Annual Report 2014
2014 in a nutshell
We are very pleased with the results that we achieved in 2014. For Document Our History Now, 2014 was the year that we went public: we ‘came out’ as an organisation. 2014 was a year in which an LGBT photo competition was held and beautiful documentaries were made about LGBT people in Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines. The documentaries were shown at a variety of film festivals. 2014 was also the year in which our English-language website was launched. Visitors to the site will not only find lots of information but can also view the documentaries and their trailers. A mailing list was compiled for the newsletter, of which four issues were sent. The newsletter is well read. No fewer than 70 people attended an event in September at which the organisation presented itself. People were enthusiastic about its activities and the results booked so far. Document Our History Now’s network in Southeast Asia was expanded and an extensive project for Myanmar (to be carried out in 2014 and 2015) received funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs via the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok. Sponsor funds were also raised among private individuals and companies. Finally, ideas for new projects were developed with partners in Southeast Asia. Funding for those projects will be raised in 2015.
- The documentary Red Over the Rainbow (Vietnam) was completed. The trailer and full movie have been posted on our website and shown six times at film festivals, among other events, so far.
- The documentary A Butterfly Taboo (Philippines) was completed. The trailer and full movie have been posted on our website and shown at a film festival.
- The documentary Karma? (Cambodia) was completed. The trailer has been posted on our website. The full movie will follow in 2015. The documentary has already been shown four times at film festivals, among other events.
- In Myanmar, we sponsored the first-ever LGBT photo competition there: &PROUD. The prizewinners are presented on our website. The photos received extensive exposure in the press in Myanmar.
- In Myanmar we sponsored workshops on documentary filmmaking for young LGBT people. The results of those workshops formed a significant part of the opening night of the first-ever LGBT film festival &PROUD in Myanmar. Both the trailers and the full movies will be posted on our website in 2015. The festival received considerable attention in Myanmar.
In Myanmar, Document Our History Now is carrying out an LGBT visibility and agenda-setting project together with three partners: Colors Rainbow (Myanmar’s LGBT advocacy organisation), the Yangon Film School, and a freelance professional. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs awarded us a grant for that project for 2014 and 2015. A documentary will be made about the position that LGBT currently hold in society in Myanmar. The focus will come to lie on the consequences of Section 377 of the country’s Constitution, which prohibits homosexual acts. In addition, an advocacy agenda will be compiled for the coming years: what does the LGBT community want to achieve in order to improve the position of LGBT people, in which areas and in which ways, and what are their dreams? Both products (the documentary and the advocacy agenda) will be brought to the attention of the national press, the political parties and the general public in the months leading up to the parliamentary elections in Myanmar (November 2015).
Following a thorough preparation, the website was launched in September 2014. From the very beginning it has presented a lot to see and to read. We have received positive feedback on the website, and it has become an attractive means of presenting ourselves, showing the productions and making our ideas and sponsoring objectives known.
A mailing list has been compiled that by late 2014 contained over 500 email addresses. In the final quarter of 2014, four newsletters were sent out. Private individuals can easily subscribe to or unsubscribe from the newsletter.
In collaboration with IHLIA-LGBT Heritage, a presentation event was held in Amsterdam’s Central Public Library (OBA) on 27 September 2014. It drew 70 interested people who were given a good impression of who is involved in the organisation, what they hope to achieve and how they intend to achieve that. The audience also got a peek at the organisation’s first productions. The event also led to sponsoring, in part through the sale of a number of photographs (by the 1st-Prize winner of the &PROUD photo competition in Myanmar).
In 2014, our coordinator, Robert Witlox, put a substantial amount of time into supporting the organisation, its productions and the realisation of its website and the presentation event, but also into finding sponsors, setting up the Myanmar project and expanding a relevant network in Southeast Asia. In that connection, he also visited two film festivals: one in Yangon (Myanmar) and one in Manila (Philippines).
The Board of Directors in 2014 consisted of Hans Veenhuys (chair), Hugo Bongers (treasurer) and Wilma den Uijl (secretary).
Our expertise in the service of others
Now that Document Our History Now is building up expertise in Southeast Asia, we are being asked to share our expertise and to act in an advisory role. For example, we wrote short reports about the film festivals we visited in in Southeast Asia for the benefit of the Roze Filmdagen (Amsterdam LGBTQ Film Festival). The PlanetRomeo Foundation has said they will also come to us for advice if they receive requests from Southeast Asia.
Finding new projects
In 2014 contacts were made with a variety of organisations, professionals and documentary makers in various countries. We took the initiative to bring together ideas, documentary makers, photographers and funds, playing the role of project developer and producer. New ideas have been developed for Cambodia: a documentary and an LGBT cultural event. A more extensive project idea has been developed for multiple countries in Southeast Asia: fostering support for and increasing the visibility (by means of storytelling) of LGBT people with HIV; this project also aims to try to influence public opinion so that people will be less stigmatising in the way they view LGBT people with HIV. In connection with this project a scientific study will be held. Plans for both projects will be carried out in 2015 and funding will be sought in that connection.
Revenues in 2014 consisted of sponsoring from private individuals and companies (approx. EUR 3,000) and a Myanmar project subsidy from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The latter will be utilised in both 2014 and 2015. Expenditures concerned the Myanmar project along with the website, the presentation event, the expansion of our network and the generation of new project ideas.
This Annual Report and our 2014 Financial Report will be posted on our website, in compliance with our obligations in connection with our ANBI tax status.
Amsterdam, March 2015
The Board of Document Our History Now