Andrea Tompa opens the 16th Verzió Film Festival

The writer, Andrea Tompa, will open the 16th Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Festival at 7 pm, November 12, at the Trafó House of Contemporary Arts in Budapest. The opening film, Alexander Nanau’s Colectív, is an investigative documentary about the collapse of the Romanian health care system following a fatal nightclub fire in Bucharest.

Hungary’s one and only human rights documentary film festival opens this year on Tuesday, November 12. The 16th Verzio, showcasing the very best of the latest documentaries from around the world, will take place in Budapest on November 12–17; in Pécs, Szeged and Kecskemét on November 21–24; and, for the first time, in Szombathely and Debrecen. 

The festival will be opened by writer Andrea Tompa. She holds a degree in Russian Studies from ELTE (Budapest), has worked as a theatre critic, and continues to serve as the editor-in-chief of the largest Hungarian theatre journal, Színház. She has lectured at the University of Theatre Arts in Cluj-Napoca, and has published three books: A hóhér háza, Fejtől s lábtól, and Omerta. She is currently a resident writer at CEU. According to Tompa, "This festival reminds us that truth exists, and is worth looking for."

The 16th Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Festival will once again open at the Trafó House of Contemporary Arts. Romanian director Alexander Nanau’s film, Colectív, will be presented as the festival’s opening film. The film investigates the tragic fire at the Romanian music club, Colectiv, in 2015, wherein 27 people perished, and a shocking 37 more died in hospitals due to inadequate facilities and rampant infections. Following the tragedy, Romanians took to the streets to protest, and a team of investigative journalists started to uncover a vast network of corruption in the health care system. Colectív had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September, and won the best international documentary in Zürich. It will now will have its Hungarian premier at the Verzio Film Festival.

Trafó will also host Verzio’s first VR section. The Vector VR section will showcase nine cinematographic works of virtual reality, November 13–16. Using VR glasses we can identify with the Iraqi father returning home from war and searching his home for explosive devices in Home After War, or with Gregor Samsa—the protagonist transformed into a giant insect in Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Watching Code of Freedom 1991, we can stand confronted with the toughest dilemma of conflict journalism: document bloodshed, or help the wounded. VR films will be screened in English, or in their original language with English subtitles. The VR program is complemented with discussions held with the filmmakers and immersive media experts.

Matangi / Maya / M.I.A., screened at 7pm, November 13, in Trafó’s big hall, offers a unique experience to watch the rise of a Sri Lankan pop icon who continues to shatter conventions and has no fear of standing up for important and divisive causes. The dynamic film, rich in music, includes never-before-seen personal footage that spans decades. Steve Loveridge’s intimate portrait won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award at the Sundance Festival in 2018. The film will also be shown at Student Verzió.


The 16th Verzió Human Rights Documentary Film Festival is supported by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union.
Budapest – November 12–17
Debrecen, Kecskemét, Pécs, Szeged, Szombathely – November 21–24
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