From September 2017 Ondrej Kamenicky became a new director of One World festival.
What is the focus of this year’s edition? Do you have a theme for the films selected in the festival this year?
Our overarching theme this year is “Updating the System”, which is a metaphor for watching documentaries and slowing down–thinking and taking the time to process the things that happen, and also place them in context–just like the system update that appears on your computer every time you don’t have time for it, but then it makes you slow down.
Within this theme, we have seven new categories. Eurodrom puts focus on current political and social topics in Central and Eastern Europe, especially on the rise of nationalism and populism. We have a category focused on America (Americana) in which we look at Donald Trump and at minorities in the United States. Beyond the Horizon is a more ethnographical category, about faraway places, the kind of places people don’t know much about. Long Live Life is about alternative lifestyles, and we have two more categories: Unearthed, focused on environmental issues, and One Zero looking at stories of people caught in digital networks.
Why did you choose these themes and categories?
Every year we introduce new categories that we find relevant for that year. And if in the very beginning One World approached subjects that were often not covered in the media, over the years we discovered that now there are topics that are discussed too much in the media and on social networks, and it’s necessary to place them in context. That’s also why we decided to choose the main theme “Updating the System” because the flow of information is getting faster and faster and there is not much time to discuss important issues properly. It’s necessary to mention that we do Q&A after almost every screening with filmmakers or experts. For us the discussion after the film is as equal as the film itself.
If you would have to describe the festival in five keywords that would describe what the festival is and what it means to you, what would those keywords be?
First of all we are not a red-carpet festival and having as many world premieres as possible is not our number-one priority. We are really open to everyone and perhaps the main keywords are inclusiveness and accessibility. We are committed to making films accessible to everyone and we bring films with special subtitles for deaf people. We make audio descriptions for some films so people that are blind can watch them too. We also organize special screenings for mothers with babies.
The concept is called “One World for all”, and our festival is the only festival I know about that tries to do this systematically. This is quite difficult, in terms of team capacity, acquiring skills and also financially speaking because accessibility means we need to prepare the films technically, and we have to think of how to promote them, for example with blind friendly and easy-to-read website.
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