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BigLogo.gif UN Member States on the Record
Addressing global issues through documentaries
14 May 2009 / 03:25

[Dateline: New York | Author: iSeek]

envisionA new documentary film forum in New York will allow attendees to look through the lens of documentary films that bring urgent issues like violence against women, extreme poverty, and armed conflict into sharp focus.

The Millennium Development Goals-focused event called “Envision: Addressing Global Issues through Documentaries” is the result of collaboration between the non-profit Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) and the Department of Public Information (DPI) and is taking place 14-15 May at the Directors’ Guild of America theatre. 

DPI Under-Secretary-General Kiyo Akasaka will introduce Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon who will make opening remarks.

The forum will also feature audience discussions led by fashion icon and maternal health advocate Christy Turlington Burns and Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme, director Mira Nair as well as a performance by UNICEF Spokesperson and Tony Award-winning playwright/performer Sarah Jones.

This year, special attention will be given to the MDGs and their impact on women, and documentaries focusing on micro-credit, child abuse, peace and reconciliation and women in traditional societies will be shown. 

Stories from Iran, Liberia, South Africa and South Asian communities in the United States are included.

One of the films, Rough Aunties , based on a women’s non-profit organization in Durban, South Africa won the World Cinema Jury Prize for Documentary in the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

Another film, Pray the Devil Back to Hell ,  produced by Walt Disney’s granddaughter Abigail Disney focuses on the role of women in Liberia’s peace process. It received a prize for Best Documentary Feature in the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Organizers hope “Envision” will become an annual destination in New York City uniting the international filmmaking community, entrepreneurs, public policy makers, NGOs, and the general public with UN representatives.

For a complete schedule of events and ticket information, visit

CCOIThe UN’s participation in the Envision event is the latest project of the Secretary-General’s Creative Community Outreach Initiative (CCOI), which was launched earlier this year.  

The mission of CCOI is to highlight critical global issues through collaborations with the film and television industries and to act as a liaison between the UN and producers, directors, writers, and new media professionals seeking a working relationship with the UN.