New York — On Friday, 15 December, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced the 2023 recipients of their joint initiative, the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival, during an annual ceremony that took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
A total of 24 films from 18 countries were selected for distinctions by UNAOC and IOM as well as 20 partner organizations based on their powerful and thought-provoking impact related to the themes of migration, diversity and social inclusion. The films originated from Belgium, Brazil, Republic of Cameroon, France, Germany, Guatemala, Iraq, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Spain, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, and the United States of America.
During his welcoming remarks, Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for UNAOC, emphasized how PLURAL+ has become a global platform for fostering the humanistic values of “empathy, understanding, compassion, respect and human dignity…”
“PLURAL+ has a soft spot in my heart. I love all forms of human expressions, especially those expressed through film. Filmmaking is the extraordinary alchemy of capturing emotions, weaving stories and most of all shaping perspectives. It’s the magical realm where the power of imagination meets the art of creation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ms. Ugochi Daniels, IOM’s Deputy Director-General for Operations, praised the young recipients of the 2023 edition of PLURAL+, reminding youth worldwide of the pluralism that defines us and the strength that comes from our differences.
Applauding young filmmakers for creatively addressing the topics of migration and the contribution of migrants into society, social inclusion, diversity and the combating of xenophobia and discrimination, Ms. Daniels noted that “Each film encapsulates a unique perspective, a tale, or a message that transcends boundaries. These short films are not merely cinematic creations; they are powerful narratives that ignite conversations, foster empathy, and challenge our perceptions of the world,” she added.
The young filmmakers selected for their outstanding videos were honoured and acknowledged in the presence of UN officials, youth stakeholders, as well as representatives of media and civil society.
The recipients of the PLURAL+ 2023 International Jury Recognition (Up to 12 Years Old Category) were represented by Mr. Bastein Martin from Belgium for their short film “Bob le Petit Éléphant”, which tells the story of an elephant named “Bob” who wonders why he is so small and why nature has given him such a long trunk.
Ms. Yein Han from the Republic of Korea was the recipient of the PLURAL+2023 International Jury Recognition (13–17 Years Old Category) for her short film “Letters from Us” that captures the sacrifices made by migrants and their families when they move away from their homelands.
The recipient of the PLURAL+2023 International Jury Recognition (18–25 Years Old Category), Mr. Taleabong Boris Alemnge from the Republic of Cameroon, was acknowledged for his spoken word film “Arts and Arms”, which calls for an inclusive and peaceful settlement of grievances through diplomacy as opposed to armed conflict.
The recipients of the PLURAL+2023 Special Recognition for Combating Xenophobia and Discrimination were represented by Mr. Thiago Gomes from Brazil for the music video “Eu Não Sou Bandido”, which depicts the realities of many who suffer racism and xenophobia every day.
Tai Tanzania from the United Republic of Tanzania, represented by Ms. Nuria Madawili, was the recipient of the PLURAL+2023 Special Recognition for Sport for One Humanity for the short film “Najiamini”, which aims to raise awareness about the challenges faced by students with physical disabilities.
The recipients of the PLURAL+2023 Special Recognition for Migrants Contributions to Societies were represented by Ms. Manon Sabrier-Gesrel from France for a short film “Derrière les Mots”, which underlines that behind the prejudices, stereotypes and words associated with migrants, there are real individuals with stories, aspirations and valuable contributions to make to society.
“Art is the language of connection,” reflected Jessy Terrero, one of the International Jury members. at the USA for IOM reception celebrating the 15th edition of the PLURAL+. “I was not happy playing parts that reinforced negative stereotypes on the screen and I did not see people who looked like me on the set. That realization is what inspired me to become a filmmaker,” he added, inviting PLURAL+ recipients to continue using art and challenge stereotypes.
All of the PLURAL+ videos are now available online on the PLURAL+ website and will be disseminated worldwide. To view the selected videos, please visit: https://pluralplus.unaoc.org/plural2023/
Should you have any questions, please contact Ms. Rahma Soliman, Media and Communications Officer at IOM Office to the UN, firstname.lastname@example.org or +1-212-681-7000 (ext. 210) and Mr. Dogan Asik Strategic Partnerships Consultant at UNAOC at email@example.com or +1-212-963-7158.