On February 20, the LAMPA International Film Festival of socially oriented short films, videos and social advertising presented the best short films on inclusion at the UN Headquarters. The LAMPA International Film Festival Retrospective was held to commemorate the World Day of Social Justice.
According to Mr. Liu Zhenmin, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations considers that the pursuit of social justice for all is at the core of its global mission to promote development and human dignity. “To create and sustain inclusive societies, it is critical that all members of society, regardless of gender, age, status, racial, ethnic or religious background, are able and motivated to participate in civic, social, economic and political activities, both at the local and national levels,” Mr. Liu Zhenmin noted in his welcoming address.
On February 19, in advance of the film screenings of the LAMPA Film Festival, UN delegates and participants of the LAMPA Film Festival discussed the issues of expanding and popularising inclusion through social impact films. The relevance of promoting equality and inclusion by the language of cinema was noted by Anton Bogdanov, Jury member of the LAMPA Film Festival, сinema and theatre actor, filmmaker. At the United Nations Anton presented his new film project – a teaser for a full-length film under the working title “I am the only normal”. “The plot of the film is about teenagers with different physical and mental abilities who learn to live together and become friends. Shooting of the film will take place this summer,” Anton Bogdanov added.
Olga Zubkova, Author and chairwoman of the Organising Committee of the LAMPA Film Festival, noted the contribution that LAMPA Film Festival makes to the UN Agenda: “This year the Organising Committee of the LAMPA Film Festival has introduced a new nomination “World without war” that is dedicated to the anniversary of the end of World War II and the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. The nomination will be focused on film works about international friendship, the ideas of “world peace”, cooperation of the countries in order to prevent military conflicts.”
Directors of social impact films from different countries, famous actors, public figures, socially responsible business companies supporting the expansion of inclusion at the local and international levels participated in the event of the LAMPA International Film Festival at the UN Headquarters. Irina Zhukova, Chairwoman of the National Council for Corporate Volunteering, Director CSR and Sustainability, Philip Morris International in Russia, mentioned: “The theme of goodness, selfless support is one of the key topics in the film works of the LAMPA International Film Festival. The same ideas and goals are at the core of the volunteer movement. Undoubtedly, such art is a strong motivator, it gives the opportunity to look at our world in a different way and encourages people to act, to make the world a better place. It is very valuable for me, as the leader of the National Council for Corporate Volunteering.”
Inspirational film stories about social activists, volunteers and philanthropists filmed by professional documentarians and representatives of amateur studios from different countries were presented at the UN Headquarters. The heroes of the films prove by their example that there is nothing impossible, that even one person can make the world a better place. Katerina Shpitsa, Ambassador of the LAMPA International Film Festival, famous Russian actress, explained the reasons why the LAMPA Film Festival hosts screenings at the international venues: “By supporting the traditions of retrospective screenings, the LAMPA International Film Festival blurs the boundaries between nations, cultures and political regimes. After sitting in one room and watching a minute video about the problem of preserving water resources or tolerant attitude towards people with disabilities, we actually become friends and like-minded people who share values that are understandable for everyone.”
Isabella Spadone, filmmaker of the social video “Super Grandma” from the United States of America, and Roberto Rotili and Alessandro Palessi, directors of the short film “Backbeat” from Italy, became the winners of the LAMPA International Film Festival and were awarded with a special prize of the Film Festival. When receiving the award, Isabella Spadone remarked: “Recognition of the LAMPA Film Festival inspires us to tell our stories and continue to act.” The girl’s grandmother is in a wheelchair. She was the one who taught Isabella to overcome any obstacles and move towards her goals. Being a student of the California Institute of the Arts, Isabella decided to create a story about the friendship of grandmother and granddaughter for her family. Young filmmaker never expected her film work to be shown at the United Nations.
All guests and UN staff will be able to see the films of the winners of the LAMPA Film Festival over the years within the framework of the exhibition “Brighter than a movie” located at the UN Headquarters. When opening the exhibition, Mr. Dmitry Polyanskiy, First Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations emphasised: “The film work of young filmmakers from different countries, who are seeking to show the lives of ordinary people, will be presented to your attention. Their new approach to social problems helps to gain a better understanding of the needs and interests of every citizen. Such educational activities play an important role in mutual understanding and respect in society that are one of the determining conditions for social inclusion of all people.” You just need your phone to be able to watch films as all film posters have a special QR code. “Brighter than a movie!” exhibition of online-theatre will be placed at the UN Headquarters until the end of February.
The LAMPA International Film Festival Retrospective was organised at the United Nations Headquarters with support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, and Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund.
LAMPA is an internationally recognised cinematic platform that positions volunteerism and charity through the language of cinema. During the implementation of the Film Festival (2014-2019), more than 100,000 people participated in the project. To date, the Film Festival’s Collection has 8482 works from 132 countries. LAMPA Film Festival’s screenings are held in different countries. In 2018, the Film Festival was presented at the United Nations Office at Geneva and was included to the UN Annual Report as an important event.
Contact person: Iuliia Epishina
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