Films that are changing the world: What can you do?
Life with mental illness
The protagonists of Any Given Day are, to a certain degree, victims of their past and the environment they grew up in. This affects their mental health, and they are far from alone in their struggles with their inner demons. The film is accompanied by an impact campaign sponsored by the non-profit production company 3 Generations. By contributing to this campaign, you will support the work of organisations that help people with mental illness. Plus the protagonists will get the opportunity to travel with the film and raise awareness among audiences.
The fight for animal rights
Animal cruelty on farms is a long-standing problem that many activists are trying to raise awareness about. One of them is the protagonist of the documentary Just Animals, who is wondering how to run this type of activism. If you are asking yourself something similar, one option is to visit the Animal Equality website. You will learn a lot about current animal rights campaigns, and you can also start by making a financial contribution to help prevent animal cruelty.
The Accompaniment Centre
Denmark is considered one of the happiest countries in the world, yet the Danes are also having to cope with some form of mental health condition: every tenth person in the country has been diagnosed with some form of mental disorder. The film Lovebound follows special group therapy sessions for parents whose children have developed a mental illness. However, you would be wrong to think that only Scandinavia offers such possibilities. In the Czech Republic, for example, the Accompaniment Centre (Centrum provázení) helps these families. It helps them cope with the difficult reality and supports them in the next steps, so that the child receives the best possible care.
Children’s mental health
Jason, the protagonist of the documentary of the same name, went through a traumatic childhood, which he is coping with thanks to intensive therapy. Had there been more consistent prevention and a better family background, his situation would not have progressed this far. Within the Czech context, the first of these is offered, for example, by the organisation Mental Health for Children, which seeks to destigmatise mental illness and help ensure that children and parents have someone to turn to.
Fund for Venezuela
The ambient, dark documentary So Foul a Sky conveys to viewers in a non-leading but all the more authentic way a picture of the situation in which Venezuela finds itself today. Poverty, huge inflation, mass migration – these are among the many problems the country is facing today. Through the Venezuela Relief Fund, mediated by World Vision, you can help stabilise the collapsing health system and improve the overall situation in a country facing a crisis like few others today.
Hong Kong Watch
Protests for Hong Kong’s autonomy have moved the world in a similar way to the protests that followed the presidential election in Belarus. The documentary When a City Rises captures them through the lens of the individual stories of several protesters, primarily students. There are several campaigns in support of Hong Kong, and solidarity can easily be expressed, for example, thanks to Hong Kong Watch. You can go through the current campaigns on their website and make a financial donation, thus becoming a member of this "watch" yourself.
Investigative journalism towards democracy
Investigative journalists are the watchdogs of democracy, so they say in every journalism department. The documentary Behind the Headlines shows how their work is done in the 21st century. It is also proof of how important this profession is for the health of society. Investigace.cz deals with large investigative cases beyond the Czech borders. Part of a prestigious international network of investigative journalists, they worked on the story of the Panama Papers together with the protagonists of the above-mentioned documentary, among many other cases. If you want quality journalism to flourish in the Czech Republic, support it with a financial gift.
In the film 70/30, we watch the Danish government strive to enforce laws in accordance with a sustainable way of life. ACT NOW is a United Nations campaign that encourages each of us to do so through an intuitive app. The number of small but substantial acts for the good of the climate that this app has already recorded is now approaching five million. Download it too and help pass this milestone!
Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad experienced the horrors perpetrated by ISIS on the Yazid minority. A magnificent recapitulation of these events is provided by the film Angels of Sinjar, one of whose protagonists is Nadia’s brother. The Nadia Murad Foundation is tasked with helping the Yazidi community, which has been forcibly uprooted from its homeland and whose members have suffered unimaginably. Your financial gift will help its future generations to live better.
The central character of the documentary He’s My Brother is not only blind and deaf, but also has a mild form of autism. NAUTIS (National Institute for Autism) has been providing support to people with autism and their families in the Czech Republic since 2003. You can support this organisation by volunteering, donating a financial or material gift, but also in other ways.
