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Nógvir filmar - eingin næmingur

Nadia Abraham, stovnari, og Dan Helgi í Gong, samskipari, frammanfyri FIMFF vegginum í Norðurlandahúsinum í kvøld

Í kvøld varð sjeynda filmstevnan undir heitinum Faroe Islands Intl Minority Film festival sett í Norðurlandahúsinum. Tað var við fransk-amerikanska heimildarfilminum Queendom, har leikstjórin, Agniia Galdanova, lýsir russiska artistin Gena Marvin, sum býr í Magan, átta tímasonur eystur úr Moskva. Har, í Moskva og París síggja vit, hvussu hann klæðir seg út, og í endanum brúkar seg sjálvan sum mótmælisinstrument á gøtuni, tá Putin ger innrás í Ukaraina. At enda flýggjar hann til franska høvuðsstaðin og fær friðskjól. Ein sterkur endi.

Innan sýningina heilsaði festivalstovnarin, Nadia Abraham, teim møttu við enskari talu, har hon avdúkaði, at hóast nógvar góðar og aktuellar filmar, har eg serliga vil viðmæla Little Richard - I am everything og Holy Spider, vóru útlitini at møta føroyskum skúlanæmingum ikki bara vánalig men blankt eingi.

- Yet, as I stand before you today, my heart is heavy because we've had to cancel our school program at the last minute. Over the past years, we've welcomed nearly 400 students, but tomorrow we're met with zero. And I can’t help question of the direction, the political mindset is taking, segði Nadia hugtung.

Her er øll hin enska vælkomurøðan hjá Nadiu, tá filmstevnan varð sett frammanfyri føroyingum og altjóða gestum:

Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed guests, filmmakers, producers, friends and family,

Welcome to the 7th edition of the Faroe Islands Intl Minority Film festival and thank you from the depths of my heart for your presence today. Your support means the world to us, and I am profoundly moved that you have chosen to be part of this celebration.

I am overjoyed that we have reached this milestone, marking the 7th edition in our festival's history. As we gather here today, I am thrilled to take you on a journey through an unforgettable program— It is strong, exciting, and diverse enough to intrigue most of you and profoundly educational.

Film is a strog medium where we come together, transcending borders and backgrounds, to immerse ourselves in the art of storytelling. Each year, we challenge ourselves to raise the bar, and I dare say that this year's program may just be our strongest yet. I say that every year, but this year I really mean it.

For example Amnesty International will host a compelling talk with Faridah Azadi, a courageous individual who fled the Iranian regime in 1986. Following this conversation, we will be screening the gripping documentary, 'Seven Years in Tehran.' This powerful film captures the harrowing journey through voice recordings, and archive footage, of a young woman and her family whose life takes a drastic turn when she is sentenced to death after surviving an attempted assault. It's a story that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

Kortfilmfestivalen Grimstad, one of the leading short film festivals in the Nordics, have curated a Nordic Shorts program for us tomorrow, if you want to explore more Nordic cinema. And for those willing to delve into more challenging discussions, we are honoured to have Vex Ashley from Four Chambers join us to explore the question: "Can pornography be good for you?" touching upon themes like shame surrounding sex. We might not have all the answers yet, but we are starting an important conversation.

One panel discussion you absolutely shouldn't miss is the conversation about the gender recognition bill on Sunday. We've assembled experts in the field, alongside individuals directly impacted by the law, to gain more insight and understanding.

For our kids and youth program we have features the Anime film "BELLE," a tale that delves into the power of social media. And our highly discussed Drag story hour with our very own extraordinary team member Siri Hansen aka SIRIOUSLY, which will be on Sunday at noon. 

I once heard that it's best to start speeches on a positive note, and I believe I've just done that. However, I must also acknowledge the challenges and the rough patch we've navigated through in recent weeks.

Seven years ago, I embarked on a journey to create a festival that would embody inclusion- a creative platform where nothing would be imposed, but everything would be challenged. A space where inclusivity, education, and meaningful conversations could flourish through various forms of media and dialogue. Our program is firmly grounded in personal stories, aiming to cultivate empathy and understanding towards the unfamiliar, especially when misinformation and decent language are absent, often hiding behind hurtful speech.

I also envisioned dedicating one day of the festival to our youth in schools, recognizing the transformative power we can mediate, through our youth feeling seen when your identity is continuously being questioned.

Yet, as I stand before you today, my heart is heavy because we've had to cancel our school program at the last minute. Over the past years, we've welcomed nearly 400 students, but tomorrow we're met with zero. And I can’t help question of the direction, the political mindset is taking.

Our festival is not a political organization, but the public discourse surrounding our program has turned me and the FIMFF team into highly sensitive political beings. The core mission of our festival reflects what seems to be lacking in today's political and public discourse—empathy and understanding. In recent weeks, these essential qualities have been conspicuously absent from public conversations. Language that once conveyed empathy and a recognition of our shared humanity has been overshadowed. Instead, we've been reduced to sexualized, predatory caricatures, rooted in blatant misinformation and an unwillingness to understand.

At this point, it becomes personal. Words are not mere expressions; they carry weight and impact. This burden weighs heavily on all of us. Yet, despite these challenges, our commitment to fostering empathy, understanding, and inclusivity remains unshaken. We believe in the power of dialogue and storytelling to bridge the divided, and create a more compassionate world.

Challenges will continuously arise, and I sincerely hope, so do we.

At this juncture, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our primary sponsor, the Nordic Culture Fund, whose unwavering support and consistent funding have been absolutely instrumental in sustaining our festival. I would also like to express our thanks to our secondary sponsors, the Culture Ministry and the Municipality of Tórshavn, for their invaluable contributions.

A special acknowledgment is due to Gunn Hernes and the Nordic House, for not only their support and collaboration but also for their resilience in the face of external pressures caused by our festival. We deeply appreciate your support.

I'd also like to recognize and thank all our collaborators, as well as Etika for serving sushi tonight.

Now, I want to give a well deserved shout-out to our remarkable, small, and dedicated team: Dan Helgi í Gong, Siri Súsannudøttur Hansen, and Leo Lávík also our on other side volunteers Elisabeth Olsen and Karina Jákupsdóttir. The festival and its program would not possess the same vigour and impact without your unwavering dedication. I want you to know how profoundly I appreciate you, and I empathize with the sacrifices you make. You are, without a doubt, completely fundamental to the festival.

The film we have chosen to open with tonight, is the gripping documentary 'Queendom,' directed by Agniia Galdanova, which recently won the Next Wave award at this year's CPH DOX festival. It depicts the story of the  21 year old radical artist and activist, Gena, from a small town in Russia, who fearlessly challenges societal norms with her artistic expression. She fearlessly protests Putis’s operssing laws in the streets of Moscow, while worring her grandparents, who endlessly try to accept her. 

I invite each of you to explore our diverse program with us. And we look forward to seeing you throughout the weekend.

Enjoy the festival!

Thank you.