Save the Date:
Movies that Matter Festival 2023

The Movies that Matter Festival is back in full force this year – after three modified editions – in the physical theatres of Filmhuis Den Haag, Theater aan het Spui and Pathé Buitenhof. This year, we will celebrate our 15-year anniversary in The Hague from 24 March to 1 April. There and at satellite locations throughout the country, urgent, moving and inspiring films will again be screened.

In a polarising society, dialogue and encounters are more important than ever. With the selected films and in-depth programmes, the Movies that Matter Festival wants to contribute to breaking down walls in society and encourage connections between people. This year’s selection includes films on international topics such as the situations in Iran and Ukraine. But there is also a focus on the Commemorative Year of the Slavery Past, for example.

This year’s Movies that Matter Festival presents over eighty beautiful, exciting and moving feature films and documentaries, and there are numerous inspiring talks, performances and Q&As. And like every edition, several directors, activists, thinkers and experts will be present at the festival.


The Movies that Matter Festival presents a total of seven awards in different competitions. Activist features documentaries on the work and lives of human rights defenders. Camera Justitia zooms in on the importance of the rule of law and the fight against impunity. The third competition programme is Dutch Movies Matter, featuring Dutch feature films and documentaries that open eyes to human rights.


Furthermore, international juries will choose a winner for the Grand Jury Documentary and Grand Jury Fiction, where cinematography and content go hand in hand. Three films are eligible for the Students’ Choice Award, chosen by a student jury from Leiden University. In addition, this year the Shorts Award will be presented, for the best short film. All visitors can also vote for the films they visited. The film with the highest score will win the Audience Award and can be seen again during the Best of #MtMF23 day on 1 April.


The films in Take on Future show the dilemmas of the transition to a sustainable future. What will it take to accelerate this? Take on Love is a colourful, diverse and sparkling themed programme about the right to be yourself and love who you want. Take on Power presents films about unequal power relations. And about people taking on forces and structures that seem bigger than themselves. This edition we add Take on Mental Health, with films about the many facets of mental health.

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The Movies that Matter Festival 2023 is made possible by main partner Nationale Postcode Loterij and partners such as Amnesty International, ASN Bank, CFAP, Creative Europe Media, Dioraphte, Gemeente Den Haag, European Cultural Foundation, Fonds 1818, Fonds 21, Janivo, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nederlands Filmfonds, Oak Foundation, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, dagblad Trouw, de Versterking, vfonds, VEVAM and VSBfonds.