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VI International Documentary Film Festival HumanDOC

HumanDOC Festival is the first cultural and educational event of this type in Central and Eastern Europe carried out by HumanDOC Foundation since 2010. Presenting global development in cinema is meant to help Polish viewers understand the situation in developing countries in the broad context, sensitise Poles to the needs of people living there, raise their awareness and show how world issues impact everyday life of ordinary people.

The Festival reaches to a wide audience with different degrees of knowledge in the subject. The addressees of the festival are modern Poles, interested in international affairs and global issues, as well as people for whom this is the first contact with these themes. The addressees of the project are people from different social backgrounds and various professional and age groups, although mostly these are people above 16 years old, in majority students and graduates.

The festival fulfils its role as a cyclical event that permanently affects its addressees; it broadens their knowledge and raises Poles’ awareness of global development and Poland’s involvement in development cooperation. Poland belongs to the group of 40 richest countries in the world. On a world scale we are a highly developed country. For a few years now we have not only been a recipient of international aid, but also its donor. The Global Development in Cinema Festival helps the viewers understand the mechanisms of development aid and explain who and how we help.

VI International Documentary Film Festival HumanDOC

HumanDOC International Documentary Film Festival is the first event in Central and Eastern Europe that combines cinema on the highest level and reflection on global themes. The films presented during HumanDOC festival are highlights of feature-length and short-length documentary films showing global interdependences, problems and challenges. This festival is the world in close-up: living for less than a dollar a day, fighting against social exclusion, consequences of climate changes, international aid, and conflicts. This is a unique combination of documentary cinema on the highest world level, social campaigns, debates, discussions, exhibitions, and contests.

The project’s objective is to permanently and cyclically shape and broaden the Polish society’s awareness of the issues of development in the world and global development interdependence, as well as Poland’s commitment to development aid. Presenting global development in cinema will help viewers understand the situation in poor countries and sensitise them to the reality of those countries; it will also show global challenges and interdependencies, encourage taking action, provide an opportunity for exchange of experiences and knowledge with experts.

VI International Documentary Film Festival HumanDOC

In total, approximately 100 thousand beneficiaries from across Poland partook in all activities connected with the project in 2015. It is a record in the Festival’s history. An increased number of national reviews (in 2015, the focus was put on small and medium towns, which proved a big success in terms of turnout) and an internet gallery of submitted photographs, available for beneficiaries across Poland, contributed to this result.

Main activities carried out as part of the project were:

  1. Presenting 17 feature-length films and 15 social campaigns in PKiN’s Kinoteka as well as two films in the Old Town’s Community Centre in Warsaw during the three-day-long festival (November 2015). Initially, a display of 15 films and 10 campaigns was planned.
  2. Two public debates and one workshop panel organised in Kinoteka. The panels were organised in cooperation with the Institute of International Relations of the University of Warsaw, and the Institute of Global Responsibility. Three meetings were planned as part of the project; however, one of them was changed into a workshops panel to open the festival for viewers with children.
  3. Review of chosen films on Kinoplex.pl website and in Netia. During one month, 12 films were available to beneficiaries for free. Initially, it was planned to present 10 films.
  4. Special screenings of films adapted to the needs of blind and deaf viewers on Kinoplex.pl. HumanDoc Foundation organised a review of films from previous years, including specially adapted ones. 12 films are permanently available online.
  5. Reviews in 10 cinemas across Poland. During two months, the films were presented in: Olesnica, Poznan, Slupsk, Dabrowa Gornicza, Krakow, Wroclaw, Katowice, Sanok, Braniewo, and Tarnowskie Gory.
  6. Organising a photography contest, the name of which was changed to HumanDoc Proclub Camera due to a big involvement of professional photographers. The name World of Different Latitudes functions as a title of one of two categories. Almost 1,000 photographs were submitted to the contest, among which there were pictures taken by photography enthusiasts as well as award-winning photographers, including a laureate of the World Press Photo contest. The internet gallery of submitted works was viewed by approximately 80 thousand people across Poland.
  7. Contests with free entry tickets as a prize were organised on the Facebook page and on the internet website of the project, as well as by the project’s partners, including media. Approximately 6,000 Internet users took an active part in the contests, expressed their opinions, read recommended materials or watched social campaigns.
  8. Five meetings with authors, movie characters, and experts were organised in Warsaw’s Kinoteka. The aim of the meetings was to put the issues raised in films in their context. Cinema goers had the opportunity to meet with Eliza Kubarska, Iraj Mesdaghi, Marijn Poels, Maciej Grabysa, Michael Ramsdell, and experts from organisations such as Greenpeace, the Institute of Global Responsibility or ESN Poland. Initially, three meetings were planned as part of the project.
  9. Organising a photography exhibition promoting knowledge about situation in Global South countries, installed for a period of three weeks in Kinoteka. Initially, a week long exhibition was planned, however, once again Kinoteka was willing and able to extend the planned time of the installation.

Apart from the activities indicated in the project, there was also a series of activities which expanded and enriched the offer of the HumanDOC International Documentary Film Festival’s sixth edition. These activities included:

  • Reportage Photography Workshops, organised in cooperation with Canon and Proclub
  • Film and Photography Workshops entitled “Reality of the Global South countries using the example of Kenya”, conducted by a scholar of the GLEN programme
  • Review of films created by refugees in camps in Kakuma and Dadaab in Kenya in cooperation with the Old Town’s Community Centre in Warsaw.