We are revealing the competition categories of the One World 2018!
The opening ceremony of the One World Festival is still far away and the complete programme will be made public only the next week. However, we already know the names of all the films competing in the three main categories – International Competition, Czech Competition and Right to Know. Documentaries awarded at the prestigious foreign festivals such as Sundance or IDFA are present in the selection. Who will grab the prize from Prague?
The international competition each year features auteur films distinguished by the unique signatures of their directors. For example, this year they boldly explore the serious topic of land grabbing in lightly comedic scenes (The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid) or dress characters in costumes that illustrate their spiritual condition (Primas).
There are also very personal stories from war-torn places that regular people cannot access, whether in Syria, Iraq or Ukraine (Of Fathers and Sons, The Deminer, The Distant Barking of Dogs). Migration remains a topical issue. Two films on this topic stood out in particular this year: a poetic road movie from Mexico (Destierros) and Chinese-Greek comedy-drama Lady of the Harbour. The competition category also offers more finely nuanced selections from the area of human rights – it includes several films from various corners of the world that marry social issues, coming of age stories and the discovery of one's place in the world (A Year of Hope, Over the Limit, Alicia). Then there are stories about death (The Departure, I Know You Are There), which demonstrate that the inner struggle can be the hardest one of all.
Of Fathers and Sons
Director Talal Derki, who made the successful film Return to Homs, says his father taught him: “If you want to tame your nightmares, you need to capture them first.” He went back to his native Syria and, for two years, he lived in the desert in the north of the country with the family of a radical Muslim and fighter for the Al-Nusra Front. The document has received the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Festival 2018.
Right to Know
In the Right to Know competition category, films that reveal serious human rights violations or depict powerful stories of people actively fighting on behalf of human rights vie for the Václav Havel Jury Award. These include the story of Liberian activist Silas Siakor defending the rights of local communities in the documentary Silas, the film Before My Feet Touch the Ground by young Israeli director Daphni Leef, who led protests against the ever increasing price of rent in Tel Aviv, or the first female sharia law judge in the Arab world Kholoud Al-Faqih in The Judge.
Venerable W examines violence directed against the Muslim Rohingya minority in Myanmar, while the desperate situation in Venezuela is depicted in Women of the Venezuelan Chaos. The activist film Anni calls attention to the difficult situation of political dissidents in China. The war in Syria is the focus of Watani: My Homeland and City of Ghosts. Cocaine Prison takes viewers to the cramped environment of a Bolivian prison, Counters to the centre of clashes between supporters of the extreme right in Japan and its opponents. Return of a President brings to light recent political events in Madagascar.
Through a personal story exploring the topic of contemporary slavery in Europe, A Woman Captured shows that basic human rights violations sometimes happen much closer to home.
Women of the Venezuelan Chaos
The Venezuelan government is trying to conceal from the world and its own citizens the fact that the state is suffering its worst crisis in the last 200 years. Director Margarita Cadenas has created a unique film about the true state of affairs. It depicts the stories of five women of different generations and social strata who are trying to cope with the chaos in their country.
In recent months, Czech documentary films have recorded several significant achievements on the international scene. Nothing Like Before and The Russian Job competed at the prestigious IDFA in Amsterdam, and When the War Comes has its world premiere in the Panorama section at the Berlinale. All three documentaries will be presented in the Czech Republic for the first time. This year's competition presents three world premieres – the documentary God Forsaken is a stark look at how immigrants live in the Czech Republic. On the other hand, Empire Builders is a semi-staged look at local extremist fighters against Islam. Far from politics is the medium-length film AsexuaLOVE, which is one of the first documentaries ever to examine the subculture of asexuals. The competition also includes feature films that have enjoyed success at home in the Czech Republic. The Limits of Work and Mečiar were nominated for the Czech Lion for best documentary, while Non-Parent and A Theory of Equality were audience hits last year.
When the War Comes
The controversial group Slovenskí branci (Slovak Conscripts) recruits young men from across Slovakia. Is this just an innocent game of playing soldiers? Or is it a militia flirting with extremism that presents a security threat?
Who will be the best?
The winning films will be announced in four weeks. And, as we are updating the system, all the winners will be awarded with brand new prizes. They will be presented in the closing ceremony, which will take place on 14 March. All the remaining categories will be presented on Tuesday 20 February.
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