On 22–29 November, the 20th edition of the Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival will present an exceptionally rich program, with more than 80 films and a fresh visual identity that aligns with this year's theme: Where are We Headed? For twenty years, Verzió has presented human dignity and common social issues through international and Hungarian documentary films. The 20th anniversary edition of Verzió offers an incredibly diverse program, taking viewers on a virtual journey through more than 40 countries, with the help of 82 films. Alongside the latest award-winning films, Verzió presents experimental works that showcase the diversity of genres within documentary filmmaking. This year’s films continue the tradition of provoking contemplation about the future, the human values we wish to preserve, and the things we would like to change.
About the festival:
Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival was founded by staff members of the Blinken OSA Archivum in 2004. Verzió Film Foundation was established in the following year to provide a stable background for the organization of the festival. The founders’ vision was to create a platform, till then missing from Hungary, for international documentary films with a focus on human rights. In 19 years, Verzió programs were attended by more than 200,000 visitors. Since 2020 the festival's online streaming platform, the Verziotheque, allows access to the festival films from anywhere in the country. More than 50 films are available for rent between two festival editions as well.
The screenings will be accompanied by a series of talks, concerts, exhibitions, and professional programs.
Save the date: 22-29, November 2023.
Detailed information about the Film Festival:https://www.verzio.org/en
Verzió Programs at Blinken OSA Archivum
Budapest 1051 Arany János u. 32
Thursday, November 23, 2023, 6:00 p.m. - Film screening and discussion
Mighty Afrin: In the Time of Floods
In the desolate wilderness of the disappearing islands along the Brahmaputra River, a 12-year-old orphan, Afrin, is coming of age. Filmed over five years as heavy rainfalls and flood waters ravage Afrin’s island, the film captures her refusal to surrender to Bangladesh’s deadly tides. As Afrin rows her wooden boat toward the teeming metropolis of Dhaka, she attempts to find her estranged father, only to find herself among the millions of new climate refugees.
Followed by a discussion
The screening is supported by the International Organization on Migration (IOM)
Friday, November 24, 2023, 6:00 p.m. – Film Screenings and Discussion
Budapest’s Corvin Project, initiated in 2003, was the largest and most-awarded city development project in Central Europe. It envisioned the complete transformation of nearly 22 acres of territory in District 8, which meant demolishing any existing buildings in the “slum” area and relocating more than one thousand, mostly Roma, families. The protagonists of the film are local residents who have been relocated in the course of the project – and who recall, with certain nostalgia and criticism, life in the old neighborhood and community. Now they only see each other in the space reconstructed by the filmmaker.
Streets, houses, snapshots of the lives and moods of Józsefváros – the micro-world of people of different ethnicities and religions peacefully coexisting.
Followed by an audience meeting with András Salamon and Klára Trencsényi. Moderator Tibor Kuklis from KÉK.
DocPro programs are free but registration is required. You can register your interest on the brand new Visitors' page of the Verzió by simply registering. You can create a Visitor account by linking to your Gmail account or by creating a new account.
VERZIÓ Programs at CEU
Budapest 1051 Nádor u. 15.
Thursday, November 23, 2023, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
CEU N15 103
Réka Lemhényi's Masterclass | Documentary Editing: The Editor as Stalker
Réka Lemhényi worked with famous directors as editor, among them with Academy Award-winner István Szabó or Jerzy Skolimowski. This year as one of the mentors at Verzió DocLab, she is giving a masterclass on editing. The question "Where are we headed?" is one all filmmakers ask themselves, scratching their heads within their editing caves as working on their vision. As Réka shares her approach to the art of editing documentaries, she might just help us answer that question and show us how to be Stalkers within our own films.
"Every film has its own universe, a terra incognita even for an experienced editor. It needs to be explored, respected, conquered, understood and loved. I am inspired by film projects where the editor is a stalker, a pathfinder in Tarkovsky's interpretation. The film material is a living organism full of treasures, traps, difficulties, and trials waiting to be discovered."
Friday, November 24 – 2:00-3:00 p.m.
CEU AUDITORIUM B
Jannik Splidsboel's Masterclass | Where’s the North Headed?
The masterclass is inspired by the main theme of the festival: Where Are We Headed? What are the latest trends in telling our stories? How can our films find an audience? And is it time to rethink the genre? Jannik Splidsboel will share clips from a few of his own films, as well as new films that he has supported as commissioning editor.
Friday, November 24, 2023, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
CEU - AUDI B
Alexandru Solomon's Masterclass - The Possibilities of Performative Documentaries
Romanian director Alexandru Solomon is an important contemporary exponent of performative documentary. Through his documentary Arsenie. An Amazing Afterlife, also included in this year’s Verzió program, he tells the story of the relationship between reality and fiction, and between actors and creators.
The professional programs are free of charge, but registration is required. To register, please log in to the Visitors' page of the website.
CEU N11 Nyitott Galéria
November 23-29, 2023 - Vektor VR exhibition
This year's Vektor VR selection features works that reflect the changes affecting our world. They present feelings and experiences that are powerful, and reflective of a particular life situation through the medium of VR. The selected productions illustrate the long-term effects of changes in our environment, and the characteristics of the Anthropocene era – its violence and mechanisms. Some of the works in this selection show the horrors of war, not in its harshness, but its invisible unfolding, and its effects on the individual, leaving the responsibility of interpretation up to the viewer.
Ágnes Karolina Bakk, András Szabó
Program curators for the Vektor VR section