PLURAL+ youth videos screened at Hamptons International Film Festival

News Hour:

For the second year running, the Hamptons International Film Festival last week (07/10) hosted middle and high school students and educators from across New York for a program addressing issues of migration, forced displacement, social inclusion, female empowerment and diversity. The students viewed videos produced by young people from countries such as Syria, US, UK, Belgium, Philippines and others, which had been selected for PLURAL+ Awards in 2015.

PLURAL+ is a youth-produced international video festival, which encourages young people to explore migration through social inclusion and diversity and helps them share their creative vision with the world. A joint initiative between the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and IOM, with the support of many international partners, PLURAL+ seeks to amplify young voices globally addressing challenges and opportunities in their communities.

Every year, young people are invited to submit short videos addressing PLURAL+ related topics. The international Jury and PLURAL+ Partners select videos for awards. Winning videos are distributed through a variety of platforms and networks and are screened at numerous festivals worldwide, including the Hamptons International Film Festival.

The Hamptons International Film Festival was founded to celebrate independent film – long, short, fiction and documentary – and to introduce a unique and varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to their audiences. The festival is committed to exhibiting films that express fresh voices and differing global perspectives, with the hope that these programs will enlighten audiences, provide invaluable exposure for filmmakers and present inspired entertainment for all.

“We are delighted to expand our ongoing local student initiatives through our partnership with the UNAOC and IOM. It is part of our mission to enlighten our audiences with issues happening both worldwide and within our own backyards,” said Hamptons International Film Festival Executive Director Anne Chaisson.

“The art of film has always been a catalyst in change for a better world and understanding the human condition, and these films provide the basis for open discussion, plus informative curricula for the classroom.”

Following the screening, representatives from the UNAOC and IOM, as well as PLURAL+ winners Awais Ali (Inspire) and Theseus Roche (a representative from Manhattan Youth, which facilitated the making of Secret Self) took part in a Q&A with the students. Awais Ali encouraged all young people to tell their story, regardless of whether they feel like a filmmaker.

The students at East Hampton Middle School were so inspired by last year’s edition of this program that 60 seventh-graders and their teachers formed a club to make their own films about migration, diversity and acceptance.

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