On Tuesday, 22 November, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced the 2022 recipients of their joint initiative, the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival, during an annual ceremony within the framework of the 9th UNAOC Global Forum, in Fez, Kingdom of Morocco.
During his keynote remarks at the closing of the ceremony, Mr. António Vitorino, Director-General of IOM, congratulated the PLURAL+ recipients, calling on young people around the world to promote meaningful messages and defend worthy causes.
“We are in our 14th year of collaboration with our friend and partner UNAOC for the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival,” IOM DG Vitorino noted. “We share their commitment to promote the benefits of safe migration, to better the inclusion of migrants, and particularly young migrants, and to improve the misleading narratives that generate negative perceptions of migrants, and which are, concerningly, too often popularized in contemporary media,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for UNAOC, commended the recipients for their outstanding videos following the event. “In this global context, we cannot allow people to become estranged from one another, influenced by divisive rhetoric and simplistic approaches to complex realities. If we can respond appropriately to these challenges, we have an opportunity to advance towards the world of One Humanity — a world in which global citizens are empowered to contribute to our societies without being hampered by xenophobia, discrimination, or social exclusion,” he emphasized.
The PLURAL+ International Jury Recognitions, as well as the UNAOC-IOM Special Recognitions, were presented during the first part of the event. The young recipients each presented their videos, recounting the inspiration and motivation behind their short films. The filmmakers also expressed their views on the issues related to migration, the importance of inclusion and solidarity, as well as the need to accept and respect one another.
The recipients of the PLURAL+ International Jury Recognition for up to 12 years old category were represented by Diego López from Spain for their film “Adventure in other seas”, a story that raises awareness about migration, diversity and social inclusion through a poetic underwater animated feature.
The recipient of the PLURAL+ International Jury Recognition for 13 to 17 years old category was Shua Alatriste, of the United States, for the film “Talking Murals”, which highlights the many talented black artists in New York City and the impact of their work on society.
The recipient of the PLURAL+ International Jury Recognition for 18 to 25 years old category was Oladele Bello from Nigeria for his film “Ghost”, a powerful production exploring the reasons and motivations behind the journeys of migrants.
The three 2022 PLURAL+ Special Recognitions are Prevention of Xenophobia, which went to “Xenophobia” by Kesia Prates de Amorim from Brazil; Peace and Solidarity, conferred to Eldor Kudratillayev of Uzbekistan for “World and Me”; and finally, #forSafeWorship, which went to Larissa Santos Oliveira of Brazil for “The beauty of coexistence”.
The ceremony was an opportunity for the young filmmakers to get their message across. Diego, the youngest recipient at age 11, elaborated on his short film on social inclusion as depicted by an animation in the sea: “First [we should] put ourselves in the place of the people who are crossing the sea; and second, [we should] contribute to the new community that we migrate to. And most importantly, we [need to] learn that we [should] be good to our family.”
The recognition ceremony culminated with a panel discussion on balancing migration narratives through programming, featuring four of the six members of the PLURAL+2022 International Jury: Ms. Viviane Ogou Corbi, founder of Puerta de África and human and civil rights activist; Mr. Ado Hasanovic, international film director; Mr. Stefano Castro, filmmaker and founder of El Parque Collective; and Mr. Walid Alnabahin, human rights activist and founder of the MediaShow Initiative.
In total, twenty young filmmakers were recognized by PLURAL+ and Partner Organizations for their powerful videos in 2022. All of the PLURAL+ videos are now available online on the PLURAL+ website and will be disseminated worldwide.