It does not end with the screening: Films that are changing the world

filmy_impact

Some of the films do not end with the closing credits. For some documentaries the filmmakers have created a campaign that audiences can join. You can get more closely acquainted with both original campaigns and organisations operating in the Czech Republic that help people in situations similar to those faced by the protagonists of the films. Selected documentaries also include accompanying festival events that can enhance and develop your film experience. Don't forget that the film doesn't end with the final credits; there are a whole host of opportunities to get involved! Sign petitions, become a volunteer, help senior citizens and people with disabilities, contribute to humanitarian aid, join charity drives, share and spread information among your friends, and advise your loved ones about where to find help.

Sexual violence

Rocío and Aldana, the protagonists of Primas, recount the traumatic experiences of their childhood. Rape and abuse by close relatives cause indelible scars, which never completely heal. That such an experience takes a lifetime to treat is shown in the film A Better Man, in which we follow an ex-couple destroyed by the man's violence, now going through joint therapy together after 20 years apart. On the film's website you will find the stories of men undergoing therapy in order to suppress their violent tendencies. Last year the #metoo campaign spread across the whole world, opening up a much-needed debate and inspiring many victims to come forward with their stories. In the Czech Republic, people affected by violence can turn to the Rosa – Women's Centre or Bílý kruh bezpečí (White Circle of Safety). The Liga otevřených mužů (League of Open Men) offers methods of prevention in its practical courses.

Ex-prisoners

Spending a few years in prison is no doubt hard, but the situation after being released can be even more complicated. Years of separation from society and loved ones, lack of contact with modern technologies and, above all, the indelible stigma mean that released prisoners face social exclusion and permanent distrust of their environment. All this is sensitively captured in the American film Land of the Free. Former prisoners can turn to organisations that offer help in these situations. In the Czech Republic, these include the RUBIKON Centre and the Sociální bistro Střecha (Střecha Social Bistro) in Žižkov, which hires former prisoners. Střecha will provide festival refreshments in the Audience Centre on 11 March.

Gender equality

The fight for equal opportunity for men and women is depicted in various ways in many films in this year's festival. A Theory of Equality presents several Czech initiatives for gender equality. The Fourth Wave relies on slightly provocative campaigns, Lucia Zachariášová and Petr Bittner headed the awareness campaign To je rovnost under the auspices of the Office of Government. Genderman offers ways to compare life experiences from the point of view of gender. The journeys of the protagonists are many, but the goal is the same – equal opportunity and functional co-existence.

Try out the Crisis of manhood, or crisis of the system? workshop with the Genderman organisation, which can be seen in the film, for yourself during the festival.

Active old age

Gwendolyn, the heroine of the film of the same name, represents the ideal of an active senior citizen who continues to look after herself both mentally and physically. Not everyone, of course, wants to write books and do weightlifting, but pursuing a hobby or learning new things is important even in old age. The new Elpida Centre in Prague 7 offers a wide range of activities, from computer courses, foreign language lessons and other skills to group exercise classes. Similar services can be found in the already established centre in Prague 4.

Inter-generational dialogue

Not everyone knows how to communicate with their grandparents. To find inspiration, we recommend the film Granny Project, whose protagonists initiated a very open dialogue with their grandmothers. They found a way to reach them and fill the empty chapters of their family history. Also looking after Czech history is the Post Bellum organisation, whose staff conscientiously gather the testimonies of hundreds of people and make them available to the public. During the festival you can come to listen to the storytelling of the witnesses and memorialists at the Saturday accompanying event.

Migration

Can you imagine being forced to live in another country? The film God Forsaken mediates this experience thanks to the openness of the protagonists – foreigners living in the Czech Republic. What is it like to live among Czechs? What is the approach of the authorities? Sit around a table with foreigners who will be happy to answer these and many other questions. Representatives of organisations working in the Czech Republic to integrate foreigners will also participate in the joint session. At the table, we will share small refreshments from traditional national cuisines, and everyone can contribute. 

Mobile activism

A mobile app for activists and journalists? Yes, it already exists and is called TIMBY or This Is My Backyard. It was created, among other things, by the main character of the film Silas. Through the app, activists can report illegal attacks by the police or corporations, upload photos, videos, and compare information from different sources. All the published reports are already verified. Due to the availability of the app and the increasing availability of technology, people in developing countries can also fight against injustice.

White Helmets

Last Men in Aleppo, one of the most powerful films in this year's programme, brings stories from where almost no international aid is available. This is why we need to support White Helmets, a local organisation of volunteers who put their own lives on the line to rescue the city's residents after bomb attacks. You can contribute to their activities by donating a financial gift, which will be used to buy new equipment, or by signing the White Helmet statement for the UN Security Council. People in Need also provides aid in Syria and started the special collection SOS Syria and Iraq.

For Akheem

Daje Sheldon, the hero of For Akheem, successfully graduates from high school at the end of the film, despite facing a difficult situation. After dealing with the transition to a special school for troubled students, she meets the love of her life and copes with clashes between the police and the African-American community. The film ends with the birth of her son and admission to university. If her story has affected you, you can contribute to the collection for her study. Help make Daje's dream of becoming an ultrasound specialist come true. 

Seeking better working conditions

Everyone knows that working conditions in developing countries are poor. But what about work in the Czech Republic? Using a unique combination of hidden camera and personal deployment, director Apolena Rychlíková and journalist Saša Uhlová capture the unenviable situation of people working for very low wages in the film The Limits of Work. The film has opened up a broad-ranging debate in the Czech Republic, the impact of which was boosted by a series of reports from individual workplaces. The reports were published on the A2larm server under the title Heroes of Capitalist Work and were supported by the Independent Journalism Foundation. You too can financially support both subjects. 

Chronic fatigue syndrome

The film Unrest is accompanied by a very successful campaign. The director and protagonist Jennifer Brea, who suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, managed to build a community of patients in a Facebook group called Time for Unrest, which is now spreading information not only through the film, but also through various accompanying materials. People from the community regularly meet, demonstrate and lobby for a better position in society. If you want to help improve the situation of patients with this disease, whose diagnosis is very complex, please sign a petition or contribute to the collection.

Real Gift

People in Need has been helping people in dozens of countries around the world for more than a quarter of a century. Documentaries from these places are regularly featured in the festival programme, and this year include, for example, This is Congo, Women of the Venezuelan Chaos, Watani – My Homeland about a Syrian family, A Cambodian Spring or A Year of Hope from the Philippines. In each of them, the protagonists face difficult circumstances in their homelands. If you feel like helping people in these countries, you can buy one of the real gifts of People in Need. The choice of a goat, seeds, safe childbirth or a school blackboard is up to you.


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