CIAK JUNIOR turns children from viewers into performers for a better world

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© UNESCO

Since 1989, the CIAK JUNIOR international Film Festival has offered young people a unique platform for expression and communication. Every year, it calls on youth from Europe and around the world to see through the creation of an audio-visual product from start to finish. This year’s festival is no exception. It tackles an issue that is of crucial importance to UNESCO: our cultural diversity - a shared heritage of humanity.

In celebrating and promoting the festival, UNESCO recognises it as an essential tool to promote peace and sustainable development, which can and must be increasingly mobilized to overcome various challenges in the fight against poverty, gender equality, education, human rights, environmental protection and water resources of the planet.

These are issues to which the CIAK JUNIOR Festival has always attached great importance, and the films that the children produce in the context of the festival each year speak clearly of their concerns, their daily challenges, their hopes and their readiness to enact the measures that they believe are needed to produce a fairer, peaceful, supportive – in short, more liveable – world.

This year’s edition of the CIAK JUNIOR international Film Festival, the 26th, will take place in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, from 29-30 May 2015. It is organized by Gruppo Alcuni with the support of the UNESCO Venice Office, the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Veneto region and the city of Treviso. Philippe Pypaert, coordinator of the Science Unit of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), will join the International Jury reviewing the films in competition, and assign the UNESCO Venice Office's special recognition to the short film which best expresses the mission and mandate of the Organization.

10 broadcasters from 9 countries, including France, Germany, South Africa, China and Israel, will participate and discuss television for teens, watch films from all over the world, award CIAK JUNIOR prizes, but mostly enjoy this unique opportunity to compare the experiences of students and teachers from different countries. A special area dedicated to the "International Award for Audiovisual programme for the education of children" will reward the best programmes that help young people gain the knowledge and critical thinking necessary to navigate the complexities of the world we live in.

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On the occasion of its 70th anniversary, but also as part of its contribution to EXPO 2015, UNESCO asks children to engage specifically with the issues that are, now more than ever before, at the heart of its mandate: Education to global citizenship: inclusive, fair, sustainable and responsible; Respect for of our common heritage: learning from the past for a better present; Living in creative and sustainable cities; Information and freedom of expression in the age of social networks; Climate change and its effects on the oceans, biodiversity and the water resources of the planet.