Every year PFF nominates the most influential and horizons opening freedom films.
This year’s nominated films are thoughtfully chosen and represent stories from 24 countries world-wide. The spectrum of freedom is vast and shows the range of topics from censorship, blasphemy, dictatorship through girls and female situation in various countries, education, sexual harassment, to the most up-to-date events such as the rise of ISIS and assaults on freedom of expression generally, and freedom of speech particularly, in Western societies.
That is why this year’s film selection panel could not avoid but highlight the events which took place in France and Denmark. By nominating Cartoonists – Footsoldiers of Democracy, PFF bows down to all cartoonists using the international language of image to provoke discussion and check the status of freedom. By acknowledging their vital and catharsis-bringing role in every healthy society, Passion for Freedom can’t help but agree with the theme statement of the document: “Cartoon is a visual metaphor; it is not just news, it is warning”.
Passion for Freedom joins that warning and promises to remain a litmus paper of the condition of freedom in our western societies.
1. Cartoonists – Footsoldiers of Democracy, Dir. Stephanie Valloatto (2014)
2. Shield and Spear, Dir. Petter Ringbom (2014)
3. High Tech Low Life, Dir. Stephen Maing (2013)
HIGH TECH, LOW LIFE follows the journey of two of China’s first citizen reporters as
they travel the country chronicling underreported news and social issues stories. Armed
with laptops, cell phones, and digital cameras they develop skills as independent one-man
news stations while learning to navigate China’s evolving censorship regulations and avoiding
the risk of political persecution. The film follows 57-year-old “Tiger Temple,” who earns the
title of China’s first citizen reporter after he impulsively documents an unfolding murder and
27-year-old “Zola” who recognizes the opportunity to increase his fame and future prospects by
reporting on sensitive news throughout China.
4. Desert Dancer, Dir. Richard Raymond (2014)
5. Playing With Fire: Women Actors Of Afghanistan, Dir. (2014)
6. Bringing the Tibet Home, Dir. Tenzin Tsetan Choklay (2013)
When a Tibetan refugee dies from a terminal illness, his last wish to set foot on his native soil
remains unfulfilled. Until his son, Tenzing Rigdol, a New York-based artist, embarks on an
unthinkable journey to reunite Tibetans in exile with their land literally through an art project.
7. I’m a Girl, Dir. Rebecca Barry (2013)
There is a group of people in the world today who are more persecuted than anyone else, but they are not
political or religious activists. They are girls. Being born a girl means you are more likely to be subjected to
violence, disease, poverty and disadvantage than any other group on the planet. As each girl moves closer
to coming of age, I AM A GIRL, a feature length documentary, reveals what it means to grow up female in
the 21st century.
8. Freedom for Asia Bibi, Dir. Maciej Grabysa, Michal Krol (2015)
Inspired by the book of French journalist Anne Isabelle Tollet, the film tells the story of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani
Christian woman, who was convicted of blasphemy by a Pakistani court, receiving a sentence of death by
hanging.The movie was shot in May/June 2014 in Pakistan, France and Italy. It features Asia Bibi’s family,
her lawyers, journalists and friends, all actively engaged in campaigning for her release. Through this movie
we want to remind the world that an innocent woman is languishing in Pakistani prison.
9. Yazidi Women: Slaves of the Caliphate, Dir. Namak Khoshnaw (2015)
10. Stronger Than Arms, Dir. Babylon’13 (2015)
Stronger than arms shows the evolution of Ukrainian realities from the spontaneous attempt to capture the
administration of the President on December 1 to the bloody battles continuing today in the ruins of
Parvati Saves the World, Dir. Ram Devineni (2015)
An innovative re-mix film (in three acts) using dozens of Bollywood Hindu mythological films from the 1970s,
focuses on gender-based violence. ‘Parvati Saves the World’ is part of project about “Priya Shakti”- a
mortal woman and the Goddess Parvati fight against gender-based sexual violence in India and around the
world in this layered, storytelling project and augmented reality comic book, supporting the movement
against patriarchy, misogyny and indifference through love, creativity and solidarity.