Climate change awareness
Climate change is not a political agenda set by elites seeking to intimidate their citizens, but a lived reality in much of the world. Two women from Malawi try to explain this to American farmers in The Ants and the Grasshopper. The entire film was shot according to principles of sustainability, and at the end the crew published the carbon footprint it produced during filming. On the film’s official website you will find the Take Action section, where you can support farms and other entities that appear in the documentary.
The documentary The North Drift is based on an interesting experiment: The director decides to release a plastic bottle into the Elbe River in Dresden and use a GPS locator to track its route. Empirically, it demonstrates a familiar reality: plastics can get from anywhere in the world to virtually anywhere else, polluting the entire planet. Do you want to help prevent this? Share and support the international Rethink Plastic campaign, which encourages EU citizens to change their approach to plastic materials.
Help for children in orphanages
The Czech documentary film Leaving Beginnings Behind focuses on the shortcomings of the system for helping young adults upon leaving children’s homes, who often find themselves without work, proper housing and ill-prepared for what awaits them in their lives at home. The Give Kids a Chance (Dejme dětem šanci) organisation is there to prevent such scenarios. Thanks to individual contributions, children have a chance to save money for the future, gain better study opportunities and be in touch with the outside world. Every bit of support counts!
Midwifery and childbirth care
Midwives are presented as activists and inconspicuous heroines in the film Sheroes through the strong central figure of Chantal Birman. In the Czech Republic, the Aperio organisation deals with the topic of safe childbirth and prenatal care. Among other matters it offers a counselling centre for expectant parents, various courses for professionals and the public, and has prepared a detailed guide to maternity hospitals in the Czech Republic. You can support them and have a look at the services they offer here.
Protests in Chile
Chile is fighting for democracy and the documentary Primera captures these protests through the eyes of activists, especially female activists, right in the centre of events. It is the women’s movement that is the focus of the impact campaign linked to the film. The campaign has clearly defined goals: to establish partnerships with organisations that will help improve conditions for indigenous peoples, establish international contacts and raise awareness about the situation in Chile around the world. Help them and share the information gained from the film with those around you!
From its place of origin in Great Britain, the Extinction Rebellion movement has gradually spread to various parts of the world. The roots of the movement based around the charismatic but ambiguous leader Roger Hallam are mapped by the documentary Rebellion. After watching it, you can assess how the Czech version of the movement compares to the original. If you want to help or join these activists, take a look at their website and think about ways to encourage the Czech Republic to improve its approach to climate issues.
Sterilisation of women and institutional racism
The documentary Belly of the Beast helped draw significant attention to a reprehensible practice in Californian prisons: the involuntary sterilisation of female prisoners, often women of colour. The film helped bring the issue into the public debate, and the impact campaign that linked to it then helped bring about compensation for women who had been sterilised and betrayed by the system. This film can not only present a powerful theme, but also offer possible solutions and help.
Freedom of abortion
There are still far too many countries that significantly restrict women’s right to abortion. The fact that Germany is one of them due to a law dating from the mid-19th century is especially surprising, as uncovered by the documentary Choices/Voices. However, there are several initiatives through which you can contribute to improving the overall situation around the world. Whether it is a group of Polish women living in the Czech Republic who call themselves Ciocia Czesia, the Irish Abortion Rights Campaign or the worldwide Safe Abortion campaign. All you need to do is choose.
For a free Belarus
Belarus is considered the last surviving dictatorship in Europe. The protagonists of the film Voice, who took part in the protests after the presidential election know this first-hand. The easiest way to show empathy and solidarity with the Belarusian people is to sign a petition for a free Belarus. Add your own to more than 90,000 signatures!
Save dry Forests
Czech documentary filmmaker Martin Trabalík travelled to Bolivia to capture the efforts of volunteer firefighters to prevent the burning of the Chiquitano dry forest. Despite the efforts of environmentalists, this dry forest is still suffering in the name of industrial and agricultural interests. If the film Incendios had an impact on you, you can contribute to the FCBC – Foundation for the Conservation of the Chiquitano Forest. Since 1999, this foundation tries to protect this dry forest on many levels.