According to a report by the Council of Europe, only one in five films in Europe is directed by a woman. On a global level, the statistics are lower: only 12 out of 100 best-selling films were created by women in 2019. During 2020’s version of the Swedish Human Rights Film Festival, organised by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute and the cinema Kino, female directors and actors were in focus.
Between 5 – 7 March 2020, RWI screened films such as ‘For Sama’, ‘Made in Bangladesh’, and ‘The Hottest August’ at the cinema Kino in Lund. ‘The Hottest August’ raises the climate issue and had its Swedish premiere at our festival.
The film festival combines the film screenings with panel discussions featuring international experts in their respective fields. Topics such as climate change, the right to housing, and disability rights were among the topics raised during the three days.
“We find it particularly inspiring to engage with schools; young adults and students”, Christina Geijer af Ekström, Head of Communications at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute says. “The open film discussions between the panel and the audience consisting of school pupils, were relevant and thought-provoking. One of the most interesting discussions, was in relation to the viewing of ’Push-the Film’, by Fredrik Gertten. Former UN Rapporteur for adequate housing Leilani Farha participated in the panel discussion, moderated by RWI Director Morten Kjaerum. The young adults were extremely intrigued about the housing situation of today.”
“Films have a strong effect on people and are an important tool for shaping our society. That is why we wished to highlight these films, with and by women, and hopefully inspire future film makers.”
Christina Geijer af Ekström, Head of Communications