this human world initially began the same year which commemorated the 60th anniversary of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: In 2008, it was the first film festival of its kind in Austria. Vienna’s first international human rights film festival is a platform of cinematic art and critical discourse, a space of encounter and dialogue, and a meeting point for young innovative filmmakers, both local and international. We consider cinema not only an artistic form wherein narrative experiences are performed or created, but also an opportunity for the audience to step out of their comfort zone and into dialogue with new challenging realities.
Lisa Heuschober and Michael Schmied in conversation
Who are you?
We, the festival directors of this human world, conceive and organise an annual human rights film festival in Vienna. The programme spans across 80 items approximately, including documentaries, feature films and short films.
Since when have you been at Q21?
What are your fields of activity?
this human world connects film and cinema to social, socio-political, activist and community work. It is intended as a meeting point and a space of discourse for filmmakers and film aficionados, NGO people, activists, experts from various fields, school and university students, members of different communities, and critical journalists.
In terms of film festivals, what is important to you?
It is our goal to challenge common stereotypes – regarding the protagonists of our films, but also the associations with human rights issues. We want to diversify the huge spectrum of human rights topics, including experiences of everyday life, moments of emancipation and structural problems.
How do you reach your goals?
We want to create a film festival which attracts, moves, engages and inspires a wide range of people. With a diverse programme and the inclusion of filmmakers, experts and cooperation partners, we aim to make the festival as accessible as possible to an interested, enthusiastic audience.
What challenges do you face?
It is impossible for a human rights film festival to cover the entirety of currently and persistently important subjects. Often, we can only manage to include fragments in the programme.
Another goal of ours, which involves a great challenge: We do not want the audience to go home with a feeling of powerlessness after watching a depressing film.
What can a film achieve?
Far from muckraking media coverage, film festivals address the great questions and possibilities of our time in a delicate way. They can open our eyes and make us aware of the global contexts we all are a part of and responsible for.
If there were no human rights, then…?
If there were no human rights in the form of a universal declaration and consequent legislation, people would still claim them. Human rights would exist nonetheless, constantly subject to renegotiation.
OPENING FILM : THE EARTH IS BLUE AS AN ORANGE
Date: Thu, Dec 03, 20:00
In the surreal environment in the Ukrainian war zone Donbass, between exploding grenades and shootings in the streets, four siblings and their mother try to live their everyday life. Due to their passion for film and in order to understand the present together, they make a film about what they have experienced and still witness. The script is discussed at the kitchen table, the living room is converted into a studio and the family members open up to each other and the camera. Between hopelessness and cohesion, filmmaking here becomes a meaningful hold.
THE EARTH IS BLUE AS AN ORANGE is a film within a film, whose multifaceted impact becomes visible: a possibility for reflection, a family and community project, giving space for agency, an anchor in a time of crisis, a possibility to capture experiences - for the present and for the future. A sensitive portrait, pleading for the importance of film in a state of emergency.
Q21 Backstage: this year, VIENNA SHORTS - Vienna’s international Festival for Short Film, Animation and Music Video will take place from May 28 until June 2 as an online edition. Since 2004, the festival screens around 300 Films of up to 30 minutes in length in competitive and non-competitive programs, including programs for children and young people.
Q21 Backstage: Tricky Women deals with societal processes (of change). It always has. The festival is a platform for animation filmmakers at an international level. Through film programmes, workshops, lectures and discussions we approach the ever-changing realities of an increasingly digitised world.