Sunday, 4 October 2009

Document 7: International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival

Document : International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival
CCA & GFT, Glasgow, 21st - 25th Oct 09

+++ Document 7 Programme Announced ++++

Document International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival is proud to announce a dynamic programme of events and screenings for Document 7 - CCA & GFT, Glasgow, 21st - 25th Oct 09.

Document is the UK's only dedicated human rights documentary festival, one of just 18 worldwide. This year, with a record number of submissions and a programme of premieres and award-winning documentaries, Document affirms its reputation as one of the most unique and anticipated events on the Scottish calendar.

Document 7 will screen over 60 outstanding national and international documentaries that look at human rights in its broadest sense, as personal stories with a global punch. Audiences can expect to find films that are both accessible and thought provoking, engaging and challenging, then debate them with invited speakers.

Document 7 will show films which cover ground often ignored or overlooked by the mainstream media - films that show how real people are affected by the great events of our age on their own turf, and how they deal with that - films in which people refuse to be defined simply as victims of circumstance.

Document 7 Highlights this year include the festival's opening film - 'Umoja: The Village Where Men Are Forbidden', tells the story of a group of women who form their own community in rural Northern Kenya. Sexually abused by British soldiers, and rejected by their husbands, they founded Umoja in 1990 - a thriving village where children of both sexes are treated equally, and from where the women go to neighbouring villages to raise awareness of gender equality, HIV/AIDS and circumcision issues; their only problem now is that they must defend themselves against the men, who envy their success in making a new life on their own terms. French Directors Jean-Marc Sainclair and Jean Crousillal will be at the screening to introduce the film and lead a Q & A afterwards, and will be available for interview.

'Goodbye, How Are You?' proves the lie that human rights film has to be solemn or worthy, as Boris Mitic' tongue-in-cheek road movie slowly builds up a picture of the former Jugoslavia, its people and its culture, through a "satirical-vérité narration" and over 400 unique "satirical documentary shots" filmed on a three-year, 50,000 km trip along Balkan side roads.

'China's Wild West' shows that beautiful images can also have a moral purpose in a cinematically striking film which follows a day in the life of a Muslim Uighur community in their hopeful efforts to discover Jade in the harsh conditions of a dried-up river bed near a remote town on the old Silk Road in Western China.

'Durakovo: Village of Fools' examines a “utopian” community 100 km southwest of Moscow owned by Mikhail Morozov - Russian patriot, good Christian and successful businessman. People come there from all over Russia to learn how to become “true Russians” by abandoning all their former rights and obeying Morozov's strict rules. Purposefully restrained, yet cunningly subversive, 'Durakovo: Village Of Fools' provides a chilling glimpse of fascist ideology on the rise.

'Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen' is a groundbreaking work which helps illuminate the debate surrounding the role of race in transitional experience. Kortney Ryan Ziegler, African American filmmaker from California, film student of Spike Lee, will present a Glasgow School of Art Friday Event at the GFT on Friday 23rd October 11am and screen 'Still Black' at the GFT on Sunday 25th October 2pm-4pm. Zeigler will also available for interview.

To run in tandem with a series of discussions surrounding the current situation for UK asylum seekers, we will be screening a number of short films from the 'The Estate' series. Directed by Ruth Carslaw, these films uncover the lives of individuals living on the Sighthill council estate in Glasgow in the year leading up to its demolition. The seven selections included are specifically focused on the lives of refugees, which build into a compelling portrait of asylum in contemporary Scotland.

Document 7 will also host a programme of LGBT themed screenings and discussions to coincide with Glasgay. This will include a roundtable discussion with LGBT Youth Scotland & Our Story Scotland and the screening of 'Living Queer African' and 'Le(s)banese', an eye-opening documentary that reveals the truth about life for young Lesbians in the Lebanon. Intimate stories are interspersed with humorous anecdotes that reveal the tension between religion and identity in the Arab-speaking world, whilst also positioning Lebanon as a seat of liberal acceptance in the region.

Other strands include a full programme of films concerning women's experience with dedicated screenings and discussions, as well as a forum dedicated to Poverty, Advocacy & Action with Chik Collins, Clydebank Independent Resource Centre, (To Bankers from Bankies) and Gesa Helms (Beyond Aspiration: Young People and decent work in the de-industrialised city).

Exhibitions of work by photographers Martin Coyne and Martina Salvi will run concurrently in the CCA Bar, contrasting the lives of child workers in India with those of adults in the factories of contemporary China.

If that wasn't enough, at the end of the night surprise musical guests will entertain us in the café bar…

By providing a platform for a broad range of ideas, individuals, and discussions, Document 7 will sustain the principle of lively and open debate which has characterised the festival from the start. In an increasingly interconnected global milieu, Document remains a vital forum for information exchange, and for the celebration of shared human values across all contrived or imposed boundaries.

The full programme is available at:
Press Screening: 11.00am - 12.30am, Tues 6th Oct 09, CCA, Glasgow.
Press Enquiries: Paula Larkin, 07765 396226


+++ Poverty Advocacy & Action +++
Friday 23 October 2009 - CCA 5 - 7pm
presentations & discussion : Chik Collins, Gesa Helms, Peter Kelly (chair)

Chik Collins, University of the West of Scotland, and Clydebank Independent Resource Centre will talk about his recent research, 'To Bankers from Bankies - Incapacity Benefit: Myth and Reality':
"The report offers a view on 'welfare reform' from the perspective of the Clydebank Independent Resource Centre (CIRC). It has a particular focus on the most recent changes to benefits and on the 2009 Welfare Reform Bill. These constitute a major departure from the principles of social protection which have been in place since World War II. The report is addressed to the former banker, David Freud, whose 2007 report inspired the reforms, but also, and perhaps more importantly, to the politicians who appointed him as their adviser. The first part of the report introduces both 'the banker' (Freud) and 'the bankies' (the CIRC). It then outlines the CIRC's perspective on 'welfare reform' as it has developed since 1997. The second part focuses on the experience of Incapacity Benefit (IB) claimants in Clydebank in recent years, presenting three case studies which challenge the stereotypes and the rationale presented by the proponents of the current reforms."

‘To Banker, From Bankies - Incapacity Benefit: Myth and Realities : Perspectives on welfare reform, from the Clydebank Independent Resource Centre’, Chik Collins, CIRC, funded by Oxfam GB, April 2009, can be downloaded at: banker from bankies.pdf

Gesa Helms, Department of Urban Studies, University of Glasgow will talk about, 'Beyond Aspiration: Young People and decent work in the de-industrialised city, Discussion paper', June 2009:
"This discussion paper is designed to provoke a debate about the work and training prospects for young people in Glasgow. It draws upon recent statistical evidence alongside qualitative data from interviews and focus groups. It highlight the increasing difficulties that young people experience in finding decent training and job opportunities in the city’s labour market. ... Finally, we offer up some thoughts on what alternative questions should be posed in offering people real choices and opportunities for decent employment. A cornerstone of any alternative must be to recognise individual rights to participate in economic life on equal terms. More practically, young people need to be paid ‘living wages’ in return for any kind of paid work and given properly regulated training and work placements."

‘Beyond Aspiration: Young People and Decent Work in the De-industrialised City, Discussion Paper, June 2009’, A. Cumbers, G. Helms, M. Keenan, 2009, can be downloaded at:

There will be a discussion afterwards chaired by Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, Glasgow.

For further details of the event, please visit the Variant site here

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