February 26, 2019
On February 20, Off-Screen, the study association of Media and Culture and Media and Information students, hosted a charity gala at the Vondelpark’s VondelCS. The gala was in aid of Movies that Matter, an organization in Amsterdam that aims to spark a dialogue about human rights through aiding and supporting movie projects in Third World countries, and especially in countries where freedom of speech is limited or non-existent. The foundation uses film to, in its words, “stir the debate on human rights, sustainability and the fight against injustice.”
The venue, VondelCS, is a pavilion in the Vondelpark. The night consisted of screening three short films: The Christmas Gift (2018), Pesada Pluma (Heavy Pen) and Thank You Third World. The Christmas Gift takes place in 1989 during the anti-Communist Revolution in Romania. The film revolves around a couple whose world turns upside down after their son posts a letter to Santa, wishing for the death of “Uncle Nick” (Nicolae Ceausescu, a communist politician). Pesada Pluma narrates parts of a safety manual which was developed for journalists in South America after the murder of the Paraguayan journalist Pablo Medina. Thank You Third World is part of a multimedia-based campaign which reflects on the ignorant way the western world consumes products which are produced under devastating circumstances in the third world.
Guest speaker Mark Deuze, a professor of Media at the UvA, spoke about media makers and the importance of them being protected physically and financially. He also discussed their fight to have the ability to be creatively autonomous.
Off-Screen held an auction of artworks that were curated and donated by the association’s members. Paintings, photographs and other artworks were in the mix, and all proceeds went to Movies that Matter. Off-Screen also held a lottery, where participants won prizes such as free movie tickets, screenings at the EYE Film Museum, admission to the Movies that Matter Festival and more.
All in all, the event raised over €700 for Movies that Matter, which consisted of admission fees, the art auction and lottery tickets. The night ended with a performance by the Off-Screen band, Offbeat, which performed covers from various music genres.
Movies that Matter is organizing their very own festival in the Netherlands from March 22 to March 30.