What are the keys to making documentary films that change minds and transform behaviour? How can documentaries deal with human rights issues in an impactful way, and how can such an impact be measured? What happens when documentary filmmakers and human rights activists join forces to reach wide audiences in campaigns for social change? These are questions we invite you to explore with us as film directors involved in successful social campaigns share their experiences in three separate master classes.
In recent years, vivid attention has been paid to social impact in the world of documentary filmmaking. Filmmakers, funders, activists, and academics seek to understand how to encourage and create impact through film screenings, campaigns, and documentary films that promote progressive causes, and how to measure the success of these films and campaigns aiming for outreach in an ever-changing distribution landscape. Verzio’s Explore Impact block takes part in that discussion by inviting practitioners of social impact documentary to show their work and reflect on their experiences.
Rehad Desai (South Africa) investigates state violence and social inequality in the gripping documentary Miners Shot Down. Through Desai’s engagement with grassroots activists and alternative distribution methods, the film became an important voice demanding justice for 34 miners gunned down during peaceful demonstrations.
By exploring food waste in the global food industry (in the eye-opening Taste the Waste, among other films) and leading successful impact campaigns, Valentin Thurn (Germany) has significantly contributed to recent interest in the subject.
Andrei Dăscălescu (Romania) has worked closely with activists throughout the process of making and screening Planet Petrila, which explores the potential of cultural activism in preserving and repurposing industrial heritage.
Verzio’s Explore Impact block is the first session in a large-scale, collaborative project of five documentary festivals investigating the ways of studying and enhancing documentary films’ potential in promoting democratic values and human rights. The participating festivals are One World (Czech Republic), Watchdocs (Poland), Docudays UA (Ukraine), CineDOC-Tbilisi (Georgia), and Verzio. Explore Impact is organized with the support of the Visegrad Fund.
Frederik Forrai Ørskov
Researcher and Coordinator,
the Explore Impact Program