Cannes winner opened FAST FORWARD 2021, annual award for human rights and civic activism awarded to the locals of Kraljske Bare

FAST FORWARD Human Rights Film Festival Montenegro opened tonight at the Montenegrin Music Centre with the Montenegrin premiere of the Cannes winner “Compartment No. 6”, by Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen.

The XII edition of the FAST FORWARD Festival was opened by Kimmo Lähdevirta, Ambassador of the Republic of Finland and Executive Director of the Centre for Civic Education (CCE), Daliborka Uljarević.

Ambassador Kimmo Lähdevirta pointed out that the culture of human rights is one of the pillars of democratic and prosperous societies, but also that it requires a constant struggle. “The world is constantly facing new challenges that affect human rights. Hence, we need to mainstream both the awareness on the importance of human rights, openness towards diversities, and support for those who are still aspiring to fully exercise their rights.”, he said. “Film is a powerful medium for presenting people’s fates as well as how certain systems, prejudices or values impact them. In everyday life, we are often confined within our inner circles, thus missing a chance to find out about people different from us, their struggles and hopes. Whatever the grounds for our differences are, we still have much more in common.”, stated Lähdevirta, expressing satisfaction that the Finnish film opens FAST FORWARD 2021, but also that the cooperation between the Embassy of Finland and the CCE continues.

Sometimes it seems to us that we have reached the end of an idea, a change has taken place,… We think that we have reached the end of a hard journey and that we deserve peace. We forget how quickly that can turn us around and turn us into passive observers. It is about us who are most of our lives fighting for a better society, fighting for human rights, fighting for progress. That is why it is important that we survive and not give up. For us, the struggle is unceasing.”, said Daliborka Uljarević during the opening. The films we present to you are a reflection of our values. They are a reflection of our and your struggle. You will watch some of the world’s most successful films that will broaden your view and give you the necessary encouragement and hope. Together we are in the everlasting battles.”, she stated.

This year’s award for the affirmation of human rights and civic activism was given to the Local Community of Kraljske Bare, and on behalf of the locals, the award was received by the President of the LC of Kraljske Bare, Milovan Labović.

Labović expressed his gratitude and pointed out that the award belongs to all locals, and especially to those who recognized the moment and stood up for the protection of the natural environment and legal regulations.

Justifying the award, Uljarević pointed out that the residents of Kraljske Bare demonstrated how natural the fight for human rights is. “Their enthusiasm, decisiveness and determination to protect their environment deserve our deep respect. For these 18 months, they have not only kept the beautiful, albeit harsh, nature of the Podkomovi villages and their Kraljske Bare from building small hydropower plants. They are on the defence line, defending the entire country from irresponsible authorities. Both from those before 30 August 2020, and from those after 30 August 2020, who have not yet fulfilled the promises given in the heat of the election…, concluded Uljarević.

The Kotor edition of the FAST FORWARD Festival opens on Sunday, 12 December, while the opening of the festival in Berane is planned for 13 December. All information about the festival is available on the website

This year’s edition of the Festival was supported by the Ministry of Economic Development of Montenegro, the Embassy of Finland in Belgrade, UNDP within the project Reform of the National Disability Assessment System, the Municipality of Berane and the Municipality of Kotor. Partners are BELDOCS, Sarajevo Film Festival and Montenegrin Cinematheque.

In the part of the business sector, the support is provided by hotel Cue, PG taxi, Gostiona 1928 and Compania de Vinos Montenegro.

Recognizing the public importance of the FAST FORWARD Festival this year as well, the support is providing the public service Radio-Television of Montenegro (RTCG), with the portal, then the independent daily, Portal and Television Vijesti, Radio Berane and Radio Kotor, as well as the portal CdM. The growing importance of the FAST FORWARD Festival recognized our new media partners as well – television Gradska TV, Nova M and Prva, radio stations Antena M and Gradski radio, dailies Pobjeda and Dnevne novine, as well as the portal Dnevne novine and Antena M.

Maja Marinović, Programme Associate