«We look for films that enable people to navigate the world we live in»

INTERVIEW: Modern Times Review speaks with The Why Foundation CEO/Executive Producer Mette Hoffmann Meyer.

Bianca-Olivia Nita
Bianca-Olivia Nita
Bianca is a freelance journalist and documentary critic. She is a regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: October 22, 2020

How do you pick the topics for each of your programmes?
It depends. For our Why Stories program, which is ongoing, and in its 5th season, we buy 20 completed films per year and then donate them to underserved countries. We generally focus on human rights and human-interest films. And we look for films that enable people to navigate the world we live in. Human rights including for example inequality, women’s and girls’ rights, the rule of law, slavery. We also look for geographical diversity and for films primarily made by local filmmakers.

The topics for our thematic programs are more defined and focused, and they come up in different ways. While we were launching Why Poverty at the UN, for example, we got a ticket for President Obama’s speech. And in the 40 minutes he spoke, he only talked about modern slavery. That made me think that this issue must be much bigger in scope than we were aware of. We did research and realized that the number mentioned – 40 million people – is probably just the tip of the iceberg. Slavery is the ultimate human rights violation and we thought it would be an important topic to shed light on and this is how …

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