about the festival
(Con)version is one of the meanings of the title of the first International Human Rights Film Festival in Budapest. The ambition of the organizers and the Open Society Archives, which has one of the most important human rights collections in the world, is not to preach to the converted, but to persuade viewers to look straight into the face of our fellow human beings and find ourselves in the mirror of their eyes. The forty films, from all over the world, seem to portray eccentrics, exotics, humiliated strangers, the miserable, the resistor and the mortified. This is an optical illusion: the films we show, show us what we do or fail to do to others, show us our responsibility for the misery, confusion, and strangeness we live in. These are good films: they can persuade us that what seems so immensely different is in fact only another version of ourselves.
Director, Open Society Archives