Meet the world at the Movies that Matter Festival

Edition 22 March 2018

You’ll get to meet people from all over the world, talk to inspiring activists, see interesting documentaries and revealing fiction films at the annual international film and debate festival on human rights and social justice. From 23–31 March Filmhuis Den Haag and Theater aan het Spui will be the main locations for nine days of film, debate, music, expositions, food tasting, VR Cinema and lots more.

In Competition

The Movies that Matter Festival presents three main competitions: in Activist you’ll see eight powerful documentaries on human rights defenders from all over the world; you can join these heroes at screenings, debates and Q&A sessions, and at the Activist Night on Wednesday 28 March. During this night the activists featured in the films will be honored and a jury chaired by Lilianne Ploumen, the former Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, will hand out the Golden Butterfly Awards. Afterwards the winning film will be screened. Camera Justitia holds fiction films and documentaries about justice and the rule of law and the new programme Dutch Movies Matter features human rights films from Dutch film makers. You are very welcome to attend the festive Camera Justitia Night on Thursday 29 March. On this special evening an international jury chaired by Anne Marie Stordiau awards the Golden Butterfly to the winning director. We will screen the documentary Truth Detectives and afterwards criminal defense lawyer Bart Stapert will discuss the film with filmmakers Anja Reiss and Brigitta Schübeler.

Also on the 29th, Kathryne Bomberger, Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons, will give the free-of-charge Camera Justitia Masterclass at the foyer of Theater aan het Spui. In the new competition programme Dutch Movies Matter, the festival presents human rights from Dutch film makers. A jury will hand out the Dutch Movies Matter Award on Friday 30 March. In Students’ Choice an MovieZone local students and young filmmakers hand out awards to their favourite festival films and join in workshops and masterclasses on how to make your own human rights film. The festival audience chooses the winner of the BNNVARA Audience Award by voting after each screening. The award for the winning films will be presented during the Best of #MtMF18 on Saturday 31 March, after which the winning film will be screened.

Festival Themes

Each year the festival focuses on several topical themes with special film and debate programmes. One of this years’ themes is Save the Planet with films on climate change and sustainability. On Sunday 25 March the festival presents the special programme Climate at Stake, in cooperation with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, offering three documentaries on the effects of climate change on people all over the world. After the screenings filmmakers and experts will join in the discussion about how to sustain our planet. Other festival themes of this year are On the Move about migration, Resist about protest and Second Sex about the unequal treatment of women and men.

VR Experience

Take your film experience to the next level with two free-of-charge VR programmes. A variety of short films will take you on a journey to below sea and to the other side of the world. VR Feest aan Zee joins forces with The Hague’s celebratory Feest aan Zee programme, celebrating a 200-year friendship with the sea. Swim with dolphins and sperm whales in The Click Effect and dive into the ocean to watch the rapid bleaching of coral in the VR-version of the documentary Chasing Coral. VR: Meet the World will take you to Hollywood to discover the history of cinema; show you a day in the life of a ranger in Garamba National Park (DRC) and take you to Indonesia to see the rainforest through different eyes.