The XIII International Festival of Documentary Films on Human Rights “Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan-2019” ended on 15 November. In the solemn setting of the closing ceremony, the results of the workshops were summed up and the names of the winners of the documentary film contest were announced.

This year, 22 documentaries from the USA, Russia, Switzerland, Afghanistan, Austria, Finland, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, Canada, Poland, Georgia, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Japan and Kyrgyzstan participated in the “Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan-2019” festival. Having watched and discussed the films, the members of the international jury Ela Kinowska, Tereza Kralova, Almut Rochovanski, Ruben Kazaryan, Valentina Galich, Stambulbek Mambetaliev and Chyngyz Narynov announced the names of the winners:

● Grand Prix - “Heart of Stone”, Claire Billet and Olivier Jobard (France).

● Best National Film – “Ayana”, Aidana Topchubaeva (Kyrgyzstan).

● Best International Film – “White Mama”, Zosya Rodkevich and Evgeniya Ostanina (Russia).

● Best Short Film – “Teacher”, Ibadylla Ajibaev (Kyrgyzstan).

● Best International Film According to the Children’s Jury – “Monsoon Show”, Annelies Kruk and Anneke de Lin van Wijngaarden (Netherlands).

● Best National Film According to the Children’s Jury – “Childhood Stolen by HIV”, Sanjar Eraliev (Kyrgyzstan).


In addition, the jury decided to make special mention of several more films:

● Special Mention of the Jury for Visual Solution – “Ad Astra”, Aisha Sultanbekova (Kyrgyzstan).

● Special Mention of the Jury for Covering the Subject of Climate Change – “Dulce”, Guille Isa and Angello Faccini (Columbia/USA).

● Special Mention of the Jury for Covering the Subject of Inclusion – “I am Kilian”, Bernadette Hauke (Germany).

● Special Mention Of the Jury for Covering the Subject of Right to a Nationality – “Bachir in Wonderland”, Evelien Vehov and Els Duran (Netherlands).


Screenings of the films took place from 12th to 15th November at the movie theater "Rossiya", where the auditorium was fully packed - this means over 1000 people visited it every day. After watching each film, discussions were held with viewers, involving the filmmakers and experts.

To recap, this year the festival “Bir Duino” was dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goals and the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and was held under the slogan “Children's voices and equal participation”. All presented films covered the topic of children’s rights, rights of children with disabilities, children of migrants, refugees, and demonstrated innovative methods for solving systemic problems in the field of protecting children’s rights in Kyrgyzstan, as well as at the regional and international levels.

Within the framework of the festival, from 11th to 15th November, 15 workshops on current issues of observance of children's rights were conducted in the format of discussions, Italk and talk show trainings with the participation of international experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Turkey, India, Tajikistan, Germany and USA, as well as representatives of UNDP, OSCE, embassies and consulates, ministries of the Kyrgyz Republic, deputies of the Jogorku Kenesh, representatives of the judiciary, the Ombudsman institution, international organizations and civil society. The workshops were hosted by the Ministries, government agencies, cultural and educational institutions. Students, children and adolescents took an active part in them.
Due to their topics, the events raised the discussion of climate change issues and its impact on empowering women and children, promoting gender equality, strategies to eliminate violence against children, pressing issues of justice for children, as well as access to medical and social services, opportunities for the development of children's parliaments and youth initiatives.

Based on the results of the workshops, the main recommendations were prepared regarding the protection and promotion of children's rights. These recommendations will be sent to the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Administration of the President and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic to promote the Sustainable Development Goals.

The results of the workshop “Climate change: empowering women and children through the promotion of gender equality in the Kyrgyz Republic” were the following: the problems of exclusion of women and children from the decision-making process on climate change, gender imbalance and weak quotas for women's participation in government and administration were identified. In this regard, it is recommended to introduce gender aspects into the legislation and regulations in order to fulfill the commitments in the field of gender equality under the Beijing + 25 Platform, CEDAW, UN Resolution 1325, and in the field of sustainable development for the period until 2030.

The recommendation of the workshop for teenagers “What violence against children is, how to avoid it, and what to do when it concerns me or my loved ones” was the following: interagency interaction and comprehensive support of children affected by violence are necessary.

The recommendation based on the results of a joint reading and talk show “We can! Art interventions to empower girls”: it is necessary to develop mechanisms of state influence and measures to prevent domestic violence against children and early marriages through TV channels, radio stations and social networks.

The workshop “Children and Parliament” revealed the need for a wider study and implementation of the experience of developing children's parliaments to address social issues and community needs.

As a result of the panel discussion “Urgent issues of justice in relation to children”, it is recommended to develop a unified code on general juvenile justice, related to both victims and children in conflict with the law.

The recommendation based on the results of the seminar “Child-friendly justice”: it is necessary to create and implement a child-friendly justice system, including laws, procedures and institutions, trained personnel, whereas imprisonment should be used as a last resort only.

The conclusions of the training on fundraising “There is an idea. There is success. Let’s move together to the positive outcomes!”: it is necessary to leave the comfort zone and confidently seek support from the people. We need our rights to be respected!

Upon completion of the workshop-discussion “The right to health: medical services for children”, the recommendation for the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic is to develop and apply an effective policy on “school medicine” aimed at ensuring the full complex of preventive measures and provision of medical care for children.
The master class for documentary filmmakers revealed the need to promote the systematic training of young documentary filmmakers in the field of creation of documentaries on human rights involving national and international experts and film directors.

The recommendation following the results of the seminar “Social services taking into account the interests of children”: to simplify the procedures for granting benefits and exclude corruption risks, as well as to accelerate the introduction of interagency electronic interaction for granting and payment of benefits.

Over 60 volunteers actively participated in the festival “Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan-2019”, - students of schools and universities of the capital, active youth. A large contribution to the festival was made by the media, which actively covered the opening of the festival and the daily work of the thematic workshops and screenings, as well as the activities of the jury and experts. We thank all the guests who were posting their comments and reviews, pictures and videos on social media.

It is important to note that the festival “Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan - 2019” will continue conducting screenings in all the regions of Kyrgyzstan until March 2020. The “Bir Duino” festival is the only major documentary film festival on human rights not only in Kyrgyzstan, but also in Central Asia. It has been organized and held annually since 2007. The main goal of the festival is to promote human rights and freedoms through documentaries, allowing viewers to better understand the socio-political and economic contexts of current problems, critically comprehend them and discuss the solutions.

We thank all our partners for participating!
Organizing Committee of the International Festival of Documentary Films on Human Rights “Bir Duino – 2019”.

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