One World Festival “interrupted” with immediate effect

One World Festival “interrupted” with immediate effect

The One World Human Rights Festival (Prague, 5-14 March 2020) was called off March 10 2020 due to ongoing concerns over coronavirus. Organisers hope to resume festival activities in Autumn 2020.


A statement from the festival reads:


“The organisers of the One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival regret to announce that because of the most recent decree issued by the government of the Czech Republic, they are interrupting the festival with immediate effect.” 


“This measure applies to all screenings and accompanying events, the afternoon school screenings, and the regional festivals.” 


According to Ondřej Kamenický, the festival’s director: “After thoroughly discussing and analysing the entire situation, we have agreed to interrupt the festival at this point. We are thereby respecting the measures implemented by the Czech Minister of Health and the National Security Council.  At the moment, we are discussing the possibility of resuming the festival in the autumn.” 


“If the future situation allows, we will resume the festival in several months. This would mean that films may once again be raining down on Prague in six months.”


The statement points out that the country’s National Security Council announced two new measures March 10 2020, namely that all events of more than a hundred participants are forbidden and that as of March 11 2020 all schools, with the exception of nursery schools, will be closed indefinitely. 


These measures have dire consequences for the One World Festival in that it offers special morning screenings within the framework of the One World in Schools programme. 


Another staple of the festival, the statement points out, is post-screening discussions with filmmakers and experts on the relevant subjects, which are also cancelled.  


“Even before the festival started, we cancelled the trips of all guests from the high-risk areas monitored by WHO and the Czech government (this included guests from Italy and Paris). All other guests are remaining in Prague and departing according to their originally planned schedule,” added Kamenický. 


In addition to traditional screenings at cinemas, the festival also offers films for download as part of its Get Your Audience project. This platform allows viewers to legally watch documentary films free of charge. This project falls under the One World Festival, which negotiates and pays licensing fees to the owners of film copyrights, thus making it possible for the public to easily and without any concern download and screen all of the available documentaries.


“We will do our best to make sure that a selection of films from this year’s festival will be available as soon as possible, so that viewers may see some of them at least at home,” the statement underlines.