From March 15 to 22, the annual Socially Relevant Film Festival will take place in New York for the fifth time. The festival aims to shine the spotlight on filmmakers who tell compelling, socially relevant, human interest stories across a broad range of social issues without resorting to gratuitous violence or violent forms of filmmaking. “Keep Believing” by Dutch director Wouter de Kuijpers will be screened on Sunday, March 18.
Would you say yes to the following scenario? To live amongst a group of people who are being discriminated, suppressed, exploited, beaten and raped on a daily basis? You would sleep on the floor, there would be no sewage or running water, let alone a proper toilet or hot shower. Ask yourself again, would you voluntarily choose to live in these circumstances?
Frans Baartmans left his home in The Netherlands in 1979 to live in India amongst the Dalits in the slums of Nagwa, Varanasi. The Dalits belong to the most discriminated group of people in the world and are also known as “untouchables”. Being born a Dalit means you are born without a voice and excluded from society and all basic human rights. Together with this community, Frans is fighting the powers that be on a daily basis, aiming for equality, acknowledgment, and dignity. The right to exist.
He devoted a great deal of his life to these slums and deeply cares for its residents. Simply because he cannot stand injustice. But what else lies underneath this man’s nobel work?
Wouter de Kuijper was born in Eindhoven, January 28, 1981. He lived for the most of his youth in Nuenen, a village which is known for the famous painter Vincent van Gogh. Wouter graduated as a documentary filmmaker in 2007 at the HKU in Hilversum, The Netherlands. He likes to portray pure and authentic stories and contribute with this passion to a better world. He believes film and genre documentary is a great way to share beautiful messages.