With the state of our planet – and the interactions between some of its inhabitants – sending many of us into a pit of despair, our screenings and events offer a much-needed opportunity to understand, celebrate and harness our power for positive change.’
Tamara Van Strijthem
Director of Take One Action
Take One Action, the UK’s leading global change film festival returns to Edinburgh and Glasgow from the 18th – 29th of September, before heading to Aberdeen and Inverness in November. The Festival celebrates its twelfth edition with an inspiring programme of features and short films from 5 continents, which explore and respond to some of the most pressing issues of our time – from gender equality to climate change, via access to housing and healthcare.
With the state of our planet – and the interactions between some of its inhabitants – sending many of us into a pit of despair, our screenings and events offer a much-needed opportunity to understand, celebrate and harness our power for positive change. At a time when the very notions of solidarity, equality and environmental responsibility are being eroded, it feels crucial not only to draw explicit connections between contemporary issues but also to provide inspiration and tangible routes to action. Our festival is not just a platform for the discovery of eye-opening films: it is an invitation to explore and challenge the systems underpinning our current realities, and a direct invitation to reshape our world for the better.
Inequality – and how we address it – features prominently in this year’s festival. The films in our All Equal? strand grapple with a remarkable range of domestic and international realities. Those casting a lens on contemporary Britain include the documentary Scheme Birds, set in Motherwell, and the latest film by Ken Loach, Sorry We Missed You, which closes the festival. The hopes and aspirations of refugees are explored in the intimate documentaries Midnight Traveler (a family’s account of life on the run from Afghanistan) and Tiny Souls (a journal-like account of life in Jordan’s largest refugee camp for one set of young siblings).
The root causes of global inequality – and its impact on individuals as well as communities – are explored with unusual lucidity in films such as Survivors (presented in partnership with Christian Aid), a first-hand account of the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone. In a country forced to prioritise international loan repayments over public infrastructure, the testimonies of the health workers on the frontlines of a terrifying battle make a powerful case for urgent debt cancellation.
For several years, Take One Action has been championing women’s voices both on and off screen, and this festival is no exception: 60% of the films that make up our programme have been directed or co-directed by women. Our Sisters Strand offers a specific focus on female empowerment, in all its guises and in many different arenas. Among the many films on offer, Feminister provides remarkable access to the corridors of political power through a portrait of Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs; The Prosecutors follows three lawyers fighting to end impunity for sexual violence committed at times of war; Grit chronicles an Indonesian teenager’s gradual political awakening, as she takes corporate impunity head on in a village devastated by a gas drilling accident… Facing the Dragon (also presented in partnership with Christian Aid) follows two awe-inspiring Afghan women as they attempt to change their country from within, and powerfully encapsulates the energy women all over the world over are pouring into addressing power imbalance – both in public representation and in calling democratic institutions to account.
The Festival also encompasses several community events, which will feature special programmes of short films. We are joining forces with Maryhill Integration Network for a series of short films exploring the importance of the right to work in creating a new home, and with The Space in Dalry, Edinburgh, for an afternoon of films by and about women, celebrating defiance and solidarity.
To programme and deliver our activities, we work alongside a fantastic range of charities, NGOs, grassroots groups and cultural organisations – including Christian Aid – thanks to whom our screenings, workshops and events empower audiences to be the change they want to see. Come join us for 12 days of inspiration and action.
Take a seat.
Take a stand.