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Peacekeepers One World Fest opener


The Opening Ceremony of the 7th Annual One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival took place on Wednesday, April 27th, 2005 in the large auditorium of Prague's Municipal Library.

Within the framework of the opening evening, Paul Cowan´s documentary "The Peacekeepers" will be awarded with the Václav Havel Special Award.

From the beginning of the One World festival, Václav Havel has been its patron, and this tradition is still strong today. In cooperation with his jury, Mr. Havel has chosen a film, "The Peacekeepers," that contributes to the protection of human rights in an exceptional way.


The One World Opening Ceremony will also announce the Visegrad Award winners for the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This award, supported by the International Visegrad Fund, includes a prize of 1,000 Euros to be used for English subtitling of the awarded films.

"God's Stone Quarry" ("Kamenolom boží") by Břetislav Rychlík was chosen from the 25 finalists as the best Czech documentary. The winning film was chosen by a jury made up of Karel Och (IFF Karlovy Vary, Program Department), Jan Kastner (FF Finále Plzeň, Program Director) and Přemysl Martínek (IFF Febiofest, Program Director).

"Love Thy Neighbor" ("Miluj bližného svojho") by Dušan Hudec was chosen from the 14 finalists as the best Slovak documentary. The winning film was chosen by a jury made up of professors at VSMU in Bratislava: Marie Ferencuhova, Jelena Pastekova and the head of the jury Vaclav Macek. The documentary "Love Thy Neighbor" was scheduled to premiere in May of 2004 on Slovak Public TV, but the director of Slovak TV banned it several days before the broadcast. The film documents racist attitudes of individuals in one Slovak town, and Slovak TV decided not to show the film and risk drawing attention to the fact that racism exists in Slovakia today.

The Visegrad Award was established by One World in cooperation with partners in Poland (The Krakow Film Festival), Hungary (Hungarian Filmweek), and Slovakia (One World Bratislava). The first Visegrad Award was given at the 44th Krakow Film Festival to Polish filmmaker Piotr Szczepanski for the film "Generacja SKOD." The next Visegrad Award was given to filmmaker Dezso Zsigmond in February 2005 for the film "Snail Fortress" at the 36th edition of the Hungarian Filmweek, in Budapest.


People in Need, organizer of One World, presents the Homo Homini Award annually to an individual who has made a significant personal contribution to the fight for human rights, democracy, and the non-violent resolution of political conflicts.

The People in Need board of directors has decided to present the Homo Homini Award for 2004 to Gheorghe Briceag of Moldova. Mr. Briceag is being recognized for his outstanding personal contribution to the defense of human rights in Moldova and for his tireless efforts to resist the re-establishment of Soviet symbols and ideology. Homo Homini 2004 applauds Gheorghe Briceag's dedication to his cause and his belief in human dignity.

Gheorghe Briceag is a former prisoner of the Soviet Gulag, and has persistently fought to defend human rights in Moldova. With the Homo Homini Award, People in Need hopes to draw attention to Gheorghe Briceag's resistance to the re-establishment of Soviet symbols and ideology in the territory of the former Soviet Republics. People in Need also hopes this award will draw attention to the dismal situation in Moldova, whose Transdniestr area is occupied by the totalitarian regime of the self-proclaimed "president" Smirnov due to the unlawful presence of the Russian army.

Gheorghe Briceag spent ten years in the Gulag and seven years in exile. After being granted his freedom, he studied law and today visits the courts to help his fellow citizens in various conflicts with the Moldovan government and its bureaucrats. He also assists his former fellow prisoners. In recent years, he prevented the city council from replacing a statue of Lenin in the center of Belci. In Belci, a city located to the north of Kishniev where the pro-Russian oriented communists have a position of power, Gheorghe Briceag is considered a symbol that embodies the spirit of democracy.


In addition to directly organizing One World in Prague, the festival team has supported a number of non-governmental organizations in other countries in launching their own human rights film screenings. As a part of that effort last year, One World hosted a seminar for festival organizers from all over the world that brought together the members of the Human Rights Film Network, representatives of well-established festivals (IDFA, Sheffield, Berlinale, FIDMarseille etc.) as well as new partners from south-east, central and eastern Europe. The seminar was well received by the participants, and a number of colleagues have launched independent film events. This year One World will continue with the tradition of staging a "Festivals Meet Festivals" event which will take place on Sunday, May 1st, 2005, from 10AM - 4PM in the festival center (Theatre Minor). The purpose of the meeting will be to enable different festivals to share experiences and help newcomers learn from more experienced colleagues.

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