21st Geneva International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights – Asian Presence 2023

We present the Asian films that will be screened at the Geneva International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights which will take place from March 10 – 19, 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Blue Island by Chan Tze Woon – Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan | 2022 – 97 minutes

“Blue Island” brings together the older and newer generations of activists to create a fresco of contemporary Hong Kong. Chan Tze Woon confronts the memories and experiences of the activists of the 1973 revolution and the struggles of the younger generation, between disillusionment and hope, to compile a multi-layered reflection on the island’s identity. How do young people see their future in Hong Kong today? What do they think of this seemingly unwinnable revolution? This dazzling film oscillates between documentary and drama, mixing archival footage, film clips, interviews and footage from behind the scenes. (FIFDH2023)


Etilaat Roz by Abbas Rezaie – Afghanistan | 2022 – 93 minutes

15 August 2021. The Taliban take control of Kabul. The Afghan newspaper “Etilaat Roz” and its 50 employees are seriously affected. Amidst censorship, arrests, attacks, torture and threats against journalists, Editor-in-chief Zaki Daryabi and his team attempt to continue their work. In this documentary filmed during the two months following the Taliban’s coming to power and from within the walls of the newspaper’s office, Abbas Rezaie offers us a powerful and first-hand account of the collapse of the freedom of the press in Afghanistan. (FIFDH2023)


Lotus Sports Club by Vanna Hem & Tommaso Colognese – Netherlands & Cambodia | 2022 – 72 minutes

In Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia, Leak and Amas practise their passion for football in the town’s women’s team coached by Pa Vann. Coach and father figure, Pa Vann offers these transgender teenagers, often victims of discrimination and rejected by their families, the opportunity to express themselves in their bodies. Filmed over five years, “Lotus Sports Club,” by directors Tommaso Colognese and Vanna Hem, is a wonderful example of inclusiveness and solidarity, set against the backdrop of the country’s difficult economic and social situation. (FIFDH2023)


Peacock Lament by Sanjeewa Pushpakumara – Sri Lanka & Italy | 2022 – 103 minutes

In order to raise the money for his sister’s operation, Amila finds himself collaborating with a company in Sri Lanka involved in the trafficking of newborn babies. A story of survival that also manages to highlight some of the troubled relationships between the West and the countries of the South. The fourth feature film by filmmaker Sanjeewa Pushpakumara, whose previous film “Burning Birds” won the Grand Prize for Fiction and Human Rights and the Youth Prize at the FIFDH in 2017, is a partly autobiographical work whose carefully constructed scenes confront us with the darker side of our society. (FIFDH2023)


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