VII FAST FORWARD Human Rights Film Festival officially begins

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) has organised a press conference in Montenegrin National Theatre (MNT), whereby it presented the programmes and partners of FAST FORWARD Human Rights Film Festival 2016.

Miloš Knežević
, director of FAST FORWARD 2016 Festival, reminded that this festival is one-of-a-kind in Montenegro, which uses film as an instrument of contribution to awareness of citizens on the importance of human rights, their protection and improvement, and value framework that stimulates harmonious relations amongst different people on most various basis. He thanked the Montenegrin National Theatre (MNT), which, as already traditional partner, was open enough to recognise the importance and artistic offer of FAST FORWARD Festival. “We are immensely thankful for that because we believe that this form of cooperation between the institutions and NGO sector is in the interest of public” told Knežević.

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Zorana Kralj, director of Montenegrin National Theatre, expressed satisfaction due to the partnership with CCE on their work on FAST FORWARD Human Rights Film Festival 2016, and that “together with other partners, we share a social and artistic mission”. “This Festival continuously proves its power, its significance and justification of concept which implies the consideration of subject of human rights, raising of awareness on the importance of improvement in this area, drawing of attention and focus on each of these delicate and current problems which concern the entire society, all of which through the medium of film”, she estimated. “I am confident that from 10 to 14 December, Montenegrin National Theatre will present a point of gathering, a point of dialogue, and that these 12 valuable films will incite the discussion on numerous challenging topics which belong to corps of human rights”, she emphasised.

Daliborka Uljarević, CCE executive director, presented this years’ selection: “On 10 December, on the occasion of International Human Rights Day, we will fast forward with the accomplishment of Croatian author Tomislav Žaja “Free”, who will also be guest of this years’ Festival, and later that same night we will screen the film “The liberation of Skopje”, of the directors duo Rade and Danilo Šerbedžija. For Sunday we prepared the “Cartel land”, by American director Matthew Heineman, followed by “Kiki”, a film of Swedish-American production which serves as a contribution to commemoration of Week of pride in Podgorica and support to colleagues who work on the preparation of Pride parade. The evening will be closed with “My own private war”, by Lidija Zelović, who will be our guest. Monday, 12 December, will be marked by films “Tempestad” by Tatiana Huezo, then “Album” by Mehmet Can Mertoglu, and “Motley’s law” of Danish director Nicole Horany. On Tuesday, we have an excellent accomplishment of Werner Herzog “Lo and behold: Reveries of the connected world”, then “Ministry of love” by Pavo Marinković, and “The diplomate” by David Holbrooke. This years’ edition of FAST FORWARD Festival will be closed with Chilean candidate for Oscar – film “Neruda” by Pablo Lauren. We will have two discussions after the screenings whereby we will analyse some of those neuralgic points with our guests.”

“Films that we screen are not commercial. They are often shocking, hard to digest, unsettling, provocative, but also inspiring. Hence, this years’ slogan: IT’S ABOUT YOU! and FAST FORWARD has the power to change us all, only if we allow it to do so, if we open for diversity, if we realise that strength is in us”, Uljarević underlined, pointing out that “this is the strength that we must draw from ourselves and use it to fight for our rights, as well as the rights of those who are marginalised, discriminated because of their diversity or powerless to oppose oppression. It is the strength portrayed by the protagonists of our films in highly restricted situations.”

Uljarević concluded by reminding that the Festival is both having human rights and artistic dimension, and that during the opening ceremony CCE will award Festival’s awards for the affirmation of human rights and civic activism in the category of individuals and organisations.

Maris Tebecis, second secretary in the Embassy of Australia in Belgrade, pointed out that: “Human rights are fundamental for democracy. I would like to remind that Australia is a candidate for the member of UN Council for Human Rights. We believe that education is the most important thing in this regard, because the respect of human rights starts with quality education on human rights which is why our Embassy supports this Festival, which promotes the respect of human rights to entire Montenegrin society”. “We are glad to hear that this Festival about human rights is open for every citizen of Montenegro. We are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this Festival and thus contribute in the respect of human rights in Montenegro”, he concluded.

Mark Weinberg, Head of the Department for media and culture in the US Embassy in Podgorica, pointed out that “We are proud to be working with Centre for Civic Education on the implementation of FAST FORWARD Human Rights Film Festival from the early beginning. Ahead of the seventh edition of this Festival, we can say that this has been one of the most successful projects that we have supported in Montenegro”.

“Promotion of human rights is one of the top goals of USA here in Montenegro, and elsewhere. It is not an easy task to develop efficient programmes which would promote human rights. It requires creativity, planning and lots of hard work. I like the way in which FAST FORWARD stimulates the discussion on critical issues from the domain of human rights through art. The point of art is to challenge, intrigue and communicate, and that is precisely what CCE is doing with this Festival. They underline the importance of human rights from different angles and tell the stories from every corner of earth so that the audience from Montenegro could learn more about this subject”, he emphasised.

Zoran Jojić, Secretary of Secretariat for sport, culture and cooperation with NGO from the municipality of Berane, expressed his gratitude due to the fact that FAST FORWARD Human Rights Film Festival 2016 has its edition in Berane, thereby emphasising that precisely those editions present the benchmark for the establishment of new cultural identity of Berane. He told that Festival “can serve as an initiator – agent of definition and improvement of relation to human rights, which are simultaneously universal, but also specific, just as completed and defined with past, open for present and focused on future. Today we can say that the urbanity of one community is measured with the level of realisation of human rights and that their improvement and respect creates the urbanity and positive image of a community”.

Knežević particularly thanked the Cultural centre «Nikola Đurković» which representative was not able to attend the press conference due to objective reasons.

VII FAST FORWARD Human Rights Film Festival 2016 will be held from 10 to 14 December 2016 in Podgorica, in Montenegrin National Theatre (MNT). Like in the case of previous years, this year the Festival will also have parallel editions in Kotor – 11 and 12 December in cinema “Boka” and in Berane – 12 and 13 December in Centre for culture.

FAST FORWARD 2016 is implemented in cooperation with Montenegrin National Theatre (MNT), BELDOCS, Cultural Centre “Nikola Đurković” from Kotor, Municipality of Berane and Centre for culture of Berane. Media sponsors of FAST FORWARD 2016 are public broadcaster RTCG and ID Vijesti. Festival is supported by the Commission for the allocation of part of the revenue from games of chance of Government of Montenegro, Australian Embassy, US Embassy, Foundation Heinrich Boll, as well as by companies Montepano, Metropolis, PG Taxi, Post of Montenegro and Compania de Vinos Montenegro.

All information about FAST FORWARD Human Rights Film Festival 2016 are available on the official site:
Promo video:

Svetlana Pešić, programme associate