Dear friends of Verzio and documentary film lovers,

Welcome to the 14th edition of the Verzio Festival!

This year the festival spotlights the films that strive to make a difference by confronting us with the human dimension of contemporary political, social, economic, and environmental crises, and by exploring the new types of solidarity that have emerged in response. The main pillars of our program – International Panorama, Hungarian Panorama, and Student Competition – feature a rich palette of films that demonstrate state-of-the-art documentary film production. With the support of the Visegrad Fund, Verzio FF joins forces with Cine-Doc Tbilisi, Watch Docs Poland, One World Prague, and DocuDays UA to explore the impact of documentary films through masterclasses and roundtable discussions on best practices of film as a tool for raising awareness and inspiring change. The section “War and Peace 2.0: The Refugees’ Perspectives” prepared with UNHCR support, and accompanied by debates organized in cooperation with the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, provides insight on the lived experience of war and its aftermath in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Congo, and other parts of the world. “Your Own City” explores the many faces of the housing problem — an issue of relevance for everyone. Our retrospective this year is organized in cooperation with the Riga Film Museum (Latvia), and features a selection of rarely-seen films from the Riga Poetic Documentary School of the 1960-70s. Another thematic program, “Photofilm: Sampling the Archive”, is an investigation of the complex relationship between the still and moving image. This year’s program has been prepared in cooperation with numerous partner organizations – festivals, advocacy agencies, human rights NGOs, and educational institutions. This cooperation, our most expansive yet, has allowed us to put together Verzio’s largest program to date; the 100 films in our program testify to the solidarity of people and organizations from 44 countries who believe that documentary film can open eyes and hearts, and enhance our critical thinking.

Oksana Sarkisova
Festival Director

Verzio 14 Gallery