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PLURAL+ 2010 Awards

Young filmmakers from India and Austria come to NYC to accept award from United Nations-sponsored youth video festival on migration and social inclusion

Every day the news is filled with coverage of hot button issues like migration and cultural polarization. Youth around the globe have taken notice and are speaking out about these issues. They picked up video cameras and trained their lenses on the challenges of diversity and integration in their communities and presented a vision of a world free of prejudice, discrimination and intolerance for the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival which will hold its awards ceremony on Nov. 12, 2010 from 6-8 p.m. at the Paley Center for Media in New York (25 West 52nd St.).

PLURAL+ provides a platform for young people globally, ages nine to 25, to share their personal experiences, views, questions and hopes regarding issues such as migration, cultural polarization and identity. This year, the video shorts (one to five minutes in length) arrived from more than 40 countries representing a range of topics including: the plight of youth refugees in Austria; the life of Roma girls in Slovenia; migrants’ rights in Ecuador; and a child's vision for a more inclusive India. International Jury Award finalists were selected in September for three distinct age categories; 9-12, 13-17, and 18-25 years old.

“My video is about how I see diversity,” said 10-year-old Aarohi Mahesh Mehendale, winner of the PLURAL + International Jury Award (Age 9-12). “It would be amazing if we could live in peace and harmony and accept differences. I chose to do the video because I felt strongly about the topic.”

In its second year, the PLURAL + Youth Video Festival attracted an outstanding group of entries that left a lasting impression with this year’s judges. “It has been a great learning experience to watch all the videos,” said Naveen Qayyum filmmaker and jury member. “Each video is a brilliant effort on its own and raises important issues…I appreciate your efforts as a team to organize this festival, which acknowledges young people as key actors in dialogue, promoting diversity from their own perspectives and realities.”

Sebastian Kraner a 19-year-old university student from Austria and a 2010 award winner shot his video during nine months of alternative service at a home for 200 minors seeking asylum in Austria. Kraner said of his experience “…I learned that there are young people that are intelligent but can't do what they want or get the education they want.”

Developed by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the PLURAL + Youth Video Festival is truly a unique platform. The three International Jury Award Winners hail from different corners of the world and present a diverse set of topics. The international jury includes award-winning filmmakers Idrissa Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso), Naveen Qayyum (Pakistan), Fernand Melgar (Switzerland), US-Ethiopian author Maaza Mengiste, and Brazilian young media professional Louise Peres.

The PLURAL+ 2010 Youth Video Festival Awards Ceremony will be emceed by U.S. State Department Cultural Envoy/ Hip-Hop Ambassador and Founder of the Global Block Foundation Hon. George "Rithm" Martinez.

An initiative of the UNAOC and the IOM, PLURAL + is a collaboration with 27 other organizations, including United Nations TV, CHINH India, UNICEF, BaKaFORUM, UNESCO Audio-Visual E-Platform, Anna Lindh Foundation, Center for Migration Studies of New York, Cine y Salud Spain, AlJadeed TV, COPEAM, Royal Film Commission of Jordan, Fundacio Forum Universal Cultures, International Year of Youth, Media Education Center of Belgrade, NEXOSAlianza , Respect Magazine, Paley Center for Media, RedUNIAL, Roots & Routes, Without Borders Film Festival, SIGNIS, Sunchild Environmental Festival, Turkish Cultural Center of New York, and Waging Non Violence. This year PLURAL + is also partnering with dotSUB which will allow all awarded videos to be subtitled real time on the Internet. The winning videos will be packaged into the PLURAL+ 2010 Program to be broadcast and presented at a number of international conferences, film and video festivals.

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) aims to bridge the world’s divides and to build trust and understanding across cultures and communities worldwide through a variety of initiatives. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) acts together with its partners in the international community to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants; encourage social and economic development through migration; assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management, and advance understanding of migration issues.

The PLURAL + 2010 Awards Ceremony will be held at the Paley Center for Media (25 West 52 Street, New York NY 10019) on November 12th at 6:00-8:00 PM.

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