Within the framework of the FINCA Film Festival the publication “How to organize a film festival with a social commitment” was released

24 de JUNE, 2016

Within the framework of the International Environmental Film Festival (FINCA), its organizer, the Instituto Multimedia DerHumALC (IMD) released on June 3, 2016 the publication How to organize a film festival with a social commitment, a handbook for human rights and environmental cinematographic events, now available online for download.

Featuring international guests such as Mario Branquinho (director of the Portuguese CineEco Seia Festival), Miryam López (Communications Director of DREFF, Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival and of GFDD, the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development,) as well as locals Natalia Cortesi (Copia Cero director and consultant for the IMD) and Clara Isasmendi (co-director and programmer of the FICIP, International Political Film Festival), the event also offered the opportunity to share experiences, issues and challenges surrounding the organization of film festivals with this particular approach.

Ever since 1997, the IMD has been dedicated to promoting an engaged cinema and contributing to social change. Many were the successes and mistakes capitalized on throughout time by sharing these experiences with other festival organizers that make up two international networks gathering similar festivals, the Green Film Network (GFN) and the Human Rights Film Network (HRFN), as well as their local counterpart, the Red Argentina de Festivales y Muestras Audiovisuales (RAFMA). Given the needs and challenges festivals and art events based on social commitment face, the IMD, with the support of the HRFN and the Dutch foundation Movies That Matter, decided to translate and adapt two handbooks previously developed by members of the HRFN from a Latin American perspective and add content related to the experiences of the International Environmental Film Festival (FINCA) and the International Human Rights Film Festival (FICDH).

Natalia Cortesi noted the importance of this handbook in a context with no specialized schools and limited opportunities for learning how to organize a film festival, a context in which learning comes from being out in the field. Miryam Lopez indicated that there is not one recipe to set up a film festival and that reaching out to a bigger audience calls for creativity.

“Every film festival must keep its own identity,” said Branquinho, who also mentioned that such an event has a great impact on society through actions, workshops and activities that involve the community. Clara Isasmendi pointed out the difficulties FICIP faces in terms of funding given its specific characteristics. A discussion with the audience ensued about what it entails to set up a film festival with social awareness.

Lastly, audience member Carlos Reynoso, Director of the FICSor (Deaf Film Festival), offered some powerful words when he warmly thanked the IMD using sign language —mediated by Argentine Sign Language interpreter Andrés Miranda— for developing and making available this incredibly useful tool.

The handbook is available for download at