Documentary film festival on Millennium Development Goals begins
Brussels – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the MDG Achievement Fund and the wider UN family in Brussels are proud partners of the fifth edition of the Millennium International Documentary Film Festival, taking place from 31 May to 9 June in Brussels, Belgium.
The UN, together with the organizers of the festival, seeks to raise awareness of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and sustainable development – topics often not very high on the agenda of people outside the development world.
In a video message for the 2013 edition of the Millennium International Documentary Film Festival, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Antonio Banderas says the festival has an impressive panel of films that puts a human face on the MDGs. Banderas adds: "Documentary films inspire us, they inspire change, they mobilize and unite us around our common goal: a better world for all of us."
The Millennium International Documentary Film Festival was created in 2008 and had its first edition in 2009. It is unique because its programming is devoted to the eight MDGs and related social, cultural and environmental issues. The festival screens documentaries from all over the world. This year more than 100 films from 50 countries will be shown, among them Brazil, Senegal, China, Turkey or DR Congo.
The festival supports documentary filmmakers who persistently portray the world in all its richness and complexity. Since its first edition, the organizers proved that high quality documentaries can help people better understand the world and contribute to the reflection on how societies can deal with major issues in a better way. Documentary films are seen as strong and subtle communication tools that can help raise awareness for important issues.
The festival grew into becoming an international event, a real forum and meeting center for major issues related to development. It brings together committed filmmakers, scientists, intellectuals, policy makers, lobbyists, journalists and an international public.
Last year 12,600 people attended the 4th edition of the festival. The UNDP’s Award for Best Development Message was given to “Up in Smoke”, a documentary that follows three years in the life and work of the British scientist Mike Hands, who dedicated 25 years of his life to create a “perfect” sustainable farming technique to replace slash and burn farming in Equatorial rainforests.
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