The Netherlands Embassy actively supports cultural cooperation with Romania. Especially this year, the Embassy has supported the film industry. We were happy to bring to the Romanian public a good example of cooperation between the two countries: the Dutch-Romanian coproduction “In Blue” (2017), a movie performed by a professional team of Dutch and Romanian actors. The film will be introduced to the Romanian public at the European Film Festival in Bucharest, Sibiu and Timisoara, starting in May.
The Netherlands has always been an engaged defender of human rights. In spring, the Embassy supported with eight films the Human Rights Festival “One World”. A festival with an important mission: to open people’s eyes to human rights through movies. Movies that matter, that can make a change and have a strong impact. Not only eight documentaries represented the Netherlands at the festival, but also five Dutch directors and film makers. They participated at debates and panel discussions with the public. The eight Dutch documentaries revolved around various aspects: LGBT, migration, nationalism awareness, racism, integration, justice and the rule of law.
Moving just one step away from the human rights space, but not leaving it entirely, the Embassy entered the experimental movie scene by supporting the “Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival” with ten Dutch short films and their filmmakers. Again, the Netherlands showed engagement: the Dutch filmmakers shared their professional experience with the Romanian film students and other cinema professionals during panels and workshops. It was again about human rights, but with a touch of avant-garde: the ten selected Dutch films touched topics concerning human rights issues and innovation in the cinema field.
The Embassy also paid attention to hidden human rights issues. At the “European Film Week of the Invisible Roma”, we broke the silence together with Dutch-Sinti producer and protagonist of the documentary “Broken Silence”. A sad eye-opener to the unknown history of the Roma population, silent victims of the Holocaust and other terrible forms of oppression and discrimination. A topic that matters. A movie that matters!
Human rights and movies go together well, not only in Romania. Across the border in Moldova a series of short films “Kijken in de ziel” (litt. “Gazing into the soul”) were screened. The short films, produced by Dutch journalist Coen Verbraak, focus on raising awareness on the topic of ethics in the judiciary system. The films discuss different issues that judges deal with in their professional life, as well as personal life, such as doubts in their rulings, interacting with suspects, having to apply a law that may sometimes seem unfair etc. “Gazing into the Soul” was followed by debates in Moldova for judges, trainee judges, as well as law students and young professionals.