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Thank you!
Movies that Matter Festival 2024
Thank you!

We proudly look back on a special edition of the Movies that Matter Festival! With once again around 23,000 visitors, the halls were once again richly filled. This was partly possible thanks to your support. Therefore, we would like to thank you very much for your contribution to the 16th edition of our festival in The Hague!


Our festival would not have been possible without the support of main partners the Nationale Postcode Loterij and Gemeente Den Haag and partners such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amnesty International, and this year for the first time the NPO and broadcaster HUMAN. Of course, we also thank our media partner of the first hour: newspaper Trouw, and numerous funds and other cooperation partners who believe in our work.


We hope to see you again at one of our film events in the coming months, and we look forward to welcoming you to the 17th Movies that Matter Festival in 2025, which will take place from Friday 21 to Saturday 29 March.


Warm regards,


The Movies that Matter team



We had a full presence in The Hague, the City of Peace and Justice, again this year. Of course in our festival centre at Filmhuis Den Haag and Theater aan het Spui, but also at guest locations such as De Nieuwe Regentes, Theater en Filmhuis Dakota, Nieuwspoort and Beeld & Geluid. We entered into new partnerships with Theater De Vaillant, the Kunstmuseum Den Haag, The Grey Space in the Middle and Nest. Audiences could also enjoy Movies that Matter in other places around the country, as this year there were five satellite locations: Alkmaar, Amsterdam, Amersfoort, Apeldoorn and Maastricht.


The festival opened on Friday 22 March with a performance of John Lennon’s Imagine, performed in three languages by Karima el Fillali and Shishani, followed by a speech by State Secretary for Culture & Media, Fleur Gräper-Van Koolwijk and Mert Kumru. The opening film was Photophobia by Ivan Ostrochovský and Pavol Pekarčík.


From 22 to 30 March, we presented more than 80 films and numerous in-depth programmes with activists, experts and filmmakers from all over the world. We welcomed budding organisers of international human rights film festivals to our five-day workshop programme Cinema Without Borders. Over 6,000 schoolchildren and mbo students participated in the comprehensive education programme in The Hague and Amsterdam. Industry panels and workshops for film professionals from all over the world, NGOs and funds focused on creating impact with human rights films.

View our Daily Reports here


This year’s festival had a focus on Türkiye, with three film professionals of Turkish origin as guests of honour: Nazmiye Oral, Tülin Özen and Ahmet Boyacıoğlu. An Industry Masterclass took place: In conversation with…Ahmet Boyacıoğlu, we screened two audience-chosen classics and, of course, films by the chief guests. Nazmiye Oral presented the film adaptation of her theater performance No Longer Without You, which brought Oral and her mother Havva worldwide success. In addition, the poignant exhibition Roots & Soil opened at The Grey Space in the Middle, born of a long-term collaboration between by renowned photographer Ahmet Polat and students from Gaziantep, sharing their experiences after the largest Turkish earthquake on 6 February 2023.


We are particularly proud of screenings of films like I Shall Not Hate and the one-off special screening of No Other Land, in collaboration with IDFA, about a Palestinian activist from the West Bank and an Israeli journalist who join forces to shed light on the mass expulsion of Palestinian residents from the village of Masafer Yatta. In I Shall Not Hate, we follow Palestinian doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish, working in an Israeli hospital, who is on a mission of forgiveness and reconciliation. This is tested to the limit when an Israeli tank bombs his house and kills his three daughters. Dr Abuelaish attended the festival with a host of impressive follow-up interviews and was also a guest of Dutch discussion TV programme Buitenhof. Watch the interview back here.


We made it possible, through collaborations with the Quiet 500 and the Ooievaarspas, to make the festival more accessible to those on a small budget as well. “Thank you for a fine performance. Was a nice night out for me. Just a little distraction!” , said a visitor to the Activist Night.


Through Motify’s on site experience monitors, we know that audiences rated the festival with a rating of 8.7! The film offer and diversity of topics was particularly appreciated.


Eight international juries bent over the nominated films. This year’s winners:


Grand Jury Documentary Award

The Mother of All Lies (Asmae El Moudir)


Grand Jury Fiction Award

Radical (Christopher Zella)


Activist Documentary Award

Mediha (Hasan Oswald)


Camera Justice Award

KIX (Bálint Révész and Dávid Mikulán)


Dutch Movies Matter Award

Eddy’s War (Joost van der Valk)


Shorts Award

Mast-del (Maryam Tafakory)


Students’ Choice Award

Photophobia (Ivan Ostrochovský, Pavol Pekarčík)


This year was the first time the Education Award was presented, for the most educational film: The Mind Game (Sajid Khan Nasiri, Eefje Blankevoort and Els van Driel).


Audiences could vote digitally for the Audience Award for the first time this year. The film I Shall Not Hate (Tal Barda) was awarded the Audience Award, made possible by ASN Bank.

  Read the jury reports  
Missed any films at the festival?

In Movies that Matter On Tour this month, we are screening across the country The Body Politic, powerful portrait of Brandon Scott, the idealistic young mayor of Baltimore, during his first year in office. In May, we tour the documentary Drawing a Line, a portrait of young Indian cartoonist Rachita Taneja, who counters persecution and censorship with humour and honesty.

  Read more  

The Movies that Matter Festival 2024 was made possible by main partners Nationale Postcode Loterij and Gemeente Den Haag and partners such as Amnesty International, ASN Foundation, Creative Europe, Fonds 1818, Fonds 21, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nederlands Filmfonds, vfonds, VEVAM and VSBfonds.

The main media partners are newspaper Trouw, NPO and broadcaster HUMAN. For a complete overview of our partners, click here.

Movies that Matter
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