take place free of charge in SALT Beyoğlu, the Dutch Chapel and Tütün Deposu from Dec. 6 to 10.