19th IFF WATCH DOCS
Human Rights in Film
Extremism from within, Ayahuasca therapy and the fight for transgender people’s rights. The 19th WATCH DOCS: Human Rights in Film International Film Festival commences on December 5th.
WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film is one of the largest film festivals in the world dedicated to films that explore the fundamental rights of the individual. Screenings take place at the Cinema at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Kino Muranów, and Kinoteka at the Palace of Culture and Science. Free tickets will be available at the box office on the day preceding the screening and on the day of the screening.
The festival will host the world premiere of Wojtek Jankowski’s documentary The Flashpoint. It’s a story about a rainbow, an artistic installation by Julita Wójcik on Savior Square [Plac Zbawiciela] in Warsaw, which for many years was the subject of heated public discussion in Poland. The film will be screened at the U–jazdowski Cinema on December 10th. After the screening, we invite you to meet the creators.
One of the most important sections of this year's festival is “Who's Afraid of the Rainbow?” featuring films that explore the rights of LGBT+ communities around the world, including Indianara directed by Aude Chevalier-Beaumel and Marcelo Barbosa. It is an inspiring, visually sophisticated story about Indianara Siqueir – leader of the Brazilian trans movement – who fights for the rights of the marginalized group in an extremely oppressive political reality. The screening will take place on December 7th at the U–jazdowski Cinema.
Highly debatable films from the section “Ordinary Extremism” include Lord of the Toys directed by Pablo Ben Yakov.
The film was awarded the best German feature-length documentary at the prestigious DOK Leipzig festival in 2018. The filmmakers follow a group of friends from Dresden, who have hundreds of thousands of followers on their YouTube channel. These young people make short videos devoted mainly to drinking alcohol and vulgar jokes, and are not shy when it comes to racist innuendos, insults, and profanity. Director Pablo Ben Yakov and cinematographer André Krummel will be guests of WATCH DOCS on December 9th at the U–jazdowski Cinema.
Another highlight of this year’s edition is the film From Shock to Awe, a story of American army veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Ayahuasca — a brew with psychoactive properties used in spiritual practice by several indigenous groups in South America — turns out to be their salvation. Producers and one of the film’s protagonists will come to Warsaw for the WATCH DOCS festival.
During this year’s festival, we also excitedly invite you to the theatre – the special event being the performance of Human Rights Defenders [Obrońcy Praw Człowieka] prepared by Teatr.doc which is one of the most renowned independent scenes in Moscow. Teatr.doc always tackles significant topics and is not afraid of strong political performances. The show will take place on December 10th in the Laboratory building next to the Ujazdowski Castle.