United States – Last Thursday (27/10), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) celebrated young filmmakers from around the world at the 2016 PLURAL+ International Youth Video Festival and Awards.
The four videos screened at the PLURAL+ International Jury Awards Ceremony, which took place the evening of 27 October focused on social exclusion in school (Excluded, USA), the root causes of migration (Migration, Italy), migrant nail workers in New York (The Price of our Dreams, USA) and the plight of Syrian refugees (I Am Aliya, Slovenia). These four videos were chosen for the top PLURAL+ prize from more than 300 video from 68 countries worldwide.
PLURAL+ aims to foster dialogue, partnership and action on critical issues and opportunities faced by youth worldwide. The festival recognizes youth as powerful agents of social change, and supports cooperative efforts to reduce tension in a world too often characterized by conflict and division. The winning videos focus on migration, diversity and social inclusion. Since its launch in 2009, PLURAL+ has received nearly 1,500 video submissions from around the world.
PLURAL+ award winning filmmakers, all under the age of 25, from countries such as France, Canada and Serbia took part in workshops, screenings, prize-givings and Q&A’s throughout the day at the Paley Center for Media in New York.
PLURAL+ partners including UNICEF Voices of Youth, Global Nomads Group and Maryknoll contributed to the success of the festival. Collectively, 31 videos were chosen from the 2016 entries to receive awards from PLURAL+ and its partner organizations. You can watch all the 2016 winning videos on the PLURAL+ website.
“Human mobility is as old as humanity itself, and we all have a role to play in facilitating safe, orderly and humane migration, and upholding the rights and human dignity of migrants,” Ashraf El Nour, Director of IOM Mission to the UN (NY), told the award ceremony audience. He further elaborated that “the mission and purpose of PLURAL+ initiative, now running for eight years, is to celebrate the human side of migration and its contributions to enriching societies.”
The awards ceremony was hosted by Victoria Pannell, a 17 year old New York community activist and high school senior. She gave remarks, in which she spoke about the fearlessness of youth and the power of a click on a computer mouse, giving the example of successfully using social media to pressure PepsiCo into dropping Lil Wayne over song lyrics, which crudely referenced US civil rights icon, as well as violence against women, when he was 13 years old.
The Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, gave the keynote address at the awards ceremony, in which he emphasized the strength of young people around the world and encouraged them to continue to raise their voices on such important issues. “Your videos show the meaning and power of solidarity,” Alhendawi said. “This is the kind of message we need today, that migration is not a problem, but a phenomenon that needs to be managed.”
Now that the winners have been announced, the videos will be distributed as Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, the UNAOC High Representative, highlighted. “Immediately after tonight’s event, PLURAL+ 2016 videos will start circulating in multiple platforms across the world. Creating awareness and opportunities for discussion – through youth voices – the very urgent topics of migration, diversity and social inclusion. In addition to screenings at world-renowned festivals and global and local conferences, PLURAL+ videos have now been watched well over one million times on the internet.”
For further information, please contact Amy Muedin, IOM Mission to the United Nations, New York Tel: +1 212 681 7000, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please direct further media requests and questions to the PLURAL+ team, Email: email@example.com, Tel. +1.212-681-7000