Document 6 Human Rights Film Festival @ CCA, Glasgow, 15-19 Oct

A unique human rights film festival that appropriately levels the playing field between independent and Hollywood players alike.

Article by Dave Hynes | 16 Oct 2008

This week sees the sixth year of the Document film festival at Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts (Wednesday 15 to Sunday 19 October). Document is the UK’s only human rights documentary festival, one of only 18 of its kind in the world. Document 6 will screen 62 films from around the world, including 15 world and 37 UK premieres, with an emphasis on showing a broad range of international short films and documentaries concerned with the promotion of human rights issues.

The Document film festivals have traditionally provided an alternative forum for the exploration of human rights issues, through independent cinema, and supports individual filmmakers in targeting a wider audience. Emphasis is placed upon promoting films which otherwise would not be shown through mainstream media outlets; the festival aims to promote culturally significant human rights content as a means of stirring critical debate on major contemporary issues.

Document 6 will showcase a variety of films that draw upon on a wide range of themes such as immigration, asylum, warfare and international conflict, all combined with discussions and workshops about contemporary human rights issues, whilst retaining an emphasis on those within Scotland.

Highlights include Roma of Govanhill (Friday 17, 7.30 pm) a short film dedicated to exploring Glasgow’s experiences of continuing waves of immigration through the ethnically mixed neighbourhood of Govanhill. Plus, to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a film collaboration between a group of Scottish film-makers - including Tilda Swinton, Mark Cousins and Irvine Welsh – called The New Ten Commandments (Fri 17 8pm) will offer discussions upon human rights in Scotland and their representation through film.

Amongst the international highlights are Tears of Wayrenco (Fri 16, 12pm) a short film dedicated to the turmoil of two decades of Peruvian armed conflict and Flowers of Rwanda (Fri 16 1pm), an examination of the cultural fall out of post-Genocide Rwanda. The full screening listings are available at Individual films cost £4 (£2 if unwaged) or a full day pass is £15 (£5). Even better, all events are free to asylum seekers and refugees.

Foreign films and independent cinema have witnessed something of a surge in popularity in the last few years, and for those keen to glimpse at some of the talent beyond Hollywood, Document 6 promises a fresh perspective on what human rights means today. Such freedoms should never be taken for granted and given the short running time and low cost of each film, there’s really no reason not to take a look. This is a big part of the reason why Glasgow was voted a city of culture.