Documentary films have power. They can inspire and be a call to action. They can be potent tools in the fight for dignity, and against censorship and oppression. In these challenging times, when human rights are under threat around the globe in unprecedented ways, documentaries that can tell these stories on film are of vital importance.
The Verzió DocLab workshop invites you to share stories from your community, your experience, your perspective, by creating a film that deepens understanding of the human rights challenges people face. The workshop is a platform for both beginning and advanced filmmakers interested in documentary and human rights to make a teaser, a short film, a documentary essay or to edit a scene or episode from a feature-length documentary already in the making.
An international team of filmmakers, editors, and human rights experts will offer guidance and mentorship in structuring, editing, and post-producing your film. Subject matter may focus on human rights issues in the broadest sense. The stories should be well researched, based on lived experience, foreground individual personalities, and aim for impact. The workshop participants are expected to arrive with footage shot prior to the workshop and will get tutoring in editing and cinematic structure. The goal of the workshop is to put human rights issues “in focus” by contributing to the creation of films that make an impact, raise awareness, and call for action, either on their own or as part of a broader ongoing campaign.
The workshop takes place at CEU’s Mirabaud Media Lab (Budapest) and is organized by Verzio IHRDFF and the CEU Visual Studies Platform. The participation is free of charge, and participants are responsible for organizing their own travel and living arrangements in Budapest. Basic editing experience is required, preferably on Adobe Premiere Pro, which is the platform provided in the Lab. Those attendees editing a project on another platform will need to provide their own laptop. All attendees will need an external hard drive for storage and editing of footage. Participants are required to attend and will get a certificate at the end of the workshop.
The resulting works (or excerpts from works in progress) will be screened during the festival and circulated on-line.
If you have questions, contact us by email at email@example.com (subject title: DocLab).
Supported by DOK Leipzig
The tutors selected the best project of the workshop which is granted with two observers’ seats at the pitching forum at DOK Leipzig.
Winners: Dávid Mikulán and Viki Réka Kiss (Hungary) with their project KIX
Zsuzsanna Gellér-Varga, D.L.A. is a documentary filmmaker and video-storyteller. Her thesis film (UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism), Screw Your Courage won awards at US film festivals and was broadcast on public TV. She worked for the New York Times Television as a video-journalist and later directed documentaries (Once They Were Neighbours, 2005, Synagogue For Sale, 2007, Mr. Mom, 2009, and Angel Business, 2018), which were screened internationally and broadcast on public TV. She taught documentary ethics at the international masters program, DocNomads at the University of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest.
Moniek Wester Keegstra is an independent documentary filmmaker and trainer in dramaturgie and interview. She directed documentaries for Dutch television. Gaza, Gabbers and Graffity was nominated for the Prix d’Europe and had worldwide screenings at film festivals. She worked with NGOs Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam Novib and Amnesty International. Moniek was involved as filmmaker and creator of the TV-series and online platform 26000 Faces. In showing film portraits about asylum seekers in the Netherlands it created impact on Dutch politics and was selected for IDFA. She is co-creator of the longitudinal online ‘Lifeboat Project’ about HIV and stigma. The essence of her work is to get to the core of human experience.
Levente Pap is a freelance film editor. He has been working for several award winning fiction films and documentaries since 2000. His latest short fiction Cubeman won more than 30 awards all around the world. He is also a promo producer for HBO Hungary, and an editing consultant and post supervisor for DocNomads Joint Masters in University of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest.
Jeremy Braverman is Media and Visual Education Specialist at Central European University. He teaches courses in documentary filmmaking in various departments at CEU, and oversees the Library’s Mirabaud Media Lab. As a filmmaker, his short films have played in festivals across the US, and he is currently collaborating on documentary films with faculty from CEU and ELTE. Prior to joining CEU, Jeremy spent 15 years teaching filmmaking in the US, and worked in the independent film industries in Chicago and Pittsburgh. He earned his MFA in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and prior to that worked as a freelance translator and television personality in Budapest in the mid-90’s.
DOCLAB PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS
JUST FOR FUN - Nadin Helmi (Egypt), Natalia Kovyliaeva (Russia) and Endre Kuklin (Hungary)
Just for Fun takes a critical look at the tradition of “chasing of women” during the Busójárás festival in Mohács, Hungary. Intrigued by the history of the festival and its significance for the community, three filmmakers observed the festival with an eye on the gender dynamics of the masked men’s (Busós’) interactions with the crowd.
DAUGHTERS OF HOPE - Ratsheko Nthite (South Africa)
This is a story about perseverance, patience and hope. Project Hope Africa has made some young women’s entrepreneurial dreams come true by donating 120 chickens, chicken cages and food for them to start a business. Happy is one of the business women who also helps translate in the village of Vingerkraal.
UNLIMITED ROG OF EXPIRATION - Jasmina Mustafić (Slovenia)
The Autonomous Factory Rog, squatted since 2006, is a very diverse and often chaotic autonomous space in the center of Ljubljana. It is a thorn in the side of the corrupt mayor, who wants to turn the former bicycle factory into a more lucrative venue. The city is gentrifying fast, but the Rog community is standing their ground.
HATCHERY - Máté Fuchs and Krisztina Meggyes (Hungary)
Finding a job where feeling successful is possible, living independently from parents, and being accepted by society—these are the everyday dreams of an extraordinary young woman. Mariann lives with autism, and, while trying to build an insect farm, has to face many difficulties that would rightfully challenge anyone.
NOT A MATURE POLITICIAN - Flóra Bognár (Hungary)
Blanka Nagy, an 18-year-old student, gave a speech at an anti-government demonstration in 2018, after which she became famous, or rather notorious. The film follows the arc of her life after the media’s attempts at character assassination: her darkest moments and the path leading to her candidacy in municipal elections.
MY MOTHER’S DREAM - Boglárka Bicsák (Hungary)
Lilkó is a sensitive teenager born with Down syndrome. She has loved gymnastics since pre-school. In 2015, she took part in the Los Angeles Special Olympics World Games. As a gymnast, she has won two gold, two silver and one bronze medal. But in 2019, just before the Special Olympic World Games, she had to face the fact that no matter how good she is, she can’t go on to the next challenge.
KIX - Dávid Mikulán, Kiss Viki Réka (Hungary)
KIX is the story of a troubled street boy. The film follows him from age eight to eighteen, when he reaches the verge of adulthood. Over that decade, he transforms from a young mischief-maker into a public enemy.
EXPLORERS - Leah Hendrick (Hungary)
Anita, born blind, lives with her husband and their two-year-old daughter. One day her husband discovers a special treatment that could help her see colors and shapes. Will she be better able to fulfil her role as a mother after the treatment?