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One World marks 25 years of freedom

AMONG the many film festivals that take place in Bratislava, or in Slovakia more generally, One World stands out as the one oriented on socially engaged films and human rights. It includes dozens of documentaries, several debates, exhibitions and concerts; and this year it takes place between November 20 and 25 at four venues downtown in the capital.

AMONG the many film festivals that take place in Bratislava, or in Slovakia more generally, One World stands out as the one oriented on socially engaged films and human rights. It includes dozens of documentaries, several debates, exhibitions and concerts; and this year it takes place between November 20 and 25 at four venues downtown in the capital.

The 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution that toppled the communist regime in the then Czechoslovakia (but also elsewhere in central and eastern Europe) creates a natural frame for this edition of the festival – which has as its leitmotif: Freedom Is Not for Free. And how much this is true can be seen in the movies describing stories from countries that are still fighting their struggle for peace, freedom and democracy, be it for example, Sudan, Rwanda, Tibet, or Cuba.

“The main film section is the 25th anniversary of November 17, 1989; thus, it is closely linked with the Velvet Revolution,” Eva Sládková informed The Slovak Spectator, on behalf of the organisers. “We will screen movies that go back to the totalitarian regime, and we have also prepared debates revolving a- round the quarter-centena- ry.” She added that also films in other sections touch on the issue of freedom – or the lack thereof – be it in Slovakia, “where we are often limited in freedom, for example, by technologies or by the things we collect and pile around us; or in other countries where it is still not common or automatic for people to be free”.

On the other hand, the section Women’s Worlds “brings an insight to the efforts of women for a better life”, the festival’s website writes, offering also a section named Stop Extremism (very topical now in Slovakia), Online World (hailing the freedom of expression that modern technologies bring), or Different Lifestyles (offering an alternative to the hi-tech world) and Project Wild Thing.

One World screens, apart from a selection of foreign films, also Slovak documentaries and a section For Kids. Slovak movies include two premieres, Priamy Prenos / Live Broadcast by Zuzana Piussi and Salto Mortale by Anabela Žigová; as well as Comeback (Dir. Miro Remo, 2014), and Vladislava Plančí- ková’s Felvidék: Caught in Between (2014).

Sládková pointed to directors of Slovak documentaries who will attend the debates – Remo, Plančíková, Dušan Hudec, as well as Piussi and Žigová. She added that there are also longer debates organised to explore the freedom, or the lack of it, on the Slovak media scene, and Fair-Play Alliance will present White Crows to those who received prizes for civic bravery. The situation in Ukraine and the November anniversary will also be discussed, Sládková said.

The main section of the 15th year of the festival is called The Velvet Revolution 25 Years After which maps development since the November ‘89 revolution.

“We want to outline, especially for the young people who attend the festival, life from before 1989 which definitely had nothing to do with freedom,” head of One World, Nora Beňáková, said for the InBa information bulletin.

The full programme and additional information about the festival, organised by the People in Peril non-profit civic association, can be found at jedensvet.sk/en.

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