Festival features almost a hundred movies on actual problems of today's world
'Beyond illusions' - that is the slogan of this year's Docudays, an International Film Festival on Human Rights that has opened in Kyiv. Hosts say the idea is symbolic. Today societies are indeed going through illusions. Illusions that modern problems can be solved through old means. The goal of the festival is to show the world ultimately needs to change.
Daria Averchenko, Docudays UA Film Festival coordinator: "The topic beyond illusions, it means we need to go through political hypnosis, that somebody but not us could solve our problems and improve our lives."
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Overall the visitors will see 93 films from 140 directors. The participants of Docudays come from all over the world. Filmmakers focus on average people from all corners of the globe. Through their characters' stories bigger problems are exposed. War, politics, racism, friendship and happiness – these and many more topics are reflected in the movies.
The movie that kicked-off the festival is called 'Under the sun', from a Ukrainian director Vitalii Manskyi. It follows a story of a little girl in North Korea. Movie depicts the many layers of propaganda and censorship she has to go through to become a member of the society that lives for its leaders.
Natalia, Docudays UA festival attendee: "I wanted to see for myself what it was like to live in North Korea. The constant control, the total abscense of freedom, i couldn't imaging it was so bad out there."
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Director Vitalii Manskyi says the filming process was constantly monitored by the Korean officials. These 'overseers' completely rewrote the script to the movie. They also orchestrated every scene and every shot.
Vitalii Manskyi, 'Under the Sun' movie director: "We wanted to show the transformation of a living person into a part of the system, and we used their interfering in our movie. Initially I wanted to film an even more grandiose picture, but, sadly, they didn't let us do that."
The human rights problems in North Korea add up to those in the rest of the world. Hosts will hold special projects to bring attention to these actual questions. Experts and victims of human rights violations will be invited to talk about the issues. Hosts emphasize the viewers can also ask their questions.
Volodymyr Yavorskyi, Docudays UA Human Rights programme coordinator: "It's like a live library, when you could talk with different people, for example with a prostitute, with some refugee, with some nationalist, with some LGBT person and you could ask them whatever you want, it's not only discussions, because they are boring."
This year the festival also features a competitive programme. Special jury will decide which movies will be awarded. They consist of local and international directors, critics and volunteers.
Pamela Cohn, Docudays UA jury member: "For me I think the most important thing is to feel a vision from the director, that he or she has this fresh and original way of looking at material, in documentary especially, what the relationship is between the director and the protagonist, what happens on camera, what happens off camera."
All movies are divided into several categories. There is also a special award decided by the viewers.
As part of the programme, organizers have prepared various movies, round tables and special exhibitions. Ukraine Today is covering the event from the start to finish, so stay tuned to find out more.
This is Sergii Oganesyan in Kyiv for Ukraine Today.
Cover photo: A shot from the film 'Under the Sun', directed by Vitalii Manskyi.