- Posted April 20, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
Day 1-4 of the Millenium Documentary Film Festival : Lobbying And Calypso Music.
The Millenium Documentary Film Festival officially started on Tuesday, with the Out of Competition screening of the excellent "Calypso Rose - The Lioness of the Jungle" by Pascale Obolo (photo 3) in the presence of the director.
The movie represents both an intimate and daring biography of the calypsonian diva Calypso Rose and a journey to find one's origins, taking the audience from Trinidad and Tobago, home of Calypso music, through New York, Spain and finally Africa, Benin.
The ceremony took place at the Cinema Galerie inside the 19th-century shopping arcade Galerie Royales Saint-Hubert. Amongst those in attendance were UNDP Under-Secretary General and Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan (photo 1, 2) and UN/UNDP Director in Bruxelles Antonio Vigilante (photo 2), also a member of the festival's jury. Both of them underlined the importance of documentary film-making in reflecting today's reality and acknowledged the impact it has on changing the world for the better.
After the screening, Haiti-born singer Marlene Dorcena (photo 4) entertained those present with a live performance that combined Haitian rhythms with a classical flamenco guitar. During the opening ceremony, Miss. Dorcena was named one of the Millenium Festival's Goodwill Ambassadors, joining her music to help spread the message of the Millenium Development Goals.
The highlight of Thursday night was the screening of the controversial documentary "Brussels Business", co-directed by Belgian Matthieu Lietaert (photo 5, 6) and Austrian Friedrich Mose (photo 7), in the presence of the authors and a full house that included ex-European MP Diana Wallis (photo 9) and Gérard Legris, Head of the Unit “Transparency, Relations with Stakeholders and External Organizations” at the European Commission.
The film dives into the shadowy world of lobbying, the secretive networks of power and big business influence on EU-policy-making in Brussels. It tells the non-official version of the European Integration since the 1980s, the story of the neoliberal take-over in European politics.
The documentary was followed by a Q&A with the directors and Mr Erik Wesselius of Corporate Europe Observatory.
In a year marked by election campaigns and a deep economic crisis that sparked a series of social movements all over the world, the focus of the ensuing debate fell on the importance of the European Parliament and how its political decisions affect the everyday life of European citizens.
As co-director Matthieu Lietaert puts it, “MEPs get votes to be elected, but if you ask the ordinary citizen what he/she thinks about their politics, you'll see that most Europeans have no clue what goes around in Bruxelles and how this can impact their lives (...)”. This can be particularly dangerous in a time when extremism starts showing its ugly teeth and national governments have little impact on their own.
The Millenium Documentary Film Festival will last until the 5th of May, with the Award Ceremony taking place on Sunday, the 22nd of April, at Espace Flagey, followed by two weeks of workshops and screenings of the award-winning films. The jury, headed by documentary film director Stefano Savona, will be handing out six awards amongst which the Golden Lens and the special UNDP award.