“Ash and Money” opens 2014 edition of the Millenium MDG Festival
Trailer of ‘Ash and Money’
The opening ceremony of the sixth edition of the international Millenium documentary film festival, on 3 April, featured “Ash and Money”, an Estonian movie directed by Tiit Ojasoo and Ene-Liis Semper about the state of affairs in democracy, the media and grass-roots society.
The movie is set in March 2010 when the popular “NO99 Theatre” announced that it would attempt to create a new successful and energetic super-party, “Unified Estonia”, through commonly used political communication tricks. This documentary highlights the risks related to the increase in populist politics in modern European societies, and the lack of active political participation by citizens.
Mr. Ojasoo, the director and main character of the movie, was present at the event. He highlighted that the NO99 initiative "rocked the country" and helped galvanize public opinion on the state of the Estonian democracy.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the UN/UNDP Director, Mr. Antonio Vigilante, mentioned that the festival, through the art of documentary film, "makes the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be perceived for what they really are - the quest for a dignified life for all humanity". He also said that "a good documentary can give a human face, a real life context to the MDGs".
The film festival is an independent initiative that seeks to raise awareness of the MDGs and Sustainable Development, a topic that is often not very high on the agenda of many people. The first festival was held in 2009 and its unique programming devoted to the eight MDGs relates to core social, economic, cultural and environmental issues of global concern. It screens documentaries from all corners of the world
After 5 years, the festival has become an international event, and dynamic forum for major development issues. It brings together committed filmmakers, scientists, intellectuals, policy makers, lobbyists, journalists and an international public.
The 2013 edition of the festival screened nearly 70 films portraying various aspects of the MDGs, such as health, education and human rights related themes. The festival was attended by 13,500 people. 15 high-quality documentaries competed for 8 MDG-related awards, from which the film “A World Not Ours”, about the condition of Palestine refugees in Lebanon, won the grand award of the Festival – the “Objectif d’Or”. The film, “The Road to Silverstone”, also relating to the on-going Palestine refugee situation, received the “Objectif d’Argent”, a prize for the best development message awarded by UNDP.
The 2014 festival will screen about 50 films from around the world during the week-long event. Over 800 films were submitted to this year’s festival. An international jury composed of high-level cinema professionals, journalists and development officials has short listed 13 films for rewards in 8 categories.
This year’s Festival will devote particular attention to the MDG 8 on the development of a global partnership for development, and North-South collaboration towards the attainment of the MDGs. The film programme will attempt to identify the different aspects of the North-South relations that are evolving and undergoing many changes.
UNDP Brussels and and the wider UN family in Brussels have been proud partners of the Millenium International Documentary Film Festival, that takes place every year in Brussels since 2009.