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IOM - International Organization for Migration

11/14/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/13/2019 21:38

Young Filmmakers from Spain, Mexico and Jordan Win Top Awards at PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival 2019

New York - Young filmmakers from Spain, Mexico and Jordan whose films covered the themes of migration, diversity, social inclusion, and the prevention of xenophobia won the top awards at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)'s 11th Awards Ceremony of the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, yesterday (13/11).

With filmmakers ranging in age from seven to 25, the PLURAL+ 2019 International Jury selected three videos for the top awards: Seeking Refuge (Spain) which follows the story of a young refugee girl as she tries to adapt to life in a new country; Tags (Mexico) which explores the issues of discrimination and pre-conceived notions; and We are Enough: A Message of Girl Empowerment (Jordan) which examines the expectations placed upon women and girls by society.

In addition, the IOM-UNAOC Award for the Prevention of Xenophobia went to the film Brazilian, But Not Soccer Player (Brazil) by Patrick Melo, which addresses with humour the issue of stereotypes against people from different cities, countries, and cultures.

This year, 25 videos out of a record 1,200+ submissions from almost 70 countries received awards. Young filmmakers came to New York from all corners of the world and had the opportunity to screen their films and say a few words to an audience of more than 200, which included Ambassadors, UN representatives, journalists, filmmakers, and youth. The remaining 21 finalists received awards from the many partner organizations of PLURAL+.

IOM Director General, António Vitorino, and the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Miguel Ángel Moratinos delivered opening remarks and presented awards to the young filmmakers.

IOM DG Vitorino said, 'Today, we recognize two powerful forces - youth and film. Combined, they hold the power to bring about positive change, to shift divisive narratives, to promote peace and dialogue - put simply, to make a better world.'

He added, 'The videos that we will screen today are evidence of the resilience of young people. These youth filmmakers have not allowed the negative narratives of migration - so popularized in contemporary media - to rob them of their empathy.'

For the past 11 years, Plural+ has received over than 3,000 video entries from more than 110 countries. Winning videos have been screened at festivals, in schools and at conferences, as well as streamed online and broadcast on television networks around the world.

Watch webcast of the event here.

Watch PLURAL+2019 winning videos here.

View social media coverage on IOM NY and PLURAL+ Twitter accounts.

For more information, please contact Joseph Held at [email protected] and Rahma Gamil Soliman at [email protected]