Do not turn off your computer, we are updating our system

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The term “fake news” was named as the famous Collins Dictionary’s official Word of the Year. Disinformation and media manipulation are amongst the greatest problems faced by the current world. Living in the information age places great demands on every individual: to differentiate between what is true and what it not, to share, to comment, and to have an opinion. This year, the 20th One World will take place in Prague from 5 March to 14 March, subsequently moving on to 36 other towns throughout the Czech Republic. This is one of the reasons it is calling for a system update – not only computer systems need time to process all of the required information and function smoothly.

According to Ondřej Kamenický, the festival’s director: “We’ve become accustomed to choosing simple and appealing solutions, and to acting under the influence of emotions. And it is specifically inflamed emotions within society that provide fertile soil for populists, who label themselves as battling a system they consider to have been overpowered. … We want cinema viewers to have the opportunity to do something for which there is not enough time in a daily life filled with (dis)information from social networks. The opportunity to slow down and be able to calmly form their own opinion about specific topics, to look at things from various perspectives, and to place them within the appropriate context.” 

This year’s edition of One World will present more than 110 films. A new category premiering this year is Americana, which is focused specifically on such topics as Donald Trump, racial intolerance, the role of the police within the system, and Native American rights. This year, the rise of nationalism and populism, as well as the issue of migration, have been playing a key role in the work of European filmmakers, and the festival category Eurodrome has been designed specifically for them. The films presented under the category entitled Beyond the Horizon, which look at destinations not only beyond our physical horizon, but frequently even beyond the horizon of our thoughts, reveal the local issues faced by communities that are thousands of kilometres away from us, but may actually have much more in common with Central Europeans than we often admit.

The category Art For Change shows that it is possible to fight for one’s ideals through unusual forms of artistic expression such as performance art or dance. There are two musical films included: Silvana and When the God Sleeps. The protagonist of the latter – Iranian musician Shahin Najafi – will perform a concert during the festival. Another category –Long Live Life – presents the stories of people who have decided to step out of the crowd and face their daily cares and concerns in rather uncommon ways. The category UnEarthed will focus on environmental challenges.

Of course, the traditional categories that viewers know from previous years are once again included. These are: Right to Know, Journeys to Freedom, Panorama, One World Interactive, and Docs for Kids. The category Czech Competition, which was introduced last year, present the best documentaries from the Czech Republic.

As far as the festival’s dramaturgy is concerned, One World is introducing a programme entitled Talking Cinema. It replaces the panel discussions and will bring to Prague a number of interesting names from the ranks of experts and journalists from the world’s major media. “We’ve selected a programme of five films reflecting key current topics, and invited experts, all of whom will be able to offer Czech audiences a new perspective. They will either make an individual presentation or participate in two-person debates,” explains Ondřej Moravec, the festival’s Programme Director.


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