I am thrilled to introduce the 9th annual Global Voices Film Festival. The festival is presented by UNA-GB and the Harvard Kennedy School N.E. Alumni Association and will screen powerful international documentaries during 4 days in late September/early October.
The Global Voices Film Festival aims to bring documentaries focused on global issues such as human rights, environmental issues, peace and security and women’s rights to the Boston community. It’s an annual event and draws a diverse audience from college students and local residents to those in Boston’s international community.
The preparation for the festival is now underway, with our screening committee viewing submitted films by talented moviemakers.
To find more information on the festival prep, keep following this blog. You can also follow UNA-GB on twitter, facebook and on the UNA-GB website. You can expect to see postings from UNA-GB staff, interns, film festival committee members, filmmakers and others in the upcoming weeks.
Until next time,
Just as a little introduction, my name is Hannah Wheeler, and I’m a Programs and Membership intern for the summer at the UNA-GB. I’m originally from a small town in Pennsylvania and am currently studying International Studies and Middle Eastern studies at Boston College.
The official Film Festival committee recently held the first screening of potential documentaries for the Global Voices Film Festival this year. Although I don’t want to give anything away, we have a wide variety of content to choose from this year. So far, we’ve seen movies that covered AIDS, Street children, Rape, Russian human rights, and even more to come.
A difficult aspect in choosing these films is to balance quality and content. For example, we may find a really obscure, fascinating topic that may not be as well-known by the general public, but if the filming or delivery doesn’t reel in the audience and get them teetering on the edges of their seats–or even vaguely interested, it may not be the best choice. If we have a film that covers a topic the audience thinks (keyword “thinks”) they know all about, but attacks it in a different angle and films it in a way the audience is going to eat up–then we’ve got a possible pick. With so many films to choose from, it can get pretty difficult to make the cuts. In addition, we have to make sure that the films maintain that ‘Global Voice’. It has to address issues not just in America, not just in one specific country, but border to border. It has to look at the broader scale, how human rights of one country affect the rest of the world.
It is a very interesting process and we’ll make sure to keep you updated with the screening process!
My name is Christina and I’m a program intern this summer at UNA-GB. I am from New York and currently attend Boston College as an undergraduate student studying International Studies and Hispanic Studies.
In the upcoming months myself and other UNA-GB interns will be creating new blog posts for the 9th annual Global Voices Film Festival. Please continue to check this blog for new posts and updates about the festival. In my next post I will talk a little more about the festival and where we are in preparation for the festival.
I will write back soon!
Thanks to everybody who came to the Global Voices Film Festival and made the event a great success!
We were impressed by the strong turnout, especially at the feature films, Tapped, Tea on the Axis of Evil, and My Neighbor, My Killer. Professionals, professors, and students of all ages came out to enjoy international films and participate in lively discussions and debates.
Thursday’s opening of the festival with the film Tapped, a documentary about the truth of the bottled water industry, was overwhelmingly popular and Sunday’s closing forum was especially exciting. Panelists from both of the films featured that day—My Neighbor, My Killer and Soldiers of Peace—came together to debate ideas of peace building.
And although the features were excellent and well-received, size doesn’t always matter—Saturday’s shorts program was equally as exciting. The selected shorts and global shorts offered fascinating peeks into the lives of others around the world. Special recognition goes out again to the short film, Home Is Where You Find It, about AIDs orphans in Mozambique and its director Neil Baer, who joined us for a free screening and discussion of the film prior to the festival.
Thanks again to all who joined us for the program—we already can’t wait until next year.
The UNA-GB team
While it’s not exactly related to the film festival, as we’re focusing on Human Rights and Cultural Heritage at the festival today, I wanted to pass along this statement from UNA-USA President Tom Miller in recognition of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize…
See you in Harvard!
UNA-USA Statement on 2009 Nobel Peace Prize
Oct. 9, 2009 — Ambassador Thomas J. Miller, president of the United Nations Association of the USA, has issued the following statement on the Nobel Committee’s awarding of the 2009 Peace Prize to President Barack Obama.
The United Nations Association of the USA congratulates President Barack Obama for winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. During his term in office so far, the president of the United States has demonstrated a strong commitment to international cooperation and problem-solving. His speech on Sept. 23 to delegates at the opening of the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly, as well as his chairmanship of a summit-level meeting on Sept. 24 at the Security Council on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament underscore the president’s belief that solving global challenges requires global responses.
“We very much agree with the Nobel Committee’s view that President Obama has ‘created a new climate in international politics,’ ” said UNA-USA President Thomas J. Miller. In addition, Miller cited Obama’s address to the UN in which the president emphasized the potential of the UN, saying, “We have sought in word and deed a new era of engagement with the world.”
Read UNA-USA’s op-ed on Sept. 22, 2009, in the International Herald Tribune/New York Times titled “Do as I Do Diplomacy,” calling on President Obama to lead by example.
What a great way to kick-off next weekend’s Global Voices Film Festival! The preview party was a success and a hopeful predictor of the turn-out for the festival approaching! With a live band playing over discussions of the films, special events, and larger affairs, a spirited mood filled the Goethe Institute in Boston last night.
The guests attending the party ranged from college students to older generation artistic and global enthusiasts. The attendees previewed two shorts: one capturing the voice of an in-mate exposing his concern of equal rights for in-mates to President Obama and the other, Tolibu Dibu Datchu, calling attention to the sounds of Bulgarian music. Along with the shorts, director Jean Marie of Tea on the Axis of Evil (a film being shown at Global Voices), gave a wonderful speech.
If you missed out on last night’s event don’t worry, you are invited to a FREE screening of Home is Where You Find It by film-maker Neil Baer! This event is open to the public and it takes place on Oct. 4th at 6pm in the Weiner Auditorium of the Kennedy School at Harvard University.
Neil Baer, executive producer of Law & Order: SVU and E, will share his reflections on the ongoing project of Home is Where You Find It, a film made by a 16-year old AIDS orphan from Mozambique who has one powerful story to tell.
His film, Home is Where You Find It, is just one fine example of the documentaries featured in this year’s festival. Now in its eighth year, the Global Voices Film Festival will showcase documentaries by talented filmmakers around the world.
We hope that more people and more people are able to join us for this FREE screening and for next weekend’s Global Voices Film Festival! Come and experience the power of story-telling from the incredible voices of those across the globe.
We hope to share this opportunity with you!
All the best,
Maybe one of the hardest things about the early selection process for this festival was seeing so many films that we loved, but weren’t quite the right fit for Global Voices. One of the best things about the late stages of festival prep is being able to look clips from the films selected and believe strongly that they’ll spark the kind of discussion and engagement that we’ve hoped for all along.
On that note… take a look:
Trailer for Tapped (filmmaker attending)
Interview with Anne Aghion (attending), director of My Neighbor, My Killer
See you soon!