Stanford, California

e are delighted to announce the 11th United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF), originally conceived to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was created with the help of members of the Stanford Film Society and United Nations Association Midpeninsula Chapter, a grassroots, community-based, nonprofit organization, and has continued to grow ever since. The 11th UNAFF will be held from October 19-26, 2008 at Stanford University including screenings in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and San Francisco.

Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 11th annual United Nations Association Film Festival has chosen the theme BLUE PLANET, GREEN PLANET to reflect the myriad of problems we encounter living on our ‘Blue Planet’ and to seek awareness and solutions—through film—to better our lives and become a ‘Green Planet.’

UNAFF celebrates the power of films and videos dealing with human rights, environmental themes, women’s issues, protection of refugees, homelessness, racism, disease control, universal education, war and peace. UNAFF screened some of the most awarded and talked about documentaries in the industry including five that went on to win Academy Awards (Panama Deception, Thoth, The Blood of Yingzhou District, Freeheld and Taxi to the Dark Side) and eleven that were nominated (Regret to Inform, Genghis Blues, Long Night’s Journey Into Day, LaLee’s Kin: The Legacy of Cotton, Promises, Daughter from Danang, When Abortion was Illegal, Twist of Faith, God Sleeps in Rwanda, War/Dance and Salim Baba). Documentaries often elicit a very personal, emotional response that encourages dialogue and action by humanizing global and local problems. To further this goal, UNAFF hosts academics and filmmakers from around the world to discuss the topics in the films with the audience, groups and individuals, many of whom are often separated by geography, ethnicity and economic constraints.

Over four hundred and forty submissions from all over the world have been carefully reviewed for the 11th annual UNAFF. The jury has selected forty-one films to be presented at this year’s festival. The documentaries selected showcase topics from Afghanistan, Argentina, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Congo, Croatia, Ecuador, Egypt, Kenya, Kosovo, France, Germany, India, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Liberia, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, North Korea, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Switzerland, the UK, the US and Vietnam.

Encouraged by an overwhelmingly positive response from the audience and the media, we established a Traveling Film Festival, which has taken place in San Francisco, Berkeley, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Davis, Saratoga, Sonoma, Sebastopol, San Diego, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Honolulu, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington DC, New York, Burlington at University of Vermont, New Hampshire, Bellevue, Durham at Duke University, New Haven at Yale University, Waukesha at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, Boston and Cambridge at Harvard University and internationally in Paris, Venice Belgrade and Phnom Penh.

UNAFF gives three awards—The Stanford Video Award for Cinematography and The Stanford Video Award for Editing (sponsored by Stanford Video), as well as the UNAFF Grand Jury Award for the Best Long and the Best Short Documentary.

Our relentless efforts in promoting awareness of global issues have been rewarded at the annual UNA-USA Convention in New York, where UNAFF received the prestigious Earl W. Eames Award for innovatively combining new technologies with traditional media. As an acknowledgment of our 10th anniversary, UNAFF received a Proclamation last year from the Mayor of Palo Alto, Yorioko Kishimoto and the “Community Treasure Award” from Stanford University President, John Hennessy for our contributions to the community in promoting dialogue and education about different cultures and issues. We are also proud that UNAFF has twice won WAVE Awards.

UNAFF is an independent project of the UNA-USA, a nonprofit organization.

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Added by cameo on September 4, 2008