Building peace in the minds of men and women

CIAK JUNIOR, Cinema made by children, celebrates 25 years with UNESCO



The 25th Edition of the CIAK JUNIOR international Film Festival will take place in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, from 29-31 May 2014. Since 1989, the event offers young people a unique platform of expression and communication. This year’s edition 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 Cortina d’Ampezzo.

On 30 May, Yolanda Valle-Neff, Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), will join the International Jury reviewing the films in competition at this year’s Festival. She will also assign a UNESCO special recognition to the short film which best expresses the mission and mandate of the Organization.

UNESCO recognizes the fundamental role that young people play in the implementation of the Organization’s mission, particularly in promoting sustainable development within education, intercultural dialogue, the management of natural resources (especially water) and communication. In a rapidly changing world, this entails the need to learn and to carefully evaluate the state of the planet and, most importantly, to accept and adapt behaviour and lifestyles. With their energy, sensitivity and creativity, youth often demonstrate that they are willing to accept these challenges and to come up with concrete solutions for sustainable development.

Once a year, CIAK Junior calls upon youth from Europe and around the world to create an audio-visual product from start to finish. Young participants present films which clearly set out their concerns, the daily challenges they face, their hopes and their willingness to suggest changes which they think need to be addressed to bring about a more equitable, peaceful, stable world - in other words, a more liveable world.

“Our cultural diversity is a heritage shared by all humanity, and in celebrating and promoting it, UNESCO considers this diversity to be a fundamental tool in promoting peace and sustainable development. The adoption of a United Nations General Assembly Resolution in such a direction (December 2013) is also an invitation to further use this potential in various challenges such as the fight against poverty, equality of the sexes, education, intercultural dialogue, human rights, protection of the environment or of the planet’s water resources.” , said  Yolanda Valle-Neff.

During its first 25 years, these have been issues to which the Festival has always paid great attention. UNESCO recognizes that it is of crucial importance that we all learn to live, in a peaceful and responsible manner, within the confines of the only planet at our disposal –  Earth – and in doing so make a considerable contribution to the global struggle undertaken during the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

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In addition to its support of CIAK Junior over the years, the UNESCO Venice Office continues to successfully collaborate with Gruppo Alcuni and, within the second cartoon series of the H2Ooooh! Initiative, it encourages young people around the world to create and share their own stories on how to better safeguard and protect the precious natural resource of water. The promotion of the Initiative will see new developments in Venice during the Expo 2015.