Development and human rights for all

United Nations Enable Film Festival (UNEFF)

United Nations Enable Film Festival logo


Around the world, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is commemorated on 3 December. The objective of the annual observance of the Day is to promote a better understanding of disability issues and help mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. The Day also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

On 3 December 2009, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) brought together a selection of short films that were screened at UN Headquarters as a part of the commemorative activities of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. In the following year, DESA held the second disability film festival on 3 December 2010 at UN Headquarters, and the tradition continues.

A call for films is usually made in September, each year. Films are selected by an in-house Committee on the basis of their content and message that can help raise awareness of disability issues and further promote the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society. Disability-related films are selected against a number of criteria, for example, if they highlight an emerging or overlooked disability issue; present a disability perspective in a larger societal context; have won film awards at global, regional or national levels; are gender inclusive; present diverse geographic and regional settings; or present the diversity of disability.


Governments in collaboration with producers and other stakeholders, are encouraged to sponsor films in their national contexts for screening at the United Nations Enable Film Festival (UNEFF) as a show of support for the UN disability agenda and related issues. The extent of support would be decided by the Government, which could include providing the film to UNEFF and possibly a representative to provide a short introduction to the film. Further support may be shown by sponsoring a reception before or after the screening of the film at UN Headquarters. Additional arrangements, including screening of films with audio descriptions, can be discussed along with UNEFF and the Special Events Unit at UN Headquarters in New York.

Send us your films

If you think that your short film can help achieve this objective and is suitable to be presented to a diverse international audience, please send us a link to the online version of the film (or a copy of the film) for consideration by the United Nations Enable Film Festival (UNEFF) Committee and possible inclusion in the next film festival. The call goes out in September, each year (via the Enable website and Newsletter), the deadline for submission is 20 November, each year. (Mailing address: UNEFF, S-2914, United Nations, New York, NY 10017, USA)

Films submitted should be short in length; however, occassionally feature length films are also accepted. All submitted films should be accessible and include English subtitles.

Previous film festivals:

United Nations Enable Film Festival 2014
Disability is a matter of perception (Brazil)
Listen Up! Children with disabilities speak out (Australia)
No Limits (Israel)
My Favourite Leg (Canada)
Hannah’s Dance (UK)
Porimol's story (UK)
AXIS Dance Company The Gift (of Impermanence) 2014 (USA)
Stop Ableism (Kenya)
Beyond The Margins (Ghana)
This Isn't Disneyland (by The Sisters of Invention) (Australia)
Physically Disabled but Mentally Whole (Jordan)
You Can't Give Up (Brazil)
Crazy Bread (China)  (Password: Bcbhbfoundation0401)
Akshay (The Inexhaustible) (India)
Adapted Surfing (South Africa)
Outro Olhar / A New Perspective (Brazil) (Password: outrolhar)

United Nations Enable Film Festival 2012
Think big. Overcome barriers (1.47)
The British Paraorchestra 'True Colors' 
Carry on (3.40)
Inclusion (7.00)
My Story - Kazol Rekha (3.23)
Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story (Short version, 7.00)
Don't Leave Me Out! (3.30)
Džina Kadrić – My Story (2.21) and Nadza Suljovic (1.00)
Creating a World as it Should Be®: The Power of Disabled Women Activists (12.29)
London 2012 – Best Games Ever (4.02)
Diverse Universes (6.49)
My wish upon a star (11.14)
Body and Soul  (54.00)

United Nations Enable Film Festival 2011
Lives Worth Living (US)
Anything you can do (Australia)
Difference is Normal (Brazil)
Young Voices: Identity (India); Participation (Uganda); Determination (Guyana)
Between Hearing and Not Hearing (Hong Kong)
Accessibility/The Job - Handisam (Sweden)
Labels (Russia)

2nd DESA Disability Film Festival (2010)
Mundo Alas (Magoya Films)
Signmark (Signmark) 
Young Voices (Leonard Cheshire Disability)
My Dream (China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe) 
Vancouver 2010 IPC Winter Paralympic Games (International Paralympic Committee) 
Motion Disabled (Simon Mckeown)
Stepping into the Unknown (HEARD-DHAT Co-operation Documentary) 

1st DESA Disability Film Festival (2009)
I am one of you (UNTV Film) 
Beyond the Light (Ivy Goulart Film) 
DEAF: Hear Me (Wild Mango Films)
Rudely Interrupted (Australian Rock Band) 

Other disability-related film festivals