United Nations takes Youth and Human Rights Film Festival to Vladikavkaz


From 8 to 10 October 2007, the Youth and Human Rights Film Festival was took place in Vladikavkaz. It was organized by the UN Office in the Russian Federation, the Government of North Ossetia-Alania and the Russian Guild of Film Directors. The first festival of the kind was held in Veliky Novgorod earlier this year.

The United Nations regularly conducts activities and organizes events aimed at raising the awareness of human rights. Recently, it has become more active in Russia’s regions, including in this field, and took the festival to two Russia’s regions – in the North and in the South of its European part. The festival in Vladikavkaz was sponsored by several UN agencies: International Labor Organization (ILO), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UNESCO, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Why the UN has decided to target youth? It is obvious that in a rapidly developing country, such as Russia, the stake is placed on youth. Bringing up a healthy and successful generation is impossible without creating conditions for its human development based on ensuring basic rights: the right to education, medical services, adequate living conditions, a possibility to have a job, and to earn a decent living, etc.

Why a film festival? The format has been chosen as one of the most effective ways of communicating with young people even when we speak about complex issues.

The festival programme in Vladikavkaz included films devoted to various aspects of human rights as well inter-active discussions with members of film crews. During the three days of the festival, the main festival venue, Oktyabr State Cinema Hall, hosted six shows of new Russian and foreign films.

At 3pm on 8 October, the film THE INVISIBLE CHILDREN produced with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was demonstrated. The Head of the UNICEF Office in the North Caucasus, Rached Mustafa, presented the film, which includes stories about the life of children in different countries of the world produced by famous film directors, including Emir Kusturica, Ridley Scott, and John Woo. These novels touch upon such acute issues as crime, family violence, AIDS, poverty, and consequences of military conflicts. Each story leaves its mark making spectators think about the problems we are trying to ignore. Excellent camera and sound work add to the spectacular effect of the film.

At 7 pm, an opening ceremony of the festival with participation of representatives of UN agencies, including those working in the North Caucasus, and filmmakers took place. The ceremony started with a performance by ‘Arfan’ folk dance group. In the evening, a new film by Igor Apasyan, GRAFFITI, was demonstrated. It tells a story of a young artist who prefers practicing in the Russian province and drawing portraits of countryside people to discovering the beauty of European masterpieces. Sergey Potapov, a leading actor of the Moscow Maly Theatre, who played one of the main parts, presented the film.

At 3 pm on 9 October, a foreign film THE TRAIN TICKET was demonstrated within the CINEMA PROTECTS THE RIGHTS OF REFUGEES programme. The film includes three novels by prominent film directors from Italy, England and Iran about different people travelling by one train. Ermanno Olmi, Abbas Kiarostami and Ken Loach filmed stories revealing the character of different nationalities (Italians, Albanians and Scots) in complicated situations that require answers to life’s questions. All characters of THE TRAIN TICKET make different moral choices.

At 7 pm film director Valery Akhadov, well-known for his dramas ‘Who Goes to Truskavets’, ‘It is Not Recommended to Hurt Women’ and others, presented a film GREENHOUSE EFFECT within the CINEMA PROTECTS CHILDRENS’ RIGHTS programme. The film is devoted to the survival of problem children in a big city.

At 3 pm on 10 October, a romantic drama STONE BRAMBLEBERRY, SUMMER TIME by a young filmmaker Dmitry Fedorov was presented in the programme CINEMA FOR EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL. This film tells a first love story of a disabled girl people around, and evens her relatives, have mixed feelings about. The filmmaker reflects on dreams and aspirations of today’s young people.

The film PAVLOV’S DOG shown at 7pm followed by a meeting with film director and leading actor Nikolai IVANOV closed the festival.

On 9 October, a seminar YOUTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS, BRINGING UP A HEALTHY AND SUCCESSFUL GENERATION was held. The aim of the seminar was to train regional journalists in the area of human rights. The interactive discussion with participation of representatives of the local administration, UN agencies and Russian Journalist’ Union touched upon a number of human rights aspects, tolerance and peace building, rights of migrants and displaced persons, children’s rights and ethics issues of its media coverage, the right for equal access to knowledge and education, and the right of young people for work and employment.

During the festival the Cinema Centre lobby hosted a social poster exhibition ‘For Life Without...’, аs well as information stands of UN agencies.

Short films by young filmmakers were also demonstrated at the festival. A film WHILE HE WAS FLYING by a graduate of the Courses of Scriptwriters and Film Directors, Alexander Kessel, representing school of Vladimir Khotinenko, tells us about the fragile soul of a teenage girl who convinces herself that her father she has never met is a hero. Pavel Dunyaev, a VGIK student (school of V.A. Mann, M. Babak), presented a film VOODOO LAND about addiction to computer games.

For additional information, summaries and trailers please visit the official website of the Russian Guild of Film Directors’: www.kinogildia.ru


Films programme


Agenda of the seminar for journalists






123056, Moscow, 13, Vasilievskaya str.

(495) 254 21 00, (495) 251 58 89

email: info@kinogildia.ru