about the festival
The first edition of Version includes 40 recent documentaries on important social issues. These films, from 22 different countries, present a broad range of transformations in today's world. All of them seek to empower viewers to take stances and to feel involved in issues that affect us here and now.
The program is grouped in 6 thematic blocks - not in order to force the flow of life into fixed categories, but to help you design your individual program and choose the most relevant films. "Global Economy" includes films that analyze the impact of globalization on societies, contemplating the changes that mobility, migration, and economic rationalization induce world-wide - from Ulan Bator street markets to the suburbs of Belgrade and Hungarian villages. These changes bring distant parts of the world closer together and at the same time create numerous local variants, depending on the cultural context and traditions.
"People Trapped" presents a variety of situations in which political, social, economic, or cultural settings lead to people being unfavorably or unjustly treated. This sort of entrapment is not limited to societies with oppressive political regimes or to developing regions: we find people 'trapped' by extreme poverty, ethnic discrimination, and political intolerance in various political systems. Many of the current problems have deep roots in the past, some of which are 'unearthed' in "Legacy of the Past". Here you will find films exemplifying contrasts between personal memories and official histories. Films addressing the crimes and traumas of the past also teach us about the present. Topics include the history of the secret police in communist Hungary, concentration camps in Cambodia, World War experiences of Ruthenian villagers, as well as diverse and contradictory family histories, where realities merge with fiction. "Woman's Voice" includes both exceptional and mainstream stories, foregrounding constantly changing gender roles and expectations. The problems of the younger generation which mark the "Growing Up" block seek to de-center familiar narratives by looking at challenges where the way out can only be found through attentive and emphatic dialogue. Last but not least, the block called "Power of Images" presents films which reflect on how various images and concepts - from the idea of the center of Europe to the omnipresent imagery of the Leader in North Korea - shape the audience - including us, the viewers. The special feature of the first year's program is the focus on representations of the Roma in documentary cinema. We decided to avoid thematic 'segregation' and located these films in various thematic blocks of the film program.
Following the example of dynamically growing documentary festivals that have evolved in the region of Central and Eastern Europe in recent years - such as the Human Rights Documentary Film Festival One World in Prague, the International Documentary Festival in Jihlava, Human Rights in Film in Warsaw, the Stalker Human Rights Festival in Moscow, the Astra Festival of Documentary Cinema and Visual Anthropology in Sibiu - we hope to arouse your interest in documentary cinema as well as to promote film as a powerful visual medium for analysis and opinion-making. We invite you to explore 40 different 'versions' of seeing the world around us, away from the reality shows, directly to the heart of the matter!
Enjoy the program!