The countries from Latin America and the Caribbean together with UNESCO are launching an Online Indigenous Film Festival (OIFF) within the context of the International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019 (IYIL2019) and of the upcoming 4th Latin American and the Caribbean Week, that will take place on 3 – 7 June 2019 at UNESCO Headquarters (Paris, France).
The region of Latin America and the Caribbean is culturally and linguistically diverse. Indigenous languages equip speakers with an invaluable skillset and expertise in different domains, enabling them to engage in constructive, dynamic and creative societal development. They have the potential to benefit humanity as a whole, not only local populations.
On the occasion of the celebration of Latin American and the Caribbean Week, over two weeks (3-14 June 2019), more than 80 films produced by professional filmmakers from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico and Peru will be released on the IYIL2019 website, as well as on the associated social media Channels and the dedicated Playlist on the UNESCO YouTube Channel.
The films will be available in Spanish and indigenous languages spoken in the LAC region, including Damana (Pueblo wiwa), Kamëntsá, Awápit, Namtrik (Pueblo Misak), Nasa yuwe, Mojeño Ignaciano, Chacobo, Chiquitano, Kalapalo, Matlatzinca, Tojolabal, Tojono, Otomí, Waorani, Movima, Machineri, Cavineño, Huasteco, Yaqui, Tseltal, Huichol, Qhas Qut Suñi Urus, Uru Chipaya, Moré, Tsimane, Ch’ol, Mayo, Purépecha, Seri, Cucapá, Weenhayek, Náhuatl, Nasa yuwe, Guaraní, Mosenten Beni, Kayabi/Kawaiwete, Millcayac, Matapi, Tinigua, Tehuelche, Guaná, Chaná, Uru uchumataqu, Tapiete, Awajún, Quechua, Amahuaca, Taushiro, Sapanish, and others. Subtitles in English and/or Spanish are provided.
Every day around 10 to 15 films, of different lengths, will be released according to a schedule arranged around thematic areas: indigenous knowledge of the environment, education, sustainable production and consumption, preservation of cultural and natural heritage, the role of indigenous women.
The key message that UNESCO aims to put forward is that indigenous languages and their associated thought systems represent a valuable source of knowledge for sustainable development, peace building and reconciliation processes in society. These languages hold significant information in the fields of the environment, education, the economy, and social and political life. As captured by the filmmakers, indigenous knowledge can provide original solutions to contemporary challenges, including climate change. Indeed, indigenous people play a very important role in the preservation of natural areas, as well as for building peace and ensuring reconciliation.
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