Movies that Matter Festival 2019

Feel free to open your mind at the at the Movies that Matter Festival! The annual international fi lm and debate festival on human rights and social justice will be held from 22–30 March in The Hague. It will feature around seventy fi lms, both fi ction and documentary, and a host of debates and Q&A sessions with actors, directors and human rights defenders. Also the festival offers expositions, masterclasses and live music.

On Friday 22 March Goldie, the latest fi lm by Dutch director Sam de Jong, will kick off the Movies that Matter Festival in The Hague. The colourful opening fi lm tells the story of Goldie, a strong-minded New York teenager who dreams of becoming famous one day. She does everything she can to prevent her two younger sisters from being taken into youth care. In a glamorous fashion, the fi lm shows the harsh reality of a girl whose inner strength, bravery and determination compensates for few opportunities that life has given her.


Human rights defenders are the ones who breathe life and freedom into societies. Without them, international declarations would just be words on paper. The Activist programme at the Movies that Matter Festival – organized in cooperation with Amnesty International – celebrates the life and work of these heroes, with eight powerful documentaries and a score of indepth events. Most of the featured activists will be present at the festival for screenings, debates and Q&A sessions. In Activist we present eight gripping documentaries from all over the world. From the streets of New York, where twelve policemen fi ght the system to the Colombian jungle, where one idealist dreams of peace. And from the student protests in South Africa to the last independent newspaper in Russia. And more! During the Activist Night on Wednesday 27 March, an international jury will hand over the Golden Butterfly Awards to the winning director and activist. After this one of the winning films will be screened.

Camera justitia

Camera Justitia is the Movies that Matter Festival’s competition programme on justice and the rule of law. It features eight impressive films – fiction films and documentaries – and discussion programmes about legal dilemmas, truthfi nding, international law and the fight against impunity. The programme will take you from Cyprus to Brasil and will tackle important questions about the stakes in the fight for justice. Among our guests will be the Danish filmmaker Mads Brugger. After the screening of his thrilling new documentary Cold Case Hammerskjöld on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March, he will discuss his investigation into the mysterious death of Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjöld. At the Camera Justitia Night on 28 March, an international jury awards the Golden Butterfl y to the winning director. We will screen the comedy Smuggling Hendrix. Also on the 28th, Colleen Rohan, Defence attorney and member of the International Criminal Law Bureau will deliver the Camera Justitia Masterclass at 16.00 hrs at the foyer of Theater aan het Spui. She will talk about defense before international tribunals using clips from the films The Trial of Radko Mladic and Acusada.

Dutch Movies Matter

Dutch Movies Matter presents seven remarkable feature fi lms and documentaries from Dutch fi lmmakers. On Friday 29 March the Dutch Movies Matter Night will take place. An international jury will hand out the Dutch Movies Matter Award to the director of the winning fi lm. The fi lms in this programme will take you from the wild and untamed nature in Norway to the streets of Bucharest. Dutch Movies Matter is realized through the support of VEVAM. 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 #MtMF19 on Saturday 30 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 fi lms on climate change and sustainability. With seven documentaries and talks afterwards Save the Planet investigates what dilemmas are associated with the struggle for a sustainable world. On Sunday 24 March we present in cooperation with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs the third edition of Earth at Stake. Three documentaries and debate on the effects of climate change on people all over the world: Anthropoce, Soyalism and Youth Unstoppable.